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From June 1995 through June 1996, IAC cultural resource development research indicated that communities needed better access to technical assistance to further the financial, managerial, and artistic development of arts providers. They also wanted more involvement in the decision-making process for the allocation of state resources for the arts.
IAC developed a Strategic Plan in 1996 that identified opportunities for partnerships with other nonprofit agencies to enhance the delivery of services. A cornerstone of the plan is the development of a statewide network of regional partners which would assist IAC not only in the allocation of grant funds on a regional basis, but would extend the impact of the Commission through the regional delivery of other services related to technical assistance.
In 1997, the Indiana Arts Commission and 12 community-based organizations jointly established the Indiana Regional Arts Partnership, a collaborative project to enhance support for arts and cultural activities statewide, especially in underserved areas. The partnership was developed to address issues that arose during the Indiana Arts Commission’s 1995-96 strategic planning process such as:
Beginning in 1999, the Indiana Arts Commission provided regional funding allocations to all Regional Arts Partners for re-granting and services to arts providers within their regions. The Indiana Arts Commission directly funds individual artists, certain multi-regional or statewide arts organizations, and arts service organizations. Each of the 12 Partners worked in cooperation with the Indiana Arts Commission to provide four core services to artists, arts providers, and arts consumers in specified multi-county regions of Indiana. The core services were: cultural planning, grants making, information and referral, and technical assistance. The Regional Arts Partners used information about the needs of local artists, arts providers, and arts consumers to develop and provide services.
In 2010, the IAC modified and restructured its service delivery system to better sustain grants, programs and services in light of significant reductions in state budget appropriations. The IAC's major goal in this restructuring effort was to maintain a regional delivery of the vast majority of grants and services while maintaining a realistic fiscal economy of scale. In the current economic climate, the IAC could no longer provide a lump sum to each Partner for development and delivery of general, technical assistance.
In December 2011, the Commission voted to dissolve the region 11 partnership. The counties served by region 11 have been absorbed by the region 8, 10 and 12 partners for Fiscal Year 2013 and beyond. In collaboration with the IAC, the RAP exists to promote and expand participation in the arts in Indiana. It provides broad local access to arts services and funding opportunities throughout the State of Indiana. Services include, but are not limited to, information and referral and regranting of state and federal funds.