Indiana Arts Commission

Indiana Arts Commission

On behalf of the people of Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) advocates engagement with the arts to enrich the quality of individual and community life. The IAC encourages the presence of the arts in communities of all sizes while promoting artistic quality and expression. The IAC advocates arts development opportunities across the state, and stewards effective use of public and private resources for the arts. It stimulates public interest in, and participation with, Indiana’s diverse arts resources and cultural heritage. The IAC works to enhance public awareness of the arts, life-long learning opportunities, and arts education programs.

Governed by a 15-member board of gubernatorial appointees, the IAC serves all citizens and regions of the state. At the heart of every IAC program are the principles of excellence, authenticity, fairness & equity, access, inclusion, and education.

Creative Aging Profile

The Indiana Arts Commission seeks to serve as a connecting agent, convener, resource and information provider, and partner to celebrate and develop creative aging opportunities for all. Our funding imperatives emphasize access, inclusion, fairness, and equity. It is our goal, through these imperatives, to have the rich variety of arts experiences in our state available and relevant to the aging population in a meaningful way.

Agency Initiative

Art Project Partnerships with Indiana State Department of Health

The IAC has developed a relationship with the Indiana State Health Department who is currently operating two exciting and distinct creative aging initiatives:

  • Expressive Arts in Long Term Care
  • Music First Project

The Expressive Arts in Long Term Care project educates long term care professionals in best practices for using visual art, dance, drama, music, writing/memoir in individual and group settings for residents living in long term care facilities.   When space allows, artists and arts practitioners are also invited to participate in the workshop series, enabling them to expand their professional capacity to serve this growing audience.

The Music First project is an extensive research project developed to demonstrate the validity of music as a non-pharmacological intervention for patients with dementia.  Butler music professor Tim Brimmer says the idea is to use a more personalized music set instead of relying on pharmaceuticals.  “What we’re interested in is when they’re in the time that they are most susceptible can we play the perfect songs to match their memories,” Brimmer says. 

Studies have shown music can shift mood, manage stressful situations, stimulate positive interactions, and help cognitive function and experts agree music therapy is more effective when it’s personal.

Sources: Music and MemoryThe Power of Personalized Playlists for Dementia Patients

Agency Creative Aging Resources & Tools

Traditional Arts Indiana Folklife Apprenticeship Program

This new initiative allows master traditional artists to work one on one with an apprentice in order to teach and pass on important traditional knowledge within their community. Through this program, the apprentice will gain the skills and techniques necessary to practice the traditional art form. For the 2017-2018 year, six master artists have been selected to work with an apprentice. For participation in the program, each master artist receives an honorarium with additional funds to cover the cost of apprenticeship materials and resources. The apprenticeship will occur formally for nine months (June-February). At the end of this period, apprenticeship pairs will showcase their traditional practices at a public event hosted at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures in Bloomington, IN. New apprenticeships will be granted every year.



20 of Indiana’s 92 counties had at least 10,000 elderly among their residents. Considering Marion County has the largest population, it is not surprising that it also has the most older residents—more than 94,000 in 2005. On a percentage basis, however, Wabash County had the highest proportion of elderly residents (16.6%). Five other counties had at least 16% of their populations age 65 or older, including Blackford, Fountain, Henry, Randolph and Wayne counties

Image of Stephanie Haines

Creative Aging Point Person

Stephanie Haines

Stephanie Haines is the Arts Education & Accessibility Manager at the Indiana Arts Commission. Stephanie oversees the IAC’s arts education program PACE (Partnering Arts, Communities, and Education) as well as Poetry Out Loud, Indiana State Poet Laureate program, and Arts Organization Support III grant program; she is also the agency’s Accessibility Coordinator. Stephanie earned a Master of Arts in Arts Administration degree from Indiana University, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Art Education from the University of Indianapolis. She has ten years of experience working with teaching artists and arts integration programming with specialties in professional development and artist lesson planning. Stephanie is a visual artist primarily in the mediums of painting and drawing.