About Us

Our Mission

Advancing equitable access to the transformative power of arts education for learners of all ages and their communities by connecting schools, artists, and organizations throughout Greater Indianapolis.

Our Vision

To transform communities through universal access to arts learning.

The concept of creating a collaborative, organizing entity was first conceived in 2018 by Dr. Lisa Brooks, Dean of the Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University. Dr. Brooks then engaged with dozens of organizational representatives and thought partners to determine the path forward. Specifically:

  • Local Listening Tour: To date, over 80 meetings and conversations have been held with local stakeholders in arts, education, business, social services, and government, as well as prospective funders and community-based thought partners.
  • National Meetings were held with the National Endowment for the Arts (Washington, DC), Lincoln Center (New York, NY), Young Audiences National Office (New York, NY), Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts (Vienna, VA), and the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC ).
  • National Site Visits took place with MINDPOP (Austin TX); Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University (Bethlehem PA); Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Chattanooga TN); Ingenuity (Chicago IL); Big Thought (Dallas TX); Young Audiences of Houston (Houston TX); Metro Nashville Public Schools (Nashville TN); Newark Arts Education Roundtable (Newark NJ); and The Creative Advantage (Seattle WA).
  • Strategic Work with Big Thought (Dallas, TX): In 2019, Dr. Brooks engaged a team from Big Thought to come to Indianapolis and lead strategic work with the arts community, consisting of interviews and focus groups; the launch of a student voice survey, with 885 fully completed surveys from young people ranging in age from 9-24; a review of archival and extant data; and the creation of a Steering Committee.

The Indianapolis Center for Arts Education and Innovation is supported through the generosity of individual donors and foundations.

Individual Donors

Dan and Kate Appel
JoAnne Juett
Patricia See
Ann Stack


Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF)

CICF logo: Central Indiana Community Foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation, Hamilton County Community Foundation



The Glick FundImage indicating Butler University as a 2022 Grant Recipient from the Glick Fund, image features the text "arts are essential for personal and community growth and development."







The Moxley Springer Field of Interest Fund