trengthening Indianapolis Through Arts and Cultural Innovation is a Lilly Endowment-funded grant initiative that strives to uplift the unique and important role that arts and cultural organizations and projects play in building strong communities. The initiative is designed to:

  • enhance the quality of life in Indianapolis
  • bolster Indianapolis’ image as a desirable place to live, work, play and visit
  • foster a creative, energized and forward-thinking community

Through this initiative, the Endowment is making available grants totaling up to $25 million to support compelling projects that strengthen Indianapolis’ cultural vitality. We encourage eligible organizations to generate creative, new ideas of all sizes that enhance our community’s quality of life, make Indianapolis a vibrant city to visit, and benefit those who live, work and play in Indianapolis.


This is a competitive grant initiative, and up to $25 million will be awarded. We welcome ideas of all sizes (less than $7,500 to more than $10 million) that meet the parameters outlined in the Request for Proposals.


The majority of an applicant’s idea must be implemented within Marion County. Any Indiana-based public charity, or governmental department or agency described in the Request for Proposals is eligible to apply. These will include arts institutions, museums, zoos, schools, religious congregations, community centers, community foundations, and colleges and universities, among others. For more details about the eligibility requirements, please see  the Request for Proposals.


The first stage of the application process is a request for a concept paper, due to the Endowment by Friday, March 30, 2018, at noon eastern standard time. The second stage of the application process will vary based on the size of the project. Announcement of grant awards greater than $50,000 is anticipated to take place on or before December 31, 2018. Announcements for grants with budgets $50,000 or less may be made earlier in the year.

Submitting Proposals

Proposals must be submitted through this website by Friday, March 30, 2018 at 12 p.m. eastern standard time. Documents, including an optional video, must be submitted here.

Further Information

Please send questions about this grant program to The Endowment will host information sessions at its offices, 2801 N. Meridian St. in Indianapolis. Attendance is optional. Space is limited. Please RSVP to at least 48 hours in advance of any session you plan to attend noting that sessions can fill quickly. Sessions are scheduled for:

  • 1 to 2 p.m., Wednesday, February 7, 2018
  • 3 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, February 13, 2018
  • 10 to 11 a.m., Thursday, February 15, 2018