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Indiana Arts Commission

IAC > Indiana Cultural Districts Indiana Cultural Districts

National Governor's Association Cites Two Arts Commission Related Projects in National Report

Indiana has been highlighted in a national report on how states can use arts, culture and design as a means to enhance economic growth. 

The National Governors Association (NGA) recently released a new publication, New Engines of Growth: Five Roles for Arts, Culture and Design. The report, prepared in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) focuses on the role that arts, culture, and design can play in assisting states as they seek to create jobs, boost their economies and, over time, transition to an innovation-based economy.

Specifically, Indiana’s Cultural Districts program is among five state designated programs featured out of 12 states nationwide with similar programs. Indiana is also mentioned among states that have developed programs to help artists raise the market profile of their traditional crafts and export them across state lines. This citation is in reference to the Indiana Artisan Program.

To view the publication, please visit the NGA website at

Indiana Cultural Districts History and Locations

In 2008, Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford) authored legislation to establish Indiana Statewide Cultural Districts.  These Districts promote the exploration of and participation in the arts and humanities through cultural experiences that are unique to our communities, while also supporting community life and economic vitality.

In December 2009, the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) voted to designate official cultural districts in three Indiana communities:  Bloomington, Carmel, and Lafayette/West Lafayette.

"I congratulate the Indiana Arts Commission for bringing to life the vision of House Enrolled Act 1017," said Rep. Koch.  “These initial three communities have set the standard for future cultural district plans around the state,” Rep. Koch added.  “As our nation continues to shift from an industrial manufacturing economy to one based on ideas, information, and experiences, the arts and culture are becoming important economic assets and can be an engine for economic growth in Hoosier communities large and small.  Our state cultural district designation is an important tool within a policy portfolio designed to help us capitalize on our cultural resources in ways that encourage both economic prosperity and civic wellbeing.”

The official state designation provides significant opportunity for marketing, promotion, and potentially leveraging resources through various partnerships.  For more information on applying for the Cultural Districts certification, please visit  To read more about the three districts designated in 2009, please click on the links below or on the map.

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