- Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

  • Business & Agriculture
  • Residents
  • Government
  • Education
  • Taxes & Finance
  • Visiting & Playing
  • Family & Health

IAC > Grant Programs > Statewide Cultural District Program Statewide Cultural District Program

Subscribe for e-mail updates

Program Overview

A cultural district is a well-recognized, labeled, mixed-use area of a community in which high concentrations of cultural assets serve as the anchor. Indiana Statewide Cultural Districts promote the exploration of and participation in the arts and humanities through cultural experiences that are unique to our communities. Indiana Statewide Cultural Districts support community life and economic vitality.

Currently there is no funding associated with Statewide Cultural District designation. Benefits of the program include increased tourism marketing and economic activities that come with being part of a branded program with a statewide emphasis, a potential collaboration with the Indiana Artisan program, and the opportunity for Statewide Cultural Districts to apply for highway signage.

Once a cultural district receives a Statewide Cultural District designation, the designation will last for the duration of the program unless the cultural district fails to comply with annual reporting requirements or the IAC Board of Commissioners determines the cultural district to no longer be viable for the community. Acceptance into the program signifies an ongoing commitment to the development and sustainability of the cultural district. Required annual reports will allow the IAC to assess the economic and community impact of the cultural district on the city, town or larger area it serves.

Back to top


The 2017 Statewide Cultural District Guidelines will be very similar to the 2015 guidelines but may differ slightly. 2017 guidelines will be released soon. 
Note: A letter of intent is required to be eligible to apply.

Back to top


Prior to application, it is essential to completely understand ALL of the following requirements.  You must be able and willing to fulfill every requirement listed to be eligible for the Statewide Cultural District program. 

Applicant requirements and restrictions:

  1. The applicant MUST be the municipal government (city government, or if none exists, the county government, or both applicable governments if applying jointly) of the area in which the proposed cultural district is located. 
  2. Applicants must have a local cultural district designation by the governmental body in which the district is located.  The designation can be in process when the application is submitted but evidence of completion must be submitted before a state designation is officially given.
  3. Two or more cities, towns or counties that extend  across a common boundary may apply jointly for statewide cultural district designation.  The above two requirements must still be met.

Back to top


The following criteria will be used in assessment of each application:

  1. Community Profile/District Identity Components - up to 20 points
    The components of this category provide a picture of the landscape in which the cultural district is located through demographics, support documentation such as maps and photographs, and narrative.  
  2. Cultural Development - up to 25 points
    The purpose of this category is to promote the development of cultural assets and encourage the exploration of and participation in cultural experiences through the arts and humanities.
  3. Community Development - up to 15 points
    The purpose of this category is to support community partnerships by engaging local residents in community-building events rooted in the arts and humanities.  Community partnerships may include some combination of government, for-profit and non-profit organizations. 
  4. Economic Development/Tourism Development - up to 15 points
    The purpose of this category is to support the economic vitality of local communities through revitalization, tourism and increasing property values. Strategies may include but are not limited to the rehabilitation of existing historic buildings for commercial re-use and the development of artist studios or housing.
  5. Cultural District Management and Planning - up to 25 points
    Cultural District development includes providing adequate management for the district throughout the district’s lifespan.  The CD must have a current long range plan for developing and sustaining the district.  The purpose of this category is to ensure the support and growth of the cultural district by the municipality and the partnering organizations.

Back to top

How to Apply

  1. Submit a Letter of Intent by August 30, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. EDT (received or post-marked date).
  2. Complete the online application using the IAC's Online Grant System by October 4, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. EDT. To be eligible for participation in the program, the entire application must be completed and submitted online along with all required support documentation.

Back to top

Applicant Resources

Excel Templates:


Back to top

Designee Resources

Contact Us 

For all questions, please contact Director of Programs Paige Sharp at or 317-232-1279.

Back to top

Artist Spotlight

Organizational Spotlight

Upcoming Deadlines & Events

View All Events »