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Jon Kay
Traditional Arts Indiana

Last modified: Monday, November 21, 2011

Traditional Arts Indiana receives NEA grant to support its Rotating Exhibit Network

Nov. 21, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Traditional Arts Indiana is one of 863 organizations and individuals from across the country to be awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and will receive $10,000 to support its Rotating Exhibit Network.

This project aims to support musical diversity in the Hoosier state by creating six touring exhibit panels that feature a diverse group of traditional musical ensembles whose work grows from and supports their communities. The panels are displayed in libraries throughout the state and are augmented by public programs and the website

This project reflects Traditional Arts Indiana's mission to nurture and raise awareness of the cultural heritage of the state through innovative and inclusive programs.

The portable Rotating Exhibit Network panels are a key outreach tool for TAI as it draws attention to Indiana's traditional artists and their contributions to their communities. Measuring 3 by 7 feet, the sturdy panels display photographs, quotes and interpretive text in a visually appealing format. The panels focus on the stories of individuals and their art forms: artistic process and aesthetics, connection to the larger community and the meanings drawn from shared traditions.

"The geographic impact of the ongoing REN program is clear," said TAI Director Jon Kay. "At present, 36 libraries around the state take part, over half in underserved communities. In addition to generating interest in traditions that are local or from other parts of the state, the exhibits encourage patrons to take advantage of their own libraries' cultural and historical resources."

Traditional Arts Indiana identifies, documents and promotes the state's traditional arts through collaborations with Indiana artists. A partnership between Indiana University and the Indiana Humanities Council, TAI serves as the state's only official traditional arts support and development program. TAI promotes Indiana's traditional culture through strategic documentation of traditional arts, innovative public programming and exemplary interpretation of the state's folklife resources.

In March, the NEA received 1,686 eligible applications for Art Works grants requesting more than $84 million in funding. The resulting funding rate of 49 percent of eligible applications reflects both the significant demand for support and the ongoing vitality of the not-for-profit arts community despite current financial challenges. Art Works grants are awarded based on the applications received by the NEA and how those applications are assessed by the review panels.

More information about Traditional Arts Indiana is available at