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Joel Fosha
Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

Last modified: Monday, April 16, 2012

IU institute receives funding to support artists with disabilities in Bloomington area

April 16, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University has received funding from the MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation to offer mentorship training for emerging artists with disabilities in the greater Bloomington area. The grant was awarded on behalf of South Central ArtsWORK Indiana.

Arts Mentoring

Photographer Brandon Boas focuses on his subject matter, a field of sunflowers.

Print-Quality Photo

Especially for artists with little professional experience, the guidance of a mentor is an important contributor to a sustainable career and a successful arts-related business. Artists with disabilities, in particular, may encounter barriers of limited transportation, professional training and financial resources. They may not have access to mentor networks or to knowledge about how to approach a potential mentor and gain professional advancement from a mentoring relationship.

The grant will support a series of three interactive sessions about arts mentorship, targeted to artists, performers and writers with physical or intellectual disabilities in the greater Bloomington area. Mentor artists from the region who are experienced professionals will serve as presenters for the free workshops. Workshop attendees will participate in hands-on exercises to help them understand the mentoring process and how it can help them achieve their goals as artists.

South Central ArtsWORK Indiana was established in Bloomington in 2010 as a satellite group of ArtsWORK Indiana. The Indiana Institute and the City of Bloomington are its local partner organizations. South Central ArtsWORK Indiana shares the mission of ArtsWORK Indiana, "to facilitate access to careers in the arts for people with disabilities through awareness, education and encouragement."

The Indiana Institute, along with the Indiana Arts Commission and VSA Indiana, has been a statewide partner organization for ArtsWORK Indiana for more than eight years. ArtsWORK Indiana's activities were recognized by the 2009 National Accessibility Leadership Award given to the Indiana Arts Commission for outstanding accessibility work.

Based in Boston, Mass., the MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation focuses on transformation of service delivery to adults and children with disabilities through the generation of new ideas and best practices.

For more information, contact Jane Harlan-Simmons at 812-855-6508 or

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana's University Center for Excellence on Disabilities, works to increase community capacity in disability through academic instruction, research, dissemination and training, and technical assistance.

The institute receives support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington, which is dedicated to supporting ongoing faculty research and creative activity, developing new multidisciplinary initiatives and maximizing the potential of faculty to accomplish path-breaking work.