Indiana University

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Last modified: Tuesday, November 24, 2009

National arts award recognizes work by Indiana University center

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Nov. 24, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An Indiana University-based project focused on facilitating access to careers in the arts for people with disabilities was named in a national award presented to the Indiana Arts Commission for making the arts accessible and inclusive for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

The award recognizes ArtsWORK Indiana, a grassroots organization developed by state arts commission in partnership with the Center on Aging and Community, part of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at IU Bloomington.

Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, announced last week that the Indiana Arts Commission is the recipient of the 2009 National Accessibility Leadership Award/grant. The award, sponsored by the NEA and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, was presented to the commission for leadership in making the arts fully inclusive throughout its organization, programming and state.

"Since becoming chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, I have been talking about 'art works,'" Landesman said, "and the Indiana Arts Commission will help ensure even more opportunities for American artists in the three ways that I mean this phrase: artists of every background should have the opportunity to create new art works; they should participate in all the ways that art can work to expand us as human beings and knit together our communities; and perhaps most importantly, they should have the chance to be working artists who are part of this country's real economy."

The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies established the National Accessibility Leadership Award in 2001. Since 2002, the award has provided a $30,000 NEA competitive grant to the selected state or regional arts agency to advance its access work. With their award, the Indiana Arts Commission and AWI will expand support for artists with disabilities by offering grants for projects that will impact the artists' career development.

For more information, contact Jane Harlan-Simmons at or 812-855-6508. For more information about the Indiana Institute, visit

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