Creativity is the secret to a thriving economy.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the production of all arts and cultural goods in the U.S. added $764 billion to the economy in 2015, including a $21 billion international trade surplus—a larger share of the nation’s economy than transportation, tourism, and agriculture.
The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $166.3 billion in economic activity annually—spending by organizations and their audiences—which supports 4.6 million jobs and generates $27.5 billion in government revenue.
One organization contributing to that staggering figure and working hand-in-hand with its community is the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT).
In 2017, the IRT presented The Curious Incident of the Dog in he Night-Time. Based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon, this Tony Award-winning play tells the story of an autistic teen’s courage and growth as he solves a neighborhood mystery. The IRT was one of the first regional theatres granted rights to the play, and was the very first production to cast the leading role of Christopher with an actor who identified on the autism spectrum. Speaking with Playbill actor Mickey Rowe expressed how important his casting was towards creating opportunities for performers who are on the spectrum. This national attention raised local awareness of the production and its subject matter, allowing the IRT to work within our community and better serve audiences with differing sensory needs.
The theatre consulted with Access and Inclusion expert Talleri McRae, as well as the Autism Society of Indiana, Anthem, Hands on Autism, and others. With their assistance, we were able to craft a theatre-going experience for a wider audience base, including preparatory materials for attending the theatre, designated quiet areas, hand-held manipulatives, and full sensory-friendly performances.
One of the most moving moments to reflect the benefits of these efforts occurred during a post-show discussion, during which a student on the autism spectrum asked Mr. Rowe, with awe, how he was able to be married, have children, and perform in a professional play. This student had never envisioned a future in which such seemingly commonplace relationships and opportunities were available to someone who is autistic, and the example set by Mr. Rowe and this production opened up exciting new possibilities for many people around the country.
As you’re going your holiday shopping this November, consider gifting arts and cultural experiences to your friends and family!
Shop local and drink coffee at this creative business to watch.
When River City Coffee + Goods opened in 2016, they wanted to provide a place for local makers to showcase their high quality, handmade goods. They knew that Evansville was a great place to live with so many talented people and wanted to give the community a unique shopping experience to showcase those talented makers!
River City carries products from over 60 artisans including locally made soap, leather goods, Evansville branded merchandise, locally grown flowers, stationery and a gift for every occasion. River City’s vision for connecting others who share a passion for our community can be seen best in their Meet the Maker pop-up’s, trivia nights, workshops and daily in the café.
Support 100 Indiana Artisans all in two convenient locations.
Metalsmithed jewelry, handmade wood instruments and hand-turned wood bowls, both quirky and stately pottery, elegant and whimsical glasswork, hand-stitched leather notebooks, hand-painted silk scarves, handwoven rugs, and handmade furniture join small batch barbecue sauces, mustards, a wide variety of cookies made by the Sisters of St. Benedict’s Monastery Bakery, turtles as big as your hand, thick and thin noodles, a great variety of hand-ground pastas, apple butter and applesauce, honey, wine truffles, and more!
Friends tell friends about funding.
We’re here for a good alliteration and sharing opportunities to help bring the arts to communities across our state. Take a look at what we’ve rounded up for you this month.
Start prepping for your IAC Arts Project Support grant application – applications will open mid-December. Communities and organizations have used this special funding for a number of things from murals to performing arts series in local parks. The opportunities are endless! Contact your Regional Arts Partner to bounce around some ideas.