Call for Proposals: 5×5 READ INDY

Indiana Humanities LogoIndiana Humanities and Indy Reads are teaming up to host a 5×5 event on Thursday May 14th. 5×5 is a platform for new and innovative ideas related to the arts. We eagerly seek inventive and inspiring proposals on the theme READ INDY.

We’re looking for ideas that use literature, reading, and/or the written word to create powerful arts and humanities experiences for the people of Indianapolis.

We’re inspired by projects like St. Paul’s Sidewalks Poetry and Maine’s “Stories for Life” alternative sentencing program, the tantalizing blurriness between the words “story” and “game,” and the myriad work of the Indiana-based Center for Civic Reflection. We think reading and literature can address important needs, like sustaining the bonds between an incarcerated father and his child or helping veterans reflect on and make sense of their military service. We believe everyone should get a chance to encounter the beauty and pleasure of literature, in unexpected places and during even our most mundane activities.

IRBlogo-243x300We invite you—artist, scholar, student, organizer, educator, Hoosier—to think big about how reading and the written word can deeply and positively impact people’s lives, and how the creative potential of the arts and humanities can help make it happen in Indianapolis. We challenge you to find ordinary places or everyday experiences that could be transformed by the infusion of reading and words. We encourage you to think of ways that reading together might change how we do our work, how we understand our lives and our world, or how we relate to each other.

The winning project, selected by a panel of judges with audience input at a live event on May 14, will receive $10,000 to take the proposal from idea to action.

We can’t wait to see your ideas for projects or program ideas that will, in the words of Plan 2020, build a more “authentic city life.”

Big Questions to Think About

  • How can the written word—literature, poetry, drama, essays—solve real problems in our city? Can literature intervene where other methods can’t?
  • How can the act of shared reading create or strengthen bonds among strangers, neighbors, families, friends, coworkers, or classmates—and inspire them to make their community better?
  • What wacky, imaginative, singular encounters with literature, reading and big ideas can draw new people into the arts and cultural life of Indianapolis?

Guidelines to Follow

  •  Anyone in the Hoosier state—individuals, collectives or organizations–is eligible to submit a proposal except employees or board members of Indiana Humanities and Indy Reads. We’re open to ideas from both individuals and non-profit organizations, so long as your idea will directly impact and serve Marion County.
  • Submissions must involve the humanities and/or arts (we know, we know—the lines are very fuzzy). Basically, if your proposal involves people having powerful experiences with the written word, you’re covered.
  • Submissions must be received via the online application by Friday, April 10.
  • Five finalists will be selected to present their ideas to a panel of judges and a live audience on the evening of Thursday, May 14. Finalists will be notified by Monday, April 20.
  • Finalists must be available for the event on May 14th from 4pm-9-pm.
  • Finalists must be available for a 1-2 hour meeting with Indiana Humanities and Indy Reads to go over logistics and presentation tips; this meeting will be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time in the three weeks prior to the May 14 event.
  • A $10,000 prize will be awarded to the winning presenter to implement their idea.
  • Only one idea per applicant will be accepted for READ INDY. You can apply again for other 2015 5×5 competitions.

Other Things to Keep In Mind

  • Think not only in terms of public projects but also of public programs that can engage a neighborhood, a community or a city in imagining a brighter future for Marion County.
  • You may propose a stand-alone project, program or series, or explain how the $10,000 prize will help you launch a larger, more long-term initiative.
  • The more participatory your proposed project idea, the better. In other words, we’re not terribly interested in proposals for book manuscripts. In your application, share your ideas about who will participate and what their participation looks like.
  • Finalists are often judged not only on the creativity of their idea, but also the feasibility. Do you have a realistic budget and work plan? If your idea requires the buy-in of key stakeholders, how will you get them on board?
  • Is someone else in the community already doing a project similar to the one you are proposing? Do an environmental scan to see if you are duplicating existing efforts. If your idea is similar, this may be an option for a creative and exciting partnership.
  • Bear in mind, individuals who apply must have fiscal sponsorship in order to accept the $10,000 prize. There are lots of great organizations in Indianapolis who can offer fiscal sponsorship: do your homework and we’ll be happy to direct finalists to sponsor organizations if they still need it come May.

How to Apply

Complete the short online application, making a compelling case for how your idea aligns with READ INDY, and what you will be able to accomplish with a $10,000 prize. The application deadline is Friday, April 10; no late applications will be accepted. Finalists will be notified by Monday, April 20. Finalists will pitch their ideas on Thursday, May 14 at Fountain Square Theater.


About 5×5

5×5 is a platform for new and innovative ideas related to the arts. At each of four events throughout the year, five finalists have five slides and five minutes each to present a creative project or program for the city of Indianapolis. Finalists present their ideas to a live audience and panel of judges. At each event, one winner will be awarded $10,000 to put their idea into action. The series of idea-generating events is hosted and shaped by some of the city’s most important young creative leaders.

5×5 was launched in 2013 by Central Indiana Community Foundation, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and the Efroymson Family Fund as a way to inspire, ignite and financially support creative and innovative ideas related to the arts.

In 2015, 5×5 is partnering with Plan 2020, the Bicentennial Agenda for the City of Indianapolis. Indiana Humanities and Indy Reads will kick off the year with READ INDY, followed by AUTHENTIC INDY with the Harrison Center for the Arts, DREAM INDY with Big Car, and INVEST INDY with Verge.

About Indy Reads

The mission of Indy Reads is to promote and improve the literacy of adults and families in Central Indiana.

About Indiana Humanities

Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk.

Contact Information

Alyssa Newerth, Director of Advancement at Indy Reads. (317)275-4048

Leah Nahmias, Director of Programs at Indiana Humanities (317)616-9804

Community Engagement and Development Through the Arts Symposium to feature Dr. Jane Chu, Chairwoman, National Endowment for the Arts


The Future of the Arts and Humanities Roundtable: Keira Amstutz, William Blomquist, John Dichtl, Valerie Eickmeier, Jonathan Elmer, David Lawrence

Indiana Humanities LogoMarch 5, 2015 | 12:00-1:30
Location: Indiana Humanities, 1500 N. Delaware
Free tickets available soon (boxed lunches available for purchase)

Are the arts and humanities in crisis? What do financial cuts ultimately mean for arts and humanities institutions and their publics? What role should governments play in supporting the arts and humanities? What does the future look like for arts and humanities in this country and around the world? What functions do the arts and humanities provide in sustaining a democratic society?

This roundtable will discuss these and many other questions in this can’t-miss event featuring several of central Indiana’s leaders in the arts and humanities.

Keira Amstutz is the President and CEO of Indiana Humanities.

Dr. William Blomquist is the Dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Dr. John Dichtl is the Executive Director of the National Council on Public History and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in History in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Dr. Valerie Eickmeier is the Dean of the Herron School of Art and Design.

Dr. Jonathan Elmer is the Director of the College of Arts and Humanities Institute and a Professor of English at IU Bloomington.

David Lawrence is the President and CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

Open Society Foundations Invites Applications for Social Justice Photography Projects

logoThe Open Society Documentary Photography Project is accepting applications for photography projects that can be used as tools for social change.

The foundation’s Audience Engagement program supports projects that address a pressing social justice or human rights problems and provide concrete ways for photographers, organizations, and their target audiences to create positive social impact. Projects that inspire audiences visually, create meaningful interactions with an existing body of photographic work, and use photography as the basis for programming that moves people beyond the act of looking and directly involves them in activities or processes that lead to social change are encouraged.

Beginning this year, the program offers two tracks of support for individuals at different phases of their audience engagement projects:

  • Project Development: Grantees will receive funding to attend an Open Society–organized retreat in December 2014. The event will be designed in collaboration with Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program, whose nationally recognized workshops provide participants with essential practical tools and strategies to help them move their project and career goals forward. Attendees will become part of a larger Audience Engagement grant cohort, with opportunities to connect both during the conference and after.
  • Project Implementation: Grantees will receive grants of up to $30,000 to execute (or continue executing) their projects as well as attend the December retreat.

Proposed projects should include partnerships between photographers and organizations recognized as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Each project partner should have the skills and track record to realize the project and must commit time and resources to implement it.

See the Open Society Foundations Web site for eligibility and application guidelines.

Roundtable on the Civic Function of the Arts and Humanities

Monday, November 18, 2013
5:00 p.m.
University Club, Indiana Memorial Union

Featuring IUB Provost Lauren Robel, Professor Sara Guyer (Wisconsin), and Associate Professor Jason Kelley (IUPUI). What does research in the arts and humanities contribute to civic life in our society? The release of the AAAS Report of the Humanities and Social Sciences this past summer, IUB’s own ongoing reflection for its Strategic Plan, and the active national dialogue about the values and contributions of humanities scholarship and artistic practice—all make this a very timely event. The Roundtable will be structured to allow for generous conversation.

Co-sponsored by the IU College of Arts and Humanities Institute.

Dedalus Foundation Institutional Grants in Modern Art

Fall application deadline: October 15, 2013. Spring application deadline: March 15, 2014.

Institutional Initiatives

In conjunction with its various programs, the Dedalus Foundation supports and partners with nonprofit institutions that share its mission of fostering public understanding of modern art and modernism in the arts.

Awards are made twice annually, in the spring and the fall. The deadline for spring applications is March 15, and the deadline for fall applications is October 15. Grants rarely exceed $25,000, with the majority being between $10,000 and $15,000. Full details, along with other grant opportunities, are available on the Dedalus Grant program website.

The Foundation welcomes proposals for support and partnership from museums, educational institutions, and other nonprofit arts organizations. Such proposals should be made within the context of one of the following four Programs:

Arts Education Program

Supports symposiums and lectures; K-12 programs; community-based programs; residencies; fellowship programs; educational programs at museums, art schools, colleges, and universities.

Research and Publication Program

Supports scholarly research on modern art and modernism; exhibition catalogues; the publication of scholarly books and periodicals.

Archives and Conservation Program

Supports projects focused on the science and practice of the conservation and restoration of works of art, and the processing, description, cataloging, and preservation of archival materials, as well as oral history programs.

Curatorial Program

Supports exhibitions of modern and contemporary art; and programs in curatorial studies.

The Dedalus Foundation does not support capital campaigns, general operating expenses, or the commissioning of works of art.

Inquiries should be sent to the Grants Manager at

2013 Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship Guidelines Released for Contemporary Visual Artists in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin

About the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship

Now in its 8th year, the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowships were established to increase public awareness of contemporary visual art in the Midwest. The intent of the fellowship is to reward creativity and encourage emerging and established individual artists by supporting their artistic development.

2013 Fellowship Overview
In 2013, five $25,000 fellowships will be awarded.

Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must meet the below eligibility criteria by the submission due date.

  • AGE 25 or older by February 28, 2013
  • RESIDENT of either Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota or Wisconsin as of February 2012
  • COMMITMENT to reside in Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota or Wisconsin the duration of the fellowship (May 2013-May 2014).

Past Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellows are not eligible to apply.

Fellowship Categories
Applicants must work in one of the following mediums. (Wearable or functional decorative art including quilts, jewelry, vessels or pottery will not be considered.)

  • Installation
  • Sculpture
  • New media (video, computer generated or 3-D)
  • Selection Criteria
  • All applicants will be reviewed in an anonymous process by a nationally selected jury.  The Juror will review digital images and/video and the accompanying narrative based on the following criteria.
  • Quality and skill
  • Creativity and uniqueness
  • Commitment to developing work
  • Impact the award will have on the artist’s career

Application Due Date: February 28, 2013 by 5:00pm EST

The Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowships are made possible by the Efroymson Family Fund, a donor-advised fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF).

Download the complete 2013 guidelines and submission instructions here: