Celebrating who’s doing great inclusion, diversity, equity & access work through the arts

InstaGrant highlights, recognizes, and shares the great work happening throughout the state and provides a crowdsourced grant of $2,500 to a selected organization doing that work. Centering on this year’s theme - Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access (definitions): Arts for All- ten InstaGrant participants, representing all corners of the state, have been selected to receive a scholarship covering complimentary registration and a $200 travel honorarium to cover two-day participation at the Indiana Arts Homecoming October 24 – 25, 2019 in Indianapolis.

In return, each will present at an all-conference opening session and at the end of the conference if selected as a finalist. 

Finalists (in alpha order by project title)

Barrier-Free Theatre: Shining Light on ABILITIES One Play at a Time

Muncie Civic Theatre

Presented by Tracena Marie (MA, RDT)
Muncie Civic Theatre
Muncie, Indiana

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Barrier-Free Theatre is an inclusive, drama therapy model that shines light on strengths and abilities. Facilitated by a Registered Drama Therapist, participants (17+) enhance their social-emotional skills through improvisation, dramatic play, scenework and role-play. It consists of brainstorming, writing, rehearsing, and performing an original production based on the participants’ shared central concerns of their own life experiences. The participants work together from September through late April/early May; concluding with a weekend of performances on Muncie Civic Theatre's Mainstage. The growth of MCT's Barrier-Free Theatre program has expanded over the last five production seasons. The theatre is currently, gearing up for their sixth season!

Can-Do Dance

Beachfront Dance

Presented by Lennie Hawkins
Beachfront Dance
Gary, Indiana

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Beachfront Dance School (BDS) is a classical ballet studio located in Gary, Indiana. BDS was founded in 2002 and opened from business in 2003. In their short existence, BDS has hosted yearly ballet workshops with various domestic and international ballet companies and yearly workshops with various figures in the Broadway arena. BDS not only has classes in ballet but classes in other dance art forms; BDS is the only dance studio in the Northwest Indiana that holds ballet classes for children with special needs and gives pay-it-forward classes to seniors.

Confronting 100 Years of Racism: August Wilson's American Century Cycle

South Bend Civic

Presented by Bianca Tirado
South Bend Civic Theatre
South Bend

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To bring the works of August Wilson, considered by many to be the United States’ greatest playwright, to Michiana with an unprecedented 10 year, 10 play retrospective. South Bend Civic Theatre will partner on this multidisciplinary educational project with area schools, non-profits, arts organizations, and community groups. Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning work celebrates the stories of the working-class; his plays make our common struggles both epic and heroic. This commitment to telling the stories of the African-American community aligns perfectly with the mission of the Civic. This dual-focus educational and performance series aims to enrich and create community through the examination of the past through our modern lens. In addition, with the cycle’s commitment to the city of Pittsburgh, we feel that our South Bend community will feel a resonance with these post-manufacturing “Rust Belt” stories.

Day Services

Day Services

Presented by Jennifer Grzanka
Developmental Services
Columbus, Indiana

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The Rising Stars Creations Studio at DSI, which serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is all about finding the artist within each client. The program provides vital opportunity to explore everything from color theory and the elements of art, to how to photograph and light a portrait photo successfully, which are things they might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about. Client artists learn how to communicate successfully in new ways… in a world often frustrating for them to communicate in. They also develop self-esteem and learn how working as an individual artist or part of a studio team changes and improves interpersonal dynamics. No matter if it is painting watercolors and making pottery or creating artisan soaps, DSI will always be striving to offer new art opportunities to any client artist who wants to express, explore, create, communicate and understand themselves and the world better.

Fonseca Theatre

Fonseca Theatre

Presented by Jordan Flores Schwartz
Fonseca Theatre Company
Indianapolis, Indiana

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The Fonseca Theatre Company (FTC) is a minority-majority company of artists who will give voice to the disenfranchised in our community. We exist to give voice to and celebrate the minority communities of Indianapolis through the prism of purposeful theater and civic engagement. The goal is to bring about social justice through programs which educate, illuminate, and ignite conversations on equity, diversity, and inclusion. FTC thinks globally but focuses locally.

The Lotus Firebay – Bridging Arts Access and Engagement with Our Community

Lotus facade

Presented by Loraine Martin
Lotus Education and Arts Foundation
Bloomington, Indiana

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Lotus Education and Arts Foundation (Lotus) works to create opportunities to experience, celebrate, and explore the diversity of the world’s cultures through music and the arts. For 25 years, Lotus has brought the world to its streets and schools and now has a “home” in a renovated and re-purposed, historic fire station. Launched in January 2019, the “Lotus Firebay” has created an accessible venue for small concerts, art programs, workshops and demonstrations, exhibits, classes, receptions, and more. The Firebay is in an underserved area for arts and cultural engagement in its community in Bloomington, Indiana. With this new space, Lotus is looking to work together with its surrounding neighborhoods and local groups and organizations, to create a space utilized and embraced by all of its City’s citizens and neighbors.

Music Therapy: Meeting the Needs of a Diverse

Purdue Music

Presented by Eileen Garwood (PhD, MT-BC)
Purdue University Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, Indiana


The Purdue University Fort Wayne Music Therapy program is the primary training program for undergraduate students and has had a long-standing presence in the Fort Wayne community. We are dedicated to preparing students for a career that is sparked by a passion for their art (music) and their deep desire to use their talent to the service of others. Our program has promoted wellness and healing through music experiences and the relationships developed through them to a broad and diverse group of consumers. We have developed ongoing relationships with many agencies who provide services for developmental and intellectual disabilities, special education, domestic violence, homelessness, immigrant and refugee families, long-term care and rehabilitation, addictions recovery and more.

Voices of Homelessness

:THC Homeless Services

Presented by Jennifer Shook
LTHC Homeless Services
Lafayette, Indiana

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LTHC Homeless Services held a Voices of Homelessness art show in November 2018. The purpose of this project was to give our guests (who are or have experienced homelessness) an opportunity to tell their story using art in mediums such as photography, poetry, drawing, and mixed media. The show was kicked off with an open house night and remained on display for a month at a local restaurant.

West Crawford Elementary Art Program

West Crawford Elementary Art

Presented by Donna Schultz
West Crawford Elementary School
Eckerty, Indiana

A committee of educators and community members work together to provide music and art experiences for students in and around our local elementary school. Weekly Music instruction and bi-weekly Art instruction is provided for all students in our elementary school. Students are given a chance to participate in a theater presentation, musical concerts, and art exhibitions. They also have opportunities to attend live theater performances. These enrichment opportunities provide students from an underserved community important horizon expanding experiences.

Zip Code Neighbors Project


Presented by Todd Kranpitz
Evansville Museum
Evansville, Indiana

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What happens when one community museum chooses to address local issues of privilege, programmatic access, and inequity, all while forging new relationships with their neighbors, who live just a few streets away? Listen to the Evansville Museum’s experience about challenging the status quo as they embrace a different concept of diversity and inclusion in their Zip Code.