Lincoln Financial Foundation has awarded a $280,000 multi-year grant to Arts United, a northeast Indiana-based organization devoted to creating opportunities to help arts and cultural organizations to thrive.
The focus of Arts United is to help arts and cultural groups with the business side of creativity—raising funds, advocating, educating, providing business services such as accounting and insurance needs, and assisting in finding performance venues, rehearsal spaces and offices.
“We see this grant as a strategic investment in building our community’s quality of life and economy in a way that will help companies like Lincoln cultivate, attract and retain talent,” said program officer Jean Vrabel.
The award will provide support for the Arts United Fund Drive—the primary means of generating over $1 million for more than 70 arts, cultural and recreational programs each year. Principal partners include ARCH, Artlink, Cinema Center, FAME, Fort Wayne Ballet, Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Youtheatre, The History Center, and Unity Performing Arts Foundation. The business resources that these partners garner through Arts United’s initiatives help to maximize their operating effectiveness.
The award also continues Lincoln’s long-standing sponsorship of the Nonprofit Arts Internship Initiative (NAII). The internship gives college students the opportunity to combine classroom knowledge with real world experience. The goal is to provide the resources needed to launch their careers by placing them with an arts internship. Through the NAII, Arts United has placed more than 60 paid interns at local arts nonprofit organizations since 2007.
In addition to the grant, employees of Lincoln Financial Group participate in an annual employee giving campaign to benefit Arts United. The company offers a matching gift program, encouraging employees, financial planners, and retirees to participate in their communities by supporting human services, arts and culture, and education projects.
Lincoln Financial Group was a 2006 honoree of the BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America. According to past Chairman and CEO Jon A. Boscia, “Our support of the arts is as simple to understand as ABC—art builds community. Vibrant arts environments draw people of diverse cultural experiences together and foster innovation and excellence in the workplace.”
“Lincoln’s long-standing support of Arts United reinforces the important role that arts and cultural organizations play in elevating our region’s quality of life,” said Arts United executive director Jim Sparrow. “A well-resourced cultural core is a catalyst for a more dynamic, vibrant community.”