As articulated in Ball State University's Destination 2040 Goals, Ball State aspires to be "internationally recognized for mobilizing and leading partnerships that revitalize and sustain our city and our region." This Community Engagement for the Arts Grant affirms Ball State's commitment to community engagement with the greater arts community of East Central Indiana, by promoting broad participation and equitable access to our various community arts organizations. This grant will provide the means for such organizations to propose projects that meld our priorities and strengths (as determined by Ball State University) to deliver novel, engaging experiences to our communities.

The Ball State University Community Engagement for the Arts Grant is an annual competitive grant program that will provide twelve-month (fiscal year, July - June) funding of up to $35,000 to an external East Central Indiana community arts-focused organization or program. This funding is intended to support projects in any creative discipline that encourage public appreciation of art and education in the arts, promote diversity within the local arts community, and make the arts accessible to all.

Requirements & Priorities
  • Applicants must be Indiana 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations or public entities for a specific arts project or arts activity(ies) located within the East Central Indiana Region (Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jay, Randolph, Rush, and Wayne Counties).
  • Current or past affiliation with Ball State University must be disclosed on your application
  • Applicants may only submit one proposal per award year. However, multiple organizations may partner to submit a proposal for a single collaborative project.
  • Proposals must outline a specific project, event, or series and explain how the requested award amount of up to $35,000 would be used to execute that initiative.
  • Programming must be accessible by the public, displaying a strong community component.
  • Previous grantees may apply for the Community Engagement for the Arts Grant in future award cycles, but will only be considered after a minimum of one year has passed from the completion of the funded project.

Proposals must include a narrative that speaks directly to the University’s Mission, Enduring Values, and Beneficence Pledge.

Our Mission

We engage students in educational, research, and creative endeavors that empower our graduates to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives enriched by lifelong learning and service, while we enhance the economic, environmental, and social vitality of our community, our state, and our world.

Our Enduring Values

  • Excellence. We commit to excel in all that we do.
  • Innovation. We commit to be creative, responsive, and progressive.
  • Courage. We commit to set ambitious goals and to take the risks necessary to achieve those goals.
  • Integrity. We commit to be honest, ethical, authentic, and accessible.
  • Inclusiveness. We commit to respect and embrace equity, inclusion, and diversity in people, ideas, and opinions.
  • Social responsibility. We commit to act for the benefit of society at large.
  • Gratitude. We commit to express appreciation to others and to demonstrate our gratitude through our actions.

Beneficence Pledge: Members of the Ball State Community...

  • Pledge to maintain high standards of scholarship and excellence: To work with students, faculty, and staff to strengthen teaching and learning on campus.
  • Pledge to practice academic honesty: To model and uphold academic integrity, to honor their peers and earn trust and respect from all members of the community.
  • Pledge to act in a socially responsible way: To treat each person in the Ball State community with civility, courtesy, compassion, and dignity; to respect the property and environment of the campus.
  • Pledge to value the intrinsic worth of every member of the community: To respect and learn from differences in people, ideas, and opinions.

Ball State University strives to keep Inclusive Excellence at the highest level of institutional importance and as a foundation in all that we do. We are committed to respect and embrace equity, inclusion, and diversity in people, ideas, and opinions. Ball State University is an equal opportunity organization and will not allow discrimination based upon age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, national origin, disability, race, size, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, or any other status prohibited by applicable law.

We have set the following standards for serving applicants. We pledge to:

  • Treat all applicants with courtesy and respect
  • Respond to correspondence promptly and efficiently
  • Provide clear and accurate information about our policies and procedures
  • Ensure that all eligible applications are reviewed thoughtfully and fairly

Artistic and Programmatic Merit

  • Does the application demonstrate a committed effort to provide its audience a meaningful, impactful, and quality and/or authentic artistic experience(s)?
  • Does the applicant demonstrate the technical ability, skill, and understanding to execute the proposed project feasibly and safely?
  • What process and metrics will the applicant use to evaluate success of programming?
  • How will this project contribute to the vibrancy of the arts in our region?

Community Benefit

  • How is the need for the project demonstrated?
  • How is the approach informed by the values of the community and Ball State University?
  • Who is the target audience and how will this project benefit them?
  • What impact is the project intended to have on the community and how will this be accomplished and measured?

Inclusivity & Accessibility

  • How does the project include intentional strategies for inclusion, diversity, equity, and/or access for under-resourced communities?
  • What are the organization’s policies and procedures for addressing non-discrimination towards project participants?
  • How does the organization convey accessibility of marketing materials, programming, and facility accommodations for all audience members?
  • How does the organization engage in outreach and responsiveness to the diverse demographics of the community served?

Administrative Understanding

  • Is the proposed timeline feasible for the scope of the project? Does the applicant have access to the necessary resources and personnel to execute the proposed project, or a plan to acquire them?
  • Have foreseeable aspects of the project been considered and itemized within the budget? Is the budget understandable and realistic for the project described?
  • Will the planned marketing accurately reflect the project and draw in the intended target audience?
  • Does the application convey the organization’s ability to successfully manage the financial and administrative aspects of executing the proposed project?
  • Salaries
  • Artistic fees
  • Staff development and training
  • Space and equipment rental
  • Promotional costs
  • Production costs, supplies, etc. needed to support the project
  • Exhibitions
  • Capital equipment expenditure (an asset that depreciates over time) if playing an integral part of the project
  • Expenses related to virtual project delivery
  • Public art
  • Arts festivals
  • Guest artists
  • Arts field trips
  • Workshops
  • Presentations
  • Performances
  • Construction or renovation of facilities
  • Projects that involve private, individually owned collections
  • Projects or activities that take place outside the East Central Indiana Region
  • Standard operating costs
  • Awards to recognize achievement
  • Sub granting or regranting
  • Contributions and donations to other entities
  • Cash reserves and endowments
  • Commercial enterprises or activities
  • Consumable supplies and materials not directly related to the project
  • Marketing expenses not related to specific project applied for
  • Participation restricted to specific membership of an organization
  • Projects that endorse religion in a preferential, coercive way
  • Social activities such as receptions, parties, or galas; events in private dwellings or other locations not open to the general public, and any associated costs including catering, planning, staffing, supplies, alcoholic beverages, etc.
  • General miscellaneous or contingency costs
  • Costs incurred before beginning or after completion of the official grant period
  • Activities that cannot be completed within the fiscal award year
  • Fines and penalties, bad debt costs, or deficit reduction
  • Lobbying or voter registration drives and related activities
  • Audit costs
  • Purchase of vehicles
  • Activities that are solely for the purpose of fundraising
Grant Timeline
Date Action
Monday February 12th, 2024 Call for proposals
Friday, March 29, 2024 Deadline to submit application
Friday April 12, 2024 Contact finalists
Late April - May 2024 Finalist interviews
June 2024 Announce grantee
July 1, 2024 Funds provided to grantee
December 15, 2024 Mid-year report due
June 30, 2025 Final report due
  1. Sections on Application
    1. Applicant Information
    2. Project Information & Narrative Questions
    3. Budget Narrative
  2. Required Uploads *Indicates Situational Requirement
    1. Completed Budget Spreadsheet
    2. Financials*
      1. *IF you have received additional funding that will be applied to this project from other entities, organizations, or grants, THEN documentation of these funding sources is required
      2. *IF your organization is an accredited non-profit, THEN you must include your EIN# or 501(c)3 number
    3. *IF your project is reliant on partnerships with other organizations or individuals, THEN Supporting Documentation of Correspondence with Supporting Entities is required
    4. *IF a specific guest artist is needed to execute the project, THEN their Resume, Bio, or CV are required
  3. Optional Uploads
    1. Marketing Material Examples
    2. Any Additional Documents you would like us to consider regarding your proposal (up to 5 pages)

The Community Engagement for the Arts Grant Review Committee consists of the following members:

# Firstname Lastname Title
1 Jaqueline Buckrop Special Assistant for Academic Operations and Teaching Professor in Communication Studies
2 Seth Beckman Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Professor of Music
3 Joanna Corey Director of University Marketing and Promotion
4 Kelli Huth Associate Vice President for Community Engagement
5 Stephanie Simon-Dack Vice Provost for Research and Professor of Psychological Science
6 Jackie Grutsch McKinney Director of Immersive Learning and High Impact Practices and Professor of English
7 Bianca Sulanke Grant Administration Coordinator & Project Assistant in the Office of Community Engagement

Upon submission of the application and supporting materials, each of the Community Engagement for the Arts Grant Committee members will individually review the proposal. Once all proposals have been evaluated, the Committee will determine which applicants will move on as finalists. Finalists will be contacted individually by April 19, 2024, and invited to present their project to the Committee in further detail via a Zoom Finalist Interview.

2024 Finalist Interview SlotsSubject to Change

  • Tuesday May 14th at 9am
  • Monday May 20th at 1pm
  • Monday May 20th at 2pm
  • Monday May 20th at 4pm
  • Tuesday May 21st at 4pm 

Those who are not chosen as finalists will also be contacted. However, due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unable to provide feedback on projects or proposals to individual applicants.

Finalist Interview Preparation

  • The person(s) who wrote the proposal should be included in the interview, as they are closest to the process and proposal and will be able to understand any references to the content from the Review Committee.

  • The purpose of the Finalist Interviews are to glean deeper understanding of the project than what is found in the initial proposal and application, answer any questions about the content that were not made clear during proposal review, and better understand the administrative competency of the organization.

Grant funds will be awarded to support one project per year on an annual basis.

A limited background check will be run on the chosen grantee and organization before the chosen project is confirmed.

The grantee will be required to sign an acceptance agreement of the following conditions in order to receive awarded funds.

  • The grantee must confirm compliance with Ball State’s outlined non-discrimination policies. A review of your organization may be conducted to ensure that it is in compliance. If it is determined that a grantee has failed to comply with these policies, funds may be suspended, terminated, and/or recovered.
  • The grantee must complete the electronic contracting process prior to award distribution.
  • The grantee must include funding acknowledgment of Ball State University in all marketing materials and programs related to the grant-funded project (as determined by Ball State University Marketing and Communications requirements and restrictions.)
  • The grantee must provide to Ball State a mid-year report on grant progress and budget, as well as a year-end report on the grant progress, outcomes, value-added, and return on investment.
    • Failure to submit required and complete reports by the stated due dates will result in the grantee being ineligible for this grant in the future and/or a request for return of funds.

  • The Mid-Year Report must include a description of grant-supported activities that have been undertaken since the grant period start date and are scheduled for the remainder of the grant period.
  • The Year-End Report must include
    • Final Financial Report
    • Final Narrative Report describing specific activities accomplished with the grant
    • Final Data Report (This data should link back to the measure of success stated in the original proposal and include participant and audience numbers)
    • Examples of completed project (included but not limited to photos, video, website links, and social media).
  • Ball State University reserves the right to request subsequent information or work product(s) as necessary.
  1. Grant Coaching Resources:
  2. InfoReady Account Creation Guide (PDF)
  3. What is a Budget Narrative?
    1. It is intended to explain in more detail the breakdown of information on the Budget Spreadsheet.
    2. Examples:
      1. If your budget includes a certain amount to pay performer salaries, your narrative should explain how many people are being paid and the rate at which they are paid to get to the amount on the spreadsheet.
      2. You could put more generic line items on the budget for supplies and materials, then in the narrative go in depth about what those materials include and why they are needed to complete your project.
  4. Questions or Concerns
    1. About Criteria or Requested Information?
      1. Contact Bianca Sulanke (view email).
    2. About Technical Questions for using InfoReady?
      1. Please click the Email Us button at the bottom of the Info Ready page that reads “Ball State University QUESTIONS? Email Us”

Application Details

Please submit the completed application and supporting documents via the link below

Submission Deadline: Friday, March 29, 2024 by 5 p.m. EST

Warning: Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Please review the information above before submitting your application and supporting documents. If you have questions or concerns, please email the Office of Community Engagement at

Please refrain from seeking information about the status of your application once it has been submitted. All applicants will be contacted by the end of May 2024 with information on whether they have been selected to move on to the next phase of the grant process.