The Marion Community School of the Arts (CSA) is the 2024 recipient of the Ball State University Community Engagement for the Arts Grant.

The annual competitive grant was created in 2022 to demonstrate Ball State’s commitment beyond our campus to community engagement through the arts.

“CSA was incredibly excited to be the recipient this year and is grateful for the support to make our community theatre space more safe and accessible to our community members,” said Shelly Inskeep, CSA Executive Director. “The upgrades to lighting, entryways, and training will make a huge impact to those both participating in community theatre and those engaging as audience members as well.”

The Ball State University Community Engagement for the Arts Grant awards up to $35,000 over 12 months to an East Central Indiana community arts-focused organization or program. The funding is intended to assist initiatives across all creative fields that promote public awareness and appreciation of the arts and diversity within the local arts community. The grant committee particularly looks at the scope of impact a project can have in the local community, including those that might not get the chance to participate otherwise due to physical or financial barriers.

“The committee was pleased to see so many outstanding proposals advocating for the arts in our community,” said Jackie Buckrop, Special Assistant for Academic Operations and Teaching Professor in Communication Studies at Ball State and the 2024 chair of the grant committee. “It’s clear that the arts are thriving and that they can be found in great variety. We know that the arts unify communities by helping us to understand ourselves and others more, they strengthen economic growth, and they spark creativity and innovation in everyone, not just other artists and creatives. We are gratified that we can assist Marion CSA and we look forward to assisting more organizations in the future.”

The CSA’s mission is to provide “arts education and enrichment with excellence and fiscal responsibility. By making the arts available to all people, the Community School of the Arts is dedicated to serving the community through opportunities for creative expression.”

Inskeep said CSA was a perfect fit for the grant “because the sole purpose of our organization is to engage our community in both arts education and engagement.”

“The addition to community theatre programming over the past three years at CSA has dramatically increased our engagement with new community members previously not impacted by our work,” she said.

The grant, Inskeep added, will enable CSA to take that work to another level.

“This grant will make it possible for CSA to make further investments in our community theatre programming as well as the performance venue that would not be possible without the support,” Inskeep said. “The needed upgrades will continue our work to make the opportunities of creating and experiencing theatre with excellence for the members of our community.  CSA has a vision to ignite a community of potential through arts and creativity and this grant will help us to meet that vision in the area of community theatre for years to come.”

Hoosier Shakespeare Festival was the 2023 Community Engagement for the Arts Grant recipient, and Arts Place, Inc., in Portland. Ind., was the first recipient in 2022.