Member News

Clowes Fund Awards $1.6 Million to 21 Indianapolis Nonprofits Supporting Arts, Workforce Development

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Clowes Fund, Inc., a family foundation established in Indianapolis in 1952, has announced its grant decisions for the 2020 competitive grants cycle. Nearly $1.6 million in grants has been awarded to 21 nonprofit organizations in Indianapolis, as part of a $3 million distribution to 54 organizations in multiple states through competitive proposals and a total of $4.6 million including previously announced emergency grants.

The foundation’s grantmaking priorities in Indianapolis include two social services interests – workforce development and services for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers—as well as support of projects honoring the philanthropic legacy of its founding donors, which includes the Clowes Collection of art (Old Masters paintings). 

  • The Clowes Fund awarded artwork from the Clowes Collection with an estimated value of nearly $400,000 to the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) at Newfields. In 2021, The Clowes Fund will finalize the transfer of ownership of the Clowes Collection of art by European Old Masters, to the IMA at Newfields. That’s an asset valued at approximately $85 million, which will likely grow in value and will forever serve the people of Indiana (which far outstrips the value of our grantmaking in other regions). The Clowes Collection constitutes nearly one-fifth of the IMA’s European collection.
  • Indiana grants awarded in 2020 include $100,000 to support the operations of the Immigrant Welcome Center; $50,000 to Indiana Legal Services for its immigrant legal services; and $60,000 to Flanner House for its Farming, Education, Employment and Distribution (F.E.E.D) program. 
  • The Fund board awarded $50,000 to the Central Indiana Racial Equity Initiative administered by the Central Indiana Community Foundation to advance effective solutions to racial inequality in Indianapolis and its surrounding counties.

Competitive grants payable in 2020 exceed the foundation’s required distribution by nearly $400,000 as part of a COVID-19 response. In total, The Clowes Fund awarded $4.6 million in 2020; $3 million awarded through competitive proposals, and $1.6 million awarded as unsolicited emergency grants as part of a $3.2 million COVID-19 response drawn from endowment principal; the remaining $1.2 million is allocated to supplement grantmaking in 2021.

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