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Wagon Wheel Receives $49K from Indiana Arts Commission Grant

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
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The Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts received word last week that it has been awarded a grant of $49,061.23 for operating expenses by the Indiana Arts Commission.

The award, which was made through the Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC) will provide operating support to arts and cultural organizations whose normal business has been interrupted due to COVID-19. According to a release, the funds are designed “to help preserve and sustain the events, arts, and cultural organizations that contribute to the character and health of a community.” Grant funds must be expended by the grantee no later than December 30, 2020.

Jay Michaels, executive director of the Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts, responded, “We are very grateful for this help during a most stressful time. By canceling our entire summer season, we have lost more than $700,000 in anticipated ticket sales. Without the programs, our expenses are lower, of course, but building, maintenance, staffing, and operating expenses continue.” With the tremendous loss of ticket sales this summer, the Wagon Wheel will rely on generous donations and grant support like the IDDC and IAC’s to continue to provide quality arts and entertainment programming to our community. “This grant will help greatly,” Michaels said. 

Terry White, chair of the Wagon Wheel board, said “We have been struggling to shave every expense and to maximize every penny of revenue during this Covid period. This grant will provide tremendous relief to our operating expenses. We thank the commission and its grantmaking body for their generosity and their recognition of the importance of the arts to our community.”

The non-profit Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts encompasses four programs: the professional Wagon Wheel Theatre, Center Street Community Theater, Wagon Wheel Jr. for children, and the Symphony of the Lakes. A modified schedule for resumption of programs in late fall and Christmas season is available on the Wagon Wheel’s Facebook page or at https://www.wagonwheelcenter.org/.

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