ArtsEverywhere Grants Dashboard


ArtsEverywhere Grants

Grantee: South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestras, Inc.
Project: Collaborative Summer Music Camp, Payable over 3 years
Amount:  $150,000
Date Approved:  12/13/2022
Year 1 Report Submitted:  9/22/2023

South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra (SBYSO) received the first installment of their $150,000 Major Venture grant (payable $50,000/year, 2023-2025), to fund their two-week summer music camp. This camp is a collaboration with Fischoff Chamber Music Association (Fischoff) and Saint Mary’s College (SMC). This two-week summer camp was offered on June 12-16, 2023 for Fischoff and June 19-23, 2023 for the SBYSO Summer Camp. The camp took place at SMC and consisted of two parts: (1) one week of chamber music focus and (2) one week of orchestral focus. Both camps concluded with finale concerts and the Orchestra camp culminated with a trip to attend a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert.

Both camps were highly successful. For the Fischoff Chamber Music Summer Intensive, 29 students enrolled, including 2 high school interns and for SBYSO’s Orchestra Camp, 50 students enrolled as well as 15 SBYSO alumni who both led sectional coaching and played in the orchestra for the week of June 19-23. Both weeks not only provided top-quality music experiences for students, but also provided coaching in general creativity and personal skills to further students’ overall development.

Challenges that were reported include the fact that SMC exceeded its budget, requiring SBYSO to use $8,000 of its own funds beyond the grant, and Fischoff had to reallocate expenses due to underestimations. All three organizations are seeking additional grants and sponsorships and exploring ways to enhance funding efficiency for Year 2 and Year 3. The organizations have also agreed to streamline and improve the registration process, considering each organization creating its own application process for better customization. Moving forward, they aim to start promoting next year’s program earlier, leveraging the infrastructure established this past year, including the camp website and application process.

Grantee: South Bend Civic Theatre
Project: CIVIC Orchestra Loft Phase Two
Amount: $50,000
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 4/14/2023

South Bend Civic Theatre received $50,000 for the second phase of building an orchestra loft: a dedicated sound studio for up to 15 live musicians. This loft was necessary to allow the Civic more freedom to use live orchestras during performances. Phase One created access and structural reinforcement with a total cost of $123,547. Phase Two included acoustic glass shielding, sound dampening panels, a digital soundboard, microphones, amplifiers, and monitors. These investments were necessary to attract a higher caliber of musicians, control sound leveling, and allow the CIVIC to better stage larger musicals. The loft also allowed the Civic to lower their total cost for performances by minimizing rental costs of items like microphones, mixers, headsets, etc. The total cost of Phase Two was around $300,000.

One of the biggest successes of the project were the responses from those involved at the Civic. Surveys from instrumentalists, actors, patrons, and musical directors all say that the Orchestra Loft was a success. Technicians can now isolate the instrumentalists, creating a more balanced mix between singers and musicians. Both the conductor and the musicians can now see the stage and be seen by the audience providing both with a more enjoyable experience, as described through surveys. Because of the sound-dampening panels in the Loft, isolating individual instruments has become possible for the first time. The Civic has also been attracting new and better musicians and music directors.

The main challenge of the project was the pandemic. Because the project was started just months before the start of COVID-19, the completion of the Orchestra Loft was delayed and disrupted. The Civic had only planned for the project to take three months, but it ended up taking around 2 years to complete. The anticipated cost for the project was also initially around $120,000, but because of the pandemic and related delays, ended up costing the Civic over $150,000 more than planned.

Personal Story:
“Patrons A and B, loyal supporters and patrons of the theatre, have been losing their hearing for the past few years. After every musical, I could count on an email from them asking when we’re going to fix the sound issues, specifically the issues with the music being too loud. First, we added a new amplification system for the actors. That didn’t solve the problem; everything just got louder. I went to them and proposed the orchestra loft fix. They were willing to invest $10,000 in the project, but I could tell they were still skeptical. They attended several of the planning meetings and grew more enthused as they saw progress. After attending “The Full Monty,” they came up to me following the show and said, “You did it! Congratulations!” I have to tell you friends, that was one of the best feelings in the world.”

Grantee: South Bend Museum of Art
Project: Exhibition Programming Schedule 2022-2023
Amount: $35,000
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 6/29/2023

The South Bend Museum of Art (SBMA) received $35,000 to fund its 2022-2023 exhibition season. The focus was on providing art education, historical and contemporary perspectives, and introducing emerging and challenging art forms. The funds were utilized to present traveling and juried exhibitions, deepen visitor interaction and understanding of art, and engage family audiences.

The project faced challenges due to staff turnover, including changes in core leadership and the curatorial and education departments. Despite the upheaval, the new staff worked with remaining long-term staff to ensure the integrity of exhibitions, events, and programs. One exhibition, “Imagimations: 100 Years of Animation,” was cancelled due to potential trauma to visitors, particularly students of color participating in the Museum Mornings program. The cancellation of this exhibition highlighted the need to integrate community partners from the planning stages to the evaluative stages of exhibitions to avoid potential trauma and engage in more inclusive practices.

The project achieved several successes. The “Visualizing Innovation” exhibition and its community mural extension garnered popularity and attracted a diverse range of groups for tours and artist talks. The museum decided to extend that exhibition into the holiday months and was able to schedule more tours with a variety of groups, including students/teachers, corporate organizations, and arts organizations. SBMA was also able to host a lunchtime Artist Talk series that featured regional mural artists. New staff members prioritized integrating community members into the curatorial process, leading to the formation of the Curatorial Advisory Board for future exhibitions. The museum aimed to measure the project’s success through open and evaluative conversations with community partners, enabling them to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the initiatives. The staff also focused on making exhibitions and interpretive materials accessible to all visitors and worked on partnerships with artist-educators to enhance the creative enrichment of seniors.

Grantee: Fischoff National Chamber Music Association
Project: Fischoff’s Education Programs 2022-2023
Amount: $10,000
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 7/5/2023

The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association received $10,000 to support their education programs throughout the 2022-2023 season. These programs aimed to provide high-quality arts experiences to students who would not otherwise have access to them. The programs took place in schools and community centers in St. Joe County, engaging students from pre-K through 12th grade. They offered mentoring opportunities with diverse musicians and local artists representing various cultures. The S.A.M. I Am program, which targeted 2nd graders in underperforming schools, provided much-needed literacy reinforcement. Fischoff’s Academy students received coaching and performed free concerts for diverse audiences.

The organization faced some challenges during the implementation of their programs. One challenge was the limited availability of Spanish books for the S.A.M. I Am program. Initially intending to offer Spanish copies of the book to Spanish-speaking students, they had to compromise and provide English copies for all students while giving each classroom a Spanish copy for their library. Another challenge was the increased workload resulting from conducting the Arts-in-Education residency two years in a row, which led to the creation of a new role, the Education Director.

Despite these challenges, Fischoff successfully expanded their development work and secured regional corporate partnerships. They also received commitments from charitable trusts, including the Shein Charitable Trust and the Judd Leighton Foundation, and sought national funding partners for their competition and educational programs. The fall Double Gold Tour reached 1,209 students across 19 programs, providing positive music experiences for young musicians. The Lutz Duo, part of Fischoff’s Academy, had the opportunity to share music by Black composers at various community events. WindSync’s Arts-in-Education residency reached 1,959 audience members through 21 programs and one community concert with ECosistema, leaving a significant impact on ECoSistema students. The PACMan program, with 14 ensembles visiting 14 schools, reached 1,309 audience members and effectively encouraged student participation in music programs. Through their education programs, Fischoff strengthened partnerships, offered diverse music experiences, and provided resources that positively impacted students and teachers alike.

Personal Story:
“As Fischoff’s Academy has been gaining momentum we have been able to leverage our national Fischoff network for our students. One neat opportunity this year was with Academy student Joshua Jong and our national partner From the Top. From the Top is America’s largest national platform celebrating young classically-trained musicians through NPR broadcasts and digital content. Joshua, who has a rare muscle disease, was selected to be on From the Top’s program Daily Joy! March is National Disabilities Awareness month and they featured young disabled and/or neurodivergent musicians on their show to share their music and stories. Joshua’s father commented how blown away they have been by the opportunities Joshua has had thanks to Fischoff. They could have never imagined him accomplishing so much musically before he joined the Academy.”


Grantee: Southold Dance Theater
Project: Southold Ballet Production Season 2022-2023
Amount: $10,000
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 6/28/2023

The Southold Dance Theater Board received funding for their Winter 2022 production of “The Nutcracker” and their Spring 2023 production of “Cinderella” (later changed to “Giselle”). The funds were used to cover production expenses and to compensate the South Bend Symphony Orchestra for their collaboration. Southold focuses on addressing the lack of inclusivity in ballet and aims to bring joy through dance to the community and their productions aimed to reach approximately 10,000 members of the local community through performances.

Southold achieved several successes. The Nutcracker Tea event had the largest turnout ever, with 370 attendees. The Nutcracker performances reached a wide audience, with 4,502 attendees for the public performances and 2,329 attendees for the sold-out daytime school/community performance. The production of Giselle had 98 dancers and reached 896 audience members. The organization also successfully made efforts to increase diversity on stage by incorporating different races, cultures, socio-economic statuses, and disabilities. They successfully engaged with the community through performances at events such as the Red Ribbon March Against Drugs & Violence and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Explosion.

However, the project also faced challenges. One challenge was the need to find additional funds to compensate the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, amounting to nearly $40,000. The organization also struggled to determine an appropriate ticket price that would be fair to the public while still covering costs. Bringing more diversity to the stage and increasing community engagement were ongoing challenges, but the organization made efforts to address these areas with successful outcomes. Giselle did not have as wide of a community reach as Southold had hoped and they wish they had reached out to high school performing arts departments and youth groups to promote Giselle and educate them about its story.

Grantee: South Bend Lyric Opera
Project: SBLO Strategic Planning and Growth
Amount: $9,000
Date Approved: 12/13/2022
Final Report Submitted: 12/18/2023

South Bend Lyric Opera (SBLO) received $9,000 for a Capacity Building project. In mid-2022, the SBLO board of directors began the initial stages of a strategic planning process that identified three priority areas: 1) increase revenues, 2) build organizational infrastructure, and 3) expand the opera community in the region. Their board determined that external professional resources would be necessary to ensure the completion of the strategic planning process and support execution of the identified priority areas. This Capacity Building request supported professional consultants and the training necessary to ensure growth in the three outlined areas.

The core outcomes of the program included the completion of a strategic plan and development of the board of directors, as well as several steps that were taken as a result of those two core outcomes, including discussions with a communications consultant, restructuring of their donation/membership infrastructure, and steps taken toward beginning the Young Artists program. Specific milestones completed in 6 months included hosting a VIP reception, receiving an Indiana Arts Commission grant, establishing membership with Opera America, completing “Fundraising for Nonprofits” through The Fund Raising School at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and conducting site visit meetings with a comparable lyric opera in Indianapolis.

SBLO’s primary struggle continues to be time and navigating busy schedules to complete tasks in a timely manner. Everyone involved in the development and growth of SBLO is committed, but also highly involved in many activities, supporting other organizations, or performing/teaching. There was some difficulty identifying a communications/marketing consultant earlier in the grant period, but SBLO has now connected with Force5 and looks forward to expanding their communications and marketing foundations. SBLO applied for but was not awarded two programmatic grants from The Pokagon Fund and the Arts Midwest GIG, but plans to address the concerns of their contacts in hopes of future consideration.

Grantee: WVPE
Project: The Sauce WVPE Radio/Podcast Broadcast Series
Amount: $8,000
Date Approved: 12/13/2022
Final Report Submitted: 12/28/2023

WVPE received funds to expand support for the production of “The Sauce,” a one-hour monthly radio broadcast/podcast focusing on arts, music, and culture. “The Sauce,” with host Dawn Burns, celebrates the vibrant and flavorful cultural variety of talent reaching from local to global spaces. The program is produced locally by Karl Smith and designed to support diverse artistic expressions of our local talent, inspiring their efforts, and placing their work in context with nationally recognized creators. Funds were awarded to help increase capacity to highlight additional art forms and expand the broadcast to social media platforms. The program sought to create greater visibility for performance artists and supporters through long-form conversations.

Two of three evaluation milestones were achieved: 1) production as a radio/podcast broadcast on a monthly basis throughout 2023, and 2) expand broadcast to social media in the second half of 2023. They were not able to achieve a 50% increase of underwriter support by December 2023. WVPE’s positive impact on the local arts community encouraged the Fischoff to expand their repertoire of composers beyond the Eurocentric models of classical music and for the South Bend Civic Theatre to include in their production schedule an African American playwright Caleen Sinnette Jennings’ original production from the book, “Better Homes of South Bend, A Story of Courage.”

Challenges for the season included scheduling availability between host and artist, which took much more time than originally anticipated. WVPE will allow more time and commit more resources for scheduling in the future. Additionally, hiring technical support proved challenging because of the low unemployment, and the pay is more towards people wanting a passion project and not just people working within the gig economy.

“Girl Named Tom,” who won the “The Voice” in 2023, expressed their gratitude to host Dawn Burns and producer Karl Smith for being highlighted while they were contestants on the program and again after they won.

Grantee: The Music Village
Project: Annual Support: 2023 TMV Program Support
Amount: $7,500
Date Approved: 12/13/2022
Final Report Submitted: 12/22/2023

The Music Village (TMV) received $7,500 to support their 2023 programming. TMV creates and supports opportunities to learn about, experience, and participate in music and dance that reflect the rich cultural traditions of the people of Michiana. Resources are focused on improving and expanding musical arts opportunities for all people. Funds directly supported both in-house programming, including the expansion of music classes, instrumental and voice lessons, and specialized music programming; and community outreach initiatives, which helped maintain and improve accessibility to TMV’s core programming and initiatives.

TMV successfully addressed the following goals: building new alliances and broaden existing collaborations with community partners, cultivating and supporting local musicians and dancers, increasing diversity of program offerings and outreach to diverse peoples via programming, and deepening the level of citizens’ participation in the arts in the Michiana region and in downtown South Bend, specifically. These goals were primarily achieved through numerous new initiative-connected programs and partnership.

Outcomes were measured through data collected regarding enrollment, event attendance, classes offered, new and renewing registrations, volunteers, and program revenue and expenditure. TMV reported serving almost 200 individuals on a monthly basis through programming. Challenges stemmed from continued weak cash flow as revenue continued to return from a drop in enrollment and partnership program income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Grantee: South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestras
Project: SBYSO Sectional Program
Amount: $7,500
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 6/30/2023

The South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra (SBYSO) utilized $7,500 for their sectional program, a crucial component of their Symphony and Concert Orchestra ensembles. This program involves dividing the ensemble into instrument groups and providing professional musicians to mentor and work with the students. The sectionals enable students to gain confidence as musicians, strengthen their technique, and understand their orchestral parts better.

The main challenge faced by the organization was securing funding for the sectional program. They also struggled to raise the coach’s pay to an appropriate level, as the $50/hour they offer does not cover expenses like mileage or gas and is well under what the coaches deserve given their qualifications. Despite these challenges, the SBYSO is determined to continue the sectional program and is exploring other funding sources from individuals or foundations to ensure its sustainability. The organization acknowledges the need for an underwriter for the program to ensure consistent funding but has faced difficulty in securing one.

The success of the sectional program lies in its ability to build confidence in student musicians and allow the SBYSO to perform an ambitious repertoire. This season, the Concert Orchestra gave the world premiere of Earl Maneein’s I Can Read Metal in November 2022 and the Symphony Orchestra gave the World Premiere performance of Ryan Oliver’s Moments from Movements in May 2023 as well as Howard Shore Lord of the Rings Symphony in March 2023. The program also provides students with the opportunity to be mentored by leading musicians in the area, many of whom are members of the South Bend Symphony or have teaching studios, a major success for the organization.


Grantee: Merrimans’ Playhouse Inc.
Project: Home Grown Jazz & Student Jazz 2022-2023
Amount: $5,000
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 6/30/2023

Merrimans’ Playhouse received $5,000 to support the Home Grown Jazz Series, the Student Jazz Performance Series, the Chamber Arts Series, and the Jazz Open Sessions. Funds were used to pay for musician fees, marketing and promotion, and operating costs. The project aimed to provide opportunities for local and student jazz musicians to showcase their work, increase their audience and networking, and connect with the community.

The organization faced several challenges, including payment guarantees and limited marketing resources. The ticket sales did not always cover the minimum cost, and the organization aimed to offer higher payments to ensembles, from $300 to $500, but did not achieve this goal. They also faced constraints in terms of printing marketing materials and desired additional marketing efforts to reach ethnic communities.

The project achieved notable successes during the grant season. Out of the total 137 events, there were 85 concerts and 52 open sessions. The organization observed increased attendance numbers, age, and ethnic diversity, with more younger patrons and patrons of color. The concerts and open sessions attracted new patrons, and collaborations with various organizations and schools expanded their reach. These successes demonstrated the growth of the venue and the positive impact on the local jazz community and the broader audience.

Grantee: Robinson Community Learning Center – University of Notre Dame
Project: Robinson Shakespeare Company 2022-2023
Amount: $5,000
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 6/30/2023

The Robinson Shakespeare Company (RSC) received $5,000 to support their programming throughout the 2022-2023 season. RSC offers year-long programs that reach approximately 600 youth per year. The programs include drama integration instruction in schools, afterschool drama clubs, and a summer program. The goals of the project were to increase educational outcomes for youth, enhance teachers’ capacity to integrate drama into academic curricula, and foster increased youth participation in theatre.

The project achieved notable successes, as evidenced by the positive feedback and impact on participants. The RSC served 19 youth through a six-week summer camp that culminated in a performance of Richard II. During the academic year, they served 30 youth divided into younger and older companies, who performed winter recitals and two productions of King Lear. Surveys conducted with RSC members revealed that participating in Shakespeare increased comfort with public speaking in 70% of students, improved their ability to work in groups, and 100% said participating made them feel that their thoughts and opinions were important. The RSC also received positive feedback from outreach classes, where students expressed how drama had changed their thinking, improved their reading skills, and provided a sense of safety and community. This drama integration instruction was offered weekly at 5 sites and served 400 youth weekly throughout the academic year.

The project faced challenges due to the impact of the pandemic on youth social engagement and interpersonal skills. The RSC observed that students’ social and interpersonal skills were lagging compared to pre-pandemic years, requiring sessions to focus on those areas in addition to academic learning. Another challenge arose when a school requested drama integration at all grade levels, resulting in fewer sessions per month and a longer time to develop relationships with children. Despite these challenges, the RSC staff reported rewarding experiences and growth in participants, including the successful performances of challenging Shakespeare roles by young actors.

Grantee: Art 4
Project: Art 4 Capacity Building – Sound Equipment
Amount: $5,000
Date Approved: 6/20/2023
Final Report Submitted: 12/17/2023

Art 4 received $5,000 in capacity-building funds to purchase additional sound and microphone equipment so that the organization is compliant with auditory/equipment requirements of any LORT (League of Regional Theatres) or equity-level production. Acquiring this additional equipment will allow Art 4 to expand their repertoire to larger shows, to better serve the community through a more technologically advanced live auditory experience during productions, and to allow the organization to work with more artists per show.

After purchasing the new equipment, Art 4 saw a 21% increase in attendance from its first production of the 2023 season (Godspell, 532 people) to the second (Spring Awakening, 646 people). The third production of the season (Percy Jackson, 701 people) saw a 31.7% increase from the first production. The additional equipment specifically allowed Art 4 to produce Spring Awakening, which required additional resources to support a 14-member cast. Talkbacks were conducted for each production, in which patrons were asked to provide specific feedback on the auditory experience of the show they attended. There were multiple compliments on the quality of the productions. Unfortunately, Art 4 had to close their doors at the end of 2023, due to leadership moving across the country.

Grantee: Downtown South Bend Foundation
Project: 2023 Art Beat
Amount: $5,000
Date Approved: 6/20/2023
Final Report Submitted: 11/7/2023

DTSB received $5,000 to help support Art Beat 2023, a free, one-day arts festival in downtown South Bend, featuring visual, performing, and culinary arts. As the region’s largest festival, it promotes the local art scene, supports businesses, and provides a platform for artists to showcase and sell their work.

The 2023 event was Art Beat’s 20th Anniversary which included increased marketing and event upgrades. The intended impact was achieved as evidenced through feedback from artists, visitors, and downtown businesses, plus record attendance of 22,000. Over 750 artists participated and many artists reported that not only was it a record day of sales for any Art Beat they have attended, but it was a record for any day event they have ever participated in.

The biggest challenge faced was rising event costs, including rental items like portable restrooms, creative service fees, printing costs, and cost of supplies. They wanted to go all out for the 20th anniversary of the event but were not able to secure the funding to do many of the special touches they had planned. They also decided to raise participant fees for the first time since the event started 20 years ago, which was met with some criticism, but overall participants felt that it was fair, and still lower than most art fair/festival participation fees.


Grantee: The Main Stage, Inc.
Project: 2022-2023 Musical Theater Season
Amount: $3,500
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 6/28/2023

The Main Stage, Inc. received $3,500 to support its 2022-2023 musical theater season. The season offered 3 children’s musicals, a summer camp, and 2 community theater opportunities highlighting the talents of community performers of all ages.

Main Stage Inc. evaluates community responses to the quality of their performances through surveys, and their parent and participant satisfaction with the quality and process of their rehearsal program. Parents reported that their children feel welcome and eager to attend rehearsals and then to display everything they have learned on stage. Audience members commented on the impressive quality of their performers even at such young ages.

The biggest challenge for this season was finding theater space for performances and they found it very hard to find available venues that were local and at an affordable rate. Another big challenge was the rising costs of rights/royalties, theater rental, costuming, set supplies, etc., and because of this they find it hard to keep their ticket prices and tuition at affordable rates. This increase in costs also bring about staffing issues as well, as they can’t afford to pay for additional help that would allows them to expand and offer more programs and give their current staff the extra help they need.

Grantee: Musical Arts Indiana, Inc.
Project: 2022-2023 Season
Amount: $3,500
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 6/29/2023

Musical Arts Indiana (MAI) received $3,500 to support its 2022-2023 season which included performances of Vesper Chorale, Vesper Chamber Orchestra, and the Children’s Choir of Michiana. The organization’s target population included the general public in St. Joseph and surrounding counties, with a goal to address the need for high quality music in the lives of all people and highlight the music of Black composers and vocalists.

Success was measured through audience attendance numbers and feedback after each concert. MAI’s audience numbers were larger than they have been in years, certainly since before the pandemic. Feedback from audience members was also overwhelmingly positive. MAI added post-concert receptions in an effort to engage with the audience. MAI also saw growth via social media with a 26.1% engagement increase on Instagram.

The biggest challenge MAI faced was growing their Children’s Choir, which has been very small since the pandemic hit. Next season, MAI plans to collaborate with other organizations in the South Bend area with hopes that the Children’s Choir will grow as a result. These partnerships will also offer an incredible opportunity for children to learn and to perform music in a safe and supportive environment.

Grantee: Studebaker National Museum
Project: 2023 Concours d’Elegance at Copshaholm
Amount: $3,500
Date Approved: 6/20/2023
Final Report Submitted: 8/31/2023

Studebaker National Museum received $3,500 for the fifth anniversary of Concours d’Elegance at Copshaholm, which has become the premier celebration of automotive design and styling in Indiana. This event combined the robust exhibitions and displays of the Studebaker National Museum and The History Museum with a wide array of educational programming for one of the fastest growing family friendly events in the region. Visitors enjoyed more than 80 automobiles from across the country, along with educational programming such as the Styling Studio, the new Driven to Design racetrack experience, and lectures on historical topics.

The Museum recorded 1,686 attendees at this event. They were drawn from three countries and 18 states, but zip code analysis showed that approximately 61 percent of attendees were from St. Joseph County. The Driven to Design racetrack had over 130 children participate in the program. Oliver Mansion tours were strong again at over 650. The two lectures and one movie screening during the Concours each recorded over 100 attendees. The Museum did attempt to collect more robust visitor feedback in 2023, but unfortunately, did not receive a significant number of responses. The clearest trend in this feedback was appreciation for the Undaunted Paula Murphy documentary screening. This has already led them to partner with the Women in Motorsports Foundation for another screening of another one of their titles in 2024.

The main challenge was a relatively soft sponsorship year from corporate donors. They were able to overcome this with a significant increase in individual sponsorships and ended with a record sponsorship year. Another challenge was facing the potential of a “rain out” event. Their team pulled together and created the largest set of contingency plans they could imagine for every way the weather could shift. It all came through in the end for an exceptional day. The Museum was also facing a major staff transition with the departure of their Programs & Outreach Manager who was one of the key staff members responsible for creating and executing the event. This transition was incredibly difficult because of the institutional knowledge which lived primarily with her. However, planning documents were able to help guide the organization, and the process allowed them to prepare for future events with new staffing.

Grantee: South Bend Heritage Foundation
Project: 2022-2023 Colfax Gallery Season
Amount: $3,000
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 6/21/2023

South Bend Heritage received $3,000 to support the 2022-2023 Colfax Gallery Season. Funds were allocated to host six showcases, including exhibitions for local artists, a middle school exhibition, a juried exhibition on art and social justice, and a community arts organization exhibition. The Colfax Gallery aims to provide access to the arts for low-income communities and underrepresented individuals.

The project achieved success by expanding the appreciation of visual arts to a diverse audience. Over the course of the season, the Colfax Gallery served the surrounding neighborhood, as well as the larger near Northwest and Westside Communities in South Bend. The exhibitions successfully showcased the work of local artists, involved middle school students, and attracted artists from four regional states for the art and social justice exhibition. The gallery also received over 300 visitors during events, and its social media presence helped provide a virtual presence for the artists. The most measurable outcome is the number of artists involved, with success being a full exhibition for each of the six shows: 9-10 local, individual artists, 100 middle school students across SBCSC schools, 30-40 artists from 4 regional states for Art & Social Justice, and 40-50 community arts organization members.

The project faced challenges in attracting visitors to the gallery receptions and promoting lesser-known artists. The goal of showcasing African American artists was successfully implemented, with four African American artists and six minorities total, out of ten. However, marketing assistance was needed to generate interest in the artwork of lesser-known artists. Another challenge was figuring out exactly how many people visited the gallery. Since the Colfax Gallery is located within the Colfax Cultural Center, many guests travel through the Gallery, so it is not possible to quantify those individuals as well.

Grantee: The History Museum
Project: Copshaholm 125 Arts Competition
Amount: $2,900
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 6/28/2023

The History Museum received $2,900 to support the Copshaholm 125 Arts Competition to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Oliver family moving into their South Bend. The competition aimed to bring together history and the arts while building new audiences for the museum. Artists were invited to interpret the stories of the Oliver Mansion, Historic Oliver Gardens, the Oliver family, and the year 1897 through various artistic mediums. Cash awards were given to the top three winners in each category, and the visual arts and written word entries were displayed during judging. The competition successfully attracted new audiences interested in using art to learn about history.

The project had several successes. An original song about the Oliver family and Copshaholm impressed the museum, leading to the artist performing it at the Annual Fundraising Gala in front of 350 guests while visual entries could be observed by guests. Additionally, three artists donated their art pieces to the museum’s collections, which will be preserved by the museum. A virtual program showcasing the artists and their works was also well-received, delivered via email to 4,858 individuals with an impressive 35% open rate and 1,473 views. The video was also posted to social media with a combined reach of 1,290 and an engagement total of 181. Positive feedback was received from both the artists and the judges, expressing excitement for the future growth of the event. The audience also expressed their approval and appreciation for the opportunity to learn history through art.

However, the project faced several challenges. The departure of the staff member who conceived the competition early on created a significant void in the project’s management. Despite aggressive promotion, the number of entries received was lower than expected, particularly from youth participants. The project also faced a shortfall in corporate financial support, with some companies choosing to provide assistance to other museum projects. This led the museum to only receiving about half of the anticipated amount in corporate financial assistance. These challenges resulted in a smaller scale for the competition compared to initial hopes.

Grantee: The Acting Ensemble
Project: 2022-2023 Acting Ensemble Program Support
Amount: $2,500
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 6/27/2023

The Acting Ensemble (AE) received $2,500 to support its 2022-2023 season. The funds were used to support six Main Stage productions, thirteen Stage Readings, and a Poets and Playwrights program that allowed artists to workshop their plays with large audiences. In addition, the AE organized periodic Special Events focused on music and improvisation.

The season saw several successes. The AE produced locally written plays, including a play about the decline of the Klan in Indiana, which fostered connections with a church, a local history museum, and a majority African American high school. The productions received positive feedback from the audience, with high percentages indicating that the plays exceeded or met their expectations. For Main Stage, 81% of the audience said the play exceeded their expectations and 79% of the Stage Readings audience said the performance exceeded their expectations. The AE also saw growth in audience size, with around 41% of attendees being new to the theater and several productions being sold out. Additionally, the AE successfully implemented a “Pay What You Can” Thursday night for Main Stage performances, allowing people with financial challenges to attend.

One of the major obstacles this season was the lack of sufficient funding to complete the programming for older adults in congregate living environments. Although the organization planned to provide theater skills workshops for older adults in an assisted living facility, that portion of the project did not happen. The AE was also challenged to secure knowledgeable and committed volunteers for fundraising efforts, as well as to address capital needs such as replacing a $9,000 HVAC unit. Additionally, scheduling issues with volunteers resulted in the AE being unable to produce the expected number of late-night theater performances.

Grantee: South Bend Chamber Singers – Saint Mary’s College
Project: South Bend Chamber Singers 2022-2023 Season
Amount: $2,500
Date Approved: 6/21/2022
Final Report Submitted: 8/9/2023

The South Bend Chamber Singers (SBCS) received $2,500 to support their 34th concert season during 2022-2023. Throughout the season, SBCS presented four diverse performances of choral music after a long hiatus due to Covid. This season the SBCS also collaborated with local and national composers, musicians, and art organization to increase the presence and appreciation of art in St. Joseph County.

SBCS used ticket sales, the inclusion of identifiable collaborations, performed music commissions, and the development and usage of surveys for both performers and audience members, as a measure of success. The “Christmas at Loretto” saw 325 people at Saint Mary’s College and 150 attendees in South Haven. The “Ashes of Roses” concert had 150 attendees in the Church of Loretto. The performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony sold out at the Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend. The “American Landscape” had 275 attendees.

The biggest challenge that the organization faced during the 2022-2023 season was the large influx of new voices, reporting that almost a third of the choir membership turned over, which resulted in so much work required to obtain balanced sections with blended voices. However, the SBCS believe to be very successful in this area, receiving many comments on how well the group sounds.

P.O. Box 837, South Bend, IN 46624 | 305 S. Michigan St., South Bend, IN 46601 | Phone: (574) 232-0041 | Fax: (574) 233-1906

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