Shelby County arts receiving $40,000+ in state grants

The State of Indiana is divvying out nearly $10 million to 479 Hoosier organizations to help them through these unusual times.


Locally, Shelby Co. Historical Society (Grover Museum) is getting $19,480.01, Mainstreet Shelbyville, Inc. is getting $12,944.28 and Shelby County Players is getting $8,601.35.


The funds will come from the Arts, Cultural and Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) grant program. This initiative is made possible through a partnership between the Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC) and the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC), providing operational support to local organizations whose operations were disrupted by COVID-19.


Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced the grant awardees last week.


“These organizations help enhance the quality of life here in our great state,” Crouch said. “I am pleased to see the arts and cultural sector, which adds to Indiana’s tourism economy, get this funding.”


Alex Krach, director of the Grover Museum, acknowledged 2020 has been a pretty tough year for a lot of art and cultural organizations.


Because of coronavirus safety concerns, the Historical Society couldn’t do a lot of the events they normally would have to promote the museum.


Krach said they had planned exhibitions with open houses in June and July.


The Shelby County Historical Society had also planned a “progressive dinner” over the summer that would have traveled through different historic Shelbyville homes. And events called “Pour Into History” that focused on, among other things, beverages of the time.


All those were canceled after COVID hit Indiana.


“It’s not a unique story to us,” the director said.


The museum also had wanted to screen a movie showcasing Shelbyville in the 1930s. The movie was scheduled for March, right when the statewide shutdown went into effect.


“We had to cancel that event. The Skyline Drive-In stepped in and showed the movie over the summer,” Krach said, noting that it was great to seeing local businesses and groups helping each other out.

Krach said the grant money will help the Historical Society and Grover Museum cover operating costs like payroll and utilities. The $19,480.01 will also help the museum develop more exhibits before January.

“It’s a pretty big thing for us,” Krach said.


Even though this has been a hiccup of a year, the Shelby County Historical Society wants to continue celebrating local history.


They are currently working on a virtual 5K run to “Race Out of 2020.”


Shelby County Players is also grateful to be awarded $8,601.35 from the Arts, Cultural & Destination marketing Organization Grant Program.


Managing Director Cindy Leahy said the pandemic disrupted auditions, performances and trainings – the very activities that bring people together.


“SCP had to cancel all live productions, workshops and Youth Theatre Action Team activities the past seven months, including ‘Dial M for Murder,’ which had been cast and was in production. While production costs came to a halt, utilities, mortgage and insurance still have to be paid,” Leahy said.


Leahy said SCP will be using these grant funds to cover this year’s fall facility costs, new marketing and IT costs associated with pivoting to streamed productions.


“Despite COVID shutting down SCP’s productions, the Players have risen to the challenge of addressing the safety concerns of both participants and patrons,” she said. “SCP is now in production to present two streamed productions this December.”


The first is Jeffery Hatcher’s stage adaptation of the children’s book by Harry Allard, “Miss Nelson is Missing.” The second streamed production will be “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.”


“The creative outlets provided by SCP and the entertainment value of the performances are needed now more than ever,” Leahy said. “SCP is looking forward to 2021 and the ability to again offer affordable, accessible in-person activities where people can again exercise their creativity and enjoy performances that will take them away from the concerns and worries that infiltrated their very beings for many months.”



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501 North Harrison Street | Shelbyville, IN 46176 | (317) 398-6647 | chamberinfo@shelbychamber.net

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