The Arts: Meaningful Impact On Youth and Community

The impact of the arts on youth and communities is profound and has been extensively studied. A recently released study from Americans for the Arts documents the economic and social contributions of arts and culture on communities across the United States. 

Key statistics highlighting the impact that vibrant arts and cultural programming has on communities and students include:

Youth Engagement and Development

  • Academic Achievement: Students highly engaged in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement. (Source: National Endowment for the Arts)
  • Improved Test Scores: High school students participating in arts programs score an average of 100 points higher on the SATs than their peers with low arts involvement. (Source: The College Board)
  • Increased Graduation Rates: Students with four years of arts or music classes in high school are more likely to graduate and pursue higher education. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics)
  • Social Skills: Participation in the arts helps youth develop social and emotional skills, including teamwork, empathy, and self-expression. (Source: Arts Education Partnership)

Community Impact

  • Economic Contribution: The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates over $166 billion in economic activity annually and supports 4.6 million jobs. (Source: Americans for the Arts)
  • Tourism and Revenue: Cultural tourism, driven by arts and cultural attractions, contributes to local economies, with visitors spending money on accommodations, dining, and shopping. (Source: U.S. Travel Association)
  • Property Values: Proximity to arts organizations and cultural amenities can increase property values in a community. (Source: Journal of Cultural Economics)
  • Civic Engagement: Arts participation is associated with higher levels of community involvement, volunteering, and voting. (Source: National Endowment for the Arts)
  • Crime Reduction: Communities with strong arts programs often experience reduced crime rates, particularly in urban areas. (Source: The Urban Institute)
  • Social Cohesion: The arts promote social cohesion by bringing people from diverse backgrounds together to engage in creative and cultural activities. (Source: Brookings Institution)
  • Health and Well-being: Arts programs in communities can improve overall well-being, reduce stress, and enhance mental health. (Source: World Health Organization)

Cultural Diversity and Inclusion

  • Diverse Representation: The arts play a crucial role in representing and celebrating cultural diversity, fostering inclusivity and understanding among different communities. (Source: National Assembly of State Arts Agencies)
  • Youth Empowerment: Arts programs empower young individuals to explore their cultural identities, preserve traditions, and express their unique voices. (Source: National Endowment for the Arts)
  • Accessible Education: Arts programs promote equal access to education and cultural experiences, bridging gaps and fostering a sense of belonging. (Source: Arts Education Partnership)
  • Creative Economy: Cultural diversity is integral to the creative economy, driving innovation and contributing to the vitality of communities. (Source: UNESCO)

These statistics underscore the multifaceted benefits of the arts for youth and communities, from educational and social development to economic and cultural enrichment. Investing in arts and cultural programs has a lasting impact on individuals and the places they call home.


Tito’s Cocktails for Charity to Support the Arts Council

Tito’s Vodka is sharing Tito’s Love with the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana for the holiday season. Visit some local favorites, Chasers, Bokeh Lounge, or Walton’s, enjoy a Tito’s Merry Mule or Cause-Mo, and support the Arts Council! 

For each Tito’s Merry Mule and Cause-Mo purchased at the designated venues between November 20 and December 31, a $1 donation will be made to the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana (up to $1000). 

Cheers to enjoying great cocktails and giving back to the local arts community!

The mission of the Arts Council: Enhancing quality of life and supporting economic development through advocacy and promotion of the arts, arts organizations, and arts education in southwestern Indiana.

Find Your Best Holiday Gifts & Support Local Artists

Beginning on Saturday, November 18, discover distinctive, one-of-a-kind gifts and show your support for local artists in downtown Evansville this holiday season. The Bower-Suhrheinrich Foundation Gallery will be brimming with locally crafted fine art, making it the perfect destination for your holiday shopping. To ensure you have ample opportunity to find that perfect holiday gift for your loved one or even yourself, the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana is extending its hours for the giving season.

Local artisans have meticulously created ornaments, ceramics, paintings, prints, jewelry, and more -affordably priced for the holiday season.

Arts Council Holiday Local Art Sale Hours:

Regular Hours:

  • Tuesday to Friday: 10 am – 4 pm

Holiday Sale Events:

  • Opening Day Sale: 2-4 pm on Saturday, November 18
  • Small Business Saturday: 9 am – 4 pm on Saturday, November 25
  • Special December Saturdays (12/2, 12/9, 12/16 ONLY): 10 am – 2 pm

Gallery Closures

  • Thanksgiving Break, Thursday & Friday, November 22 – 23
  • Winter Break, December 23, 2023 – January 2, 2024

Visit us at:
212 Main St.
Evansville, IN 47708

For more information, contact us at:
Phone: 812-303-3178
Email: [email protected]

Koch Foundation: Mayor’s Art Award Recipient (2023)

Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana Celebrates Koch Foundation’s Remarkable Philanthropic Contributions to the Arts Community

October 4, 2023

Koch Foundation Honored as Recipient of the 2023 Mayor’s Art Award
Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana Celebrates Koch Foundation’s Remarkable Philanthropic Contributions to the Arts Community

Evansville, IN: The Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana is thrilled to announce the distinguished recipient of the 2023 Mayor’s Art Award: the Koch Foundation. This prestigious accolade, traditionally given at the Arts Council’s Annual Art Awards, will take place at the Evansville Museum Gala on Saturday, November 4, 2023. The award will be presented by Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and Anne McKim, Executive Director of the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana.

The Mayor’s Art Award is an annual tribute honoring individuals and organizations that have left an indelible mark on the local arts and cultural landscape. Anne McKim, Executive Director of the Arts Council, expressed her enthusiasm for this year’s awardee, stating, “It is the most prestigious arts recognition given locally, and I can’t think of a more deserving honoree.”

The Koch Foundation earned this accolade based on more than six decades of commitment to philanthropy and unwavering support for the Evansville area arts community. Nominated by Mary Bower, the Executive Director of the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science, the Koch Foundation has significantly contributed to various projects over the years. Their generous contributions have facilitated essential upgrades, including HVAC enhancements to provide climate control for the Museum’s permanent collection, roof replacement of the Museum’s 1959 Wing, the handmade bronze and steel Millennial Gate by local artist William Leth, and the establishment of the Koch Immersive Theater & Planetarium. 

The Koch Foundation’s devotion to the Evansville community extends beyond financial support. Part of their corporate mission is to improve the quality of life within the communities where they have operations by helping them better serve their residents by encouraging team member participation in important community organizations and activities. Their commitment has benefited cultural institutions such as the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science, the Evansville Philharmonic, the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, the Signature School, the Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville, and more. 

About the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana
The Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, established in 1970, plays a pivotal role in advancing arts and cultural experiences in the region. Located at 212 Main Street, the Arts Council fosters a vibrant cultural hub with a gallery and rooftop Art Deck offering free arts experiences for local artists, musicians, and the community. Beyond its physical presence, the Arts Council actively supports various arts and cultural organizations, collaborates with business and political leaders on Quality of Place initiatives, provides training and development for artist business owners, and spearheads community-led arts programming. Moreover, the Arts Council serves as the regional representative for the Indiana Arts Commission, championing regional arts initiatives.

For more information about the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana and its initiatives, please visit 



A Ghoulishly Delightful Spooky Show

Is Halloween an everyday affair for you, or do you reserve it just for October? Regardless of your spooky inclinations, this year’s Arts Council gallery has a treat in store for you. Our hauntingly captivating Spooky Show, hosted at 212 Main, will be on display from October 5th to the 27th. Featuring a spine-chilling array of 129 entries from 97 talented artists, this exhibition showcases ceramics, stained glass, paintings, and repurposed creations from over 13 communities, including Evansville, Newburgh, Haubstadt, Mount Vernon, and beyond.

Here are the key details you need to know:

  • Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Exhibition Dates: October 5th to October 27th.
  • Artist Reception: Join us on October 21st from 5:00 to 6:30 pm for a ghoulishly delightful artist reception.
  • Admission: This eerie experience is free and open to visitors of all ages.
  • Exhibit Juror: Signature School Teacher, University of Evansville Adjunct Faculty (Printmaking), and Artist Kyle Darnell
  • Awards will be announced at the Artist Reception on October 21st: First Place: $300, Second Place: $200, Third Place: $100

Please note that while the 200 block of Main Street is currently under construction, fret not! Ample parking options are available on the surrounding streets and in nearby garages. We remain open during our regular hours, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the construction project to conclude by the projected end date of November 17th.

We’re especially thrilled to announce that this year’s Spooky Show has received generous sponsorship from Engelbrecht Enterprises.

So, whether Halloween is your daily muse or an annual affair, make sure to immerse yourself in the otherworldly creativity of our Spooky Show this October. We can’t wait to welcome you to a world where every day is Halloween!

Martini Magic, Get Your Tickets

Join us on Friday, September 22, 5:30-7 pm for another night of cocktail making On the Roof at the Arts Council. The theme of this cocktail-making session, hosted by Bartender Reece Everett of Entwined Wine & Cocktail Bar, is Martini Magic. Guests will make two martinis, the first is Entwined’s adaptation of the popular Pornstar Martini that has been popular at many MICHELIN restaurants and bars around the country. The second martini will be a tried and true citrus favorite, the Blood Orange Lemon Drop Martini.

Then enjoy your works of cocktail art on the Rooftop Art Deck overlooking Downtown Evansville.

Admission to this unique fundraiser is $50, which includes the bartending lesson, two cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a complimentary bar accessory for your home bar. 

Capacity is limited, so reserve your spot now! Adults 21+ only.

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