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Gov. Holcomb announces $250M Lilly Endowment grant to accelerate quality of place across Indiana

Funds will support investments in communities throughout the state focused on blight remediation and redevelopment, public arts and cultural initiatives

INDIANAPOLIS  – Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced at tonight’s State of the State address that Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $250 million grant to help bolster quality of place efforts throughout the state. The grant to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), which is the single largest award given in Lilly Endowment’s 86-year history, will be administered in conjunction with the nationally recognized Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI).

The funds will help accelerate the state’s support for rehabilitating deteriorated or abandoned properties and strengthening varied arts and culture initiatives. The goal is to foster more vibrant and livable communities across Indiana for generations to come

READI was launched in 2021 by Gov. Holcomb, in partnership with the Indiana General Assembly, with an initial investment of $500 million to advance quality of life, quality of place and quality of opportunities. The $500 million appropriation is being matched by additional public, private and nonprofit dollars, resulting in a combined $12.6 billion investment in 361 unique projects and programs statewide.  

Following the success of READI 1.0, the governor and the Indiana General Assembly invested an additional $500 million to establish READI 2.0 in 2023.

Paired with Lilly Endowment’s $250 million grant, READI 2.0 will support quality of place projects across 15 regions and is expected to attract a minimum 4:1 match of local public and private funding, yielding at least another $3 billion investment in Indiana’s neighborhoods and future prosperity.   

The IEDC will allocate $185 million of the Lilly Endowment grant to support the redevelopment or rehabilitation of deteriorated or abandoned properties in ways that address community needs throughout the state while bringing new life to Indiana communities.  Projects may include rehabbing historic structures, repurposing closed industrial plants to create inviting community spaces or mixed-use developments or demolishing vacant single-family homes to construct new affordable housing.    

Approximately $65 million of the Lilly Endowment grant will be allocated to support a first-of-its-kind statewide arts and culture initiative to advance regional creative transformation by investing in public art and cultural amenities, which contribute $7.6 billion annually to the state’s economy.