A local arts group was awarded funds to pay for a consultant who will help determine the feasibility of creating a new community arts center in Shelbyville.

Shelby Arts Alliance received the grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, which granted consultancies to groups in Shelbyville and seven other communities.

Shelbyville's citation was "to work with a consultant to formalize a plan to create a community arts center as part of a citywide strategy to bolster artistic community development," according to a news release from the commission.

IAC chose eight communities out of a group of 26 that attended a Vibrant Communities forum focused on developing ideas to incorporate arts and culture into communities. The forum was a collaboration between IAC and Ball State University's Building Better Communities program.

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The consultancy is the second phase of the process for the Shelby Arts Alliance and the other selected community groups.

"They had to have a focused idea or proposal," said Rex Van Zant, director of marketing and communication of IAC. "These eight communities were selected form 26 that were eligible to apply."

Van Zant said the projects were selected based on which ones were determined most likely to succeed.

A consultant will work with the local alliance to help map out a feasible way to achieve the group's goal of creating a community arts center.

"We're looking forward to this," said Betsy Stephen, a member of Shelby Arts Alliance's board.

The consultancies are expected to begin this month and end in October, according to the release.
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