Indy Arts Council unveils mental health grants for local artists


INDIANAPOLIS — It’s not a secret that the pandemic has been a mental health burden on Hoosiers all across the state. The Indy Arts Council is rolling out new grants to help area creatives seek mental health access they may be struggling to get.

The program is named after local artist Wug Laku. The talented creative took his own life four years ago, yet those who knew him say many did not know he was struggling with mental health.

“His mental health issues were very deep and complex. It was far beyond me to know how to help him,” said his former partner, and fellow artist, Nancy Lee. “He didn’t reveal any of that to me, and I figured it out over time. Help comes in many forms. but the best is professional help.”

Laku’s friends and fellow artists sold a collection of his work for $4,000. The Indy Arts Council kept the money until now. It was used to help start the fund. Artists can apply for $750 grants for counseling and $250 for wellness practices.

“A lot of our artists do have health insurance, but it’s not the type of health insurance that covers the things they need,” explained Shannon Linker, vice president of artist services and engagement with the Art Council of Indianapolis.

If you are an artist looking to apply for the grants, you can apply here.

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