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Indiana Art Institutions Condemn Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Indiana arts organizations are taking a stand against the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which allows businesses to opt not to serve people based on their sexual orientation, according to Artnet’s Brian Boucher.

“The Indianapolis Museum of Art is already seeing the fallout from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and it’s not good,” director Charles Venable and chairman of the museum board Thomas Hiatt wrote in the Indianapolis Star. “Several generous art collectors from different parts of the country have contacted us to say how RFRA discourages them from making future gifts to the IMA and other Indiana charities. . . . We are receiving countless emails telling us visitors are canceling their planned trips to Indiana and the IMA as a direct result of the RFRA law.”

Paula Katz, interim director of the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, told Artnet: “People in the arts community are extremely upset. The Indiana arts community is very welcoming and accepting and diverse. We don’t want to be a culturally vacant city, but every performance cancelation is, in a way, a small victory that says ‘Look what you are doing to our state.’”