The Brown County Community Foundation has the best interests of the community at heart. We are concerned with many different areas affecting the well being of people who live and work here. By supporting charitable organizations in broad areas of community need – education, social services, health care, arts and humanities, and environment – we help build a stronger, healthier Brown County.

Grants shall be made for specific requests under broad areas of interest. The current BCCF grant focus areas are defined as childhood education, environment, health and wellness, housing, and arts and culture. Preference will be given to grant requests that support BCCF Board of Trustees’ current identified community initiative focus area(s).


Applying for grants

Our 2024 Community Grants Program awarded over $302,000 to 21 organizations serving Brown County.
In past years, we have funded grants supporting the focus areas of education, environment, health and wellness, arts and culture, and housing.
We support charitable organizations that include a broad range of community needs in order to help build a stronger and healthier Brown County. 
Grant applications are available in February. Applications are due in mid-March, with official awards announced in late June. For more information, contact the Brown County Community Foundation at 812-988-4882.  

For Reference Review:
2024 BCCF Community Grant Resource Packet– DUE MARCH 8, 2024


2024 Grantee Award Summary

funded by BCCF field of Interest, Unrestricted & Brown County Music Center Funds

Asphalt Paving                                                                                $28,000.00
Paving Fairgrounds in Grandstand/Barn Area to improve conditions for individuals utilizing walkers, wheelchairs, and strollers.

Children’s Art Camp                                                                                                                     $4,000.00
A four week children’s Art Camp for 2nd to 8th graders in Brown and surrounding counties. All are welcome to register.

The purpose of this project is to provide a hands-on learning experience for children in our rural community who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the arts outside of school.  We strive to create a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment where each camper can be themselves while fostering community through the arts.

Marie Goth Antique Furniture Restoration                                                                           $2,500.00
In 1954, Marie Goth and other notable artists formed the Brown County Art Guild to preserve the caliber and camaraderie of the art colony while rooting their gallery in the broader community.  The Guild purchased the historic Minor House, built in 1857, for its beauty and location in the heart of downtown Nashville, Indiana. The town became the center of the Brown County art scene and a growing attraction for serious collectors and enthusiasts.

We just completed a $1.1 million dollar capital campaign to remodel the Guild.  The goals were to protect the building and art collections and enhance the artist and visitor experience. 

To build upon this work, we are going to restore Marie Goth’s antique furniture to compliment the newly remodeled Guild.  This will preserve the history of Marie’s personal pieces and add to the beauty and artistic heart of the gallery.

Bright Lights, Bold Choir               $7,301.07
Rhapsody is the show choir at Brown County High School and recently completed their competitive season. This was Rhapsody’s return to competitions and they did not have a set or lights. This grant would allow the choir to build a set and match other choirs at the competitive level.

Brown County High School
Brown County High School Murals
Brown County High School, situated at the heart of our community, has long been a beacon of

learning and personal development. However, the physical environment of our school has not seen

significant updates for years, resulting in spaces that lack the inspiration and vitality our students deserve.

This grant represents an opportunity to change that narrative by infusing our surroundings with creativity and color, thereby enhancing the educational environment for every student who walks through our doors. The proposed project entails the creation of engaging murals and points of interest in each of the school’s hallways, as well as in the cafeteria and commons area. These spaces were chosen for their high visibility and frequent use, ensuring that the positive impacts of this project are experienced widely and daily. The artwork will be designed to reflect the values, history, and spirit of our community, fostering a sense of belonging and pride among all school members.

Homes & Hope                                                                                                                            $35,000.00
The Indiana Uplands Regional Housing Study (2023) estimates that by 2030 Brown County will need 124 houses costing $250,000 or less.  Affordable housing allows families to raise their children in a stable environment without being cost burdened (spending more than 30% of their income on housing).  Home ownership also generates equity for future generations and provides the permanency children need to thrive. Our community is vibrant and healthy when families can successfully live, work, play and raise their children, along with the existence of quality schools and job opportunities.


Our Homes & Hope project offers Brown County community members the opportunity to buy a home they can afford, based on application criteria.  Brown County Indiana Habitat for Humanity (BCIHFH) builds a house with the help of volunteers, grants, donations, and agency funds.  A mortgage is serviced by BCIHFH at a zero-interest rate, with payments based on a person’s ability to pay.  Recipients are required to complete 250 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of their home and pay a $500 down payment.

Brown County Rising      $2,500.00
“Brown County Rising” is a compelling film series that delves into the intricate tapestry of social problems and the potential for communities coming together to build resilience and foster positive change. The series explores a range of pressing issues such as poverty, mental health issues, social rejection, social media, childhood adversity and discrimination, while highlighting the transformative power of collective action and community empowerment.  Community members are invited to attend, free of charge, individual screenings of 6 powerful and thought-provoking documentaries at the Historic Brown County Playhouse. The afternoon screening of an individual film will include a panel discussion with audience questions and comments. Through compelling storytelling and real-world examples, “Brown County Rising” serves as a call to action, inspiring viewers to recognize their own agency in creating resilient communities and addressing social problems with empathy, collaboration, and innovation.

Rising Stars Camp and Seniors Liaison Program  $6,250.00
The Brown County Playhouse is proposing a overarching program that will strengthen our outreach and relationships with two distinct populations.  We are requesting funds to help with continuation of our Rising Stars Summer Camp and with the development of a senior liaison.  Our Rising Stars Summer Camp fills a need with an age group of youth that is not served by schools or other organizations.   The Senior Liaison program will strengthen our relationships with senior residents of Nashville and Brown County

Brown County Schools “Supporting Early Ed for ALL!” Project     $20,100.00
The “Supporting Early Ed for All!” initiative is directed by Brown County Schools. Families need options for early education within their community.  Children need experiences which nurture their growth and development in positive ways.  Programs need resources to market their services and assure their quality.  We have all seen high quality early education rise to the top of every list when Brown County leaders gather to rank “Quality of Place” indicators for attracting young families to live, work, and play in Brown County.  The “Supporting Early Ed for ALL!” project will connect families with local early education options for children age 2-5 years as well positively impact program safety and continuous quality improvement efforts.

Recycle Drop-off Lot      $15,000.00
The Recycle Center is in desperate need of paving or at least re-graveling of the public drop off area in front. Right now, it is dusty and muddy. It is becoming a safety issue and potential health hazard with elderly people getting out of their vehicles all the time. The potential slippage and excess dust are not healthy for the public or our employees who are out there with forklifts trying to safely get around. Dust and mud is then dragged back into our processing area making it very difficult to keep clean and healthy. Plus, safe effective maneuverability is hampered with the lot the way it is now. A new surface would eliminate these health and safety hazards for both our employees and the public.

Emergency Medical Supplies                                                                                                     $1,800.00
This project will allow us have on-hand the necessary emergency medical equipment needed to provide care for our patients.


With this grant we will be able to provide quality medical services to community members in the Town of Nashville, Washington Township and visitors.

Financial Assistance for Cancer Patients                                                                                $1,500.00
Cancer Support Community South Central Indiana (CSCSCI) provides immediate financial assistance to cancer patients in active treatment cycles who meet income requirements of 300% of federal poverty level. In 2023, CSCSCI provided grocery and gas gift cards to 51 households in South Central Indiana. Cancer patients are referred to CSCSCI’s Patient Assistance Fund (PAF) by oncology social workers and nurse navigators. CSCSCI partners with IU Health to promote this program and identify cancer patients in need of immediate financial assistance. The Patient Assistance Fund allows each cancer patient to receive $150.00 of assistance in grocery and/or gas gift cards. This program is designed to provide temporary and immediate assistance when a cancer patient is undergoing regular treatments. Most often, cancer patients have lost income due to missing work, and increased expenses due to travel for doctor visits and chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Many rural cancer patients have to travel long distances to attend treatments, sometimes five days a week for weeks at a time. Once an application is approved, CSCSCI mails the requested support (grocery gift card and/or gas gift card) to the cancer patient.

CRC & BCHS Student Certification Grant               $7,500.00
The Certification Scholarships will support both Brown County High School and the CRC.  These scholarships will support CRC adult education students aged 16 and up who want to obtain a short term certification that leads to gainful employment.  These grant dollars will support individuals who cannot be funded through an employer, state, or regional funds.  A portion of the grant will also assist Brown County High School students in grades 9-12 who need financial assistance with pathway and certification requirements associated with their chosen graduation program of study.

Evidenced Based Therapy Materials for Brown County Individuals           $6,083.25
The project is aimed at equipping Centerstone’s Brown County staff with resources, tools, and curriculum to engage families, provide evidence-based practices to treat mental illness and needs in order for families, children, and individuals in the community to thrive.

Chain Breaker Ministries Addiction Recovery Program Transport Van                                                 $5,000.00
We are a men’s residential Christ centered addiction recovery home located in Bartholomew County serving primarily south central Indiana (particularly Brown County.  We work in Collaboration with Wheeler Mission which is based in Indianapolis, IN.  The Chain Breaker House provides an intake site as well as a “Connect and Equip program to help men break the bondage of addiction and begin regenerating their lives equipped with long lasting solutions founded on the word of God.

Do Something, INC
Suicide and Overdose Fatality Review
Brown County is ranked fourth highest in Indiana for suicide rate (https://www.in.gov/healthfirstindiana/county-health-scorecard/). We lost 10 lives to suicide and 6 to unintentional overdose in 2022 alone (https://www.in.gov/health/trauma-system/files/22-Overdose-Suicide-Report.pdf ). We must do something different. Developing a Suicide and Overdose Fatality Review Team will allow our community to identify missed opportunities for prevention and gaps in the systems, building working relationships with between stakeholders on suicide and overdose prevention, recommend policies/programs/legislation to prevent future suicide and overdose deaths, and implement data-driven prevention and intervention activities. Let’s save some lives Brown County.

Friends of the Brown County Public Library
Electric Vehicle
Extending our solar project which began in 2022.  The library currently produces sufficient electricity from our solar system to power the entire building.  We wish to utilize this energy to power our vehicle.

The Friends of Brown County Public Library is submitting an application to BCCF to help pay for a replacement vehicle for the Library. This vehicle is used to take books to our branch libraries (Cordry-Sweetwater) and the Brown County Senior Center, give

presentations at Brown County Public Schools, take materials and supplies to outreach events (like Touch-A-Truck, Brown County Fair), transport staff to professional development opportunities, and haul recycled materials to the Brown County Recycle Center. We are hoping to purchase a used (one year old) all electric or hybrid vehicle, for which we have a convenient plug-in in our solar parking lot. The library’s current vehicle, a 2009 Dodge Caravan has only 53,000 miles, but has required hefty maintenance costs in the past few years.

Peachtree Shelter            $27,693.55
The Friends of Brown County State Park, working with the Park’s Assistant Manager Patrick Haulter, is supporting a project to restore the Park’s Peachtree Shelter, located approximately a quarter of a mile from the fire tower on Trail 10. This log and stone shelter, complete with a working fireplace, was built along with several other structures by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, making it part of the Park’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places (file NR-2579). It is the only shelter that is not accessible by vehicle. Over the years, the shelter has been low on the underfunded priority list for Park maintenance and has fallen into disrepair.  It has two holes in the roof, leading to deterioration of the Brown County stone chimney. All restoration work must use materials matching or re-using as much of the original material as possible and make no changes in the original appearance of the shelter, as per DNR Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology requirements. The work needs to be done ASAP to prevent complete deterioration. This is an important part of our county’s history and will be a source of pride for Brown Countians.

Brown County Christkindl Market


In keeping with the rich history of our arts culture, in the heart of the arts village, the Brown County Christkindl Market will commence once again the first week-end in December and feature any local artist who applies and wants to be included. The market will be located in Coach Light Square and we will once again invite vendors to share their wares.

Main LP furnace update                                                                                                              $4,500.00
The existing furnace is a 90% efficient LP furnace that was manufactured in 1994.  The current furnace is in poor condition with improper airflow layout and poor performance to heat 2200 square feet of our 3600 square feet facility.  The current size of the furnace consumes the entire space it is installed in and does not allow easy maintenance and service.

Replacing the existing furnace will provide the following benefits:

– Improving the energy efficiency to more than 95%

– Reduce the use of energy resources by decreasing the use of LP and electricity

– More effective heating and cooling of our community space

– Allow proper installation to address the airflow issue

– Improved access for maintenance and service

– Reduce operating cost for the center

Support for Brown County Citizens to Participate in Hope for Hearts, Free to Be Me, and Journey to Leadership Programs.             $5,200.00
Hope for Hearts Farm, Inc is requesting funding to provide support for the citizens of Brown County to participate in our Equine-assisted Learning (EAL) programs for the emotional and mental wellbeing of our community. Hope for Hearts Farm provides a unique way for individuals to grow and strengthen their self-esteem, communication, problem-solving, relationship, and leadership skills by partnering with horses. We are requesting support for three specific programs:  1- sessions for youth and adults in our “Hope for Hearts” program, 2-for participants in “Free to be Me” which is a specialty program designed for adolescent girls ages 10-14 to discover freedom in who they are and how to handle body changes, social media, drugs, alcohol, and dealing with peer pressure; and 3-for a “Journey to Leadership” workshop for members of the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department. This workshop is designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations and help improve the services that they provide to our community.

LWP Community Hygiene pantry refill                                                                                    $3,900.00
This project is to help fill our pantry to continue monthly distribution of hygiene items to the Brown County Community. We are here to provide for our community members that are in need with no special requirements.

Items included are shampoo, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, fingernail clippers, Q-tips, razors, socks, female menstrual products, and seasonal items.

Dumpster Day   $2,000.00
Dumpster Day is a free day where the entire community can come to the area behind the Recycling Center where Dumpsters are available for residents of Brown County to bring trash, furniture, mattresses, accumulated bagged trash, most any trash besides hazardous material, TV’s and building material and tires.  It is a free day in order to keep this type of trash and litter off of roads and private property. diverse music and arts experiences. Every spring, Lotus Blossoms connects students, families, and communities with performing artists from all over the globe. Serving South Central Indiana since its inception in 1996, Blossoms has reached more than 210,000 students and community members and has amplified the diverse voices of over 60 international artists. Last year alone we facilitated 35 unique opportunities in 6 counties that reached over 10,000 Hoosiers in their community spaces with this program.

A cornerstone of Lotus Blossoms programming is a focus on engagement with underserved urban and rural communities. These constituencies often lack access to people of diverse backgrounds and to multicultural experiences. By presenting global music and arts experiences, Lotus strives to inspire a love of diversity in these communities. Through Lotus Blossoms’ programming, Lotus also serves populations that have limited opportunities to experience in-person musical experiences, including those in retirement homes, preschools, detention centers, or economically disadvantaged communities.

Nashville Arts, Ceramics, and Homesteading Startup costs                                             $7,500.00
Nashville Arts, Ceramics, and Homesteading is an exciting new not for profit that has been formed to address the unique educational needs and opportunities present in our community.  Experienced and talented functional artists, ceramicists, and homesteaders work and reside in Brown County.  Residents of all ages have repeatedly requested that classes be provided to learn thee skills.  Our organization has been founded to bridge this gap and provide learning opportunities to people of all ages, races, and economic background. 

We believe that by promoting and teaching functional arts, ceramics, and homestead skills we can help strengthen and build our community.

Student Sponsorships    $10,000.00
READy to R.E.A.D. is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to delivering intensive, research-based literacy services to individuals in need. Our dedication to providing accessible literacy support has remained steadfast since our inception in 2022, benefiting the community by empowering individuals to improve their literacy skills and fostering greater educational opportunities, personal growth, and community engagement.

ChamberFest Brown County & Kids Compose                                                                    $12,500.00
Part A.  ChamberFest

ChamberFest Brown County brings world-class musicians to Brown County to play chamber music in small intimate settings, mostly churches.  Our mission is to inspire our audiences and to add richness and depth to  the life of the Brown County community.  This is not a tangible commodity but something that can be measured by audience responses to our concerts and events.  Almost all of our events are donation-based so there is not a financial barrier to participation.

We also provide musical outreach and education to students, 18 and under.  Last year we did a Baber the Elephant program for K, 1st and 2nd graders in Brown County Schools.  This year we will be presenting the children’s opera, Mooch the Magnificent, to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in Brown County as part of ChamberFest.

Part B.  Kids Compose


This year, in the fall, we would also like to offer the Kids Compose program to all 3rd graders in Brown County public schools.  This program, which cultivates creativity and is headed by Debbi Ponella, has been successfully running in the Monroe County Schools for almost 20 years.

St. Vincent de Paul Back to School Program


This program has been offered to the community since 2004 and seeks to provide partial relief to families in need with the cost of their child or grandchild’s return to school expenses. Vouchers valued at $60 each to be redeemed at Walmart are used by the families and students to purchase shoes, socks, school supplies, back packs, and other school related items. Gas cards for $5.00 were also offered as were ear buds at the time of registration.


Community Baby Shower & Beyond       $5,000.00
Funding for a Community Baby Shower & Beyond to provide vulnerable families with resources and information to advance child safety and wellness to include developing resources to support child car safety for Brown County.


Freightliner Refrigerated Truck  $12,000.00
To purchase a used Freightliner Refrigerated Truck to transport food for Brown County community.

Pantry Ramp             $9,900.00
The goal of Loaves and Fishes is to end hunger in Brown County and alleviate financial hardship. Loaves and Fishes is a food pantry that provides food to over 150 families weekly, and the number continues growing. This project will increase the work volunteers can complete during the time given to unloading trucks and stocking the food pantry. This will be done through the installation of a ramp and the purchase of pallet jacks. This will allow Loaves and Fishes to provide the same quality of service as the number of families attending the pantry increases. The project will also increase the amount of product space in the pantry to accommodate these increasing numbers. This will be done through the purchase of shelving.

Painting Selma’s Garden                                                                                                             $1,500.00
Brown County has long been an area that inspires and attracts artists with its natural beauty, including Theodore Clement “T.C.” Steele (1847-1926), noted Hoosier artist at the forefront of Indiana’s art movement and one of the state’s most honored artists. To ensure that Steele’s artistic legacy and impact in Brown County, Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites (ISMHS) is asking for support for the third annual Painting Selma’s Garden event created in partnership with T.C. Steele State Historic Site, Indiana Heritage Arts and the Brown County Art Gallery.

Painting Selma’s Garden is a day-long event that will take place at both T.C. Steele State Historic Site and the Brown County Art Gallery. During the day, visitors can tour both venues, engage with artists and watch them create. In the evening, a ticketed reception at T.C. Steele State Historic Site will begin with an educational program followed by reception and art sale. Painting Selma’s Garden benefits the community of Brown County by celebrating its artistic history and supporting today’s working artists.