Capital Projects in Downtown Muncie and Beyond Share in $4M Awarded by Ball Brothers Foundation 

YWCA awarded $50,000 to support general operations and services for women. Photo providedYWCA awarded $50,000 to support general operations and services for women. Photo provided

By Jud Fisher—

 MUNCIE, IN—Ball Brothers Foundation, one of Indiana’s oldest and largest family foundations, awarded 33 grants totaling over $4 million in its first funding round of the year. Among the grants are funding for several organizations with long historical ties to the Ball family that are undertaking transformative capital projects: Ball State University, Camp Crosley (YMCA of Muncie), and the YWCA Central Indiana.

A $2,500,000 grant awarded to the Ball State University Foundation will support the construction of a new Performing Arts Center adjacent to campus in the area known as the Village. This state-of-the-art facility will offer expanded facilities for the university’s Department of Theatre and Dance and stimulate further development in the Village to create a more vibrant district. Other future planned developments include a new connector trail to downtown Muncie, a boutique hotel, and new retail, dining, and housing.

“The potential and promise of the revitalization of the Village with a performing arts center at its heart will be transformative. This will provide a dynamic gateway to campus—and conversely—to the community that will attract community members and visitors. And it will help to better physically connect the city of Muncie and Ball State University,” shared Jud Fisher, president and CEO of Ball Brothers Foundation. “The Ball family has a deep and abiding love both for Muncie and for Ball State University. We’re proud to support this once-in-a-generation project to restore vitality to this end of campus and to create new connections to our award-winning trail systems and vibrant downtown.”

Another major capital project awarded funding are renovations at Camp Crosley, a beloved YMCA camp located on Lake Tippecanoe in northern Indiana. The camp has ties to both Muncie and to the Ball family dating back over 100 years. A $250,000 grant will support upgrades to the camp’s Lakeside Cabins, ensuring year-round usability and increasing camp capacity.

Renovations will include the addition of modern restrooms, front porches, and HVAC improvements. These enhancements will accommodate 14 additional campers each week, helping to address a surge in demand following COVID-19.

“These renovations are crucial for meeting the growing demand for our camp programs,” said Mark Battig, executive director of Camp Crosley. “This support from Ball Brothers Foundation is invaluable in helping us create a great experience for our young campers to really make them feel like this place is where they belong and can grow.” Each summer, Camp Crosley hosts over 2,600 campers from across the Midwest, including nearly 200 campers from the Muncie area. In addition to its high-demand summer camp programs, Camp Crosley also provides authentic camp experiences for other Muncie-area groups throughout the year including Burris Laboratory School students, Ball State University gymnastics, Ball State University Cru, and others.

Funding from Ball Brothers Foundation will also support the first phase of a project underway by the YWCA Central Indiana to explore future options related to its location. The YWCA’s emergency shelter and supportive housing programs for women and children are currently located within a historic downtown Muncie building which was originally constructed in 1927 with strong support from the Ball family and from the Muncie community. A grant of $35,000 from Ball Brothers Foundation will support the YWCA’s work to establish a fundraising campaign to coincide with possible relocation to better meet the needs of the organization and the women and children it serves.

As downtown Muncie continues along a growth and redevelopment trajectory, the foundation also awarded capital funding for a project that will establish a cybercrime lab in downtown Muncie. A $100,000 grant to the Delaware County Prosecutors’ Office will help facilitate the relocation and expansion of the county’s High-Tech Crime Unit which is currently located on the city’s southside. The Unit, which serves both Delaware County and 11 surrounding counties, is one of only ten in the state of Indiana. The Unit serves as a resource for local law enforcement agencies and provides forensic analysis of digital devices including computers, hard drives, and mobile phones suspected of having been used to commit or facilitate criminal offenses among other supports.

The new facility will be located in the County building in downtown Muncie and will include state-of-the-art forensic labs, expanded office space, and, eventually, a dedicated training area. The expansion will also strengthen partnerships with Ball State University, creating new possibilities for internships for students interested in digital forensics.

Other notable capital funding awarded this spring included $80,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank for the installation of new cooler facilities, enhancing the storage and distribution of perishable goods. By stabilizing the temperature of fresh produce and inventory, the perishables will maintain freshness longer, both reducing waste and allowing for larger donations.

This round of grants also supported a range of other organizations and projects in the areas of arts and culture, public/society benefit, health, education, environment, and human services.

In addition to the grants previously listed, the 2024 spring round of grants included:

Arts & Culture

  • Delaware County Historical Society – $20,000 to hire a part-time Executive Director to help the organization prepare for its centennial in 1925, the bicentennial of the county in 1927, and other general operations activities.
  • Muncie Children’s Museum – $30,000 toward design and fabrication costs for new nature exhibits.
  • Music for All – $20,000 in support for MFA’s Summer Symposium, held locally on the campus of Ball State University each June. Funding will allow MFA to bring 900+ students and 150 directors from across the country to Muncie.
  • The Community Foundation of Muncie & Del. Co. – $15,000 to engage national consultants, Artspace, to conduct a study of the local arts/culture landscape and to develop an action plan to help inform economic development, tourism, downtown revitalization, and historic preservation.


  • Anderson University – $25,000 for the Center for Security Studies and Cyber Defense, a “cybersecurity incubator” that recruits AU and Ball State University students for highly competitive cybersecurity internships.
  • Ball State University – $25,000 to establish a new on-campus cybersecurity internship space, the Cardinal Academy of Digital Security and Education.
  • Daleville Community Schools – $100,000 multi-year funding to establish a new staff position to oversee the district’s Outdoor Learning Lab.
  • Destiny Christian Center – $15,000 toward the purchase of new playground equipment for the McKinley Neighborhood childcare facility.
  • Huffer Memorial Children’s Center – $30,000 in general operations support for childcare and early education programs.
  • Ivy Tech Foundation – $50,000 to help establish a “college concierge” program to support high school to community college transitions.
  • Job Source – $10,000 to support start-up of the Muncie Scholar House, a housing and wrap-around support program for single parents pursuing post-secondary education. 
  • Shafer Leadership Academy – $100,000 in multi-year support for general operations and growth.
  • Vision Corner – $15,000 for e-sports racing simulators at this downtown Union City hub for education, small business development, and workforce training. 
  • YMCA of Muncie – $40,000 to support general operations of childcare and early learning programs.
  • Youth Opportunity Center – $35,000 to expand staffing for on-site academic programs in partnership with Muncie Community Schools.


  • Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District – $35,000 for educational programming, water sampling, and outreach centered on water and soil quality in Grant, Blackford, Jay, Madison, Delaware, and Randolph counties.


  • Muncie Sports Commission – $70,000 in general operating support.
  • Riley Children’s Foundation – $100,000 to support large-scale diabetes screening research.

Human Services 

  • Brothers 2 Brothers United – $10,000 to grow staff capacity for a youth mentorship program in the Industry neighborhood.
  • Heart of Indiana United Way – $75,000 to support operational costs and to be used as matching incentive to help increase fundraising success of annual campaign.
  • Indiana Youth Institute – $45,000 for custom consulting projects for youth-serving organizations in East Central Indiana.
  • Muncie Delaware County Senior Center – $7,500 for electrical upgrades.
  • YWCA of Central Indiana – $50,000 to support general operations and services for women and children experiencing homelessness.

Public Society Benefit

  • Delaware County Sheriff’s Office – $10,000 to support equipment and training for fighting cybercrime.
  • Muncie Downtown Development Partnership – $50,000 to support operations and branding campaign.
  • Muncie Police Department – $10,000 to support equipment and training for fighting cybercrime.
  • Ross Community Center – $95,000 to support general operations and sports fields maintenance.
  • Sustainable Muncie Corporation – $175,000 to support general operations and expand maker education.

About Ball Brothers Foundation:

Ball Brothers Foundation is one of the state’s oldest and largest family foundations. In 2023, the foundation paid out $8.8 million in grants to support place-based initiatives related to arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services, and public affairs. The Muncie-based private foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in the foundation’s home city, county, and state.