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Amanda J. Billings
Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Phone: (812) 330-6222
Fax: (812) 330-6205

This Story is provided by The Herald Times


Arts partnership a ‘natural fit’

September 15, 2010

The city’s taking on of the Region 8 arts partnership with the Indiana Arts Commission is a natural fit, and for anyone who’s followed local arts news for the past year or so, not a big surprise.

The partnership links the six counties in the region — Brown, Greene, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan and Owen — to the state’s arts grant pipeline.

The state commission chose to bypass that pipeline when it withdrew last year from its long-time partnership with the Bloomington Area Arts Council, which was severely afflicted with financial and management problems.

Since that time, the state has managed the pipeline direct from Indianapolis, and is, in fact, getting set to award about $70,000 in grants to Region 8 groups for this year.

This new arrangement, announced last week, allows local input and advice for arts groups rather than having to stretch lines to the capital.

Another plus is that Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District director Miah Michaelsen, who was an arts council director before its latest crisis, will be point person for the partnership. She has done the job before and knows who to talk to in area counties.

She and Mayor Mark Kruzan point out that the city’s involvement is only temporary, and a search for a more permanent, less Bloomington-centric arts partner already is under way.

One that immediately comes to mind is Ivy Tech Community College, with operations that extend across county lines.

With its takeover of the John Waldron Arts Center, Ivy Tech also has demonstrated a real commitment to the arts.

There may be other worthy and willing groups that might fit the partnership as well or better.

But at this point, Ivy Tech appears a good permanent match — one that must have as its first mission the education of our community but one that also has significant resources and already plays a larger and vital support role for the community. The arts are key components in the social and economic wellness of this region. And Ivy Tech hasn’t shrunk from playing an active role in protecting and nurturing those assets.

Copyright: 2010