The City of Bloomington is conducting a survey to assess the space needs of organizations and individuals in the Bloomington Entertainment & Arts District (BEAD) .
The survey takes about 3-5 minutes and will close on Nov. 27.
BEAD is a state-designated cultural district that's overseen by the City of Bloomington's Department of Economic & Sustainable Development. It is an area in downtown Bloomington that includes a variety of cultural venues, including the Bloomington Playwrights Project, the Buskirk-Chumley Theater (where the BEAD Info Shop is located), WonderLab Museum, Arts Row and more. Click here to view a walking map of the district.
For more information, go to VisitBEAD.com.
Seven candidates for Bloomington City Council answered questions about support for the arts at a candidate forum on Tuesday, Sept. 17 organized by Arts Forward Bloomington. The municipal election is on Nov. 5.
The group included candidates in the only two competitive races for council: District 2 candidates Andrew Guenther (R) and Sue Sgambelluri (D), and District 3 candidates Nicholas Kappas (I) and Ron Smith (D). Another District 3 candidate, Marty Spechler (I), did not attend.
Others participating were Democrats Matt Flaherty (at-large), Isabel Piedmont-Smith (District 5), and Steve Volan (District 6). Democrat Susan Sandberg (at-large) sent a statement that was read by Sally Gaskill. None of these candidates are opposed on Nov. 5 so they will automatically be seated in January 2020.
All candidates expressed strong support for the arts. Many mentioned their own involvement – as patrons or practitioners – and described specific actions they'd support on council to ensure a healthy arts community.
For example, both Isabel Piedmont-Smith and Steve Volan, who currently serve on council, expressed interest in including a new performing arts venue as part of the Monroe County Convention Center expansion.
The event, held at the Waldron Arts Center, was moderated by Danielle McClelland, executive director of the Buskirk Chumley Theater.
During her opening remarks, Danielle reported that the city's expenditures on the arts totaled $773,928. That figure included funding to maintain the Buskirk-Chumley building and support its programming, as well as grants through the Bloomington Arts Commission and a range of other sources.
Click here to see the report on city funding sources for the arts. Click here to watch the forum on CATS.
The Bloomington/Monroe County performing arts sector adds over $4 million annually to the local economy and supports more than 160 jobs here, according to a recent analysis commissioned by Cardinal Stage.
Gabe Gloden, the professional theater's managing director, presented results of the study at the Chamber Speaker Series on July 18.
The analysis focused on three organizations: Cardinal Stage, Buskirk-Chumley Theater, and the Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center. The economic impact of the entire arts sector would be even greater, Gloden noted.
Other key takeaways:
That last data point should be food for thought, Gloden said, as the community thinks about investing in the arts through ticket sales, sponsorships or grants. If there aren't local opportunities for participating in the arts, this community would be losing revenue – including money spent at local restaurants and hotels – to other areas.
Exposure to the performing arts also has been linked positively to increased civic engagement, improved academic achievement, social and emotional learning, and development of tolerance and empathy.
The study was conducted in the spring of 2019 by graduate students of the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Click here to read the full report.
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy