Betty Brewer: Awards Recognize the Importance of the Arts

The arts improve critical thinking skills. Integrating arts into other academic subjects improves problem solving abilities and competencies in all areas. Field trips to art museums will make your kids better thinkers … and nicer people! There are so many research studies — through education programs, scientists, engineers, university-museum partnerships — that can be referenced. The message is essentially the same: The Arts (capitalized) benefit us in obvious, as well as less apparent, ways.

Art speaks to us in so many ways. Think about all of the First Thursday events, Arts Walks, museum visits, concerts, dance recitals you have attended (or performed in!) over the years. Think about the artists, arts educators, performers, arts supporters who have made you think; made you feel; made you cry; made you smile. Wouldn’t you like to say “thank you” to those folks? Well, have we got an opportunity for you!

Muncie Arts and Culture Council is partnering with the City of Muncie to host the inaugural Mayor’s Arts Awards during our city’s sesquicentennial. There are eight categories celebrating artists/performers, arts educators, and arts supporters — individuals and/or organizations. However, we need your nominations!

MAA Glass Award

Sneak Peek: Detail of the glass award designed and hand-crafted by Muncie artist Andrew Schultz.

Remember the art teacher who sparked your creative juices … or your child’s creativity? How about that painting you just had to have for your wall? Or the amazing piece of pottery or art glass that highlights that perfect spot at home? Has a local performance/performer touched your soul? And what about the people and organizations that make exhibitions and performances possible throughout Muncie with their financial and creative support?

Keep all of this in mind during this month’s First Thursday event. Maybe you’ll be reminded of someone or something, or discover something altogether new. Don’t procrastinate! Nominations are due by Aug. 31. We are fortunate to have so many artists to celebrate and we need your help to make this inaugural year one for the books! The Awards Ceremony will be held at Minnetrista on Sept. 30. You’re all invited!

– Betty Brewer  president/CEO of Minnetrista and president of the Muncie Arts and Culture Council.