Director’s Notes – April 2016

Proud times to be part of Muncie! So many projects; so much energy! We’re doing our best to keep up with of all you; creatives are a busy lot! And all the while, we’ve got our hands full with a growing list of “MACCtivities.” Here’s a rundown of what we’re up to & we hope you’ll want to come along for the ride!

Membership Program. We’ve talked about it forever… you’ve heard about it enough (we think)… well, the long-awaited membership program is now officially launching – and not a moment too soon! For years, artists have been asking for a way to communicate, collaborate, and share time, resources, and knowledge in a way that would both make their individual creative pursuits more fruitful as well as further the overall cultural climate in Muncie. The time and means for doing that is now here! Of course, we think it’s a no-brainer, but if you’re wondering if MACC is for you, ask yourself these questions:

• Are you interested in having a voice, and helping shape and elevate our arts community?

• Do you want to be part of developing what the arts community can and will look like?

• Are you interested in learning; professional development?

Simply put, we view MACC membership as a way for individuals and arts groups to become Arts Stakeholders in our community, and we very much hope you’ll want to join us! More details and how to join – MACC Membership

GearBox. As we mentioned in January, MACC has been an integral part of this initiative since its inception, working on ways for artists to be part of this future maker’s hub. We now serve on the Executive committee of the Board of Directors for Sustainable Muncie, the group that now owns the building. The building has begun deconstruction, with plans for the initial restrooms and stairs being reviewed for approval by the State as we speak! We continue conversations with partners and potential funders on developing a business plan for gallery, studio, and workshop space that could be available under a membership and/or rental program. Once we know what will be potentially available, we will be sending out a second set of surveys to assess interest, invite more participation, and continue developing the plan.

Professional Workshops: Certain challenges are unique to small businesses – artists and arts organizations in particular. Once our membership program is underway, we plan to offer monthly professional workshops (open to the public at a small fee) geared to making the business part of the artist’s life easier and more manageable. Tentative topics include: business practices, insurance needs, marketing, and stress reduction.

Micro Loan Program: MACC is partnering with the Muncie Scene Philanthropy Fund to create a micro loan program for emerging artists. Loans can be applied for by anyone creating or promoting visual art, music, or theater in Muncie, IN with the intention to sell the results within a year of the loan being granted. The Micro Loan program is also tied to our membership program being in place, so information will be forthcoming on our website and social media. But here’s the idea: This is the artist community supporting the emerging artist community. Grant proposals will be reviewed and voted on by MACC members rather than a panel.

Public Art: The City of Muncie Board of Works approved the Public Art amendment on March 23rd, which set the stage for the creation of the Muncie Public Art Committee. This committee should be in place within the month of April, with work on the Muncie Public Art Plan commencing mid-May. Look for exciting happenings as this process begins to develop.

In addition, MACC’s own Public Art committee is overseeing a program to place banners with images of professional art pieces on buildings in downtown Muncie. This will be a visible enhancement that can be seen at a great distance. Look for them this summer! And, we’d be remiss if we did not mention the Bison-tennial Public Art Project being undertaken in collaboration with the United Way. This might be the most “out of the box” public art project we do for a while; “out of the box” in that, we may be parading it through downtown on wheels May 5th at First Thursday!

Cultural Trail: This project had its unveiling last week at the presentation on the Kitselman Pure Energy Park and Kitselman Trailhead. We have been actively involved in the development of planning for the Cultural Trail for the past 2 years, and it’s finally coming to the forefront! Plenty more details in the coming months!

In closing, let me just say that it’s a great time to be part of the arts in Muncie, and an absolute honor for us to be able to connect with each of you! MACC firmly believes our community can be recharged and revitalized through arts and culture; cultural regeneration. We hope you do, too! And we invite you to join us!
At the desk (2)

All the best,

Sherri Contos

Executive Director
Muncie Arts and Culture Council