Director’s Notes – January 2016

At the Muncie Arts & Culture Council, we are filled with excitement and anticipation as we launch into 2016 – and launch is the word!  Here’s just a hint of what we’re up to:  

GearBox.  You’ve probably read in the paper about the Makers Hub being planned for the former Cintas building. So, here’s the inside story: MACC has been an integral part of this initiative since its inception; beginning with the Muncie Makers District Symposium which we facilitated in 2014, followed by taking an active part on the Mayor’s Committee to study the idea, and now serving in an Executive Officer’s role on the Board of Directors for Sustainable Muncie, the group that now owns the building. The project has received significant funding to date, so that preliminary construction is beginning. MACC is formulating a membership plan for gallery, studio, and work space within the building for interested artists and makers.  Many of you participated in the Artist Callout last November and responded to our first survey. We will be sending out a second set of surveys very shortly to define further the studio/work and equipment needs and invite more participation. Please respond to the survey when you get it so we can plan accordingly and start putting things in place!

Membership Program.  For years, artists have been asking for a way to communicate, collaborate, share time, resources and knowledge in a way that would both make their individual creative pursuits more fruitful and further the overall cultural climate in Muncie. In March, we plan to launch a membership program that we hope will do just that! We will notify by email and social media when the program is up and running, as well as details of membership. Keep visiting our website for updates. We very much want you to be part of MACC!!  

Professional Workshops: You spoke; we heard. There are certain challenges that are unique to small businesses – artists and arts organizations in particular. In 2016 we will offer monthly professional workshops geared to making the business part of an artists’ life easier and more manageable. The workshops will kick off with a preliminary discussion of live/work opportunities. Later workshops will address topics such as business practices, insurance needs, marketing and stress reduction.

Live/Work Opportunities:  MACC has been interested in facilitating conversation and implementation of live/work spaces within downtown Muncie for years. On February 12th, we are facilitating a gathering with Brad King, Historic Preservation Officer/Residential Program Administrator intended to start that discussion. This discussion will be designed for artists interested in home rehab for the purpose of artist live/work situations. Registration is free. Please RSVP!

Eventbrite - MACC + The Live/Work Project - Informational Meeting

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. Information on the Micro Loan program will be forthcoming on our website and social media.  

Public Art:  MACC has long been interested in facilitating a comprehensive approach to public art in Muncie, and has recently partnered with the City of Muncie to create a Strategic Plan for Public Art as well as create a Public Art Committee. Look for exciting happenings as this process begins to develop.

That’s just a taste of our MACC life for 2016 – and we didn’t even mention the Cultural Trail! All to say, while the winter days of early 2016 seem to wear on and on, at MACC we’re off to the races! And we hope you’ll come along for the ride. We need to hear from the arts community so that we can understand both the wealth of talent within our region and the needs that go with it. So please be patient as we develop our outreach capabilities, and in the meantime, feel free to take the initiative to reach out to us and send us an email with your questions and comments. You’ll be hearing from us, no doubt, but we’d love to hear from you, too! We can only do what we know!

Sherri Contos

All the best!

Sherri Contos

Executive Director
Muncie Arts & Culture Council