Director’s Notes – May 2016

Happy Spring, all! It’s been a cold one so far, but here’s to coming weeks of happy sunshine and warm weather! In the meantime, we’re happy for the opportunity to touch base before everyone is “off to the races” with summer events.

We want to thank all who came out to our public meeting in mid April. It was a great opportunity for members of our Board to meet some of you and begin to find out what your interests are and how you’d like to see things move in the future. We will be trying to hold open, public meetings once a quarter. Some of the highlights between then and now:

MACC Membership. A huge “welcome aboard” to all who have taken the plunge and officially joined MACC this past month! We are busy putting things together on our end and will be eliciting input from you on your needs and wants for the arts community, as well as making known arts opportunities. So stay tuned! For those who are still thinking about it … what are you waiting for?? Can’t wait to have you as part of the team! Learn More

Bison-tennial Public Art Project. If you attended First Thursday on May 5, you may have spotted a baby Bison (fiberglass) being walked about. This was all an effort to advertise our partnership with the United Way of Delaware County to help with the Bison-tennial celebration this summer. We requested proposals from interested local artists in April. The Muncie Arts and Culture Council, in partnership with Indiana Association of United Ways and the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, is pleased to announce the selection of Denise King as selected artist for the Bison-tennial Public Art project. This project is part of a 2016 state-wide endeavor to celebrate Indiana’s 2ooth Statehood Day. It will comprise a 5-foot-tall fiberglass bison that will be decorated and displayed with an end goal of at least one – if not a herd – of bison on display in each of Indiana’s 92 counties. The bison are expected to make appearances in the local community and along the Bicentennial Torch Relay route leading up to Indiana’s Bicentennial Statehood Day on December 11th, 2016. The Delaware County Bison will then find its home in Tuhey Park; downtown Muncie.

The selection committee in Delaware County, composed of United Way representatives and MACC committee members, used an RFP process to solicit proposals and ultimately select Denise King as the artist to complete our Bison project. Denise has a fine arts education with emphasis in painting and drawing, and is a self-proclaimed Muncie and Delaware County enthusiast and promoter. As a mural artist and community activist with a love of history, she was drawn to this particular project. In Denise’s words, “My intention is to create a piece that is not only beautiful, engaging, and interesting, but respectful, informed, educational and a vehicle to spark public interest in the subject matter.” Denise plans to begin working on the Bison this month, “on location” so the community can watch the Bison “come to life”! If you happen to be walking downtown Walnut Street over the next couple of months, take a look in the windows of the former Royal Crown Poker Club (227 S. Walnut)! You may be surprised by what you see! (This venue was generously offered by Muncie Liquor Stores, Inc, and we thank them!)

Festival on the Green. Muncie Arts & Culture Council is thrilled to be partnering with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra for Festival on the Green! This year’s festival will be Saturday, June 11th, on the Arts Terrace at Ball State University. The Arts Fair, hosted by MACC, will begin at 5:30 pm. The MSO concert will begin at 7 pm. Booth space is available free to MACC members at the Advocate level or for $25/booth for non-members.

GearBox & Cultural Trail. Both of these projects continue to move forward with MACC playing an integral role. Initial GearBox lease signings will be forthcoming very soon, so look for the press release! And we’ll keep you posted as things develop on the Trail.

Public Art. The first official meeting of the Muncie Public Arts Committee was held April 28th, and this group is hitting the ground running! Composed of experienced professional community leaders, under the auspices of MACC, this committee has developed five goals and action plans: 1) to establish and implement a Public Arts Plan to acquire and display artwork that cultivates a vibrant public art environment and reflects the unique cultural identity and aspirations of Muncie, 2) conduct an in depth exploration of our community, inventory, desired needs for public arts of all kinds and prioritize areas or future considerations of public art and arts activities, and update existing artwork and maps of same, 3) Secure and manage funding for the public arts initiative and the care and maintenance of assets, 4) pursue active collaboration with municipal, civic, nonprofit and private sector development to create opportunities for public art as a presence, 5) build awareness and promote understanding about public art and the benefits of the arts in general. More on all of the above as it comes.
At the desk (2)

All the best,

Sherri Contos

Executive Director
Muncie Arts and Culture Council