Community arts supporters to be recognized

Ivy Tech will be celebrating the arts this weekend as many students go home to celebrate the holidays. The Community Arts Awards will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.

The event was created to thank and recognize those in Bloomington who have made the city a center for the arts, according to the Ivy Tech website.

Paul Daily, the Ivy Tech Waldron artistic director, said supporting those who appreciate the arts benefits the community as a whole.

“It’s important to recognize artists and arts supporters in our community for a number of reasons,” Daily said. “Specifically, in Bloomington the arts are a $72.3 million economic driver, so a large part of our success economically as a community is through the arts.”

The event will last two hours and will have 15-minute art workshops on ceramic tile glazing, stage makeup, paper book-making and creative flag making; art galleries; and an excerpt from Ivy Tech Student Productions’ “Sweeney Todd.” Following the performance, a ceremony in which awards will be presented to art patrons and businesses that have made strides to support creativity in the area will begin.

Amy Brier, who will be leading the paper book-making workshop, said it is important to celebrate the arts in this way because of the economic and cultural significance of creativity.

“The arts bring a quality of life,” Brier said. “The arts attend to the intellectual and spiritual or psychological health of the community.”

Brier said the activities will give those who attend a lesson in expressing themselves creatively regardless of their artistic mastery.

“I’ll be helping to show people that whether they think they are creative or not, they have an easy access to creativity,” Brier said.

According to the Waldron’s webpage, the awards will be distributed during the ceremony following the workshops.

Ted Jones, former technical facilities director at Jacobs School of Music, arts booster and volunteer, will receive the award for arts advocacy.

Rhino’s Youth Center, an education center dedicated to providing a safe space for kids and teenagers to creatively express themselves, according to its website, will be acknowledged for arts in education Friday night.

The Monroe County Convention Center will receive the award for arts in business; the Lawrence County Art Association and the Wiley Art Gallery will be recognized for regional arts service; and Lee Williams, the founder of the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, will be recognized for lifetime achievement.

Daily said he wants the community to come together to support the culture of art Bloomington has cultivated.

“Right now, the arts are more important than ever,” Daily said. “We’re seeing great division in our country, and arts are where you learn empathy and how to think like others, how to feel like others, and right now we need that.”

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