Indiana Daily Student

Rally in support of local arts venues set for Saturday

<p>The John Waldron Center at 122 S Walnut St. The building was a community arts center from 1990-2020. </p>

The John Waldron Center at 122 S Walnut St. The building was a community arts center from 1990-2020.

Arts Forward Bloomington will host the Save Our Arts Venues Rally at the Monroe County Courthouse Square at noon Saturday to encourage the city government to dedicate a combined $1.5 million to the John Waldron Arts Center and the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, according to AFB’s press release Monday. 

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton formed the Waldron Recommendation Task Force in November 2020 to evaluate the building. The task force found that the total cost of necessary improvements amounts to $515,185, which includes air conditioning, roof repairs, window replacement and more.

AFB is specifically calling for $500,000 to complete the improvements deemed necessary by the task force to safely operate the Waldron and $1 million for sound, lighting, accessibility and equipment improvements at the Waldron and BCT, according to AFB’s press release.

Hamilton and the two Waldron Recommendation Task Force co-chairs will make an announcement about Bloomington’s commitment to the arts at 5 p.m. Thursday, just three days after AFB released plans for the Save Our Arts Venues Rally. 

AFB announced the rally Monday. The Office of the Mayor announced Hamilton will make remarks on the arts community Tuesday. 

Built in 1915, the Waldron served as Bloomington’s City Hall, police station and fire station before becoming a community arts center in 1990, according to the City of Bloomington’s website. 

Ivy Tech Community College purchased the building in 2010, but ownership reverted to the City of Bloomington in January 2021, according to the city’s website.

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