Indiana Daily Student

Middle Way House to celebrate 50 year anniversary with concert, picnic

<p>The Middle Way House will celebrate their 50th anniversary during the 50 Years of Caring Concert and Picnic in the Park at noon June 12 in Switchyard Park. The event will feature live musical performances, food trucks, children&#x27;s activities and dancing to thank the Bloomington community for their enduring support of Middle Way. </p>

The Middle Way House will celebrate their 50th anniversary during the 50 Years of Caring Concert and Picnic in the Park at noon June 12 in Switchyard Park. The event will feature live musical performances, food trucks, children's activities and dancing to thank the Bloomington community for their enduring support of Middle Way.

Middle Way House will celebrate their 50th anniversary during the 50 Years of Caring Concert and Picnic in the Park at noon on June 12 in Switchyard Park. 

In 1970, Middle Way House was founded as a general crisis intervention service for the Bloomington community. Today, Middle Way House provides education, shelter and resources to combat domestic and sexual violence in any person’s life – regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, according to their website

The event will feature live musical performances by Krista Detor, Janiece Jaffe, Amanda Biggs, Lara Lynn and the Kid, Second Baptist Church Choir and Bethel AME Church Choir. Nell Weatherwax, a local artist and IU fine arts professor, will be the emcee. The event is entirely free to the public, and all are welcome. 

Detor, a Bloomington-based singer-songwriter, has worked with Middle Way House on various fundraising projects in recent years. Detor will perform some of her original songs, and she said she’s excited to support Middle Way’s mission again after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am just honored to be part of the ongoing legacy of it,” Detor said. “And to just be here, it's auspicious. I'm so glad that they're doing it and so glad that the community is rallying.”

The event will also offer childrens’ activities, food trucks, baked goods donated from Rainbow Bakery and Baked! of Bloomington, fruit donated from Bloomingfoods and a 50 year anniversary timeline dance performance. 

Sophie Lofton, Middle Way’s Events Coordinator, said the event will allow Middle Way House to thank the Bloomington community for its enduring support, whether through donations, sponsorships or volunteering over the last 50 years. Middle Way has relied heavily on the community to stay open over the years, Lofton said. 

For Lofton, it's essential that community members continue to show their support for Middle Way House because of the impact Middle Way has had on domestic violence survivors and the general community in Bloomington. 

“Sometimes when organizations are around a long time, we can take them for granted and just think that they'll be there forever,” Lofton said. 

Lofton stressed the event will be a way for both Middle Way House and the Bloomington community to uplift survivors together. It’s essential that people realize the scale of domestic violence, Lofton said. 

“The reality is that these issues are so prevalent,” Lofton said. “Survivors are our friends or our family, they're our co-workers. Remembering that everywhere we go, that we're encountering survivors is really important.”

Ultimately, Lofton said people should visit the 50 Years of Caring event to support Bloomington as a whole. 

“Everytime you support Middle Way, you support survivors,” Lofton said. “People showing up to an event, showing that they believe survivors, showing that they affirm survivors makes the community a much safer place.”

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