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Bloomington Arts Commission Announces 2015 Arts Project Grant Award Recipients
Updated May 11, 2015 7:45 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The City of Bloomington Arts Commission announces the recipients of its 2015 Art Project grants. 23 organizations in the Bloomington community submitted grant applications for arts programs and were evaluated in three categories: artistic quality, community impact and organizational capacity.

Out of the 23 applicants, 18 organizations were granted funding during the 2015 cycle. Grants are made for arts activities that align with current areas of focus of the Arts Commission: to cultivate a community in which residents appreciate the value of personal and collective artistic activity, to encourage collaboration in and diversification of artistic activities that include participants from across the community, to enhance and support a high level of artistry and to support the economic vitality and interests of local artists and arts organizations.

The following 18 organizations were granted funding:

WonderLab: awarded $1,215 to support three months of the Science of Art Series in the summer of 2015. Science of Art explores connections between art and science by showcasing local artists at work and providing hands-on art activities that promote creativity and understanding of the science behind the artistic process.

Bloomington Open Studios: awarded $1,218 for the 2015 Bloomington Open Studios Tour. The Bloomington Open Studios tour is a weekend-long event that will run from June 5 - 7. Forty-five local visual artists will invite the public into their studio workspaces to share their creative environment..

Bloomington Chamber Singers: awarded $1,164 for the Bloomington Chamber Singers' 2015-2016 Concert Season. The fall 2015 concert will feature works from the Baroque Period, particularly those of Heinrich Sch├╝tz, a 17th century German composer considered the most influential predecessor to Johann Sebastian Bach. The Chamber Singers will hold their annual December Messiah Sing followed by their Spring 2016 concert, featuring Mozart's Requiem as the anchor work and paired with contrasting/complementary contemporary choral works by world-renowned composers from the IU Jacobs School of Music faculty.

Bloomington PRIDE, Ltd.: awarded $1,260 for the three-day Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival. Now in its 12th year, the PRIDE Film Festival celebrates the culture and arts of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

Buskirk-Chumley Theater: awarded $1,145 for the Buskirk-Chumley Theater's Movie Partner Project, which supports the work of local filmmakers and presenters to grow Bloomington's film culture.

Artisan Guilds of Bloomington: awarded $1,059 for live music to support their Second Annual Holiday Show and Sale at the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center on Nov. 6 - 7.

Bloomington Playwrights Projects: awarded $1,205 for the MiniPlay Playwriting Contest. MiniPlay engages students in grades 2 - 8 in the creation of new theatre directly in the classroom.

Middle Coast Film Festival: awarded $1,077 to support year two of this new international film festival. Middle Coast Film Festival will provide access to both filmmakers and film audiences through multi-day screenings of highly anticipated international and national short and feature films, web-based episodes and music videos at four separate venues in Bloomington through the month of July.

Bloomington Symphony Orchestra: awarded $1,214 for the performance "Poetic License," a concert featuring Beethoven's "Romance No. 2," Barber's "Second Essay" and Liszt's symphonic poem "Les Preludes," plus a newly-commissioned work by Bloomington composer Benjamin Dean Taylor. The concert will be presented in collaboration with the Writers Guild.

Writers Guild at Bloomington: awarded $1,141 to go towards the Spoken Word Stage at the Fourth Street Festival. The stage showcases family-friendly individual and group performances in literary and oral traditions, as well as musical and theatrical collaborations by more than 50 local and regional artists. The stage is free and open to the public.

Carlson-Palmer Productions: awarded $851 for their production of "Sing Me A Story - Great Literature and Epic Talks in Broadway and Opera" on Sunday, July 26, at Fairview United Methodist Church. The musical selections are sourced from Greco-Roman mythology and other legends, Beaumarchais, Scott and Shakespeare.

Boys and Girls Club of Monroe County: awarded $485 to paint two murals in the Crestmont Neighborhood in collaboration with Bloomington Housing Authority and Mother Hubbard's Cupboard (the Hub). The Hub is conducting the contest, for which community volunteers will submit designs. Teen members at the Boys and Girls Club will assist with painting the selected mural designs.

Friends of Sophia Travis: awarded $1,137 for a memorial project to honor Sophia Travis, a dedicated public servant, a talented artist and musician and a devoted mother and friend. The Sophia Travis Memorial Plaza will be a civic space on the Monroe County Courthouse Square that reflects Sophia's values through Dale Enochs' artistic abilities.

Lotus Education & Arts Foundation: awarded $1,284 to go toward the Lotus Arts Village: Celebrating the Harvest - Food + Culture, a block-long collection of vibrant and engaging displays, demonstration, exhibitions, installations, performances and collaborative art-making activities. The Arts Village will take place during Friday and Saturday evenings of the Lotus Festival, Sept. 25 - 26.

Friends of Monroe County Public Library: awarded $1,261 for their event "Power of Words: Changing the World One Author at a Time." On Sept. 21, Congressman John Lewis, civil rights icon and last remaining member of the "Big Six" civil rights leaders, with his co-author Andrew Aydin and illustrator Nate Powell will present two "Power of Words" talks about their graphic novels at the Indiana University Auditorium.

Trailer Fest Film Festival: awarded $1,077 for the Trailer Fest Film Festival that will be held at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater on Nov. 8. The Trailer Fest Film Festival will feature a curated collection of mock movie or television trailers that use superb storytelling and a 3-minute time limit to tell an effective story.

Musical Arts Youth Orchestra: awarded $978 to offer violin classes to Lincoln Street and Crestmont Boys and Girls Club members. This project will introduce participants to string playing in a pedagogically and developmentally appropriate way, while also promoting life skills such as attention, responsibility, perseverance and creativity.

Bloomington Boogies: awarded $1,143 for the Bloomington Blues and Boogie-Woogie Piano Festival in August. The festival will showcase notable blues and boogie-woogie pianists at events at Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center, Bloomington Boogies After Hours, a dance class prior to the festival, live music outside the Waldron and performances for students and the public at Fairview Elementary School.

"Notable amongst this year's recipients were a large number of new film-related projects," noted Jan Grant, chair of the Arts Commission. "Based on the number of high-quality projects we saw in the area of film, it's clear that there's a growing number of Bloomington artists working in the discipline doing compelling work. We're delighted that the Arts Commission could help support some of these efforts and grow this segment of our arts economy."

The Arts Project Grant program is another effort under the City's strategy to leverage and expand the economic development potential of the arts in Bloomington. According to the 2012 Americans for the Arts study, Arts and Economic Prosperity IV, Bloomington's nonprofit arts sector contributes $72.3 million to the local economy annually through direct spending by arts organizations and their audiences. For more information on the study visit

The next cycle of applications for Arts Project Grants will be in 2016. For more information on the Bloomington Arts Commission or its grant program, visit or contact Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts Miah Michaelsen at or 812.349.3534.

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