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IAC > About the Commission > Message from the Executive Director Message from the Executive Director

Honoring the history and envisioning the future of the arts in Indiana     

Summer is upon us. For many, the school year is ending or about to end. For the Indiana Arts Commission it not only means the end of our fiscal year, but it also means we are truly celebrating our 50th anniversary as a state agency.

We officially started celebrating our 50th with the Governor's Arts Awards event held April 9 at the Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University in Indianapolis. The awards presentation, the 21st such biennial recognition of outstanding contributions to and achievements in the arts, was also a signature event celebrating the Indiana Bicentennial.

In honor of our 50th anniversary, a special video was produced by a very creative team at Think Ahead Studios. Indiana Poet Laureate Shari Wagner composed an original poem for the video recognizing the importance the arts play in all of our lives. The poem was recited by 2016 Indiana State Poetry Out Loud Champion Grace Milligan, with original music composed by Butler student Timothy Carlos. You can watch the video by clicking here.

Think Ahead Studios also produced very creative introductory videos for each of our six awardees, The American Pianists Association; cartoonist Jim Davis and Paws, Inc.; singer, songwriter and producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds; philanthropists and art collectors Robert and Ellen Haan; choreographer David Hochoy and Dance Kaleidoscope; and legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery. The folks at Think Ahead Studios are but a sample of the gifted talent driving the creative industries of our state.

Our award recipients reflect a spectrum of Indiana's cultural past, present and future, making a very fitting way to celebrate our state's bicentennial and our own anniversary of making the arts happen in Indiana.   

In coming weeks and months, we will also be sharing with you exciting news about the current impact the arts have in our state, as well as mapping out the future for the arts in our strategic planning process. It has been an amazing 50 years, but I think the best is yet to come. 

All the best,

Lewis