(Indianapolis, Indiana) - The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) and Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD) today announced plans for an official public celebration of the community's designation as a state-certified cultural district.
Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District will host the official public launch of the program at 10:30 a.m. (EDT) on Saturday, September 4 to help kick-off the annual Fourth Street Festival of Arts & Crafts.
Local leaders will read a proclamation from Governor Mitch Daniels. State legislators and other community leaders are also expected to take part in the celebration. Representing the IAC at the event will be former IAC Commissioner Sandra Clark of Bloomington, and IAC Executive Director Lewis C. Ricci.
"The community of Bloomington has embraced the spirit of the Cultural District initiative by making this public event part of their Fourth Street Festival," said Lewis C. Ricci, executive director of the Indiana Arts Commission. "The Cultural District designation can be a useful tool in marketing and promoting the communities as creative, energetic, and desirable places to live and work."
The Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District was among three named early this year as official state-certified Cultural Districts under a non-funded initiative passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2008. The other communities selected during the inaugural certification were Carmel Arts & Design District, and the Tippecanoe Arts and Cultural District in Lafayette and West Lafayette. Carmel Arts & Design District and Tippecanoe Arts and Cultural District held official public celebrations.
"We're delighted to be in the IAC's first class of cultural districts," said Miah Michaelsen, Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts for the City of Bloomington. "We look forward to working with the IAC and the other two districts to advance cultural development statewide, and the Fourth Street Festival, a BEAD anchor event, is the ideal location to officially announce this designation. The festival, with its 40,000 attendees annually, is the perfect blend of culture and commerce and a great example of how cultural district development can enhance a community."
Indiana's cultural district development program was initiated in 2008 by legislation authorizing the IAC to develop criteria and certification process. The goal of the program is to provide communities of all sizes with a tool for marketing, promoting and potentially leveraging resources through various partnerships centered on the arts, culture and quality of life.
For more information about the Cultural Districts project, visit the IAC website at www.in.gov/arts.
On behalf of the people of Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission advocates engagement with the arts to enrich the quality of individual and community life.
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