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Part I Arts Forward Bloomington Candidate Forum Sept. 17, 2019


profit that operates the Buskirk Chumley
theater and I am one part one small part of arts forward Bloomington which is a
new local collective of arts advocates and involvement in arts forward
Bloomington I want to make sure everyone knows is free and open to the public we
are literally a group of people who want to get together and solve problems and
take opportunity take advantage of opportunities that present themselves to
the Arts so if you are one of those people who likes to get things done we
want your involvement our plan is to get together four times a year have a guided
discussion about some issue or opportunity that is present in the
community determine something that should get done about that and form a
task force and do it so if you want to do that please sign up on the signup
sheet at the door I want to remind everyone as well that Katz is filming
tonight’s performance if you want to call it that soft puppets is for the
Late Show and the order of our candidates on speeches here this evening
has been randomized right so we picked them out of a hat to develop the order
in which they are speaking but tonight’s event is an attempt to offer an
opportunity for us to get to know our City Council members and our city
officials better and for those who are still in the running for a contested
seat for you to have an opportunity to hear differences of opinion that might
exist I have prepared as a beginning for the
tonight’s show I keep you’ll forgive me a document that you
found on the table as you walked in that attempts to summarize and put together
all in one place what the city’s expenditures for the arts and programs
around the arts as they currently exist now I’m sure that there are elements of
funding from the city side of things that aren’t present in this number staff
time etc but this is a beginning place and I thought a very important point for
us to start off on so just to briefly go through that the city’s investment in
the arts stems from the idea that support of the Arts is one of many
strategies that are utilized by the city to help create Bloomington as one of the
nation’s best places to live best places to raise a family and a best place to
start build and relocate a business so the areas of funding fall into five
basic categories the Department of Economic and sustainable development
through the position of the assistant director for the Arts Shaun starlet’s is
in here somewhere and maintains that position in an excellent way and that
department deals with things like marketing the arts public arts research
that benefits all of us and advisement and assistance that benefit all of the
arts groups in the community that the 2020 general fund budget request by that
department is two hundred thousand nine hundred and sixty dollars and that does
not include the 1% for the Arts program which is a whopping 330 thousand three
hundred dollars in the coming year because we have multiple building
projects that are going on right now there’s the Bloomington area art or the
Bloomington arts come which offers annual grants and for this
past year and the coming year there’s a $40,000 request in the budget that is
distributed in a maximum of five thousand dollar grants there’s a
Bloomington Urban Enterprise Zone grants which also has forty thousand dollars
budget and here distributed as a maximum of four thousand dollar grants there’s
also then Bloomington parks and recreations programming arm that
includes things like affair of the Arts the Holiday Market coffee and canvas as
well as the other things that are listed here and what we all might recognize
most frequently is the Performing Arts series that happens at People’s Park
Bryan Park or Annie Butler park and Waldron Hill Buskirk Park bands and
other performances that happen there and the general fund budget for that which
covers supplies and staff time is thirty four thousand three hundred and fifty
three dollars and then the sponsored artist programs which are programmed by
Parks and Rec but actually paid for by businesses in the community and some
individuals in the community who pay the artist fees for those events and then
there’s the bus Kirk Chumley theater which many of you know has over 200
public events a year he represents 72 different presenting organizations on
stage or screen and another twenty that are helped through the BCT box office
about 3,500 artists served on stage and screen and sixty four thousand annual
patron visits and the city support budget for the bus Kirk Chumley theater
is fifteen thousand dollars for maintenance of an eight and a half
million dollar building or so programming support from the city
council budget of fifty-five thousand of our total budget and about 25% of our
tributed income and potential annual support from tiff eligible projects that
would generate new capacity growth or development for the building all this
gathered together brings us to a total to the expenditure proposed for the 2020
budget of 773 thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight dollars so as far as we
knew this that type of number had not been compiled and put in any one place
before so this was one of the first steps of this of putting this project
together and like I say any mistakes or inaccuracies that are represented here
are purely my own I did ask for help from Shawn starlets and from Becky
barrack and the Parks and Recreation Department and putting together those
numbers but we may discover other things that were not included so as a point of
reference we’re going to make sure that everyone realized that there are
departments already in existence that are supporting and helping the arts on
an ongoing basis and City Council and our other elected officials have only
specific roles that they can play in supporting the arts so we want to
encourage everyone if you did not pick up a question card when you walked in to
get one at this point and you can write down questions and we will ask the
candidates during the Q&A section we are going to have the candidates each speak
for up to five minutes and hey oldest sitting right here in the
front for the candidates is going to be your timekeeper and she will give you a
nice little wave at four minutes to make sure that you don’t go over so in that
case given that scenario we are going to
start out with Matt clarity who is running for will say that for everyone
running for council at large and that I’ll leave the mic to you sure thank you
so much Danielle for helping to organize this with arts forward Bloomington I
didn’t realize it was such a new organization as well as that’s awesome
coalition of folks coming together to get things done and thank you everyone
for being here tonight I think this is a really important community conversation
to have so I’m glad it’s part of this schedule that people running for office
go through by way of introduction I’m 34 years old
I’ve lived in Bloomington for 10 years now I’m a graduate of the Mauer School
of Law it’s how I first came to Bloomington I used to practice
intellectual property law in Chicago but didn’t find private practice life the
most fulfilling and wanted to head the new direction that brought me back to
Bloomington and ultimately back to school at SPEA now called O’Neil where I
study climate energy policy I’m finishing two masters degrees there this
year and had planned to join government or a non-profit working but then decided
to run for council so here I am I will be joining the City Council as one of
the at three at-large members come January by virtue of having won a
primary election and then the fact that the at-large race is uncontested this
fall so I’ve been involved in the arts my whole life I painted and drew all
through grade school and high school and got involved eventually in musical
theater as well as involved heavily in high school and college helped found a
theatre company in college even in law school I joined the law and Drama
Society which is the only student organization that Maur I believe that
has nothing to do with law and nothing to do with advancing your career we just
like to put on plays so I got to act I’ve got to direct to play actually it
was my sole territorial experience and then also just as a musician I play
piano and guitar and a few other things and still enjoy doing that so less
active as a participant in the arts and now more as a patron the older I get and
have really enjoyed the cultural and artistic scene here in Bloomington
that’s part of what brought me back here after living in Chicago and really enjoy
all our local shows at venues around town as well as the excellent operas
symphonic at work and theater that we have I was a beneficiary of Cardinal
stages very first nest generation which was super cool and then helped me that
forward of my wife to the next generation of nest generation and that
was great also it’s my first red feather bash this
is that name right this this year which is great I say all this to convey that
the arts are really important to me they’ve been central to my life
throughout my whole life and I want to do whatever I can on city council to
help support the Arts I think the cultural and artistic scene we have in
Bloomington is second to none for our community of this size you talk to
people all the time we retired to Bloomington simply for our Arts so I do
want to address directly the three questions that were posed to all of us
candidates and the first is what should city governments role and
responsibilities be in supporting both economically and otherwise the arts and
arts organizations and I just sort of spoke to this but I think it’s playing
the arts have a very positive social benefit this is something that left to
just private markets and individuals will be under provided there’s a an
intangible and really strong economic value to the arts that we simply can’t
rely on private entities to provide we Danielle just spoke to all the free
programming and concerts we have those are open to everybody it enhances
quality of life and civic life for everyone here in Bloomington so I think
it’s really important not only for philanthropy to play a role but also for
public support to play a role in that so certainly things like 1% for the Arts
very supportive of that I think it’s great that we incorporate that into all
of our projects that the city is involved in and yeah I just think it’s
really central to Bloomington’s future vitality it is is our quality of place
and really as an economic development strategy the arts are crucial so very
much the supporter in my specific role on city council where would I be
focusing my efforts to grow and/or change the city’s current arts of
and I had a everything Sean’s a friend of mine and we’ve talked about this
stuff a bit before and then I had a really good conversation with great folk
Lego recently as well who’s on the Arts Commission and we talked a bit about the
the Grants Program which has recently doubled by council this year from 20,000
to 40,000 to kind of keep up with the times he was great
very supportive of that glad that they were able to now incorporate operating
expenses as part of the grants program which i think is really crucial
nonprofits in particular a lot of times are able to get grants or donations for
projects but not for operations so it’s really important to include that it
sounds like there’s some really positive movement and in that space with with the
grants Committee as well as I believe Shawn in the in the city budget has
tried to or or is planning to attack back to inflation so it’ll automatically
and Graysville have to come back five ten years from now and say hey 40k
doesn’t go as far as it used to so that’s really great you know I gather
talking to Rachel as well that another way the city can support of course is
through public-private partnerships that have to do with venues and spaces and
that maybe we’re lacking a sort of mid sized space right now in the 300 ish
ceded range and it did the extent that we can pursue public-private
partnerships to make that available to our whole arts community I think that
would be really positive and then the final things I would say as a council
member where I look to improve things is if we can remove code barriers or create
other incentives like live-work spaces that would help the arts community so
the New York Council to have a role to play in that I’m all yours and excited
to learn from you all it was part of what I ran on as a candidate is holding
multiple public meetings a month which I absolutely will be doing public meetings
both on IU’s campus and in the city to listen and learn and work on
collaborative solutions together I’m about out of time so I’ll say the final
question having the arts community best support your efforts and I wanted to say
that I think the arts at their very highest calling help effect positive
social change they change minds they change hearts they’re emotive and can
move people in a way that words or facts or data can’t so whether it’s drawing
attention to youth or mass incarceration or
housing and justices are climbing and justices I think all these are
integrated with the arts and that’s how I see the arts community being able to
help create a more just and equitable Bloomington for everyone so I would just
call on the arts community to help us in that mission and that’s my time I think
thank you and next we have Ron Smith in district 3 you did put me after bad that’s a hard act to follow
nice job man so I tried to address the questions that we received and I looked
at trying to think about how the city has supported the arts city government
should and does play a role in fostering arts it’s a driver for tourism it means
business or the restaurants and shops around the square according to the 2012
Americans for the art study Bloomington’s nonprofit arts sector
contributes about seventy two million dollars to this area and that is an
incredible amount of money and look look at the wonderful things we have around
here partly because of the taxes and the fees that that help support the city and
part of it is all due to y’all they’re involved in arts on another level arts
helps us as human beings feel human joy sorrow love and pain it transports us to
another place shows us empathy and wonder and helps people feel happy here
and in general Bloomington is a pretty gosh start a good place the city of
Bloomington promotes the Arts the city can meet Bloomington Bloomington Arts
Commission last year awarded 17 local organizations as art
project grants Danielle mentioned that Matt mentioned that grants to help
stimulate grow arts organizations such as artisan Ally Bloomington songs when
can create a glass and many more that you all enjoy it gives a city gives it a
web presence space on buildings arts the guitar to help support the busker
Chumlee gives you space at the city building and
it helps to grow arts organizations by having a director of economic and
sustainable development arts it has a database for artists it does a lot of
really great things and we live in a bubble here kind of just go to the local
towns and cities around and you’ll see that Bloomington and we’re very
fortunate to have a very supportive city for for the Arts here city of
Bloomington supports the Arts economically you see that yeah it was
great Danielle gave me some information there seven hundred and some thousand
dollars a year in total I didn’t I had no idea it was that much city council
doubled some of the grant funding to forty thousand in if I if I am elected
to District three there’s no doubt I’m going to support the Arts I continuously
come to Cardinal stage I go to the bus Kirk Chumley I go to a creative glass I
do everything I can think of here because it’s so enriching to do those
things the next part of the question was something about your specific role if
I’m elected I would pretty much continue to support all these wonderful efforts I
don’t like the focus some of my efforts on making sure the bus Kurt Chumlee has
maintenance funds to replace some of the equipment some of the electricity some
of the sound systems and you know I did ask Danielle about this a
few weeks ago because I was trying to do my homework to make sure I knew what I
was talking about here and that makes a lot of sense something that we don’t we
all don’t know it’s behind the scenes we don’t all know that I also think that as
a city council member I would try this for public art I think public art is
fantastic how about the fork and spoon at the City Market those things enrich
us we see them and it makes us smile I would be really happy to support more
public art in Bloomington and the last part of it is how the arts community can
best support your efforts I guess that’s me
well I I work for area 10 so I work with older people who are sick older people
who don’t have as much ability to walk around and move around so the artists
community to me to help with my mission in life could help by reaching out to
this community making some events free for those who are income eligible and I
know you do anyway advocating for city transportation to
bring people to the Buskirk tumbler to bring people downtown when there’s when
those events are going on let’s be specific about it let’s target those
that transportation the city can do it and they’re revamping the way that the
transportation system is targeting so let’s do that it’s time and the last one
is making participation in the arts accessible for people who use
wheelchairs so thank you hi everybody it’s good to be with you
tonight I’m Steve scam Mallory I’m seeking the opportunity to serve my
neighbor’s son Bloomington’s Northside as City Council representative for
district 2 most of us have been on several panels is this season this
campaign season and you’ll always see some common things we always think the
people who are putting on the forum and we always do our prep work and have our
notes ahead of time this was by far the most for fun forum for me to prepare for
so I got to thinking about the thank you thank you darts for word for planning
the forum but I got to thinking about what else you all do and I thought thank
you for making me laugh Bloomington playwrights project why are you thank
you for thank you for beating a dead horse when the door opened and on yay
music played for the work I Carden stage where you Cardinal friends you have
brought me to tears you have brought us to tears bill W and dr. Bob haunts me to
this day cheers Theater of Bloomington any
friends here for that thank you for being here he’ll burn in Johnston taught
me about reminded me to think about the people I’m this who have gone before me
so thank you for that picture gallery Thank You Martha and David for indulging
me in giving me a chance to adult my love of animals with the exhibit from
Tanzania jaw-dropping jaw-dropping the lion love that one
Bloomington glass guild you give me something to look forward to every
single year with the pumpkin patch and anything I can do to get a preview
before the preview of I would like to pursue that if we can
please let’s talk after City Council’s role
certainly it’s financial support you’ve already heard about a lot of the things
in Daniel this is excellent thank you for this my hope is the press picks this
up too because I think this is fascinating I really enjoyed the
opportunity to work on some projects related to that many of you know I’m a
redevelopment Commissioner for the city of Bloomington and so as the dimensional
came together we had a chance to think about public art and how that would
enrich the environment and that was truly a thrill
we also some of our funding and our tip funding in particular goes for the bus
car Chumley theater and for new and improved new and improved features of
that theater which is just a crown jewel of downtown so I think those
opportunities for financial support are there certainly I think city
government’s role also is to provide some guiding principles I don’t ever
want to see us lose 1% for the Arts and maybe that’ll be 2 percent and more but
I think building a community we treasure is is a requires consistent effort it
can’t be one program it can’t be one particular effort so seeing that
sustained over time I think it’s very important the notion of growing and
changing support for the Arts I think is a really interesting discussion Sean and
I actually talked a little bit about the idea of an inventory of public art and I
think whatever City Council can do to invest in that and sustain that as
important not because an inventory is an end in itself but because I think that’s
a planning tool and I think governing is all about deciding what to do with
resources and I think preserving creating an environment is one thing
preserving and enhancing it over time is another so I think that’s one tool that
we need to support to ensure that we could do that going forward I think two
is interesting it would be interesting to look at how the arts function fits
into economic and sustainable development in the city and how well
that works and how that can be improved and enhanced I have a great deal of
respect for that office I know the individuals who work
it and I collaborated with all of them on one thing or another but I think it’s
an opportunity to make sure revisit it make sure that everyone is getting every
areas getting the attention it needs in that particular area
those of you who know me well know that I’m a fundraiser for IU I raise money
for the University and the College of Arts and Sciences I think it would be
really interesting to pursue the creation of a really robust Arts
Foundation but allow the Parks Foundation to give people an opportunity
to express their philanthropic interests for this I don’t think it’s so much
about how we divide up the pie I think it’s growing the pie that needs to be
part of the conversation as well so I think an arts foundation can do that
beyond that how you can be of help to those of us on council or at least to me
please continue to have a dialogue with us on economic impact gave made a
comment at the hearings on the 4th Street Garage and talked about how
patrons had to circle and they had to delay curtain times because patrons had
nowhere to park and that was a very compelling statement
at that particular here when the arts community shows up its persuasive in
those kind of settings so please do that please help us think through economic
and sustainable development and arts place within that so I think those are
some opportunities we have to work together it you make Bloomington a place
we all treasure and I would be honored to work with you all on that so thanks well I will do the honor of the same
thinking everyone and having my notes and formality fun fact everyone always
wants to learn something new every day so fun fact three of us up here went to
the same high school and I went there before they did so so we so I am a
transplant here I went to school here and I left South to SPEA now um you know
and then I went and went back to get a postgraduate in speed up at IUPUI while
they’re in nonprofit management with SCI conservation and philanthropic studies
so I understand the struggles of the fundraising and of trying to get the
necessary funds for yards because I worked for the Indiana Humanities a
spirit Indian Humanities Council and I was Indian humanities and we worked
closely with the Indiana Arts Commission and I got a really rich experience of
what that means in Indiana and it’s not easy it’s not easy especially as schools
focus on stem and we need to be focusing on steam instead of bringing the arts
back in how you know how do we engage with each other as to the arts its to
the humanities literally it’s in the name it’s we are humans it’s how we
interact is how we communicate with each other so you know from my standpoint yes
I also frequent our arts but as a as a city government for all especially as
the council you know it’s their responsibility to fill the gaps it’s in
the can enhance arts education it’s to provide the ability for individuals like
yourselves to present your work and in 2012
the National Endowment of the Arts reported that there was a nine to one
ratio would return on investment on money awarded to an arts organization to
the contributions and earn revenue so if you think about that you know if the
city is giving seven hundred seventy three thousand an hour twenty eight
dollars in terms of for the arts a nine to one ratio is six point nine seven
million in additional contributions and earn revenue which is fantastic but that
means to be bigger we are growing as a city we the city
itself needs to understand that as well and that needs to also within that needs
to go and grow in terms of inflation of costs and enhancing our entertainment
and Arts District along the way in my specific role so this I trying to do
some research on this too and I think and I found the 2015 public park master
plan the city put forward and while it identified seven objective and
aspirations for public art there was one main component collaboration
collaboration collaboration and that was private interdepartmental in the city
individual that’s why I say private I mean a company and individual so on the
City Council I would be that driving force for those collaborations City
Council with with departments in the cities myself with a a city council
member and local contributors and corporations to to enhance our arts you
know I think to Sue’s point an inventory of public art that follows it’s a great
idea and that actually falls into the state of the Arts report that that’s
supposed to be an outcome of the master plan I couldn’t find one not saying
there isn’t one I couldn’t find it so maybe that is our next step that’s one
of our next steps but collaboration is going to be extremely important for us
as a community to enhance our arts and then finally you know how can arts can
best part with your efforts well for me it’s continues to be your thing why do
why should we get in your way we shouldn’t you all are the experts you
are the ones that have the creative minds we’re the ones that are supposed
to uplift you we’re supposed to provide you a platform to be able to express
ourselves and like I said earlier you know the arts and humanities are tied
when we communicate to each other through our expressions through a
performance art through things that can’t talk like things like what you
find in here is the heart work in sculptures you know we have world music
concerts and educational opportunities and we just we as a city we need to do
more for you thank you good evening I’m Isabel Piedmont Smith I serve on the
City Council to represent district 5 and I’m also I suppose fortunate to not have
an opponent in the November election and there won’t be an election in district 5
so I am Bloomington native I was born and raised here my parents immigrated
from Germany in the 1960s and I have worked in the Department of French and
Italian at Indiana University for 23 years so very much in favor of the
humanities and I want to thank sue for raising money for us I considered myself
very lucky that my parents valued the arts and they instilled a love for the
Arts in me from an early age even though I must admit to not wanting to practice
the piano when I first started and being grouchy about that but I learned piano
ballet violin I was the bell choir at st. Charles I was in the university
children’s choir under the incomparable leadership of Mary get see my parents
dragged me to the Opera for which I have developed a grudging appreciation I went
eagerly with them to the theatre even as an adult I love the artists
employment and I’m so grateful to all of you and to all the organizations who
represent all the individual artists for contributing to what makes Bloomington
such a wonderful community so first question what should the city
government’s role and responsibilities be in supporting the arts so I think
local governments role should be to coordinate to encourage and to
financially support the arts the city is in a good position to bring artists and
arts organizations together for collaboration as Nick said projects and
also to offer training and management and fundraising skills the city can and
should welcome artists and arts organizations to participate in cultural
advance the city sponsors and to exhibit art in all city spaces finally the city
should and it does provide grant funds to support a wide variety of artists and
art forms in addition to the current grants program the city should continue
to provide spaces for art and to pay artists to produce that art the city can
also play an important role in marketing Bloomington’s arts community and has
done so through the bloomington entertainment and arts district in
collaboration with the Indiana Arts Council visit Bloomington and other
organizations um the city can provide venues for art as I said including those
one percent for the art spaces that have already been mentioned space inside city
buildings we last year I think unveiled some art in the city of Bloomington
utilities building for the first time and also as part of the Gateway
entrances to Bloomington that were part of our Bicentennial bonds that were
issued last year the thirty-five thousand dollar contribution to the bus
curb tell me theater is as mentioned actually part of the City Council budget
so we’re very pleased to support the BCT in that way question two in your
specific role where will you be focusing your efforts again as others have said I
would not change a lot unless you all brought me concerns and said hey there’s
a better way to spend our time and money in the city and do things a little bit
differently I think we have great opportunities
ahead of us with the expansion of the Convention Center to create spaces
inside the center that are conducive to all kinds of arts expression and also to
provide areas to display both inside and outside the Convention Center for local
artists with the redevelopment of the hospital site we also have another great
opportunity to incorporate arts and I feel strongly that there should be a
community center as part of the redevelopment which would have a
component for senior programming and also component for arts programming and
of course those overlap and they should overlap one minute okay one more
question in one minute how can the arts community best support your efforts well
I came into local government due to my concerns about land use and its impact
on the environment not as a scientist but as someone who has seen you know the
green space in my hometown slowly disappear be replaced by strip malls
since the intergovernmental panel on climate change came out with its newest
findings of October 2018 I’ve been particularly focused on how Bloomington
can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and get to Navis zero emissions by 2050
comments I made about this fierce urgency during the city’s budget
hearings in August were misinterpreted as a suggestion to decrease funding for
the Arts the comments I made were asked to the relative existential importance
of efforts towards the dress and climate change these are the efforts to expand
city art programs I fully support our arts community and have no intention of
reducing arts funding what I learned through the conversations that follow to
the city budget hearings is that the arts can assist with getting the message
out about climate change and that the arts are particularly important in these
current times of repeated environmental and some would say political disasters
the arts celebrate and uplift the human spirit and we need all the more we need
them all the morgan times when climate catastrophe threatens so thank you very
much thank you all for coming this evening
sorry I’m not used to holding a microphone I’m not a performer visible
soon learn I’d like to thank all of you for coming here this evening and for
everyone watching at caps for being gauged in our community in this way but
I also like to think Danielle and our support Bloomington for hosting one
could very well be the only candidate forum of the 2019 general election I
think events like these are crucial for our democracy here locally and beyond
and I also like to thank the Walton Arts Center posting this event and for all
the work that they and arts for Bloomington do to support the arts and
artists in our community unlike Matt I’m not creatively inclined
in any way shape or form but I’m a patron of the Arts you will find me
often times at Cardinal stage specifically the Performing Arts
Cardinal stage the busker Chumley of course I go to almost all the operas
with my grandmother at the IU theatres she loves them very much she loves
coming down here for those we try to make it a treat every time she does when
one thinks of Bloomington you think of all the familiar adjectives quirky weird
artsy the arts community of Bloomington are literally inseparable you cannot
have one without the other and the city’s involvement in supporting
promoting and appreciating the arts is key to maintaining this part of our
community identity the arts no matter the medium are an important part of the
human spirit and of development public funding for the Arts serves three main
purposes in my view firstly it provides art in public spaces that enhances the
quality of life and ambiance of those specific areas take for example the new
mural in people’s Park that truly helped transform that space from something that
hardly resembled a park to an area that is more welcoming more community
oriented and of course more attractive such improvements help enhance traffic
to these areas and still a sense of pride in our community and provide
economic benefit as well people are more likely to spend more time and more money
in areas that are more attractive and public art plays a crucial role secondly
public art helps provide parts of those who may be marginalized in our community
art is a crucial part of any child’s development and my view is a critical
part of the adult experience unlike some others I have not grown up with art in
my life in my early childhood my family simply couldn’t afford to do things like
operas and art shows and museums and I missed out on that part of my life and
that’s why I think even now I have trouble drawing you in a straight line
or have trouble even trying to play the most simple of instruments providing
accessible opportunities to observe and appreciate art whether it’s a musical
theatre experience a public sculpture or a mural help support those of us who may
be unable to afford to travel outside of our community for these things or pay
the cost of attending a performance or Museum and this is where public art
fills the void thirdly publicly funded art shows the art community that the
community at large appreciates them and their craft not every person is made to
work in an office and we must feel appreciation to the artists in our
community not just those who work in tech or a biomedical production we focus
so much on the trade sister and other economic growth opportunities though it
may sometimes forget the segments of our population that provides us with art
with our culture and with our porkiness public art is the method by which we
invest in the arts community these three key benefits not to mention the
countless others they do not have the time to mention up here that persuaded
me to support public art funding by the city not only can we support the artists
through direct financial support but making sure the arts are continually
welcome here in Bloomington part of this is made for the various programs art
fairs and performances at public stages to utilize programs had public space to
utilize their programs at little to no cost amphitheaters performing stages and
plazas are important to connect the public to the arts community and the
public to itself if I’m so blessed to be elected to the City Council my focus on
public art will send the most if not all projects that come before the City
Council there’s a lot of opportunity to work with private developers and
landowners to establish more public art and more public space for our
performances in Bloomington future development projects part of this was
called for in the arts master plan of 2015 additionally I think it’s important
to make sure that all neighborhoods in Bloomington benefit from the Arts I
would like to in Vitoria be completed of all public art and public spaces within
Bloomington to determine what investment in these areas is lacking
where you are born our community should not also dictate your access to art or
our culture I’d also like to work with the Bloomington Arts Commission to
establish a yearly report to the City Council on the status of artists in
Bloomington part of which would be to update that inventory update the council
on bead and propose the council future opportunities for artistic development
in Bloomington and of course my metaphorical door will always be open
those who would talk about these issues important to them to their community and
to their livelihood as we go through this election the arts community can
best support my efforts by doing stuff exactly like this there’s a lot that I
and everyone else up here does not know educating myself and other candidates
and public officials on issues important to you is a crucial part of our
democracy I’m always willing to listen and to learn more and individuals like
you and groups like Danielle and arts for blue or Clinton are key to us all
learning more to be better equipped to serve you all again I like to thank you
for this opportunity I look forward to working with you all in the future thank
you whose place of my just I feel like the understudy tonight so my name is
Steve Boland I am the 6th district representative to the City Council I
serve since 2004 you are in the 6th district right now it represents the the
centermost district of the city it’s the only district doesn’t touch one of the
edges so for about 17th Street to first from about Roger Street is to the
western half of the campus so there are a lot of students for example in my
district they don’t know we exist they don’t know that the City Council votes
on things every week that affects their daily lives that’s a story for other
night we didn’t talk about the Arts one of the questions that I didn’t know was
hanging on the back of my head is why why are the arts so important to a
community it seems self-evident but I just finished it
in human geography master’s degree at IU and I just wrote a thesis about how
cities and campuses work and why and it occurs to me that well let me first
introduce you to an idea the sociologist named Ray Goldenberg you’ve heard of the
notion of the third place third places are not home and they’re not work they
are as he says the irregular they host the regular voluntary informal and
happily anticipated gatherings of individuals beyond the realms of home or
work they aren’t just the bar the church hall the coffee shop the barber shop is
the hair salon they’re also I mean these are these
places that make are the heart of a community social vitality and the key
thing that they do is they engender conversation well so does the theater so
does the Art Gallery so does the street fair that’s why the arts are so
important to a community because that’s where civic life thrives where there is
conversation where conversation is engendered if there is a reason why I
support the arts is because that is what makes a healthy City that makes a city
that I want to live in that makes a city that all of us want to live in it’s no
accident that Bloomington is the second most popular tourist destination in the
state of Indiana after Indianapolis because there is a lot happening here
but who operates on Eliza’s that is it just because we have a university here
no I was at the beginning of the founding of WF HB I’ve been in DG on it
since we went on the air I was at the beginning of the founding of the Lotus
festival I held with the first year I was on the board of directors for the
first six years I’ve been an emcee every year and I’ll be seeing you in a couple
of weeks out of the tent at sixth Street introducing acts that will make you
dance around I have done these things because they are not just you
good for the community but they’re there they engender that conversation that I
thrive on so of course I am supportive of the arts in fact by doing some math
tonight looking at the number that Daniel came up with let $770,000 I’m not
sure why it is that we aren’t pursuing one percent for the arts across the
entire city budget in other words one thing to get one percent out of a
developer’s project one time but maybe we should bumpy that the city budget now
is more than ninety million dollars they should be bumped up to at least the one
percent that that would match and if we count the Utilities Department the
budgets like one hundred thirty thousand thirty million so there should be
actually that’s yes we should be open to one point something million dollar range
if we’re funding of the Arts quality of life is a form of Economic Development
if not one of the most important forms one of the things that I’ve been think
has been missing in Bloomington for a long time as a venue of a thermo
Performing Arts perspective is a venue between the bus Kirk Chumley and the IU
Auditorium we don’t have a good thousand fifteen hundred seat venue here which is
why I’m supportive of a Convention Center because I’ve expanded one will
make give us room and the proper building design to actually host events
that are not conventions but they’re actually theatrical artistic larger
music events that we have pine for as a community that we could absolutely
support as a community of course you all know that the most important issue in
District six and probably the most important issue to all of you here who
are concerned about the Arts is parking right parking is actually a big deal and
one of the things that did not make it until last year’s ordinance that change
a lot of rates in town was a goal that I had to set aside at least twenty
thousand dollars a year to to subsidize the parking of people who volunteer or
people who are low-income and the only reason it didn’t make it
into the bill last year is that it was too complicated we couldn’t find
somebody to administer the program but it’s the next goal I’d like to achieve
it probably will happen after the but if you don’t think parking make it makes a
difference let me and all the other arts organizers here tell you about it
afterwards it’s that time okay and Kay I want to ask you at some point about how
the permits are going yeah all right thank you thank you I had hoped to join
federal fellow council members and candidates at this evening’s important
forum the value of a strong arts community of Bloomington my duties on
the planned Commission in amending the current you do prevent me from being
here with you tonight and so Susan sent me her statement Danielle asked me to
read it and I’m here to do that for you much prized as be along sorry much pride
stands behind my long-standing and ongoing support for public funding for
the Arts the city of Bloomington has a special cultural brand that has
developed over decades of passionate residents who enjoy the artistic
richness at Indiana University and the local attractions that make Bloomington
an arts destination the local talent and performing visual and literary arts
continues to develop with the help of arts grants that the city offers through
the Bloomington Arts Commission and our economic and sustainable development
staff former formerly Maya Michaelson and now Shawn star woods devoted to
public leadership in the arts I have long been an advocate for these Arts
grants and lobbied to have them doubled during this past term as a member of
council we take our appointments to the Bloomington Arts Commission very
seriously and we have the good fortune of interviewing an array of dedicated
residents with diverse arts expertise to serve on this advisory body that drives
so many good community projects and public works of art as a member of
council supporting Mayor kruzan and Maya Michaelson and prior
terms the city initiated the bead a mayor step in codifying the arts brand
the Bloomington proudly claims establishing our community as a leader
in the regional cultural arts district in this current administration led by
Mayor Hamilton we have new opportunities to develop public art and performance
venues in our parks and along our trails providing more community connectivity
and gathering places we struggled mightily and then reached success in
finding a suitable Stewart to maintain the Walton Arts Center as a downtown
arts anchor and community gathering space now managed by Ivy Tech we want
our beloved community radio station double w fhb to keep its good home in
our arts core in the Waldron the bus group trembling theaters so admirable so
admirably managed by Nick Danielle McClelland and BCT management is a gem
in the heart of the bead the BCT building is a property of the city of
Bloomington maintained by parks and recreation as property managers the city
has an obligation to provide ongoing public support for this popular theater
as a community gathering place in downtown arts asset with public
subsidies for operations that remain in the council’s budget I continue to
support the city of Bloomington commitment to maintain the building as
the programming of the theater is in the capable hands of BCT management we
should all want to ensure the health and safety of the bc2 building to keep it
going strong into the future as this building ages and problems arise with
leakage and other manners matters inherent with property management we
have an obligation to get out in front of these housekeeping matters before
they come more expensive to repair by offering public subsidy through building
an operational support this allows BCT management to devote more of its efforts
in developing community programming that includes local talent as well as the
more commercial artists that the theater books in an environment of competing
interests in the city’s budget we must never lose sight of the strengths that
give Bloomington its reputation as a cultural and arts hub in Bloomington we
don’t view arts as a luxury item only reserved for the well-off but as an
inclusive opportunity to educate young minds
to stimulate deep thinking and to share our community values through the
thoughtful expressions of our talented and diverse artists artistic expression
is not only a source of joy but a mechanism for addressing community
challenges and for bringing this amazing community together in the spirit of
peace and respect for our shared humanity a vibrant arts community also
drives economic activity and provides local jobs by maintaining our status as
an arts destination we bring many visitors to our downtown and university
core visitors and residents a trans support local restaurants and retail
when they attend festivals performances and our galleries and museums as I heard
at once said we may hear from Bloomington residents who don’t
particularly care for the high form art form of opera but it is clear that we
all benefit from having a top-notch Jacobs School of Music at IU that
produces world-class opera and says so many professionals out to international
stages if Road music isn’t your cup of tea we all benefit from the joy that the
Lotus World Music and Arts Festival brings to our downtown each fall
professional life theater concerts film production dad dance jazz country folk
rock galleries museums poetry spoken word comedy the fact that the city of
Bloomington hosts a little bit of everything that any arts lover could
possibly want is a testament to the brand that is worth maintaining through
our own patronage and purchases and our public contributions to the visual
literary and Performing Arts as long as I serve on the Bloomington City Council
and beyond I will remain an unwavering advocate for public funding for the Arts
in Bloomington much is said about the importance of maintaining a quality of
life that includes good jobs with living wages housing affordability respect for
our fragile environment and climate action maintaining basic city services
and infrastructure and providing Public Safety in Bloomington I don’t talk to
many residents who don’t value the quality of life that we can brag about
here that includes our forward-thinking and
elegent arts community without our arts we would lose our very character and
fortunately we don’t have to choose we can have it all alright so now it’s your turn

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