The city of Madison has joined five other communities in the Indiana Arts Commission's Statewide Cultural Districts program. The IAC says the designation gives Madison a larger platform to promote local arts and culture efforts as a component of economic development, tourism and quality of life. March 23, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today that Madison has been named to the Indiana Statewide Cultural Districts Program.

During its March 20, 2015 Quarterly Business Meeting in Fort Wayne, the Commission accepted the proposal from the Madison Area Arts Alliance and the City of Madison.

“Madison's downtown vibrancy combined with their infectious enthusiasm and rich cultural history make them a natural fit for our program,” said Paige Sharp, Director of programs for the Arts Commission. “We couldn't be more pleased for them to receive this designation.”

The statewide designation will provide recognition to advance Madison's emphasis on the creative community and the arts as it relates to tourism, downtown revitalization and preservation. Madison joins current communities Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Lafayette and Nashville, each known for their strong arts and cultural appeal.

“We appreciate the Indiana Arts Commission for recognizing our community's amazing artistic talent and acknowledging the ability of the Madison Area Arts Alliance to be the lead partner for the district,” said Bill Barnes, president of the Madison Area Arts Alliance.

The Alliance “blue-sky” team, made up of eleven local artists, began to discuss the possibility of applying for the designation after completing the Arts Commission's community consultancy last fall.

“This was a big step for the new organization, but we were all in agreement, this was what we needed to do to draw attention to our extraordinary arts and creative community,” said Theresa Strohl, who serves as vice president of the organization.

The official designation of the Madison Arts and Cultural District does not come with funding, but gives Madison a statewide platform to share the importance of local arts and culture as a key component of local economic development, tourism, and quality of life.

“This designation is perfect for Madison, for a small city, we have a uniquely large collection of creative people – from visual art to creative writing, music, theater and culinary arts. This brings much attention to the community's long effort and hard work to create a thriving community which values its historic architecture, natural beauty, and existing artists of all forms,” said Kim Nyberg, executive director of the Madison Area Arts Alliance.

For more information about the Indiana Statewide Cultural Districts Program, please contact Paige Sharp by calling 317-232-1279 or email psharp@iac.in.gov. An overview of the program and links to other designated Indiana Cultural Districts can be found at www.in.gov/arts/2654.htm.

The Indiana Arts Commission is dedicated to the vision of the arts everywhere, everyday, for everyone in Indiana.

Source: The Indiana Arts Commission

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