News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 2, 2012

City arts grants to support nine nonprofit organizations

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — From creating artwork and a play production to purchasing musical instruments, the City Arts Project Grant Awards for 2012-1013 will support nine nonprofit organizations.

Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett distributed the grants Thursday at Arts Illiana, 23 N. 6th St.

Marlene Lu, secretary of Terre Haute Landmarks Inc., said that agency will use its $1,000 grant to continue a table placemat series displaying historic buildings in the county. This year, eight historic houses of worship in Terre Haute will be featured.

“That includes Allen Chapel and churches such as St. Benedict, St. Joseph’s University Parish, First Congregational, Immanuel Lutheran Church and three churches on Seventh Street, all of which are at least 100 years old, and many are much older,” Lu said.

Two churches, with information from Vigo County historian Mike McCormick, will be featured on each placemat in the series, Lu said. “This is part of an art in architecture series that we have been doing for quite some time. Terre Haute is kinda rare as a community of this size to have that many active churches that are historic in the same vicinity of each other,” Lu said.

Jim Shepard will be the featured artist for the placemats. He has painted murals in Terre Haute at Baesler’s Market, Burke Spring, 500 Museum of Wheels and an outdoor World War II mural at Superior Kitchen & Bath.

The placemats will be distributed to downtown restaurants and businesses, Lu said.

David Delcolletti, production manager for Crossroads Repertory Theatre at Indiana State University, said the agency will use its $2,380 grant to tour an original production that is being written by a former Indiana State University student “about the story of Robin Hood. It is called Little John,” he said.

“We will tour this to the Ryves Youth Center and the [Terre Haute] Children’s Museum. We are doing an initial studio production of it this summer, with the possibility of doing a full-blown production next season,” Delcolletti said.

Peter Ciancone, executive director of The WILL Center Inc., said that agency will use its $750 grant to help fund the second annual Exceptionalities in the Arts talent show at University Hall.

“It is an opportunity for people with disabilities to showcase their talents,” Ciancone said. “We have a gallery display of graphic arts and we have performers who sing and dance and we had a martial arts exhibit last year. We hope to have an equally diverse presentation [in 2013] on March 4,” Ciancone said.

The Crossroads of America Youth Orchestra will use its $1,195 grant to “support the after-school strings program at Deming School. The proceeds will allow us to buy violins for young children who are unable to be able to afford to rent or purchase musical equipment for themselves,” said Chris Aimone, treasurer and board member.

“We could not complete this program without the grant and are very grateful for the support we receive,” Aimone said. “It gives children an activity to look forward to, something to grow into and learn.”

Mayor Bennett said that while the city’s budget is tight “we have made a really big effort to maintain some money in this fund,” as the grants support arts in the city. “It is a small, but it is a great investment,” the mayor said. Bennett said the fund will be increased to $25,000 next year.

This year the City Arts Project Grant Awards totaled $20,000. Of that, $17,000 was distributed to nine nonprofit agencies; the remainder of the $20,000 goes to Arts Illiana, which administers the grants on behalf of the city.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at (812) 231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.