Celebrating Our Community's Arts & Culture Scene in 2017

The Tippecanoe County Community Cultural Plan, first initiated in 2009, serves as a road map for strategically integrating the arts into community development. The plan also outlines goals for strengthening the capacity of the county's arts and cultural scene. Tippecanoe Arts Federation leads the implementation of the plan and reports progress through this ARTS IN ACTION newsletter.

In 2017, Lafayette's primary arts initiative was wrapping up  Lafayette Arts - Center Stage , a five-project series of public art installations in downtown Lafayette with a focus toward the Indiana state bicentennial. 

The projects were funded in part by a $50,000 Placebased Investment Fund Grant through the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Local funding partners included: 

The West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission continued its investment in public art by funding several new murals and sculptures in 2017.
The West Lafayette Public Arts Team (WLPAT) dedicated  Rooster by Jeff Laramore and began work on  BoilerTown by Petronio Bendito, which will be completed in 2018. In late 2017, WREC announced it has included the installation of four sculptures at the entrances to Happy Hollow Park in its 2018 budget. 

The $120 Million State Street Redevelopment Project includes an "artful rail" by Tom Fansler and Jeff Laramore and has spurred considerable economic development with three high-rise mixed-use buildings currently underway. WLPAT, the City of Lafayette, and Visit Lafayette/West Lafayette worked together to publish an updated Public Art Trail, which can be viewed online here.
The City of Lafayette engaged area students in the creation of We Rise Above by artist Robert Barnum, which was installed in the Spring 2017 at the corner of 7th and Main Streets Barnum worked with local youth to select the title for the work and the four inspirational words, trust, love, kindness, and believe, that were l aser cut into the human forms of the sculpture.

The Tippecanoe Arts Federation also worked with 12 area teens to create a new mural for the city of Lafayette. The mural titled Nature Views was created by After School Arts Program participants and dedicated by Mayor Roswarski in December 2017. Through the After School Arts Program, ARTreach Instrument Lending Program, Mural Art Initiative, and Visiting Artist Program, TAF was able to provide cultural programming and opportunities to over 3,000 children in Tippecanoe County.

Outreach by area arts organizations continues to engage more and more students each year! In 2017, the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra served over 5,100 children and 700 adults in 9 counties through its low to no-cost outreach programs that took hands-on music learning experiences into schools, libraries, senior care facilities, and more. The Lafayette Children's Choir, the educational arm of Lafayette Master Chorale, also continued its long tradition of teaching musical skills and the value of serious choral music to nearly 500 children in our community through its four choruses.

Cultural institutions like the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette saw an increase in participation from school groups and served more than 2,000 area school children in 2017. Frank Lloyd Wright's SAMARA, which had visitors from 32 different states and 16 countries, also saw a slight bump in youth attendance with 212 students in grades K-12 and 287 college students participating in tours.

The West Lafayette Public Library presented numerous programs that engaged community members in many different art forms. In addition to its role as a library and growing collection of both physical and online offerings, WLPL Children's Department presented visual arts activities to over 500 participants through monthly meetups like LEGO Saturday and special events such as Family Fun Day. The library also serves as a venue for musical performances and once again participated in Record Store Day, along with area businesses.

The City of Lafayette worked with community members through the creation of several new public artworks:
Participants ranged from CEOs and elected officials, to underserved youth and attendees of a summer street festival. Those who contributed did so in a variety of ways including financial support and with paint brush in hand!

Outdoor festivals like Mosey Down Main Street presented by Friends of Downton and TAF's  TASTE of Tippecanoe continued to bring people to downtown Lafayette, while highlighting local businesses and celebrating the talented artists in our community.

The entire Lafayette Symphony Orchestra went on the road for a patriotic performance in Logansport, and a Sousa-era brass band to Shades State Park to participate in their annual historical Chautauqua reenactment. The Master Chorale also switched up its venues and partnered with businesses to further spread the value of music and the arts.

In West Lafayette,  the always-popular International Center Food Bazaar attracted  2,500 people. The annual event offered a  unique opportunity to sample homemade cuisines and meet other people from around the globe. Food and culture also brought the international and domestic communities together at the IC's Summer Suppers and Global Caf├ęs, which offered cultural speakers and related food. The IC also co-hosted Global Fest in September 2017 with the West Lafayette Parks Department. This year's festival brought together 15,000 people to experience International music, art such as calligraphy, and global cuisines.

The Tippecanoe County Public Library and West Lafayette Public Library also helped lead the charge with the annual  One Great Read program. Along with the Purdue English Department, WLPL helped coordinate a second opportunity for citizens to join a community-read called The Big Read.
In addition to garnering the support of community and government partners, the Lafayette Arts - Center Stage project also gained  support through private donations from area banks, businesses, individuals and many other types of in-kind contributions. Together, the working budget for the five projects was in excess of $250,000.  The program hired 13 artists and hosted events allowing hands-on participation for community members.

This year, TAF granted more than $450,000 to over 30 nonprofit organizations across Tippecanoe County and the surrounding region through programs administered on behalf of the Indiana Arts Commission, North Central Health Services, and McAllister Foundation. TAF's grantsmaking in Tippecanoe County alone leveraged nearly $4 Million dollars in income for arts organizations.