Representatives of the Bloomington arts community gathered Monday evening to elect members of the 2012 steering committee of the Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington. People were elected to six committees representing the areas Art Advocates, Festivals and Venues, Music, Theatre and Dance, Visual Arts and Writers, as well as two at-large seats.
The mission of the alliance is to organize artists, arts organizations, and arts advocates to work together to further the arts around Bloomington. Michael Simmons, who is currently serving as interim chair and was elected to the groups steering committee to represent the writer’s guild, says the inaugural meeting provided an opportunity to raise public awareness of the organization.
“It is also an opportunity to trot out the organization to the community and show that we actually are a going enterprise and to invite other people in the community to become members,” Simmons says. “So it is a very important launch of the organization and truly the beginning of our work in the arts community.”
The meeting comes about a year after the Bloomington Area Arts Council dissolved because of financial problems. The Council had been the regional partner to the Indiana Arts Commission, or IAC, for many years prior to its dissolution, which allowed it to distribute state grants to local artists. Simmons says this new organization serves a different function.
“We are not doing re-granting of Indiana Arts Commission grants, we are not doing educational programming or artistic programming of any kind. What we are doing is trying to provide a forum for artists, art organizations and art advocates to come together and discuss issues of importance in the arts in Bloomington,” he says.
The Arts Alliance will host a meeting next month to elect the chair, treasurer and secretary of its steering committee.