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Revamped Arts Alliance Giving Artists A Fresh Voice

A group has formed the Arts Alliance of Bloomington to represent the needs of local artists.

The Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington is trying to become an advocate for Bloomington area artists and it’s already making some strides to reach its goal.

This week, the fledgling arts organization held its first public meeting, and speaking as panelists on WFIU’s Noon Edition, members of the Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington said the artists sometimes have a hard time marketing themselves.

Visual artist Joanne Shank says that’s where the Arts Alliance should step in.

“I think artists typically are kind of not comfortable with marketing. So we may have to cross over to other genres and other people to find resources and bring more tourists to Bloomington or export some of our art. We’re flush here.”

Michelle Martin-Colman, a publisher with Travel Indiana Magazine, Southern Indiana artists will have an opportunity to do just that during the upcoming Super Bowl in Indianapolis. Travel Indiana Magazine was chosen by the Super Bowl Committee to appear on newspaper kiosks next weekend, and because the magazine covers arts all around the state, readers will get exposure to artists in southern Indiana.

“Business people downtown, on the square who do have, like you said, that weekend will be picking it up, going, “Oh, let’s go to Bloomington for this event or for the studio tour.”

For the longer-term Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington interim chair Michael Simmons says the group is planning regular events called “artists after hours.”

“We already held our first one. We were hosted by the Bloomington Playwrights Project, and we had the Bloomington Arts Commission in the spotlight. So we had the arts commissioners come and talk to us a little bit about their plans and what they’re doing in the arts.”

Simmons says he hopes this will help people in the Bloomington area understand and in turn appreciate the local artists’ work.

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