2009 Governor’s Arts Awards Tonight in Muncie, Indiana

Governor Mitch Daniels and the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) selected the City of Muncie, Indiana last October to host of the 2009 Governor’s Arts Awards. This Indianapolis event is being held tonight September 25 at

“I am confident the City of Muncie will make the 2009 Governor’s Arts Awards program an outstanding celebration of the arts in our state,” said Governor Daniels, who has made the Indiana State Capitol building a career home for himself since 2004.

The 2009 Governor’s Arts Awards marks only the second time in 35 years for the event to be hosted in a city other than Indianapolis. The 2007 Governor’s Arts Awards program was held in Bloomington, and the concept of taking the event to other communities around the state of Indiana has been encouraged and supported by Governor Daniels.

“It is an honor for the City of Muncie to be selected for the enviable position of being the host site of the 2009 Governor’s Arts Awards,” said Muncie Mayor Sharon McShurley. “Muncie has a vibrant cultural community and this award will enable us not only to expand our artistic horizons but also allows us to showcase Muncie to approximately 500 art enthusiasts from around the state and beyond.”

Muncie was among three communities submitting written proposals to the Indiana Arts Commission. The other communities were Rising Sun and Greater Lafayette. Representatives from each community made formal presentations during a special meeting of the IAC’s Advocacy and Awareness Committee.

“We are honored to host the 2009 Governor’s Arts Awards, and we have lots of exciting activities planned,” said Terry Whitt Bailey, president and CEO of Cornerstone Center for the Arts. “In addition to events here at Cornerstone, we are planning trolley tours, a gallery walk, receptions, and outdoor performances.”

In 2007, Governor Daniels presented awards to philanthropist Lori Efroymson-Aguilera, Indianapolis; artist and educator Menahem Pressler, Bloomington; jazz musician and educator Jamey Aebersold, New Albany; The City of Jasper, Fischoff National Chamber Music Association, Notre Dame; and Henry Leck and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.

Originally conceived in 1973, the biennial awards program honors individuals, Indianapolis non profit organizations, partnerships, Indianapolis area businesses, and communities that have made significant contributions to Indianapolis arts in and beyond the confines of Indiana. The awards recognize excellence in artistic achievement, philanthropy, arts education, and leadership in the arts, and at the same time build statewide awareness of the important role the arts play in Indiana.

Governor Mitch Daniels and the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced the recipients of the 2009 Governor’s Arts Awards last July. “I am honored to recognize these recipients for the significant investment and contribution each has made to the arts in their communities, our state and beyond,” said Governor Daniels.

The 2009 recipients of the Indiana Governor’s Arts Awards are:

Angela Brown, Indianapolis, IN

Miss Brown’s 2004 Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Aida garnered instant attention from national and international print and broadcast media and catapulted her on to the world’s prestigious opera and symphonic stages. This award winning performing and recording artist is also a trail blazer on a mission to bring operatic and classical vocal performance to the masses through her unique recital program, “Opera from a Sistah’s Point of View.” Her aw-inspiring performance and zany opera plot descriptions resonate with a wide range of audiences and create a fresh awareness of the social and geographic diversity portrayed in this art form. Indianapolis Opera should be proud.

Ball Brothers Foundation, & the George and Frances Ball Foundation, Muncie, IN

For decades these foundations have founded, funded and provided leadership and vision for countless cultural organizations and events throughout the Hoosier state. The Ball Families recognized in the 1920s and 30s that the arts were a positive recruitment and retention tool for employees. Museums, libraries, orchestras and theaters owe their very existence to these two east central Indiana foundations.

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN

Since first focusing the world’s cultural spotlight on Indiana in 1982, the quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI) has become one of the most acclaimed music competitions in the world today. Founded by the legendary Josef Gingold, “The Indianapolis” attracts violinists, ages 16-29, from around the globe to vie for one of the industry’s most coveted prize packages, including the launch of an international concert career and use of the Gingold Stradivarius. Annually, the Competition produces concerts and education programs for Hoosiers throughout the state, making it a proud contribution to Indianapolis music.

Sweetwater Sound, Inc., Fort Wayne, IN

The nation’s third largest retailer of music technology and instruments is a supporter of numerous music and education related activities. In addition to supporting many music and arts non-profits in Fort Wayne through donations and sponsorships, Sweetwater opened its Academy of Music in 2008, complete with a 10-member teaching staff and state-of-the-art equipment. Today enrollment exceeds 100 students, one of the fastest growing Indiana education institutions.

Vectren Corporation, Evansville, IN

In addition to financial support for arts organizations in Indiana communities served by this energy-producing corporation, Vectren also encourages their employees to contribute time and talent through leadership and volunteerism. The Vectren Foundation supports school corporations in their efforts to enhance students’ lives through art. Their commitment to the arts encourages others to follow their lead.

“These recipients have demonstrated a commitment to their field, their communities, and to building a stronger Indiana by their investment of time, talent, and leadership in the arts,” said Lewis C. Ricci, IAC executive director.

The five recipients will be honored during a special performance ceremony September 25, 2009 at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts in Muncie.

On behalf of the people of Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission advocates engagement with the arts to enrich the quality of individual and community life.

Source: Indiana Arts Commission