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For more information, please contact

Sean Starowitz
Assistant Director for the Arts

Inaugural Arts & Culture Summit Invites Community to Consider BEAD’s Impact

Bloomington, Ind. – The Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD) will host the inaugural Bloomington Arts and Culture Summit on October 26, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers. The summit will provide an opportunity for community members to discuss the past, present, and future of BEAD, with a focus on how arts and culture impacts the community, encourages collaborations among organizations and businesses, and improves our quality of life.

With BEAD, Bloomington was one of the first cities in which the state designated an official cultural district.  A geographically defined, mixed-use cultural district, BEAD was designated to harness the high concentration of creative assets  in the core of Bloomington’s downtown toward strengthening and enhancing the overall economic development of the community.  The summit will elicit community engagement on the topic of BEAD’s impact on economic development, tourism, and partnerships with Indiana University; provide information about future opportunities within the cultural district; and involve attendees in workshopping BEAD’s new strategic plan.

The summit will also provide the only opportunity to apply for the CONNECT Grant, which provides funds to nonprofit organizations, governing agencies, private businesses, and community members to jumpstart engagement projects through arts and cultural activation in the community at large (BEAD and surrounding areas). Two $1,000 grants will be awarded through this program. Only those registering for the summit will be eligible to apply for these awards.

The Bloomington Arts and Culture Summit is free and open to the public, but due to room capacity, advance registration is required by Friday, October 19. Participants may register at Those unable to attend in person may stream the event via CATS.  


10:30: Program Check-In

10:45: Presentations from Tippecanoe and Columbus cultural districts on how their arts and culture programming has become integrated into their communities to improve quality of life and sense of place.

Noon: Lunch presentation on current projects in the BEAD and announcement of CONNECT Grant, followed by an interactive workshop and discussion on the future of BEAD.

2:00: Discussion with Visit Bloomington and Indiana University on working together to strengthen Bloomington’s arts and culture

The Bloomington Arts and Culture Summit is funded through the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) Community Engagement Fund, which provides cultural districts with financial support to implement community engagement and economic development projects.

For more information on Bloomington’s arts and cultural district, please visit

For more information about the summit or the CONNECT grants program, contact Bloomington Arts Commission Staff Liaison, Sean Starowitz, at or 812-349-3534.