Arts Commission names Lafayette-West Lafayette among state’s first cultural districts

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) voted recently to designate official cultural districts in three Indiana communities: Bloomington, Carmel and Lafayette-West Lafayette.

“I congratulate the Indiana Arts Commission for bringing to life the vision of House Enrolled Act 1017,” said Rep. Eric Koch, R-Bedford. Koch authored the 2008 legislation to establish the state designation.

During its December quarterly meeting in Indianapolis, commissioners representing all areas of the state voted to accept proposals from Bloomington, Carmel, and Lafayette-West Lafayette. Rep. Koch officially announced the designations today during the annual Arts Day at the State House program sponsored by the Indiana Coalition for the Arts.

“These initial three communities have set the standard for future cultural district plans around the state,” Rep. Koch added. “As our nation continues to shift from an industrial manufacturing economy to one based on ideas, information, and experiences, the arts and culture are becoming important economic assets and can be an engine for economic growth in Hoosier communities large and small. Our state cultural district designation is an important tool within a policy portfolio designed to help us capitalize on our cultural resources in ways that encourage both economic prosperity and civic wellbeing.”

The official state designation provides significant opportunity for marketing, promotion, and potentially leveraging resources through various partnerships.

“The development of arts and culture is an essential tool for the City of Lafayette in many ways,” said Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski. “It is a component of overall economic development and quality of life strategies that are vital to attracting and retaining business and residents. It is also central to our efforts for downtown revitalization. The newly designated Tippecanoe Arts and Culture District will further our goals for downtown as a destination for living, working and entertainment. We expect to work with the IAC to promote our district and leverage its assets for tourism and business development opportunities.”

“We are proud to receive this designation from the Indiana Arts Commission,” said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis. “To be recognized as a community that embraces and supports the arts is important to our continued commitment to provide a quality of life that is attractive to our residents.”

Communities interested in applying for the 2010 Cultural Districts certification must submit letters of intent by June 30, 2010 and applications are due by August 11, 2010.

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.

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