Better Together Community Forum: Arts and Culture

Better Together Community Forum: Arts and Culture


[ Silence ]>>Better together: Ball
State University and Muncie. A series of community forums
hosted by The Star Press and Ball State University. From the Minnetrista Cultural
Center, the theme of the second of three community forums
will be arts and culture. [ Music ]>>Good evening. Good evening, I’m Greg Fallon. I’m the executive
editor of The Star Press. Welcome to our second of three
better together community forms. Thank you for joining us
whether you are here tonight at Minnetrista, or via broadcast
we are broadcasting live on Facebook page
for The Star Press and for Ball State tonight. Tonight we will discuss art
and culture and how Ball State and Muncie can work together
to address the issues. I would like to take time
to thank Ball State Pres. Geoff Mearns for
joining us tonight. And listening to the community
as we start a new chapter of Ball State’s partnership
with Muncie. We should also take a moment
to appreciate how Pres. Mearns and his wife, Jennifer
have already made a personal commitment to Muncie by establishing the Mearns
proud family scholarship for Muncie Central
students who will be first in their families
to go to college. Pres. Mearns and his wife have
given $100,000 to the fund and with their donations
and others, the fund now already
has more than $400,000. [ Applause ] I would also like to
thank tonight’s panel of community leaders
and Ball State experts who are joining us tonight. We have Leigh Edwards,
the board president of Muncie Pacific Theater. We have Ryan Hourigan director
of Ball State School of music. We have Akilah Nosakhere
the director of Muncie public library. We have Tania Said director of
education with the Owsley Museum of Art, and we have Tom Bracken,
a member of the Ball State Board of Trustees and president
of the George and Francis ball foundation. Thank you for them
being here tonight. Appreciate them. [ Applause ] So, if you attended our first
forum, and I notice a lot of new faces tonight
so maybe you didn’t, but perhaps you watched
the rebroadcast of it, tonight will be a little
different from our first one. Pres. Mearns wants to
speak less and listen more. So we are going to try to
appease him with that tonight. I’ll ask questions and
as you walked in tonight, hopefully picked up a card that had some prepared
questions on it. Those questions are
for you, not for them. So you should be reading
through those and thinking of some answers and we will
be inviting you to come up and speak to the panel directly. If you have questions
of your own tonight, we will also be fielding those. You should have had
the opportunity to pick up blank note cards as you
walked in and if you didn’t, we certainly have folks
around who can get you one. Just raise your hand and we
would be glad to bring you one. But any questions that
you would like to submit to the panel tonight we would
ask that you do so in writing and then Phill Beebee [phonetic]
from The Star Press who wrote– wore an appropriately
bright yellow shirt tonight, would be happy to take those
from you and bring those up to me for consideration. Okay? Everyone is welcome
to participate tonight. We want to hear from as
many of you as possible. My role as MC is pretty simple. It’s just to ensure no
one person dominates the conversation tonight and that
we respectfully address issues and not attack individuals. These forms are just one
of many ways in which Pres. Mearns is gathering information. After the public forums Pres. Mearns will summarize what he
has heard an outline what steps the University will take. So enough of me. And more from them. Let’s get started. And to do so tonight I would
like for us to hear a little bit from each of our panelists maybe
just a minute or two from each of them and we will just
go right down the line. Why they think they
are here tonight. They were of course invited. But what do they do in the
arts and culture community which of course is our
topic of discussion tonight and what are their connections
already with the University? So we will start with Leigh.>>Absolutely. I am Leigh Edwards. And this is my third
term as board president of Muncie civic theater. And of Ball State and Muncie
civic theater have had an amazing partnership
over the years. Really, we got you guys involved
in every aspect from ticketing. Our box office is staffed with
Ball State students to all kinds of regarding our production. We actually do three shows that completely involve
production teams that are Ball State
theater majors. And it’s just amazing how
that has helped us so much to develop our programs
and things like that. We also have two currently
immersive learning programs that we are doing in
lighting and sound design and we are working on a
third with Ball State now. So, it’s been amazing. And I’ll tell you what, Muncie
civic theater is truly a theater for the whole community. And it’s been so wonderful that
Ball State is such a large part of our community that we could
fully integrate them into it. So I’m just so thankful
that you are here and that Ball State is a
part of Delaware County and Muncie civic theater.>>Okay.>>Hi, I’m Ryan Hourigan I
am the director of the school of music at Ball
State University and I see my other
colleagues in the audience from the College of fine arts. Which I’m hoping that they are
going to help me out tonight. The– I have no idea why
I was asked to do this, but I am involved in the– I– the school of music hosts about 300 events a year
in [inaudible] Hall. We have many community
outreach programs from our sensory
friendly concerts for kids with disabilities to
a program that I run– I see that Michael
Dane is here– I cofounded called a
prison project which I like to tout is one of the oldest immersive
learning projects on campus. Oldest continuing immersive
learning projects on campus where we bring 45
students with disabilities to campus every Saturday
in the spring and put on a capstone performance and we will be celebrating
our 10th year this year. And we will also be expanding
the program to five other cities around the– with
the Ball State name. My colleagues in the College of fine arts do a fantastic job
providing culture rural outreach in the community whether it
be our kids student teaching in our schools or providing
we call outreach events like for example we partner
with the Symphony Orchestra to have quintets and quartets
go out and play in the schools and teach them about
classical music. So, I’m looking forward to
hearing from you about how us in the College of fine arts in
the school of music can reach out and do more in
the community.>>Okay, thanks.>>Well, my name is
Akilah Nosakhere. I’m the new librarian–
the library director– at Muncie public library. And I’m also a hometown girl. I came from Muncie. [ Applause ] And I was lucky enough to be
selected to be the director of the Muncie public library,
and I was just overwhelmed by all of the wonderful
programming that the Muncie public
library does. I think I’m here because
the library is one of the key pillars
in the community and we provide services
of art and culture to all. From all different walks
of life, and I have stepped into some very big shoes and we
and by staff and we are trying to cover the waterfront
in Muncie in terms of art and culture and we are
expanding every day. Every day.>>Good.>>Hello, everybody. My name is Tania Said. I’m the director of education at
the David Owsley Museum of Art. I can tell you that the museum
does so much for the community and we are growing this by
leaps and bounds all the time. We have free exhibitions,
free admission, every day of the week. We are open every
day of the week. While parking is not always
free it is free at the weekends and I think that’s
important to emphasize. I would like to also add
that is not entirely clear to me why I was invited. I tried to tell my director
about this opportunity so that he would be so excited
that he would jump on board but he very graciously
said no, you were invited. You should do it. So possibly the reason why I
was asked is because I have been in this position for 12
years when I was first hired, it was specifically to make the
museum more community friendly, and I think we are doing that. We now have over
33,000 visitors per year and they are definitely
not all students. Lots of community members and
even people coming as tourists from far field and I
think that’s important. And not just alumni in
that group, I might add. I did go to school
here in Muncie. I went to college at Ball
State I moved back here from Washington DC where I
had been working for 12 years and so I’m very proud to be the
community face of the museum to assure that everybody
knows that they’re welcome to the museum and
that we will work to the greatest degree
possibly can to make sure that we are always accessible and people find all
the different ways to connect with us. So I certainly look
forward to hearing from everybody this evening. I want to say I am happy to see many friendly
faces in the audience too.>>My name is Tom Bracken. I was born and raised
here in Muncie. I went to the Muncie
community schools and was gone for many years and then in 2012
came back and my day job is with the Jordan and
Francis ball foundation. And that puts me in
contact with a lot of organizations around town. So many of the arts and cultural
organizations some of the, you know, the panelists
that are here tonight, and so I’ve become aware
of the depth of the arts and cultural offerings
that Muncie has. And so I’m privileged to be
able to play role in that. And then I also serve on the
Ball State Board of Trustees which is a volunteer
position and– but is also quite a privilege. And I have become aware– I mean it doesn’t take
long to become aware of what an important
role Ball State plays in the Muncie community. And the necessity of those two
entities working well together and so I think that is a very
appropriate topic for tonight. And I’m grateful that Pres. Mearns has made it a
focus of administration.>>Okay, thanks. So, as I said, enough of them. We want to hear from you, right? So let me just– if you don’t
have your card, get your card out and the first question
is, Ball State would like to have more community
members attend athletic and arts and cultural events. What would attract
you perhaps better than they already are doing. And you heard about some
of the cultural side. So I’m going to stick Pres. Mearns with talking just a
little bit about athletics. And I know you’ve been to
some football games already. Just give us your thoughts on
the athletic program Ball State and then I expect a line
to start forming appear to start answering that
question and pastor questions that you might have
for the panelists on over to Phil as well. So come on up if
you’d like to discuss and answer the first question.>>Great. So, thank you Greg,
and also thank you to all of my colleagues here. I appreciate your
willingness to join us and have this conversation
with the community today. So thank you very much. So about athletics. Athletics is an important role– plays an important role
in the relationship between the University
and the community. You know, universities
often recognize that athletics is one way in which a university
can drive its reputation in a positive respect but we’ve
all seen just most recently with the news yesterday out
of the federal prosecutors in New York that what happens
with your collegiate athletes and those programs can
also substantially diminish her reputation. It’s sometimes referred to as
the front door to a university but it’s also the front
door to the community. And we talk about athletics
at Ball State in terms of three principal aspirations. One is competitive success. That’s one aspect of
what our student athletes and our coaches aspire
to achieve. By the way, we are 2 and
0 at home in football. And our other teams are
competing very well. But that’s not the sole way
in which we measure success in our athletic programs. The other is academic
excellence. And our student athletes
for all combined across all sports last
spring had a collective GPA of about 3.2. Okay? Our women’s
swimming and diving team– and those of you who
know how much swimming– swimmers and divers practice– our women’s swimming and diving
team last spring had a team GPA of 3.65. So whenever I– yeah. Whatever I speak about our
student athletes always talk about how they conduct
themselves in their commitment to academic excellence. And that requires a commitment
not just from the athletes, but from the coaches and the
other staff in the program. And the third dimension
is conducting themselves with integrity. Conducting themselves
as good sportsman. And so I would encourage you
as members of the community when you contemplate
being engaged with and supporting our student
athletes with your attendance at their events, please come not
simply because they are going to succeed on the field. But come to support them because
they are representing the University and you in all
three of those dimensions. Their success on the field,
their success in the classroom, and the way they
conduct themselves with integrity and honor. They deserve your success. They’re not just our
student athletes, they’re your teams as well.>>And I would add to that I
think the athletic programs at Ball State and if any of
the panelists want to chime in on this are well known for
being involved in the community. Right? And you know The Start
Press recently had its 20 under 40 program and one of those honorees was
Malik Perry [phonetic] who was a former
basketball player. He not only was involved
but he stayed around. He’s now part of our community. So do any of you have
experience with either athletes or otherwise I mean the
students who were involved in culture programs and athletics are
obviously outgoing. You already talked a little bit
about some of the involvement that you have at
Muncie civic theater. Would any of you like
to chime in on that>>I will chime in on that.>>Sure.>>We also have a number
of students who participate in the immersive
learning program. We have at the Marin Hunt
[phonetic] library a community garden project. And Dr. Pam Harwood and her
students are building this wonderful outdoor learning
experience not only for the library, but for the
Thomas Avondale and the whole of South Muncie to enjoy. So we have that aspect
of Ball State working within the community. As well as in our public
relations office we have interns from the Department of
communications who work with us. Throughout the library
we have interns working in the various departments. So, as far as athletes, I don’t
know if they’re athletes or not. But I know that they
get a lot of work done.>>They’re students.>>Yeah, they are students. And we also work with the
international students. The pan- African
leadership program. We had two wonderful experiences
this year with students from the international realm all
through Ball State University.>>Okay. Anybody else? Go ahead.>>I will chime in. I know that student athletes
are always really busy, but I will tell you that we had
a track team member this past summer as an intern and she
was absolutely stupendous. I thought she was a
great asset especially because we have this new sports
related exhibition that’s opening this week on
Friday called “Action: the Anatomy of Leroy
Neiman’s Champions”. And so if anybody knows Leroy
Neiman’s art, and the columns that he’s written, this will
be a really exciting exhibition and may be unexpected
because it’s sports related and it’s in the museum. But she said to me she
would have never been able to do an internship in
the spring or the fall but definitely she used every
spare hour she possibly could in the summer and I can
tell you her industriousness and her commitments made all
the difference to be able to have someone sports
minded in the museum to help with that exhibition.>>Sure. Now again, you
are supposed to come up and answer the questions. So somebody is going to have to
take the bait and come up first. But let me just say
for five years prior in my professional life
I was the sports editor at The Star Press. And I have always wondered why
more Muncie people don’t come to Ball State athletic
events and here’s your chance to come up and say why. I’m sure that the criticisms
will be taken with good hearts and that’s why we’re doing this. So and if you want to
come up and answer any of the other questions then by
all means we don’t have to stick to that specific question. Ryan, while we are waiting for
the next person to come up, can you talk a little bit– I’m blown away that you
have 300 performances. Can you talk a little
bit about that? And I assume most if not
all are open to the public. No? I don’t– you tell us. Tell us about the 300 and
not each one, but you know– [laughter] what do we get? What do we get?>>Well, I would like to
add also, that there– I mean my colleague in the
room, Bill Jenkins in the back– he has– how many do you have
during the course of the year? Probably the same. About 150 a year?>>Wow.>>And what I guess what I would like to know the same answer
the question that I mean–>>Sure.>>– that you ask athletics
versus our music events. We bring people to town that
if you would go see them even in Indianapolis, they would
cost you 345 times the price. And what we really work
hard on like for example, we had Isabel Leonard
here last night. She’s a high-end opera singer
but she did an all Bernstein– Leonard Bernstein
program for our art alive. We have an art alive program
that’s three concerts a year. High and people. The St. Lawrence string
quartet is coming. And the Ahmadi woodwind group. And these are the kinds of
acts or programs that you if you would see in Indianapolis
would cost you 150 bucks and our tickets are $35. You know? Or $20. Student tickets I think are $10. And so we work really
hard to get the word out. I’m thinking that maybe we do
a lot of things we don’t know which ones are you know
the signature events that I would say our showcase
concert at the beginning of the year is a
really good one. Tickets are 20 bucks
and all the money goes to student scholarships and then
our art alive series is a series that is you know of
the high end artists and then our ensembles
are right now probably at the highest level
they’ve been. Our band, choirs, orchestras,
chamber music is probably at the highest level
they’ve been in a decade. And so if you are looking for
high level music, it’s here. It’s– and the tickets
are cheap. And we do about 300
shows a year. And also you probably heard about our outstanding
theater and dance program. I mean the shows
there are pro level. A lot of our kids go you know to
Broadway or to Chicago or to LA and if you go see one
of our shows it’s– there’s not much of a difference
between what we are doing over in theater and dance than what we are doing
in the pro world. So– and again, the tickets
are reasonable and you will get to see lots of really great art. And so we are very interested
in how we can get you on campus. And come to our events.>>If you wouldn’t mind I
would invite you to come up. Only because we are broadcasting and we’ve got the
cameras set up. So come on up and start the line
and I’m happy to hold the mic but we definitely
want to hear from you. So– come on.>>I was trying not
to be the first one.>>That’s okay. That’s all right. We don’t mind at all. We don’t mind at all. I will ask tonight because
we didn’t do this before if you could just be
sure to say your name and if you have any
affiliation with any groups in town you know just– it’s
sort of interesting to see who all is here tonight.>>Okay. Terri Wood-Bailey
[phonetic] Director of community development
for the city of Muncie. I was the president and
CEO of cornerstone Center for the arts from
2004 until 2010. So my background is in
arts administration.>>Sure.>>So thank you for providing
this platform for those of us who really have the
arts in our heart. What I would say– connected
to what you mentioned, Pres. Mearns, about athletics, you
did it from the beginning and you call the first
game home game Muncie day. And you allowed people in
the community to feel a part of the activities that
were going on at Ball State and there is not a day that goes
by since that day of that game that I have not seen a person in the red T-shirts
that were passed out. If you walk you know watch
throughout the community, those T-shirts mean a
lot in the community. So there’s the connection. The school of music
does the same thing. You provide conflict or tickets
to many of your productions and when I can’t go I my
mom and one of her friends. And so then they get excited
about it and they tell others. So as we connect the
community to the University, calling it a Muncie day or
calling it community day or calling it family day
Muncie civic theater does that quite often creates
family related activities when you include the family
then you get people out and once they are out
and they are excited about the events they go to,
then they want to do more. So we are doing it I think we
just need to do more of it.>>Okay. Thanks.>>Thank you.>>Come on up. All right. Who do we have?>>My name is Tom Schwartz. I have been retired
for 11 years. I moved to Muncie in 2006
and immediately OD on all of the music programs. That is something
I especially enjoy. But what Ryan said– it was
nice of him to say that many of the tickets are
very inexpensive. But I would emphasize the fact
that if you look at the roster of programs, every single day
at [inaudible] Hall for example, or Coral Hall [phonetic] you
will find 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 and most of them are free. 7:00, parking is free on campus. You all know that. So please encourage all people
to come to these concerts. Because they are wonderful. I was amazed– and I
will make this brief.>>You are okay.>>When I moved here I saw for example an amazing
trombone ensemble and I said this sound
fills the place. It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. And it was free. And I turned to a person
who was an administrator at that time I sang with
him inquire, and I said, where are the students of
the music programs in town? That should hear this. And be inspired by
these kinds of programs. And they are not there. But I think it’s a wonderful
opportunity and it’s free. I go to all of them.>>Yeah. Sign this guy up. He’s ready. He’s ready. Come on up.>>Thank you.>>So that idea there. Maybe some outreach
with the schools.>>Yes.>>Yeah. Did you
want to– go ahead.>>I was going to
[inaudible] on that. We’ve been able to leverage
a corporate partnership that we have with an Indiana
company called [inaudible] they are one of the largest band
instrument manufacturers in the world. And they have been underwriting
free tickets to our big events for example our showcase concert
they underwrote 100 tickets and we were able to get 100
Delaware County students in the audience and we
reach out to area schools and say hey we have
these 100 tickets. We’re going to do that
again in the spring. So if you know of a music
teacher or you know of someone that we could help
coordinate efforts, we always will comp
student tickets. That’s always the case. But we just need help in
coordinating and we reach out we don’t always
get the response.>>Sure. That’s great. That’s great.>>I can also chime in real
quickly with an answer.>>Yeah, sure.>>The Muncie Symphony Orchestra
has a program they call music on the move. And they take Ball State
students in kind of a quartet or a Quinn tentative either
wins, brass, or strings, and they tour them around
to the elementary schools in town and outside of town. They go out to the
county as well. And I have attended a few of
those and they are excellent. The musicians introduce
themselves and their instruments and how they got into music and these kids you know
I mean music programs in the Muncie community
schools have kind of fallen by the wayside, so this is
really one of their big ways to become introduced to the
instruments and music and so of course the ideas
that hopefully as their older maybe they
will take an interest in it and of course come to
campus and listen to some of these great concerts.>>That’s great. Great.>>I’m Marilyn Cleary. I’m the current Executive
Director of cornerstone Center
for the arts. And I guess my biggest concern
and thoughts are when you talk about how to enhance the arts in
the community, what I don’t see or what I get frustrated with
is that bridge of what’s– there’s some remarkable art
going on in downtown Muncie and has been for years. Muncie civic theater,
cornerstone Center for the arts, Muncie Symphony Orchestra,
Minnetrista, they have children’s programs. We have students
interacting with us. But I’m not sure
the students know about us unless we do our own
Facebook our own social media, our whatever, to get onto
the Ball State campus to get that information known. And it works the other way. So much of Ball State
information I’m a privileged source. So I get it all in the mail. You know? If you are
a contributor everyone in this room probably guess it. But there’s part of the
neighborhoods that don’t get it. They don’t know what’s free. They don’t know what’s
out there. They don’t know what
the buses are. So I mean there has
been talk a lot about bringing a full
website of when you are in Muncie what can
you do and a whole day of you are visiting today? This is what’s going
on in Muncie. But it’s not just Ball State
and it’s not just downtown. It’s all of us. And I think we are
getting stretched and my frustration is we
not-for-profits are working on a very small budget. Were also trying to
uphold historic museums, historic buildings,
aren’t we, Leigh?>>Oh, absolutely.>>And is huge, huge cost. Now whether the community
wants to support that and keep those buildings which
I think is just as important for Ball State to want to
keep our historic buildings, so that’s my issue
is the bridge. And we also have interns. We have a wonderful
intern program that we bring Ball
State students in. Our Ball State volunteers
we could not do it. They’re getting ready for our
community Halloween party thank goodness they do it. You know they’ve done our
Christmas– we count on them. But they usually
come in and say oh, I didn’t know you
guys were here. What do you do? And it works both ways. And people like you are
saying all these things what– you know [inaudible]
neighborhood, how much that community knows
this and how can they get there? So I’m thinking that’s
where I would like to see the bridge
happen not so much add what we already
have, but communicate and talk to each other but we have and
then work together on supports, finances, you know how
can we make this happen?>>Sure. Great.>>Marilyn– I’d love
to jump in on that. You are absolutely right. We are all on a shoestring
budget and she mentioned we are in the middle of a
capital campaign. But the thing is– sorry. Get the shameless plug.>>I gave you the chance.>>Hashtag [phonetic] uphold.>>Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.>>Muncie Civic.>>Okay.>>But the thing is so true. I think it would be
wonderful to figure out a way. We have done a great job of
partnering with volunteers.>>Yes. Yes.>>But as far as you know being
part of that welcome package that would be awesome and I know
I can speak for myself but also for the other not
for profits that are in downtown Muncie
especially in the arts, we are all willing
to give away stuff. Give away tickets,
free opportunities. And just being able to get our
foot in the door because a lot of times you know I own a
17-year-old who is going to be a college kid next year. And he got his first acceptance
from Ball State University.>>He doesn’t need any others.>>Yes, exactly. That’s it. [laughter]i But it
is amazing how as they get a little bit older,
you do kind of pick and choose and what I’ve found
is that a lot of times they don’t know
how cool it is to come to a plant Muncie civic theater or to come see something
at cornerstone. And so just opening up that
bridge so that they can kind of get to know I understand
what we’re all about. That would be such a value
because we have benefited so much from those professors. We have so many amazing Ball
State professors that volunteer as directors and help us find
volunteers and things like that. But it would be great
to just have more kids in the theater enjoying
shows and things like that. So that we amazing.>>I agree.>>Great. Great, thanks. We’ve got a little line going. This is fantastic. All right.>>Get it started.>>Go ahead.>>Hi. I’m Lynn Woody. I actually am a retired
physician in town and I got up to speak towards
the athletic department but I started out at Ball State. I’m an alumni. And I was a music major. I attended a lot
of music events. And I will speak–
Marilyn was exactly right– even myself living here, I
have to hunt through a lot of different things to
find out what’s going on. I almost missed the little
red door opportunity the other night. And I’m in medicine. So but as far as athletics one of the things
that’s really helped me– we have a thing called
Cardinal Cooks where we actually have the
players come into our homes and we cook for them and
we really get to know them and Trey Moses is
actually nationally known. He’s a basketball player who
works with autistic children and they come to the games and
they sit right there in front and he talks to them afterwards
and he’s been publicized for his problems with depression
and it’s just fascinating that everyone else knows
about him and a lot of people in Muncie don’t. The same thing about some of the
football players and I think one of the great things that I’ve
been able to gain is learning about the different players and their really unique
opportunities that they present to the community and
learning more about them. But and I will also say that
most of the people or it seems to me there are a
whole lot of alumni at football games
basketball games we don’t have as many students when we notice and that’s one of
the big things. I see a lot of them coming in and then I see a
lot of them leaving. And not really staying. So–>>So, if I could
produce a moment–>>Yeah, sure.>>Why is that? I’m just curious, from
your perspective why is that important to you whether or
not Ball State students attend? Is it just an atmosphere
sort of thing for you?>>No. I think it’s a driving
force for the University itself. When you have students that
are proud to be at Ball State. My daughter just got
accepted to Ball State. Her first choice so
we are very excited. And so it’s great. I have twins and that was the
only place she wanted to go. And I think the atmosphere of the students means
they are excited about where they are going. My daughter doesn’t think of
oh it’s Ball State in Muncie as other people might
look at it. And so just the atmosphere,
the proud in the– their pride in the school and
just getting them involved in that would lead
to other things. I know I’ve gone to some musical
events that I thought well, I’m going to look and
see what’s available but I think drawing it all
together would be very helpful. I think also really highlighting
the individuality of some of the people that we have. Coach [inaudible] has
done an amazing job and I know he gets
a lot of publicity and he puts the athletes first
when he’s talking about people, but I’m not sure how far it
gets out into the community and to people coming in. And they are just
amazing people. They are just like you said all
three things they’ve got that. And so I think those are some
of the issues that I see in some of the real positive things
that we can expand on.>>Okay, great. And that certainly speaks to
what you were saying, right? I mean they are not just
suited up to go play a sport. Or they are not just
wearing a trombone. These are kids that
have personalities and– well, you don’t wear
a trombone, do you? [laughter] I tried so hard. I was close. Wearing a tuba, right? Yeah. Okay. But there are students– know? No? I will stop. But yeah.>>Student attendance at
athletic events not just at Ball State but
at institutions all across the country
is a challenge. And one of the challenges is because they can watch
every game on their device.>>Sure. Sure.>>So we see and is
not just our campus but as I say it’s campuses
all across the country with rare exceptions and those
are the ones that you might see on Saturday afternoon at 3:30. But television and
the accessibility of television has depressed
student attendance a bit. The other challenge that
we face in that regard and it also relates to
television is that because of the conference
contract with television, three of our six home games here
are not on Saturday afternoons. I think we have two on Thursdays
and one– our rivalry game– the big new rivalry game
is on the Tuesday night of Thanksgiving weekend. Right? So I don’t
know about you, I’m going to be the
game on Tuesday night. But most of our students will
be gone and I think most people in virtually every community in
the country will be preparing for celebrating that
holiday with their family. So again, that’s driven by
the television contract. But I think in conferences
like ours like the [inaudible] we have
to maybe rethink the value of the monetary value of
the television contract and what it does in terms of having Saturday
afternoon football games when you have your big rivalry
game at the end of the season. So those are things that
we are starting to look at.>>Great. Okay.>>I’m Cornelius
[inaudible] and past president of the Wiley [phonetic]
community Council. Our neighborhood Association
and we have greatly benefited from everyone on
this panel with– as a neighborhood Association
and we greatly appreciate that. But Marilyn Cleary
[phonetic] she stole a little of the thunder that I wanted
to mention about going to Ball State parking is
always a problem it seems like. But those on the lower social
economic area, it’s hard to try to change the culture
and let people understand that appreciation of the
arts and the culture and all of this is something that
really benefits those who really haven’t had
a chance to benefit from visiting a good concert and
hearing a good ensemble and all of that that we are able to do
and that’s what we try to do as a neighborhood Association
we try to change that perception of something that can
be well worthwhile and you can benefit
greatly from it. And so that’s the part
that we are trying to do is how can we change
that marketing of the arts in the cultural events that
Ball State has and even those that the civic to get
people involved with Pacific and get people involved
with our library and going to the museum and all of those. So we just wanted to
say that that’s one of the things is we have
to get across that bridge and market the arts
in the culture to where it can benefit
our community.>>And so Ryan, you were talking
about you know trying to reach out to students who maybe
don’t have that opportunity. Interesting idea here I think
that there are neighborhoods as well who maybe are not
exposed to arts and culture. I know that you and Mary
would both be willing to you know facilitate
that conversation with the Wiley [phonetic]
community Council, right?>>We sure would.>>Yeah. Okay. Well thanks for coming up. I appreciate it.>>And I had a question. And before anyone
who doesn’t know, Cornelius is a fabulous actor. He was recently on Muncie
civic theater stage. But I agree with you but my curiosity is do
you have any ideas for how to market to the community?>>That’s one of the things that
we work so hard to try to do. Akilah?>>I think I have an
idea how we can do that. You have the public library
which is highly respected in all aspects of society. And we have opportunities to
bring the music, the arts, and athletics from Ball State
into the community at Kennedy, at connection corner,
Marin Hunt, you know bring them in that way. When you were talking I thought
oh well, it would be nice to have these symphony at
the garden at Marin Hunt. Would that be nice? Or have some type
of usable event even at connection corner
even in Wiley [phonetic]. We have all that open space
it’s going to be great. It could be really good. So we could do that.>>Could I add to that too?>>Sure, absolutely.>>I agree the libraries
would be an excellent way to do more outreach and the
community centers would be another way to do it. And I would add to, that part
of the key of encouraging people to know these opportunities
is we have to overcome the financial
issues. We also have to overcome
the access issues in terms of if we can transportation, and
their awareness and so one thing that we are doing at the art
museum is we just started smart tours which stands for school
museum art readiness tours so that every fourth-grader
in Muncie will have a chance to visit the art museum
and see Indian art. So that means every fourth
grader at Grisham, Longfellow, Southview, Northview,
Westview, and– who didn’t– East Washington Academy, yes. Grisham just came yesterday
and I was just looking at all the results of those
surveys from the kids and I have to tell you so many kids and
said I had no idea it was here. One of the questions
was what are you going to tell your family
when you go home? That we should go. You know that kind of answer is
exactly what we want to hear. And just because it’s an era of shameless plugs I will just
mention we are even giving kids a little packet of information
with sketchbooks, a pencil, so they can sketch in the museum
and continued their experience in this was all paid for by
the Ball Brothers foundation. And we would not of
been able to do this if we didn’t have the money and I might add all
the relationships across the community. So we’ve been seeding this
for a long time and my hope is that when we have
the celebration event for all the kids with their
families that we should go more and again and again
it just happens and becomes a regular
part of family life. So, as much as we can get kids
when they are young and come to the museum, go
to the theater, visit and experience
all that Ball State has to offer it really
does make a difference. And I thank you.>>And if I may chime
in just one more.>>Sure.>>To bring it all back
to reality now, we were– you are talking about
your museum. Will we have a program
afterschool program at the Marin Hunt library and we
have the great achievers program and we have been working
very very hard to get a bus to take our [inaudible]>>And their coming next week.>>Good. Because we’ve had
nothing but access issues. You know with the bus.>>Yes.>>And I’m [inaudible] at the
same time– [inaudible] good. Good.>>He made that happen. And buses were supported
by Ball Brothers foundation for all the Muncie community
schools kids to come too. [applause] Yes.>>Good, because yesterday the
word was we couldn’t get there and I’m glad to hear [inaudible]>>They will get there. And we will help any
organization that wants to come. As far as we can figure it out. We don’t have deep pockets but
we will do everything we can to support that possibility.>>Good, thank you.>>Sure. I don’t want anyone
to think that your questions that you are submitting
are going unnoticed. I’m trying to monitor them and
ask questions and you know– but here’s a question
right off a card. What are BSU and the arts
community doing to reach out to secondary education? She’s answering the questions
you’re already asking. So I’m keeping an eye on them. And I want you to
continue to submit those. After the first form
I gave Pres. Mearns the stack of every
question that was asked. The ones I read and
the ones I didn’t. So it’s an opportunity for
you to communicate directly to him either through
question or comment. Go ahead and pass those still
along and he will get all of them even if I don’t
get to reading to them because we are getting such a nice line now
people with comments. So come on up.>>Well, I’m Van
Nelson and I’m president of an organization called
the East Central Indiana chamber Orchestra. I grew up in this community. I served as a faculty member at Ball State University
for 44 years. Now our organization has its
mission to provide free concerts for underserved areas of
Muncie and Delaware County. And we seek venues
off the campus. I think that’s very important. As I was researching for
grants and we are supported by grant money and donations. And we use our grant
money to much of it goes to support scholarship aid for Ball State students
particularly string players to augment the orchestra. It’s valuable for them and us. The value to them is it gets
them outside the safe cocoon of Ball State and get some
out into the community. And I encourage them when we
give our concerts to go out and mix with the people. To talk with the people. As I researched for the grants
I’ve written, for the orchestra, one thing that I found was
a book by Leonard Slatkin who now conducts the
Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and he talked about the
value of taking the music out to the people
rather than performing in their Hall in
downtown Detroit. I think that’s important
as we go out to the people with free concerts, I
think that encourages them to hear the music
and then come back.>>Sure.>>And participate in
programs at Ball State. So that’s our mission.>>Sure. Ryan would you
like to speak to that? I mean how often– the facilities are
obviously amazing. [inaudible] Hall is beautiful. How often do groups
get off of campus and perform the community?>>Well, I will give you an
example our Ball State Symphony Orchestra just went on a
tour of northern Indiana up and came back down
through the Muncie area. Our orchestra is out a lot. Again, we mentioned music
on the move that we partner with the Muncie Symphony
Orchestra. It is a big undertaking for us
to find an appropriate venue out into the community
to do a concert from getting some ideas
today by listening that you know maybe we do need to schedule something you know
Southside or somewhere you know where there’s a gymnasium
or something and really bring this out. We don’t really go into the
Muncie community probably as much as we should. With the larger groups I want to
piggyback on that last comment.>>Sure. By all means.>>We– I wouldn’t say it
benefited because I hate to benefit over someone
else’s loss but Symphony of East Central Indiana which
is partners with the school of music acquired the
string instruments from Wilson middle school
when they closed down and we have I don’t know if
Tiffany Arnold is in the room but we started a little
pilot program where folks from motivate our minds
can get a free instrument and get enrolled into
the youth Symphony of East Central Indiana. I’m more interested in not just
providing an art experience for students but my
other hat that I wear is that in music education
professor. So I’m sorry to get a
little professorial.>>Good. That’s wonderful.>>But I truly believe
that the fact that our music education
programs I’m not– there are some shining
stars in the district but I’m just making a
sweeping judgment have been in such turnover and have
not had a success in some of our arts programs
I don’t even know if there’s visual art right
now in the public schools as much as it should be. And if you take a look at
Muncie and you take a look at Fishers [phonetic] or
you take a look at Muncie or even Kokomo and you
look at the education that the students get in
the arts, it’s night and day and I think that we are
really doing our students in our public schools
a disservice by not providing a
comprehensive arts education. It’s one thing to give the
kids a one off experience. It’s another to say that
you know arts education fosters creativity. You know, Steve Jobs writes very
much in a lot of his writings about the idea that he
wanted to hire an engineer that was creative and often
times he would find an art you know major of some kind
that also had either math or engineering degree and
that’s what created Apple.>>Sure.>>So you know, I think that I
mean if we are going to get down and dirty and talk
brass tacks I think that just providing
experiences is one thing but providing opportunity
is another.>>Sure. Sure. [ Applause ]>>Hi. My name is Bill Jenkins. I’m the chair of the [inaudible]
Department of theater and dance. I’ve been here for 18
years, chair for 15 years and my affiliation with
Ball State is 26 years as I was an undergraduate
student at Ball State University. I want to first of all say to
my colleague Michael Dane who is in the audience who
has worked with Brian on the prison project, one
of the ways we the theater and dance program have really
tried to sort of be that bridge that was being discussed was
that Michael really has taken over with his students a lot of the theater education
is happening in the Muncie community schools. His students are directing
a lot of those shows and if his students
aren’t doing it, graduates from Ball State’s
Department of theater and dance, Kim Russe-Roberts [phonetic] at
Muncie Central, she’s doing it. And so one of the things that
I think is most important from my perspective is
we want to know from all of you what it is that you need
from us to come do the schools. We will go anywhere. We will do anything but
it’s ultimately going to bring the arts to the schools because we know that’s
the future audiences that we are developing
in the future students. We have 1500 students that
we auditioned for 40 slots in our acting and
musical theater program. So any time I hear somebody talk about you know Ball State
University somebody getting into Ball State University
thus local and saying do I really want to
go to Ball State we have people from across the country who
would do anything to come to the musical theater
program or the acting program at Ball State University. And the fact of the matter
is it’s because the quality of the students is so high. We also have a program
called the giving back to the community initiative
where every show has to go out to the community
and has to work with some community organization
that’s hopefully connected to the show in some
part but also that something we can give back. So, if any of you have
any ideas for that of any community organizations
want to work with that, we are available, we are open,
and we would love to do that. So thank you.>>Thank you for that. That was great. Of course one of our missions
tonight is just knowledge and information and you
certainly are getting that tonight as well. So come on up and
as Betty comes up– this is Betty Brewer from
Minnetrista, how about a round of applause for Betty. [ Applause ] Betty did not hesitate when
I contacted her about opening up the facilities
tonight for this form and so we are grateful
to her for that. So, thank you very much, Betty. The floor is yours.>>Oh, you are most welcome. Thank you, and welcome
to my house. I also have the honor
of serving as president of Muncie arts and
culture Council. Thank you, Orion, for noting at least Steve Jobs he is just
a piece of the massive research that is out there in the
world on the value of the art to all learning,
critical thinking, problem-solving,
it’s just astounding. I’m going to piggyback on
what Bill was just talking about when he was saying–
and maybe going down to that and you know, how can
we enhance the programs and what are the issues by
giving some positive examples.>>Sure.>>And sorry about
the athletics thing, but I am not a sports person.>>Well, that’s all right.>>So I don’t know.>>Come watch the halftime show. It’s music.>>Oh, there you go. Perfect.>>Nicely done.>>Perfect.>>Nicely done.>>Love it.>>Good answer.>>I was there last week, and
the halftime show is very good. But we have– Leigh was
talking about them– there are some wonderful
partnerships and collaborations between many of our
organizations and Ball State and internships, one of my favorite best
interns is now working for Terry in her department. Terrific things. And what makes them good? The– we have– at Minnetrista
we have tremendous partnerships with the Glick [phonetic]
center for glass with literacy, Mac[phonetic] has an astounding
partnership with the school of arts and what
makes them good is that we treat each
other as equals. We recognize that we all
bring something different to the table. We have different
levels of expertise and that is expertise
on both sides. We are not sitting
here going oh, poor us. If only we had some University
you could tell us what to do and what’s good for us. Nor are we going out
saying look, University, you don’t know anything
that’s going on here. Let us tell you what’s
important and what to do.>>Right.>>It’s that give and take and that back and forth, and that’s what makes
amazing differences. And it doesn’t always happen.>>Sure.>>But when it does,
it’s just compelling. And that’s where we can
both serve each other. And it’s not just
how do we get people to the tremendous amazing
programs at the University, how to get the University
back over here? I know all of us on this side
of Wheeling Avenue would love to figure that equation out
and so far it seems to be when you find one individual
student that’s excited about something, they help
bring people over here. So any ways we can figure
out how to connect our great.>>Great. Great, thank you. So, an interesting
idea here on one card. I’d like to know how the
panelists think Ball State could increase its involvement
in first Thursday events. You know, first Thursday
a big art event downtown. Wondering anybody have
any thoughts on that? And while you are maybe
informing some answers for that, there are other questions
on that card. So you know give that another
read may be as you’re thinking about coming up and
what do we think? First Thursday?>>We do our best
I will be honest– it’s very tough on Thursday
night, but we are going to be– you will notice a
change this year. With our involvement
with first Thursday. We really target
the one in October.>>Okay.>>Our students and ensembles
are spread really thin in the fall getting– I
mean the first eight weeks of the fall is really
hard on them. So, yes. We would
love to do more. It’s difficult but
we will work harder. That’s the comment.>>Sure.>>And you know, the
better together events that first weekend one
of the reasons we chose that weekend was the United Way
day of action on that Thursday and first Thursday that night. And so we did have a
more visible presence on that Thursday and I
think we will in October and it’s something that we can
do better year in and year out.>>Sure. Could you take a minute and just tell everyone how
involved the University was that day? I think it’s fantastic. You’ve already spoken about
it at several of them so, but maybe everyone hasn’t
been at those events. So I think it’s worth
hearing again.>>So the United
Way day of action which occurs every year I
think last year in the fall of 2016 we had about 60
faculty staff and students who volunteered in the
fall of 2016 a year ago. This past year we had
361 faculty and staff who volunteered at the
United Way day of action. And the commitment that
I’ve made to our friends at the United Way is
that’s not a one off. We are already working to
find out what worked well. By the way they mobilize
that in about five weeks. This next year we are
going to give them about a five month run up. And work more closely
because we want to make sure there
are valuable projects on the community for them to do. So we’re going to continue
to make that commitment to the United Way day of
action again next fall as well.>>Great. Great. Come on up.>>Good. Thanks. My name is Susan Atherton. I’m a retired music
educator in Muncie and also a vocalist
and performer. Also retired. I have two or three things. First of all transportation. You may very well want to get
there but if you are in an area that doesn’t have a bus that
comes back at 11 o’clock, you can’t get there and you
can’t get your kids there. Number two yes, there are
music and art educators in all of the schools, and they are
working more or less full-time and doing their very best. So and those were the
same educators as well as all the other teachers
in the schools who worked to the very end of the
school year without leaving. So, moving on. You may or may not
have heard about STEM and last week you likely– or whenever you had
your education– you likely heard a
great deal about that. I would like to suggest as
others have, that an A be put in there and it becomes STEAM. [ Applause ] It doesn’t just stand for art,
it also stands for athletics. How’s that? That’s a segue. Okay.>>There you go.>>All right. Okay.>>Nicely done.>>Thank you. Any time. Okay. So, but it is so important
to have the interest of the students especially
we are talking middle school, high school they are not
going to come to art events in less it meets them
in the face every day. And there’s so many arts
organizations in Muncie that you may be don’t
even know about. Like the AGO which is an
association for organists and how do you get a
pipe organ to work? It’s called the Bernoulli
effect. And that’s science. And you can put your hand
over it you can go in and see how that science works. What about the helmets
that the boys where? How do they– how
does it protect them? That’s science. We have technology. How else do we have
form in music? Well it happens in math. There are many, many artists
and performers and musicians in Muncie who have
the wherewithal to include their ideas
into academic expectations. And I think that that’s one
way you can get the children involved outside of
school is by putting it in their face every day. And I don’t know. If you want some help putting
all of those people together– [ Laughter ]>>Thank you. So this is from a card. We have four organizations
working for arts. Muncie Symphony Orchestra,
Muncie civic cornerstone, and Minnetrista, two
maintaining historic buildings, how can we make sure
that the established and the newer ones
are working together? So, you know, interesting
question here. A lot of– and we have some
representatives up here and some who have come up and
spoke but what sort of initiatives are there where these groups are working
together or is that a challenge that still needs some work?>>I can definitely
speak to that one. You know, I have my friends from
cornerstone and Minnetrista. Right now we are in the
process of renovating a very old and beautiful historic building
and what we have learned and actually Marilyn and I were
talking about this last night as a matter of fact at a different event,
we can’t do it alone. And we are all kinds of
operating in the same vein of finances and so what
we’ve been doing actually for the last five months is– or if you’ve driven past
Muncie civic theater, it’s very dark and
dusty right now. And so we are currently
doing a children’s production at High St., United
Methodist Church. We did mid-summer
here at Minnetrista. We are getting– doing all of
our rehearsing at cornerstone. And you know that
is how we survived in downtown Muncie really
is partnering together and it’s been a beautiful
reciprocal partnership and it’s one of those
things that I think none of us can survive if we weren’t
working together in that way.>>Sure. Pres. Mearns, you’ve done
a lot of listening. So I’m going to ask you
a question now finally. Do you get the sense that
students understand some of these historic buildings
that are available and in Muncie that they could experience it? Is that something that maybe
could be addressed in some way to try to deepen their
culture experience in Muncie?>>Well, so I can’t speak to
whether the students are aware of the physical assets in Muncie but I will share
just one experience that gives me continued
optimism about building that stronger bridge between
the University and the community and I– one of the people
who spoke earlier talked about getting our
students to come out to community art events. And about two weeks
before school started I met with all of the RA’s. All of the resident
hall assistance about 150 undergraduate students and I asked them you know what
did they think I needed to know about Ball State University? And first fall after they
told me where to get doughnuts and a fried pork
tenderloin sandwich, one of the first suggestions from an undergraduate student
was how can we get more engaged in Muncie? This was from our
undergraduate students. So clearly there is
untapped potential there. And we have to as University
community reflect on how to tap that potential. But our students many of
our students are yearning to become more involved
in the community. So–>>That’s great.>>– as I say, that
makes me feel optimistic.>>Sure. Absolutely. Okay, go ahead. The great news is we are at
about an hour and that’s sort of what we said this
was going to be. But I think we are having such a great time we will keep
going here for a little bit as long as the conversation
stays lively. You guys are much more lively than the education
crew was two weeks ago. So you guys– no, no. You were especially spirited. Except for one person
who was at last– no, no. Okay.>>I’m Catherine Kennison
[phonetic] I am the director of the E.B. and Bertha
C. Ball center next door. I came up to speak to something
that Cornelius had said and then Dr. Nelson with several
other people have said things that I want to say
something about two. Because you don’t know I
can’t say just a little bit about nothing. But it is my privilege to
have worked at the E. B. and Bertha C. Ball center which is the historic
mansion right next door here. For 23 years. And it just fell in my lap. There’s no good reason I
got the job, but I did. And I am shocked,
surprised, taken aback, every year at Christmas
time and Diane Waters the– my colleague– can confirm this,
when people come through we have up to 7000 people during
the luminary walk who come through all these areas and
they say I always wondered what this was. Or I didn’t know this was here.>>Sure.>>I mean we been
doing it 20 years. How many people are
there in Muncie? I thought we were
losing population. You know? But anyhow,
that’s just as an aside. But what can we do to bring
the arts into the community? You brought this up
first, Cornelius. And I am not from Muncie. Although I am a galvanized
Hoosier now. I am from Georgia. So you all know that I am
a redneck, I am illiterate, you know I’m all that
stuff because we all are. But when I was in
school, grade school, back before the earth
cooled, there was a program and it started in first
grade and it went all the way through seventh grade. And it was called
on wings of song. And it was every Wednesday
after lunch from 1:00 to 1:05, and the radio station
called WMAZ got together with Dr. Julius Golson who
was the– what you call that– superintendent of public schools
and for five minutes once a week to every public school
child in Macon, Georgia, over that intercom in the
corner, remember that? They played classical music. And every child in Macon, Georgia at every school heard
the intro you know for Mozart or Hayden or you know whomever. And you knew something. I mean think about it. For seven years, five
minutes every Wednesday. It didn’t cost anybody
I mean that was– the only thing was you
could you know you had to sit still you could
not get out of your seat. You couldn’t go anywhere else
and they could slap this not out of us if we tried. So–>>Not you, though.>>Not me.>>No. No, no.>>You little– I will
slap you [inaudible] So there are I think
easy ways that something like this could come
up and good Lord here, with our music department,
with our technology department, with their education
department, and music education, why couldn’t some like– I mean
I used to just go bang on and on about this the first 10
years I was here you know and nobody was interested. But maybe I will mention it now and to be somebody
will be interested.>>Sure. Absolutely. Thank you. And she is paying
attention to whether or not you come to
the luminary walk. All right. Get it down on your calendar.>>I will be there.>>Okay. Okay. Come on up, Joe. All right.>>Do you want me to hold
the mic or do you want to?>>Sure. Whatever you want.>>I will take it.>>Okay.>>You might not
get it back, but–>>I’ll take it.>>I wanted to speak earlier– Ryan, you mentioned about
the educational opportunities in Muncie and how it’s much much
different than what might be in Fishers and some
of those places. And I would have to vehemently
disagree with that 100%. Oh, sorry. My name is Jeff Robinson. I’m the director of
community relations at cornerstone Center
for the arts. I see you know I know
Minnetrista, Betty, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra,
cornerstone Center for the arts, the Muncie community
schools there are a lot of really great educational
opportunities here. I can’t speak for
Minnetrista or the symphony, but I can certainly speak
for cornerstone and say that we serve over 2300 students in over 100 different art
classes and workshops. And my question is, how might
Ball State University get more involved in that educational
process where maybe some of your students may be
yourself you know students from the finance department
instructors, professors, come out into the
Muncie community and help with that educational process?>>I think you might have
misunderstood my comment. My comment was is that– and I think Sue Atherton
is probably still here– I think you guys both might have
misunderstood what I was trying to say is that we
need to make sure that we are supporting
a music education within the public
school in Muncie. I feel like there are programs that we could be
supporting and doing better. Like for example, just you
know off the cuff we are going through our third and fourth and fifth band director
at Muncie Central. You know there is
something going on that we have a revolving
door of music teachers and there’s something
about why can’t we– why can’t Muncie in partnership with Ball State University
school of music or you know in partnership with the school
of arts or the school of– Department of theater and
dance, why are we just like you are saying, in
the schools making sure that the best programs
are at Muncie. You know there was a
time when they were and we’ve had a tough
financial you know– we’ve had a tough road
financially in Muncie and a lot of times when we have
a tough financial road in the public schools the first
thing that’s cut our athletics and the arts. And how could Ball State
University support that? I was not trying to refer to
the entire art experience. My son Joshua has had an amazing
art experience here in Muncie. Through the civic theater and
has been welcomed with open arms and has done a great thing. Now to answer your question, we reach out to the public
schools that we reach out. I would love to sit down and
talk with you about how to work with cornerstone to
maybe get our students– because our students need
to learn how to teach kids. So if they have real kids
to teach, then you know and I would be happy if
we could get a bus going between Ball State and
cornerstone with a load of you know music majors and
potentially grad students and faculty teaching done at
cornerstone by all means my– we will talk after
we’re done here.>>And I think to the– to the Muncie community schools
you know there are supplemental educational programs
throughout Muncie and ones that are also very affordable. You know, we at cornerstone have
you know a mantra the access for art to all. No matter socioeconomics, anything we provide
scholarships, financial aid to those students. I know some of the
other programs in the community do as well. So, you know, when
budget constraints when things might happen in the school district whether
it’s Muncie community schools whether it’s the county schools
whoever it may be there are some supplemental educational
programs within the community
also at civic. So you know I would
encourage those people if a school music programs,
theater education programs, arts programs in general,
if anything has been cut, do some research look out
there in the community. We are here. Cornerstone, civic,
Minnetrista, Symphony Orchestra, we are all here to serve
and I would encourage anyone if you want to find an art
education class to reach out to one of us and we will
make that happen for you.>>Okay. Thanks, Jeff.>>So, thank you.>>Appreciate it.>>And I would just
like to add onto that. Because I do think that a lot
of times when we receive– at Muncie civic theater– volunteers there are
people who have some sort of interest in the arts. They are students that are
studying or professors, but one area that I
would love to see grow and develop is business majors. You know, marketing directors,
did I steal your thunder? That’s our fantastic
marketing director. But my background I ran a
jewelry store with my father and what I’ve learned
through my experience with Muncie civic theater
and managing a large budget and things like that is that
boy we can use some help. And pretty much almost any– don’t send an archaeologist
over, but other than that, I think we could probably–
and if it’s an archaeologist that will take out the
trash, we will hire him to. So all right, we will take them. But you know just maybe if professors thinking
outside the box would look at our organizations
and go golly, you know? We have an accounting major
well, we have a budget that they could help us with. So things like that. That will be fantastic. Because– and that’s
partially on us. We generally look for people
in the theater department to help us which definitely
we still want those people. But you know looking
outside the box and seeing that there are some valuable
business opportunities and all of the arts and Muncie.>>Okay. So all good
things must come to an end. We’re going to take two
more comments or questions and then we will give each
of our panelists a moment to give some final thoughts
if they would like to. So, go ahead.>>My name is Britney
[inaudible]. Like she said, I’m the marketing
coordinator at Muncie civic. But what’s more interesting
to me is I am born and bred in Muncie, Indiana. I went to Ball State University. And the second I graduated
the Monday I graduated I got out of here. Because that is the
measure of success at Ball State University. Is anywhere but here
is the key phrase that Ball State students
use is anywhere but Muncie. And you know life happened
and I came back here. And it took me 32 years
to be proud of this place that I’ve grown up in and spent
most of my childhood and all of my childhood and
most of my adult life. And people are– how do we
instill this pride and it wasn’t until I was involved in an arts and culture aspect of Muncie
that I found that pride and I found how many people
are proud of this place. And if we– there are people
in this room there’s so proud to be here and how do we find
that pride for these students and most of it is through this
volunteering because that’s where they find meaning and
worth and their footing in life. But until we can change that
mindset of anywhere but here or Muncie, we are
trying, I don’t know how to get people to
build that bridge. Because this is just a stopover.>>Okay, great. So not to put words
in your mouth, but how do we keep Ball
State students in Muncie? This is obviously a huge point
of focus for Muncie residents and businesses and
maybe the arts and culture scene
is the way to do it. So and definitely an
interesting thought. Okay, last comment and
then we will hand it over to our panelists
for one last comment.>>Thank you. I feel the pressure now
finishing this panel. Okay. I’m Elena Mackenzie
[phonetic] and currently I worked
for Indiana public radio and WIPB public television
here in Muncie. But I also used to work for
Muncie Symphony Orchestra as the executive director
from 2011 to 2015. So I am very familiar
with the art community. And actually worked with pretty
much everybody on this panel. And but I also am a resident
of Muncie and I have two kids and as soon as– and I may
Ball State graduate, too. So combination of
many, many things. But I– being on and around
campus for about 15 years since I moved to Muncie from
way overseas as you can tell by my accent, I’m
not from around here. I found– I find– I jumped on
every opportunity that is here in town to expose my kids
and my family to anything that is being offered. My six-year-old is
now taking a class at Ball State art class
it’s on a Saturday 9:30 to 10:30, and is full. You know, when we
signed up the first and second grade I think they
didn’t even have any room and they have I think seven
groups that are all full. For kids from first
grade to fifth grade. And he is also taking a class at
her stone center for the arts. So he’s taking a
dance class here. My older kid had a class here. So I’m saying I’m trying– on-campus, off-campus doesn’t
really matter to me but some of the things– may be more
of those type of classes like an art class where students
are actually teaching the class under the direction
of the faculty. So maybe a pottery class I mean
any musical– we have a music– I know there is a music class
is will this being offered. But more of those opportunities. And maybe bring some of those
instructors to cornerstone to do off and on site
kind of branch out. I know it takes resources. But also, as you know I know
about a lot of this and– we need to be proactive in seeking those
opportunities not wait until you know nonprofits
reach out or say well could
you do this for us. But kind of seek out but the
only way we can be proactive if faculty actually
live in Muncie. And I know about a lot of
things because I’m here. If you live outside
of town you don’t know about everything
that’s going on in town. So you can’t really
plug in as well. So encouraging additive
is possible but encouraging more
faculty to be resigning in Muncie might help with
no blending that barrier that exists currently. And then finally just to say
you know in terms of promotion for athletics and anything I’m
also not a sports fan, sorry, but I know we are doing–
there is an event here actually at Minnetrista, one
of the free events in summer were Ball State
marching band combines with the Muncie Symphony
Orchestra and so that enhances symphony
performers but it also gives
exposure to the band and at that event there is a heavy
promotion for the first game of the season, the
football game of the season. So I’m thinking maybe
more of that type of where there is a
performance at civic and there are some you
know Ball State students in the cast you know
plugging one of the upcoming events that’s
coming up in the theater. And I know there’s a lot. So you have to pick and
choose and kind of figure out which ones are more
important to promote. So, thanks.>>Sure. Great. Great thoughts. Pres. Mearns, I know you
have spoken to this issue of Ball State faculty
not living in Muncie. That came up in our last
forum probably a topic is on everybody’s mind and
worth addressing again and then we will kick
it down to you, Tom, and work our way back
for final thoughts. Okay?>>Do I get a final thought too?>>You do.>>Okay.>>This is not your
final thought.>>Okay. Good. So first of all the statistics
in terms of where our faculty and staff live are not as
bad as people’s perceptions. So, well over 75% of our
staff live in Delaware County. And well– somewhere
around 70% to 75% of our full-time faculty
also live in Delaware County. What has changed which I believe
has fostered this perception is that if you look at
the age dispersion of those faculty it’s those who
are more senior who are living in Muncie and Delaware County and that the trend
has been away. So it is something that is
very much on my radar screen and I would just simply
say to you stay tuned because it’s something that I
think we all at the University and at Ball Memorial
Hospital believe is something that we can do more of.>>Okay. Great. Tom, your final thoughts and then we work our
way back to Pres. Mearns for some final comments.>>Okay. Final thoughts
I mean it should be clear from this discussion
how many opportunities and organizations there are in this community
for arts and culture. But I think you touched
on such an important point because if the mentality
of students is that after graduation they need
to leave town, that’s something that we need to correct. And I think our way forward
on that quite honestly is if we think of Muncie
itself as a work of art.>>Well said. First of all I’d
like to say thank you for the opportunity
to be on this panel. It’s been very helpful to hear
all the ideas from the audience. And I only wish that the museum
and the art collection could go into the community but I
know that isn’t realistic. So I will just share
that I’m open to all kinds of outreach ideas. I look forward to seeing
everybody at art walk. The museum has an outreach
table at every community event that we are invited to and we just had a very
successful experience with be my neighbor day. [inaudible] comments that was
excellent to reach hundreds of people in just three hours. It was amazing. We are going to keep
brainstorming about how to do more active community
oriented things beyond the walls of the museum and
I will just mention that we do have Owsley moments which Indiana public radio was
very helpful in producing for us and that students in an
art history class wrote about the collection. So maybe Catherine
that’s the opportunity to get people listening
to and learning about art. It’s actually on the radio and you can download
any of those files. My last thought is that wherever
we can insert the stem subjects to relate to art and remind
people about steam we do and in fact we have another
exhibition opening called engaging technology
II: Art plus science. So you must come and see
that on Friday as well. So, I’ve enjoyed listening
and I certainly hope that I can partner
with as many of you as possible in the future. Thank you. And I might add not just
me, but my colleagues two.>>I’d like to thank Pres. Mearns for this opportunity to
meet with the panel and also with the citizens of Muncie
to talk about what we can do to extend art and
culture in the community. And I’d like to maybe
point out some ways that the Muncie public
library is doing that and we are always looking
for ways to increase. So I’ve got your number
I’m going to look for you and give you my business card. Those of you who talked
about local organizations that can partner with the
library to bring music to other populations
within the city. We have bad art night
I don’t know how many of you are familiar
with bad art night which was something I thought
was pretty interesting when I– I’ve only been in Muncie eight
months I said bad art night, what’s that? So I went to the
cornerstone Center for the arts and experienced it. And it’s a very wonderful
feeling because you don’t
have to be an artist. It’s a way to– yeah. Get that stress out. So that’s something that we do
at the Muncie public library. And then we just had one we had over 35 people attend,
is that right, Dan? We had one just last week. Another thing we provide
the Muncie public library to increase art visual
arts is exhibition space. Kennedy we also have space
at the Marion Hunt library. We have lots of empty walls. So local artists, students,
faculty, otherwise we’d like to share our
space with you. Please contact us
about displaying some of your art with the library. That is a possibility. Lori Lunsford who was
our artists in residence in our atrium here Lori. Created a book for artwork and
it was done within the library. So we have space for you to
just sit and be creative. We have that in the
Muncie public library. And lastly I’d like to put
in the plug for the book. The literature, the
other part of the art of course we have that. We have books in print and
we have books electronically and you can download
them you can check them out if they are overdue
you can renew them online. All of those wonderful
things that you can do now. And we have programs
featuring artists and authors from the state of Indiana
and also local artists. We have the history
Center downtown. So we try to include all
of the different parts of the arts and culture. The local history
you know of Muncie. We have that Center downtown. So the library tries
to cover the waterfront and I think we do
a wonderful job and with your help
we can do even more. Thank you for this opportunity.>>I’d like to thank Pres. Mearns for hosting this event and inviting me to
be in the panel. We host 300 or so events in
the school of music but I want to keep my closing
thought short and sweet. I’m an administrator so
I have to make decisions and solve problems a lot. So this is my charge to you. I would be happy to be in charge
of trying to figure out a way to have some sort of either
electronic or published come all to her everybody’s– whatever
the art community is going to be happening throughout the
entire– that’s my take away, is that we don’t know
what each of us are doing. And I will reach out to some
of the folks I saw tonight and will figure out how
we can put that together. The second thing that I would
propose that we should do as an organization or a bunch of organizations would be why
couldn’t we in this very room or in this very center
at the beginning of the school year have
some sort of art Expo where you know each
of the organizations that has something that’s to
offer the community could– people could come and
talk with those people or community members could
come in and just see what it is that we all have to offer. Each of us could
have a little table. It would be a little
science fair. You know around the room
because I think that is true that we feel like we are
getting our message out but obviously what I’m learning from you tonight is we are not
doing a very good job of it. So that’s what I’m going to
take away back to my college and the college of fine arts. The last thing that I think
we dissolve and I will talk with the president’s
office [inaudible] is the transportation issue. I think that if we
had targeted events that you know maybe we could
have some of the, you know, a Muncie or Ball State
you know [inaudible] bus or a Ball State bus in targeted
areas to where we could come and get you and bring you to
campus for signature events. You know? I think that that’s– that seems to be a
no-brainer to me. When that was brought up
that we should be able to figure that out. We have– I just
dropped off a car. I came from Madison
Wisconsin at six in the morning go
straight here today and I dropped my Ball State
University vehicle off and there was a bus back there. You know? I think we
could probably let loose of one to figure that out. [laughter] So my charge
is I mean I could talk about the school
of music forever. I love the school of music. But I think what we really want to do tonight is
solve some problems. Right? So I will get in contact with the Muncie area arts
Council and some of the leaders of the various organizations to
figure out how we can partner with some sort of you
know publication some sort of electronic or what not
to try to share our ideas. Yes?>>An immersive learning
project.>>I think it needs to be an
immersive learning project. So– that’s something
that I will try.>>Great.>>As I listen to everyone, the thing that was overwhelming
is we have so many people in an arts and culture
discussion that they are sitting
outside the room. That’s pretty amazing and– [ Applause ] And I was sitting here thinking
Muncie makes Ball State cool and Ball State makes
Muncie cool. It’s such an amazing
reciprocal relationship and I think the key is to
continue this conversation. I’ve been so impressed that you’re interested
in hearing from us. That’s so important. And it’s amazing when
someone pops up with an idea and then Ryan’s kind of stewing
while he’s sitting here and all of a sudden we’ve got
something good going on. You know, at Muncie civic
theater we are a theater for the whole community. Our goal is to make
it accessible to everyone both physically. If you are– I always
call it tree number four because that’s who I am. I don’t have any talent but
I just love the theater. But when I think about– I am forever cast
as tree number four. [laughter] But, yes. Yeah. But at any
rate when I think about how we can work together I
think I just want to say again, that partnership in all areas
Muncie civic theater the value is that we have a shoestring
budget so we have all this work to do and not enough
people to do it. And I would just love so much
to see Ball State coming to us with ideas like hey–
because when I think about me at 20 trying to find a job
as a college kid I think about those resume builders
and things like that. And I just want to invite anyone and everyone is interested
to approach us. Hey, I’ve got this
business idea. Hey, immersive learning
we have amazing projects. Ryan and I were at a
fundraiser together, and out of a 15 minute
conversation came the idea that we have a very beautiful
amazing and we have lots of people in this room that were
a part of it children’s program. And one thing that we don’t
have is an orchestral program for our kids. So we have talked about that. And I think the key is just if
we are all willing as people who care about the art in
Muncie and Ball State University if we are all willing to keep
having conversations and things like that I just like something
really huge as can happen.>>It’s all yours.>>Great. So two points. First of all I want to respond
specifically to your suggestion about steam and I think you have
come to appreciate that the art at Ball State is not
a secondary activity. But is a principal activity and we feel very
strongly about steam. And I will just give
you one example of it. Some of you may be
familiar with this notion of living learning
communities which is in higher education bringing
learning environments, laboratories, classrooms,
those activities into the residence halls. Will the next residence
hall that we are going to build the one that
you may have heard about, the one that will be– begin construction next fall
will be a living learning community for stem students. And it will follow three years after we’ve already opened
one for art students. So we have arts living
learning communities already in our residence halls before
we are building one for stem. The second and final point is to express my appreciation
to all of you. First of all, I think
while they were very modest at the outset suggesting why
they weren’t sure why they were invited I hope you now you
now understand why these five partners and colleagues
were invited to join us. So thank you for doing it. Betty, thank you
very much for opening up your home to have this event. Greg, thank you and The Star
Press– you for moderating, and The Start Press for
working with us to promote and facilitate these events. And thank you. I think as Leigh said there’s
no more encouraging sign to me as one of the newest
members of the community, no more encouraging sign
about the vibrant future that we are going to build
together in your presence and participation today. So we’ve got a small
army in this room and an even larger army
all across this city. And we now just need to mobilize
it and fulfill the potential that we have together. So thank you.>>And thank you– [ Applause ] Thank you, Pres. Mearns for being
willing to do this. Obviously this is a huge step
forward in the conversation between the University
and the city and how things can
work better together. And there are so much
more things to talk about. It struck me as they were making
their closing statements I spent a few minutes out at the sign in
table was looking through some of the literature, and there’s
a fantastic book supplied by the University out there all
the art and culture happenings on campus and not one person
even mentioned the planetarium. And we have so much going on that we can’t
even fit it all in. Right? So there’s a lot of
really amazing things going and I hope this is the catalyst for continued conversation
continued exploration for not only all of you but
I hope you take this message to someone else in
the community. The Star Press was very proud to
have put this together tonight and we are very happy
that you came tonight. So thank you all for being here. We hope that you will take
time out of your busy schedules to attend our third and final
community better together form which will be at
6 PM on October 12 and we have several
representatives here tonight from cornerstone who
like Betty opened up their facility for that. So we look forward
to having you there. The topic of discussion
will be economic development and we expect that
if all of you come, it will be a lively discussion. Thank you so much for
being here tonight. Have a safe drive home. Good night. [ Music ]

Danny Hutson

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