Walker Theatre, by Jerome Neal
Beyond the performing arts
Each year when the Arts Midwest Conference moves to a new location, it’s an opportunity for us to deepen our connections with our performing arts colleagues in the host city. We feature local artists and administrators as Professional Development speakers, and after much research and listening we do our best to weave in the topics, trends, and issues that may be unique to the region.
Planning for the 2018 Conference in Indianapolis has been no exception, but this year we decided to expand our local engagement to the visual arts. The Arts Midwest Conference serves the performing arts touring industry, but Arts Midwest as a regional service organization is committed to supporting all art forms. We also acknowledge that for many artists and administrators, the line between the visual and performing arts in their own work isn’t always so clearly defined.
“The Walker Theatre building, in a lot of ways, represents the past and future of performance art in Indianapolis.” – Whit Bones, Director of Community Engagement and Strategic Advancement, Arts Council of Indianapolis
A natural partner
As we started to think about ways to engage the visual arts community in Indianapolis, we realized that we already work with a designer to develop the Conference’s visual theme. Each year we develop cover art for our registration brochure, program book, and attendee list, and this artwork is used on signs at the Conference and during major events.
We decided to ask the Arts Council of Indianapolis to help us identify a local artist and a piece of work to feature on our materials. After reviewing a lot of really exciting work, we selected a piece by Jerome Neal that portrays the historic Walker Theatre, an iconic landmark of downtown Indianapolis.
Leading up to the Conference, we’ll share more about what we’ve learned by taking on this project, including working with the artist Jerome Neal, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and the past and future of the Walker Theatre.