Meeting: Jasper Community Arts

The Jasper Community Arts Commission met Tuesday and:

• Approved changing the date of a production of “Jekyll and Hyde” that was originally set to take place on Oct. 10. The event is now slated to take place on March 27, 2021.

• Heard that Arts Director Kyle Rupert will now look into filling that Oct. 10 spot with a Yogapalooza performance that was originally set to take place on Sept. 26.

• Heard that Jasper’s Actor Community Theatre has postponed its performance of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda the Musical” to summer 2021. The group still hopes, however, to host its production of “Escanaba in da Moonlight” later this year.

• Heard that department staff is working with those who have rented facilities in June and July and is communicating with them as to how they can accommodate their events — according to state guidelines — if they choose to move forward with them.

• Heard that the arts department has applied for a grant offered by the National Endowment for the Arts. That grant could bring in $50,000 to help offset costs over the next several months. The department is in the process of applying for another grant from the Indiana Arts Commission that could bring in up to $3,000. The grants are designated as wage assistance funds.

• Heard that leadership is currently devising plans to ensure a safe environment when the Jasper Arts Center is allowed to reopen in the near future. Following Gov. Eric Holcomb’s five-stage statewide plan, cultural institutions can open at 50% capacity on June 14. They can open to full capacity on July 4.

• Heard of two corporations who have sponsored a show and a gallery exhibit.

• Approved beginning the process of hiring a new event coordinator. Corina Mack, the current coordinator who has worked with the city for a decade, will step down from the post after the department’s Chalk Walk event.

• Heard that Chalk Walk will operate in a virtual format this year. Mack presented an idea: Instead of rescheduling the June 6 event date, she explained that chalk would be available for curbside pick up for participants, who would then be given until Friday, May 29, to create their artwork in a safe space and submit pictures of their creations for judging. Winners would earn prizes. The event would be free for participants. Commission members spoke favorably of the modified format, and more details are forthcoming.

• Heard that a bid for drainage work that was previously approved to take place at the arts center was awarded by the Jasper Board of Public Works and Safety to Knies Construction at a cost of $11,573. The project will begin soon.

• Heard that artists whose work was supposed to be displayed at the Krempp Gallery in April and May will now set up in the space later this year. The June artist’s gallery could be bumped back as well. The commission also approved the list of 2021 artists.

• Heard that an artist has been selected for the Jasper Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council’s downtown mural project. The local artist will be announced on the council’s Facebook page. The mural will be displayed on the Kerstiens Building, which is located at 215 Mill St., near the Spirit of Jasper Train Depot.

• Heard that how the department’s summer ARTventures classes will take place will be determined soon. City representatives met today to discuss the reopening calendar and identify how city programming and facilities will be affected in the coming months.

• Heard that school programs for the remainder of the school year have been canceled. Work is being done to reschedule with two artists and move them to the fall of this coming school year, or possibly spring 2021.

• Heard that the final two Crossroads: Change in Rural America events have been canceled. The department has already received 90% of its grant funding, and the canceled events may take place through the Jasper Public Library’s programming in the future.

• Heard that Next Act Inc. leadership has been reaching out to booked acts and will reassess those dates and commitments based on Holcomb’s new guidelines.

• Heard that work is continuing on budget and on schedule at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center. The building is set to open later this year.

• Approved an ordinance amendment recommending rental rates in the arts wing of the future cultural center. The recommendation now goes to the Jasper Common Council for final approval. Approved a recommendation of suggested changes to the arts center rental rates, which heads to the common council as well.

• Spoke favorably of extending the arts season ticket renewal deadline from the end of June to the end of July. Under the shift, new season tickets would be purchasable in August, and tickets for individual shows could be purchased in September.

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