Meeting: Jasper Community Arts Commission

The Jasper Community Arts Commission met Tuesday and:

• Welcomed new commission member Emi Donato, who was appointed by Mayor Dean Vonderheide.

• Elected commission officers for the year. All will remain the same as in 2019: Mike Jones will serve as president, Gary Moeller will serve as vice president and Linda Kahle will serve as secretary.

• Heard a 2019 report from Arts Director Kyle Rupert. Ticket sales to arts events were the highest they had been since 2015, and the revenue from online ticket sales doubled between last year and 2018. Total expenditures rose 7% from 2018 — they included a hefty price tag for a new chiller for the current arts center — while the amount paid for contractual services dropped. Nearly 400 individual activities were hosted by the arts department in 2019, bringing in about 30,000 guests. Total participation at events was also up.

• Heard of ways the department aims to expand when the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center opens later this year. They included offering arts opportunities and programming to a more diverse audience through community partnerships and department committees, as well as providing unique art gallery experiences and continuing to increase participation and attendance at major events.

• Approved a revised rental agreement with Next Act Inc., which stipulates the arts department will pay rental fees of $450 for performances that take place at The Astra Theatre during the 2020-21 arts season, which begins this fall.

• Heard of upcoming performances. String quartet Well Strung will perform at The Astra on Saturday, Jan. 25, and the Hiplet Ballerinas will perform at the Jasper Arts Center on Saturday, Feb. 1.

• Approved declaring the old arts center shed as junk. A new shed was installed last year, and the old shed will soon be demolished.

• Heard that the January exhibit at the Krempp Gallery is up. It features 8-by-8-inch artwork of various mediums created by Indiana artists.

• Heard that the construction of the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center is on schedule. Floor slab has been poured on a couple of the building’s units, and limestone, brick and more has gone up at the site.

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