Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Symphonies & Dirges

The artists reception for the new exhibitions at the Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis, takes place Friday (2 January) from 6 to 9 p.m.

The exhibit, "Symphonies & Dirges - new work by Emma Overman", features "a collection of works based on life's highs and lows, from simple pleasures and trivial inconveniences to great successes and hardships."

In Gallery No. 2 will be "Cargo - new work by Toni Hook", an exhibit of over 20 paintings using shipping pallets as the canvas. "The raw material paired with characteristically American images reflects an unrefined America. Through bold colors and aggressive brushwork, people and ideas become the freight." (That's her "Six Tanks", above right.)

In Hank & Dolly's Gallery there'll be "Botanical Abstractions - new work by Todd Bracik". And, across from the Harrison Gallery, Bruce Benedict and friends perform at 8 p.m.

The artwork hangs through 31 January. For more information, email, or call 317:396-3886.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Penrod Society Announces Theft by Assistant Treasurer

Statement from The Penrod Society President James Art

"Late in November, we learned that The Penrod Society had been robbed. Specifically, our organization and the arts community we serve are victims of a serious crime allegedly committed by one of our volunteers that resulted in the theft of approximately $380,000.

"When we learned of this crime late last month, we reported it to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. The police are, of course, investigating. We’ve also gotten a call from an attorney representing the individual who allegedly committed this crime. Finally, we’ve had conversations with our members, our bank and our insurance company. From all those conversations, we’ve pieced together what we think happened:

"One of our members, a financial professional from a respected local financial firm, was named assistant treasurer of our organization. He was given responsibility for writing some of The Penrod Society’s checks and managing some of the Society’s money. But he abused that role and those relationships. According to his attorney, he allegedly had a gambling problem and stole our money to finance that problem.

"We’ll have to let the police determine exactly how he did that—through forged checks, unauthorized signature cards or some other method. The sad result is that one person stole money that should have and would have helped many people in this community.

"There are painful lessons in this crime. There are lessons about trust. There are lessons about non-profit governance.

"The Penrod Society is a 42-year-old, all-volunteer organization that helps promote the arts in Indianapolis. We have no paid staff members. Our main role is to organize and host an art fair on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The proceeds from that event are distributed each year in the form of grants to nonprofit arts organizations in our community. As a result of this crime, our ability to make grants this year at historic levels has been severely hampered.

"We do know, however, that our sponsors and members remain supportive. Because of their continued commitment and generosity (we’ve secured more than six figures in donations and sponsorships in the past few weeks), we know that we’ll have an art fair this September; we know that all our current debts will be paid; and we know we’ll be quickly back on track.

"As an organization, we feel like the family who lived in a nice neighborhood all our lives. We trusted them and they trusted us. We left our doors unlocked. We had one another’s house keys in case of emergency. Now, someone’s violated that trust and we’ll never get it back.

"We also know we’ll have to do things differently than we have for the past four decades. Toward that end, we’ve taken the following steps:

"We’ve set up a governance committee. This group will immediately review and revise our operating procedures—including multiple signature requirements and other measures that ensure this never happens again.

"We’ve set up an asset recovery committee. Those volunteers will work with all the parties involved to recover all the assets we can. What we cannot recover, our volunteers will attempt to replace through donations of their own and from others.

"Most important, we will continue to cooperate with the police investigation and whatever action they and the Marion County Prosecutor decide to take.

"At this time, that’s what we know and what we’re doing about it. There will be a Penrod Arts Fair in 2009 as scheduled on September 12. If our asset recovery efforts are successful, we will make Penrod grants, early next year, as planned.

"We’d like to answer your questions, but because this matter is still being investigated by the police, we don’t want to say anything that would compromise that. We’re also going to leave it up to the police to determine when and if it is appropriate to release the name of the individual involved."

Statement posted at Inside INdiana Business.

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal the individual accused is Brandon Benker, a junior auditor at Indianapolis-based Somerset CPAs.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Closer Look at Chairs?

An intriguing exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, closes on 19 January. "More than Four Legs: A Closer Look at Chairs" is on view in the IMA's Star Studio. It's an installation by Carla Atwood Hartman that invites visitors to consider chair design as an art form.

Included are chairs designed by Hartman's grandparents, 20th Century design legends Charles and Ray Eames (that's their lounge chair and ottoman, pictured). See also this cool video.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Incredibly Shrinking Star

Ruth Holladay continues to chronicle the incredibly shrinking Indianapolis Star.

"Major changes are coming", she reports. Lori Borman's column? Gone after tomorrow. Features sections for Monday and Tuesday? Gone after 5 January. Taste section? Shrunk.

This Indianapolis Observer is horrified. But, then, IO reads The Star online these days instead of printed on dead trees.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Meet Scooby Doo!

Head to the Children's Museum, 3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis to meet Scooby Doo on the Mezzanine! Shaggy's best friend will be there at 4 and 6 p.m. 1 January (that's Target Free Family Night, so there's no admission charge) and again 2 and 3 January at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bye Bye National City

Shareholders of both PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and National City Bank approved their $5.6 billion merger earlier this week. The deal is expected to close 31 December.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Building Green Symposium Planned for March

The third annual Indiana Building Green Symposium is set for 12 and March in Indianapolis.

The event will focus on the economics, technology and operational strategies for environmentally friendly construction. It will also feature a Greening Indiana Cities Panel with representatives from communities including Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Bloomington.

More than 400 designers, owners, operators and developers will attend the event held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Workshops and featured speakers will focus on green building economics, technology and operational strategies to benefit designers, builders and property owners.

The Indiana Building Green Symposium is developed by the US Green Building Council - Indiana Chapter.

Monday, December 22, 2008

MIBOR Study Finds Sales Down in Indy

The Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors (MIBOR) says overall sales activity in central Indiana decreased during the three-month period of September-November 2008, according to Inside INdiana Business.

A new report finds sales down 14 percent over the same time period last year. Sales from June to November were down 15 percent from the same period in 2007. New listings between September and November 2008 also fell 14 percent from the same period in 2007.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Lincoln Turns 200 on 12 February 2009

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the Indiana Historical Society is displaying part of its extensive collection on the former president at "The Faces of Lincoln" exhibition through 3 January in the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Indiana Sports Corporation Turns 30

The Indiana Sports Corporation (ISC) is celebrating its 30 year anniversary by unveiling a new brand identity, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The celebration includes a new logo and an official move to shorten the name to Indiana Sports Corp. ISC was founded in 1979 as the nation's first sports commission.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2009's "500" Festival Theme Announced

The "500" Festival announced today (18 December) its theme for 2009: “Laps, Legends & Legacy: Honoring the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Centennial Era.”

This will be the 52nd year for the "500" Festival - and the beginning of the Centennial Era for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

May's month-long roster of events culminates with the 93rd running of the Indianapolis "500" on 24 May at the IMS.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

$27.8 million in MidPoint Food & Ag Fund

Agribusiness venture capital firm IN Partners LLC has announced the successful initial close of its inaugural $27.8 million MidPoint Food & Ag Fund.

The fund will focus its investments in bio-based products and processes, human wellness, food safety, animal health, environmental technologies and production technologies.

With the advent of the MidPoint fund, Indianapolis is now one of only a handful of cities in North America with professional venture capital dedicated to innovations in food and agriculture, and provides yet another demonstration of Indiana’s national stature as one of the top life sciences regions.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Center For Urban Policy and the Environment Receives Grant

Lilly Endowment has awarded Indiana University $2 million over three years to support the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, according to the IUPUI News Bureau.

The Center for Urban Policy and the Environment is one of three research centers operating under the Public Policy Institute at IUPUI, which also includes the Center for Health Policy and the Center for Criminal Justice Research.

John L. Krauss (pictured) directs both the Center for Urban Policy and the Public Policy Institute. The Lilly Endowment grant, according to Krauss, will enable the center and the institute to advance their efforts to provide independent, original research and program development in such areas as housing, land use, government reform and economic development.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Motel Closing at The Speedway

The Brickyard Crossing Inn at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is closing immediately, according to Inside INdiana Business.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Joie Chitwood says bringing the motel up to Speedway quality standards would require a significant investment, so the building will be razed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kersting Collection Headed to Eiteljorg Museum

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art will be home to the multi-million dollar Helen Cox Kersting Collection of Southwestern Cultural Arts, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The 800 piece collection includes Southwestern pottery, jewelry and other objects.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lincoln Artifacts Stay in Indiana

Lincoln Financial Foundation will donate its collection of Abraham Lincoln artifacts and documents to the State of Indiana, reports the newsroom of the Indiana State Museum.

Valued at more than $20 million, this is the world's largest private collection of memorabilia from Abraham Lincoln's personal and presidential life. It will be housed at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis and the Allen County Public Library (ACPL) in Fort Wayne.

Among the more than 20,000 items in the collection are signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment; three-dimensional artifacts including Lincoln's wallet and a chair he sat in for some of his most famous photographs; artwork; thousands of documents; photographs; prints and rare books.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Indy-based Friedman Foundation Announces New Leader

The Indianapolis-based Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice has named Robert Enlow as its incoming president and chief executive officer, reports Inside INdiana Business.

Enlow currently serves as the Foundation's executive director and chief operating officer. His new duties begin 1 January. He will succeed Gordon St. Angelo, who has served as president and CEO since 1996. St. Angelo will continue to work with the Foundation as president emeritus.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lilly Project Lands in Guinness Book of World Records

A mural on a 1,230-foot-long wall along Madison Ave., located just south of downtown Indianapolis, has achieved recognition as a new Guinness World Record, according to Eli Lilly and Company.

The mural was among 60 beautification projects completed in partnership with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc., and more than 50 local community organizations during Lilly's inaugural Global Day of Service held last May.

Lilly and KIB submitted the mural for consideration by Guinness, and recently were notified that the mural has been confirmed as the largest paint-by-number mural in the world. The record was held previously in China.

A former Manual High School/Art Institute of Indianapolis student Patrick Viles designed the mural to showcase fun, hard work, and healthy living in Indiana. Well-known Indianapolis landmarks are featured, including the Indianapolis Zoo, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis and the city's south side.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas at the Harrison Home

Re-enactors portraying President Benjamin Harrison's family and staff will celebrate being home for the holidays amid traditional Victorian holiday d├ęcor on Saturday (13 December).

The Harrison Family Christmas welcomes guests from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with tours every half-hour, at the President Benjamin Harrison Home, 1230 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis.

Admission is $9 for adults, and $4 for children ages 5 to 17. For more information, call Phyllis Geeslin, 317:631-1888.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Indy-Based Liberty Fund is Prolific Publisher

A wide variety of titles is available from the Liberty Fund, including Origins of the Common Law by Arthur R. Hogue, an eight volume set of Collected Works of John Stuart Mill and The Lamp of Experience: Whig History and the Intellectual Origins of the American Revolution by Trevor Colbourn.

Indianapolis-based Liberty Fund is a private educational foundation established in 1960 to encourage study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

An Aerophare for Indy?

According to The Indianapolis Business Journal, an audacious vision is being floated for downtown Indy.

“Aerophare” is a French-designed structure taking visitors up (and down) in a basket below a balloon within a 20-story, helical tower.

Indianapolis-based AeroPhare America has had initial discussions with management of White River State Park, IBJ's Chris O’Malley reports in the current issue of the business weekly.

AeroPhare America owners Tim Coughlin and Tony Sandlin are to present their vision to the park’s board later this month.

Friday, December 5, 2008

C-C Council District 6 Town Hall Meeting

A town hall meeting for residents of City-County Council District 6 begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow (6 December) at Flanner and Buchanan Community Center, 2950 North High School Road, Indianapolis.

Speakers are Tom Creassor, Chief Deputy for Marion County Treasurer, and Scott Newman, Public Safety Director. Organizer is Janice McHenry (317:298-5285), the district's City-County Councillor.

Attendees are asked to bring a canned food item for a local food bank.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Motorsports Industry Show Moves to Indy

Indianapolis will be home to a new motorsports trade show next year. The International Motorsports Industry Show is scheduled for 2-3 December 2009 at the Indianapolis Convention Center, reports Inside INdiana Business.

It will include exhibitors and vendors as well as education and training programs. Indiana Motorsports Association Executive Director Tom Weisenbach says the trade show is projected to have an economic impact of more than $5 million in its first year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Beech Grove Goes Wireless

Inside INdiana Business reports that the City of Beech Grove has become the first community in the state to provide a completely wireless program within city limits.

Officials have launched the network called Hornets' Net, which will provide online access to residents, businesses and visitors for a fee.

(Beech Grove is one of those "excluded communities" that's within Marion County but not part of the City of Indianapolis.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ivy Tech to Host National Convention

The Lumina Foundation for Education has awarded Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana a $130,000 grant to fund a national convention of public community colleges, reports Inside INdiana Business.

The convention, to be held in or near Indianapolis between March and May of next year, will focus on increasing access and success for working adults in post-secondary, associate degree level education.

The conference will explore ways the schools can make education more accessible to working adults including cohort learning, access to student services and holding classes at convenient times and locations.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Public Meetings About Rising Sewer Rates

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works will hold three public meetings to inform the public about potential sanitary sewer rate increases for 2009 through 2013 to fund the city's Clean Streams-Healthy Neighborhoods program.

The majority of the proposed increase is needed to keep Indianapolis in compliance with a federally mandated consent decree to address the city's raw sewage overflows.

4 December: Auditorium, Family/Recreation Center, Brookside Park, 3500 Brookside Pkwy South Drive, Indianapolis -- 6:30 p.m., Formal presentation; 7:30 to 8 p.m., Open house.

9 December: Room A, Carson Government Center, 300 East Fall Creek Parkway, Indianapolis -- 6:30 p.m., Formal presentation; 7:30 to 8 p.m., Open house.

11 December: Multipurpose Room, Garfield Arts Center, Garfield Park, 2432 Conservatory Drive, Indianapolis -- 6:30 p.m., Formal presentation; 7:30 to 8 p.m., Open house.