The future of Cardinal is at stake! Save the Waldron.
Last week, Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton released a memo, detailing his preliminary plan regarding proposed spending of the $22.3 Million in funds the city will receive from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Distressingly, our hard hit arts infrastructure was not mentioned.
We need your help to save the shuttered Waldron Arts Center! Please contact Mayor Hamilton and ask him to prioritize funding for Bloomington’s critical, city-owned arts assets: the John Waldron Arts Center and the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Cardinal Stage cannot survive without the Waldron, and we need to secure its future!
Arts Forward Bloomington, a collective of artists and arts organizations, has crafted a detailed case for support, which you can read here. Please take a moment to email or call Mayor Hamilton this week and demand support for Bloomington’s arts venues. Below is a sample message you can customize to your liking and his contact information. If you are able, consider a snail mail letter, as they are especially effective!
Save Our Venues Rally: Saturday, May 22 at 12:00pm
In addition to contacting the mayor, please join us on Saturday, May 22 at 12:00pm at the Southeast Corner of the Monroe County Courthouse Square for a Save Our Arts Venues Rally hosted by Arts Forward Bloomington. The assembly will include individual artists and performers, arts organizations, and community members. AFB encourages anyone who cares about the Bloomington arts and culture sector to attend. All attendees are encouraged to bring signs in support of saving Bloomington’s arts venues, and masks will be required for all participants.
Contact Mayor Hamilton at:
[optional] CC: email@example.com
Mayor John Hamilton
City of Bloomington–Office of the Mayor
401 North Morton Street, Suite 210
Bloomington, Indiana 47404
Potential Email Subject: Save Bloomington’s arts assets!
Dear Mr. Mayor:
Your Honor, I am writing to you today to address my concerns over the future of Bloomington’s city-owned arts assets. I urge you to prioritize funding from the capital received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for both the John Waldron Arts Center and the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
The extended closure of the Waldron Arts Center threatens the future of several beloved arts organizations that call it home, including Jewish Theatre of Bloomington, Stages Bloomington, Cardinal Stage, and numerous organizations like FlowMotion Events, Windfall Dancers, Aerialogy, The Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival, Limestone Comedy Festival, Bloomington Chamber Opera, Monroe County Civic Theater, Lotus Education and Arts Foundation, and WFHB that utilize the space on an annual basis and serve tens of thousands of Bloomington residents every year.
The arts is a central, defining feature of Bloomington’s collective identity and a critical component of the downtown Bloomington economy. The arts is an engine for job creation and a significant attractor for new residents and businesses. In order for our community to “recover forward,” we must make strategic investments in our fragile arts infrastructure. These investments will ensure that these spaces become more creative, inclusive, sustainable, and accessible.
We call on the Mayor to dedicate $1.5 million in funds to perform deferred maintenance on the Waldron Arts Center and make strategic improvements to both the Buskirk- Chumley and the Waldron to create a more accessible, sustainable, and vibrant arts infrastructure that the entire community can take pride in.