The Downtown Marion Roundtable Meeting Reminder

The next Marion Roundtable meeting will be held this Thursday, September 17th at 5 p.m. at the Marion Public Library, meeting room A.  The purpose of the Roundtable is to encourage, support, and promote the progressive energy of the downtown community at-large by

  • discussing the overall vision of the downtown district
  • exploring various avenues to address downtown deficiencies and highlight successes
  • creating practical solutions to strengthen downtown Marion

Please join us at our next Roundtable discussion this Thursday and share in our discussion.  Your valuable insights will help unite and benefit our community.

Contact: James Harris

Volunteers Spruce Up Downtown In Preparation for Fall / BenchMark Winners Announced to Kick Off Art Walk

In one day, approximately 900 students from Indiana Wesleyan University made their mark in Marion and Grant County as part of their annual Acts of Kindness service project. IWU has been in existence for 95 years, and each year they coordinate one group of students for each year in existence to make a difference in the community while orientating new and transferring students.

Main Street Marion gratefully received a group of 50 students, who helped with the #PICKITUPMARION Fall Downtown Cleanup, where the students helped downtown businesses with improvement projects, and endured the heat of the day canvassing the downtown grid picking up trash and debris. Six downtown businesses signed up to receive help from the students: Morris Kelsay Attorney’s Office, Jerry’s Leather and Shoe Hospital, Centrum Mall Shoppes & Offices, Clique Creative, 504 Salon and the soon-to-open Country Café & Bakery which will be located at 100 N. Washington at the old Main Street Office.

Country Café & Bakery owner, Eric Creech, says the volunteers were very helpful and a joy to work with. “They were especially excited about helping with the gutter gardens, and the fact that it was being used for food at the café. “ The café is scheduled to open by the end of October.

The newly-designed benches around the Courthouse Square were also clear-coated by the students, to complete the new works of art produced by local artists over the last few weeks. The BenchMark project was the beginning of a mural program downtown. The winners of the BenchMark project were also announced Friday. Roger Tappan’s James Dean inspired design received 1st Place, Armila Francis’s bench depicting Grant County’s native flora and fauna received 2nd Place, and Laurie Miller’s whimsical sun/moon design received both 3rd Place and the People’s Choice Award. The newly painted benches surround the Grant County Courthouse Square and represent a portion of a downtown-wide art walk, the 3rd Annual Made in Marion Art Walk. Maps are available at Centrum Shoppes & Offices.

Contact: Layla Adair Price

BenchMark Art Competition Underway; Winners TBA During Art Walk

The project is complete!  Local artists have finished making masterpieces out of the eight downtown benches on the Courthouse Square, and winners of the contest will soon be announced.

Early this summer, Main Street Marion, in strategic planning for a mural program under a limited budget, decided to do a mini-mural project while developing long term plans for larger murals.  With $1,000, “BenchMark” was born.   The MSM Design Committee accepted artwork designs and concepts from Grant County artists, and eight different artists or groups were selected to paint a bench.

Below is a list of the benches and respective artwork information (Counter-clockwise from the South):

  1. South of Courthouse – West Bench:

About Artists: Participants who painted this bench represented several facets of the community, ranging from college students to established business professionals, parents, teachers and designers.
Group: Lark’s Song
Title of Artwork: “City Vision”
Description: This bench was painted as part of a Lark’s Song coaching workshop that focused on helping participants gain clarity around the vision they carry for their own cities, neighborhoods, and communities. The participants identified key words that represented their unique vision and painted them together on the bench to represent many individual visions coming together to form a community vision.

  1. South of Courthouse – East Bench:

Artist: Ashley Galvan, Marion, IN
About Artist: I’ve been teaching at the Artist Stage School for 2 years.  I have been drawing and enjoying it ever since I can remember.
Title of Artwork: “Glory”
Description: This bench is in honor of the vets.  It’s for all they have done and continue to do for liberty.

  1. East of Courthouse – South Bench:

Artist: Kate Perez, Marion, IN
About Artist: Instructor at Community School of the Arts
Group: CSA
Title of Artwork: “Impressionist CSA”
Description: My bench takes inspiration from Vincent Van Gogh. I made my project with bright colors in an impressionistic style.

  1. East of Courthouse – North Bench:

Artist: Roger Tappan, Jonesboro, IN
About Artist: Loretta Walker’s husband (AKA: “Chopped Liver”)
Group: James Dean Fan Club
Title of Artwork: “Little Bastard”
Description: “Little Bastard” was the name on James Dean’s Porsche Spider.  In light of the new James Dean Birth Site Memorial. I thought it would be nice to do something related to James Dean.

  1. North of Courthouse – East Bench:

Artist(s): Meagan McCracken and Michael Mathias, Gas City, IN
About Artists: Meagan is the Office Coordinator for the Community Foundation of Grant County.  Michael is a Bicycle Mechanic for Curfman’s Cyclery.
Title of Artwork: “The Keys to Life”
Description: “Life is like a piano.  What you get out of it depends on how you play it.”  -Tom Lehrer

  1. North of Courthouse – West Bench:

Artist: Armila Francis, Upland, IN
About Artist: I’m a nature enthusiast and adjunct professor at Taylor University and Indiana Wesleyan University.
Group: IWU Alliance Garden
Title of Artwork: “Flora and Fauna of Indiana”
Description: I chose this design to inform people of the flora and fauna native to Grant County and to help people enjoy the natural beauty all around us.

  1. East of Courthouse – North Bench:

Artist: Laurie L. Miller, Marion, IN
About Artist: Graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a double-major in art with an emphasis in graphic design. Master’s in Business Administration at IWU.  I enjoy painting in oils on canvas typically, but also enjoy experimenting in other media. I’m a Digital Asset Manager for Our Sunday Visitor in Huntington.
Title of Artwork: “Dreamers Welcome”
Description: I hope the vibrant colors and happy imagery in my bench will make people smile and take a moment to sit down and let their minds wander. My love of the outdoors is my inspiration, and can be seen in the warm swirling beams of the sun which dominate the seat back and multi-colored daisies which dot the landscape of the bench seat.

  1. East of Courthouse – South Bench:

Artist: Emily Hathway, Fairmount, IN
About Artist: I am a professional certified Life Coach, with my own practice focused on coaching around life purpose discovery, imagination, and creativity.
Group: Emily Hathway, LLC
Title of Artwork: “Wonder”
Description: This bench was a project intentionally created with intuition, finding the colors & objects that were resonant with me and creating with them. The process of wonder and playfulness while creating is just as valuable & meaningful as the outcome.

Artists completed their designs on all the benches at noon today (Aug. 28).  A competition now begins in which a judging committee made up of 7 members from the Design Committee, the Chronicle Tribune and the News Herald will select their top three designs based on an evaluation system.

Ballots will be turned in at 1pm Sept. 3rd.  The BenchMark Reveal Party will commence at 6pm on the South Side of the Square, where representatives of MSM, the local artists and members of the public are invited to walk around the square at that time while each artist showcases their bench.  Immediately following the bench tour, the group will announce the winners of the BenchMark contest.  1st, 2nd and 3rd Place cash prizes will be awarded to the winners at that time.

A People’s Choice Award will also be announced as a result of compiling votes from the public.  The Chronicle Tribune will feature the pictures of each bench in Sunday’s paper (Aug. 30). There will be a link directing interested voters to an all-access website.  The News Herald will also invite voting through instructions in their paper on Sept. 1.  Main Street Marion will also upload the photos on their Facebook page, and voters may click “Like” below their favorite bench.

The BenchMark Reveal Party is only a portion of the fun and festivities scheduled for that Day.  It’s part of MSM’s 3rd Annual “Made in Marion” Art Walk, where local art will be featured in different “galleries” hosted by businesses scattered throughout downtown.   The annual First Friday Downtown Celebration event kicks off at Centrum Mall (428 S. Washington St.) and the 5th Street Commons at 4pm with live music and entertainment, where maps will be given out for the Art Tour.

About Main Street Marion
Main Street Marion is an independent nonprofit downtown association that inspires, unifies and champions the Downtown Marion Experience. Our local Main Street office is your direct connection to the social and business hub of downtown Marion, and we are 100% funded by your donations!

Our Mission
To promote and stimulate the downtown Marion economy through a four-point approach system – design, economic restructuring, organization, and promotions.

Visit Marion’s Downtown Businesses to View Local Artwork!

From September 4th – September 30th, visit Marion’s downtown businesses to view local artwork! The fun kicks off at 4 p.m. in the Washington Street Corridor with food, fine crafts, and music. Everyone who attends will receive the 2015 Made in Marion Downtown Art Walk map. If you can’t attend the First Friday Downtown Art Walk kick off, you can still pick up a map at any of the downtown venues participating in the walk.

The itinerary will loosely follow –
4 p.m. Jason Wells at the Centrum
5:45 p.m. Benchmark Walk and Awards Announcement
6:15 p.m. Layla Adair Price performs Park Bench on the Square
7 p.m. 1947 California Cupcake Company at the Centrum
8:30 p.m. Rattleuce at the Centrum

That’s right! The 2015  #MadeInMarion #DowntownArtWalk will kick off on the September #FirstFriday and last the full month of September in the following locations:
Courthouse Square – Benchmark
504 Salon & Boutique
Community Foundation of Grant County
504 Salon and Boutique
Community Foundation of Grant County
Clique Creative
Centrum Boutiques, Suites, & Offices
Ewer & Moritz
Family Service Society, Inc.
Marion Public Library
Jerry’s Leather Shop and Shoe Hospital
Marion Music & Sound
Total Computer Solutions
Creative CommUnity
Art Felt
Creative Hub Co-Op Gallery
Marion-Grant County Chamber of Commerce
Folkie’s Tavern
Quilters Hall of Fame
Marion Civic Theatre
Grant County Family YMCA
Lighthouse Custom Framing & Gallery
Constance Boutique
EPIC Creative
Peerless Printing

Poster - Made in Marion 2
Remaining 2015 First Fridays include: 
September First Friday, September 4th.
Theme: Made in Marion Downtown Art Walk

October First Friday, October 2nd.
Theme: Oktoberfest

November First Friday, November 6th.
Theme: Light Up the Night

December First Friday, December 4th.
Theme: Have a Holiday!

Main Street Marion Creates Sponsorship Program for Downtown Beautification

WOW! Those are some good-looking flowers downtown! This year, Main Street Marion performed a marvelous makeover of the Courthouse Square and surrounding downtown grid with voluptuous fresh flowers in hanging baskets and newly painted planters. This summer, the colorful blooms are luring the attention of the downtown community and those who pass through. The downtown beautification effort was all made possible mainly because of a partnership with the Community Foundation of Grant County, and some key helping hands from the City of Marion Parks Department. The downtown beautification effort took inspiration from the admired Gardens of Matter Park, which flourishes every year with bountiful blossoms. (Proven Winners, a revered brand of plants, earlier this year designated the Gardens as one of only seven signature gardens in the nation).

Layla Price, a member of the Main Street Marion Design Committee and the Community Development Department for the City of Marion, was one of the coordinators in the project. “The community loves this! Now that we have built this beautiful foundation, we need a way to sustain it, improve it, and bring it back year after year.”

The MSM Design Committee has created a sponsorship program to achieve this very goal. Main Street wants to serve the downtown community by providing this amenity, but the one-time grant of $11,000 from the Community Foundation is gratefully received, however short-lived.

“We are setting aside some leftover funds from this year for the same process next year, but this amount doesn’t meet our budget in order to bring it back every year,” said Price.

The giving program has been laid out in the following sponsorship levels:
Rose: $1,000 or more
Iris: $500-$999
Daisy: $200-$499
Tulip: $100-$199
Peony: $99 or less

“There are currently 32 downtown planters and 16 hanging baskets. A commitment of $200 (the Daisy level) would safely fund one large planter yearly, Price added. “We get the flowers at a reduced cost because of our partnership with the Parks Department and its working relationship with Proven Winners and other resources.”

To become a sponsor, fill out and return the attached flyer, then mail or drop off your donation to Main Street Marion’s office at 422 E. Fourth Street, Marion, IN, 46952, with the memo: Downtown Beautification Sponsorship.

*If you would like to receive a deduction on your state taxes equal to half of the amount of your contribution, please read and fill out the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) form on the reverse side of the flyer.

What do you get by being a sponsor? In addition to offering NAP credits as an option this year, we are in the planning stages of developing a recognition wall downtown with small plaques, thanking each donor. As a sponsor, you may also take pride in contributing to the revitalization and beautification of downtown!

Main Street Marion also recognizes the following for making the 2015 beautification effort a success:
Community Foundation of Grant County
Marion Citywide Maintenance Department
Grant County Sheriff’s Inmate Work Crew
Dixon Services
Marion High School Seniors’ Community Service Program
Community volunteers

About Main Street Marion
Main Street Marion is an independent nonprofit downtown association that inspires, unifies and champions the Downtown Marion Experience. Our local Main Street office is your direct connection to the social and business hub of downtown Marion, and we are 100% funded by your donations!

Our Mission
To promote and stimulate the downtown Marion economy through a four-point approach system – design, economic restructuring, organization, and promotions.

Beautification Flyer-page-001

Join us for lunch any or every Thursday!

Bring a little joy to your lunch this summer by joining us for lunch any or every Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the month of September.

This week!
Creech Farms will return to the Courtyard offering up a little Country Cafe and Bakery from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Of course, Chef James will those heavenly desserts as well, Crazy Cake, Stupid Cake, and Key Lime Pie!

On the music scene, local artist Ryan Fox a mix of classics, favorites, and original music from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

About the Picnics.
These events are a great place for the community to socialize and enjoy the lunch hour during those Indiana summer days! So, bring your lunch, grab takeout from a downtown restaurant, or purchase on-site from our local vendors. Each picnic will feature a light lunch menu from one local restaurant, catering company, or food truck vendor. At the conclusion of each event, the vendor donates 20% of sales to Main Street Marion to support the cause. #ThursdayPicnic

About Main Street Marion.
Main Street Marion is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit downtown organization that inspires, unifies and champions the Downtown Marion Experience. Our local Main Street office is your direct connection to the social and business hub of downtown Marion, and we are 100% funded by your donations! Bring your co-workers, friends, and family. We can’t do this without your support! #DtMarion

Who’s Next?
Thursday, September 3rd
Entertainment: Ryan Fox
Food: Creech Farms Country Bakery and Cafe
RAIN LOCATION: Centrum Mall, 428 S. Washington St.

Thursday, September 10th
Entertainment: Jason and Gibson Wells
Food: Pucci’s
RAIN LOCATION: Centrum Mall, 428 S. Washington St.

Thursday, September 17th
Entertainment: Zanzahmint
Food: Create a Cake
RAIN LOCATION: Centrum Mall, 428 S. Washington St.

Thursday, September 24th
Entertainment: Shane Laubach
Food: Moe’s Southwest Grill
RAIN LOCATION: Centrum Mall, 428 S. Washington St.


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