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Arts groups prepare fundraising campaigns

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Year In Review

After hunkering down into survival mode for two years, arts groups prepared to meet the economic recovery with fundraising pitches.

This year, five organizations announced or began preparing for the launch of major campaigns. The targets ranged from $12.5 million for Heartland Truly Moving Pictures to $100 million for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art are all working toward launches in 2011.

A sixth player is The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. The city is paying for construction of the concert hall and theater complex, but Executive Director Steven Libman still must raise money for the 2011 opening season and, eventually, a supporting endowment. The center hasn’t announced its goals.

Although economic conditions aren’t ideal, donors aren’t as downright frightened as they were when the stock market was plunging, said Frank Basile, a retired Gene B. Glick Co. executive who holds active or honorary posts on several boards.

Besides, he said, arts leaders believe they can’t afford to wait any longer to restore their balance sheets.

“That’s why you have more people now that are beginning to launch campaigns,” he said.

The symphony departed from the usual strategy of quietly gathering major gifts before making a public pronouncement. Instead, the ISO announced its campaign in June with the news that Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had agreed to serve as co-chairmen.

Civic Theatre, which recently dropped “Indianapolis” from its name, is planning a campaign around its move next fall from the campus of Marian University to the Carmel performing arts center.

Eiteljorg CEO John Vanausdall said the museum was working on a strategy for an endowment-building drive.

More than other types of not-for-profits, arts groups rely heavily on the wealthiest donors.•

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!

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