In tough times, remember the arts as a civic duty

May 25, 2009

Growing up as an Indianapolis Public School kid in the '70s, I was fortunate to have many of the city's civic and political leaders as mentors. I recall them rolling out their bold plans for what Indianapolis could one day be and challenging my classmates and me to carry their torch forward when we were adult professionals one day.

Fortunately, these bold civic and political leaders did realize their visions. Many of my classmates and I chose to devote ourselves to Indianapolis after college helping add to their visions and contributions.

Unfortunately, some of the old fears from my youth have returned. The economic downturn is threatening the arts, cultural institutions, and sports anchors that have transformed Indianapolis into one of the country's greatest cities for living, working, and visiting.

It is time for all of us to carry the torch forward again. I challenge everyone who lives in or loves Indianapolis to act, just as our city's civic leaders challenged me in my youth. Attend arts events, visit our cultural organizations, and support our sports teams. If you don't make regular donations to arts and cultural organizations, there has never been a better and more important time to give. If you do, increase your donations.

Encourage your employer to provide support and get involved. Exhort your state and local political leaders to support arts, culture and sports organizations. Share your voice, share your support. You will not only be helping sustain many great organizations, you will be helping to keep Indianapolis great.

Dennis Trinkle

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