Articles

Fine arts programs prepare students for real world: Artists taught how to deal with galleries, market work

Most fine arts students used to exist in a bubble-running to class in paint-splattered clothing and practically living in their studios, channeling their muse and honing their craft. Once they graduated, those who were driven enough to try to make a living off their talent still had a lot to learn about running a business. But now many universities are doing more to make sure art students graduate with the business skills they need. Local photographer Ginny Taylor Rosner graduated…

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Midwest Mole tunnels into large local projects: East-side company in unusual niche makes mark

In the face of a slumping local economy in the early 1980s, several national construction firms packed up and left Indianapolis. One locally based salesman, Len Liotti, was given a choice-move to St. Louis along with his job at tunneling contractor Affholder Inc., or set out on his own. Seeing the void the big players would create when leaving, Liotti started Midwest Mole Inc. in 1982 to fill it. Twenty-five years later, the privately held firm is thriving thanks to…

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Fieldhouse rolls out season-ticket program: Concert offering could lure mid-size businesses

Businesses looking to entertain clients but not quite ready for a luxury box at Conseco Fieldhouse now have another option-season tickets to all the concerts. The offering, dubbed Your Exclusive Access, will be the first season-ticket package in the nation for arena concerts, said Dave Lucas, owner of Indianapolis-based entertainment firm Live-360 LLC. Live-360 is managing the program for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, which leases the fieldhouse from the city and schedules entertainment there. While season-ticket programs have been a…

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Feds OK women’s biz centers: Program wins affiliation with SBA; details on set up, funding to come

After a 19-year run as a pilot program, a national initiative aimed at helping women start businesses finally has earned a seal of approval from the federal government. As an official U.S. Small Business Administration program, the Women’s Business Center concept gains the stability that supporters had been seeking for nearly two decades. And that’s good news for women like Krista Bermeo, an Indianapolis artist who makes melted glass jewelry in her namesake Fountain Square studio. Bermeo sought help from…

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State museum to start traveling corn exhibit

Indiana State Museum is expected to announce details today about a major traveling exhibit on corn that will debut locally in August 2009. Museum employees have developed content for the $1 million-plus show, which eventually will travel to other museums in exchange for a fee. The show will map corn’s evolution and hybridization and the […]

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Local corporations maintain FFA convention funding: Main goal: getting attention of future leaders

Indianapolis-area companies are ponying up $1.15 million to help put on this month’s National FFA convention, an event expected to draw more than 55,000 members and their chaperones to the city. They’re backing the bigbudget affair largely because of the access it gives them to future leaders-from tomorrow’s policymakers to those who could someday work at these local firms. And the city is putting on quite a show to get the attention of the roughly 46,000 12-to 21-year-old members and…

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Heartland’s push for national attention is working: But local film organization’s endorsements still have a ‘family-friendly’ feel

Since 1991, the Heartland Film Festival has brought uplifting independent films to Indianapolis every year, building a reputation with time and an impressive $100,000 grand prize for the best feature. Then two years ago, it decided to aim a little higher. With help from a $3.7 million grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., the Indianapolis organization set out to make its brand so well-known to consumers that a Heartland award would be the equivalent of the Good Housekeeping seal of…

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Arts Council offers more help directly to artists

When Shannon Linker went to work for the Arts Council of Indianapolis in mid-2002, it was a typical pass-through organization–re-granting
city money to local arts groups. Now Linker is director of an artist-services program for the council that is on par with
those offered in communities like Seattle and New York City but few other places.

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Convention faithful are sticking it out: Trade groups say perks outweigh construction hassle

The Indiana Convention Center isn’t big enough for some large trade shows, but Indianapolis’ location and hospitality are enough to keep certain customers coming back. Despite losing locally based Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association’s CEDIA Expo and California-based Performance Racing Industry’s annual show-and the estimated $45 million attendees spent each year-Indianapolis has managed to keep three other biggies. Do it Best Corp.’s twice-yearly trade show, Advanstar Communications’ Dealer Expo and the Fire Department Instructors Conference are sticking around because…

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Home entrepreneurs test child-care waters

Motherhood is a common path to the home-based child care business, but more childless women looking for self-employment options
also are getting into the field. Nearly 3,000 Indiana child-care providers are licensed to provide services in their homes–including
469 in Marion County.

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Size matters to Greenwalt: After cutting ties to construction firm, developer focuses on small projects

Greenfield was up to about $150 million in sales by 2000, when the Greenwalt family sold its commercial construction firm. Founder Max Greenwalt then went to work with his sons Jeff and Lynn at the development company. About the same time, Greenwalt Development tweaked its mission to focus on senior-living communities and medical office projects-scaling back the size of the firm in the process. The leaner company now has $15 million in annual revenue and nearly $14 million in projects…

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Cincinnati ballet troupe might open regional office here

The Cincinnati Ballet is taking an exploratory step toward a regional ballet company, announcing plans to stage a six-show
“Nutcracker” production here this December. The idea of a collaboration–where the two cities would share production and administration
expenses–has elicited mixed response.

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Health care fix may wait for ’08: But other federal bills important to small business are making headway

That’s not what many NFIB members wanted to hear. “I’ve been a member of [the advocacy group] since 1985, and since 1985 the top issue has been health care that is affordable for businesses and employees,” said Barbara Quandt of Indianapolis-based Quality Environmental Professionals Inc. The firm’s health insurance costs increased by 33 percent in 2007, and Quandt said company leaders are “quaking” with dread over what will happen in 2008. QEPI covers 75 percent of insurance costs for its…

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Web video series heralds Roman invasion at IMA: Produced in-house, the 11-part series is a first

When the Indianapolis Museum of Art landed the U.S. premiere of a 184-piece exhibit of Roman art from the Louvre, its staff knew the time had come to think big. “This show is considered a blockbuster,” said Daniel Incandela, director of new media at IMA. “I knew we should develop some blockbuster content ideas.” So he and his colleagues pitched their grand plan to museum leaders: They would travel to Rome and Paris to develop an 11-part series of digital…

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Hot topics:

Hanging out at the art world’s water cooler, but don’t know how to break the ice? Here are several topics IBJ has identified that will be on the tips of the tongues wagging in the local arts scene. Read and discuss amongst yourselves. What do you think of Max Anderson’s leadership at the Indianapolis Museum of Art? Since taking over in mid-2006, staff say Anderson is constantly beating this drum: The IMA is a top-10 encyclopedic museum; it’s time we…

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Campaign promoting local art moves into second phase: Plan to target business owners is still on the drawing board

“Be Indypendent” bumper stickers are popping up all over town. They’ve been stuck to the side of Dumpsters and the back of everything from VW bugs to cable repair trucks since debuting in July. The curious who follow the message back to its Web site discover an effort to get everyday consumers interested in buying locally produced artwork. The site (www.beindypendent.org) already has had nearly 2,000 hits from seven countries and 35 states, and now campaign organizers are looking to…

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Small biz tax bills rising, too: Extra expense narrows margins

Area homeowners weren’t the only ones to get a shock when they opened their 2007 tax bills. Some small-business owners also saw their bills skyrocket-putting a strain on entrepreneurs who often operate on razor-thin margins. “It’s catastrophic for some businesses,” said Kevin Hughes, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business’s Indiana chapter. Mike Hutson, owner of Westfield Lighting Co., certainly feels the pain. The bill on his commercial property-several acres and a 22,500-square-foot building-increased from $42,000 in 2006…

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