Archive for August, 2011

IVCI Receives $900,000 Grant from Lilly Endowment

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment
International Violin Competition of Indianapolis logo

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis logo. Image provided by IVCI.

Guest Blogger:
Mary Jane Sorbera, IVCI

The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI) has received a $900,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.

These funds will be used over a four-year period to support events and activities leading up to and during the Competition itself to be held in September 2014.  Activities include professional development/career management for  the Laureates (Competition winners), the annual chamber music series—The Laureate Series, education programs and marketing initiatives.

Lilly Endowment has been a prominent supporter of the IVCI since the first Competition in 1982 and has enabled  “The Indianapolis” to continue to grow and attract the most talented participants from throughout the world.

For more information, visit

Blaise Poth named Director at Indianapolis Suzuki Academy

August 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Guest Blogger:
Sarah Beck, Indianapolis Suzuki Academy

The Indianapolis Suzuki Academy (ISA), formerly incorporated as the Indianapolis Academy of Music has hired Blaise Poth as the new Director. Her position with the Academy corresponds with the organization’s transition to a formal Suzuki-based music education program.

Blaise Poth

Blaise Poth

A career performer with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra in Kentucky, Ms. Poth’s expertise in the Suzuki method of violin instruction has been honed through a dedicated course of study over the last nine years at institutes certified by the Suzuki Association of the Americas such as the Colorado Suzuki String Institute, Chicago Suzuki String Institute and University of Louisville Suzuki Institute, among others.

In addition to a robust private studio, Ms. Poth built Suzuki programs at elementary schools in Louisville growing the programs to 70 violin students currently. She also serves as the director of the Summer Institute at the Louisville Suzuki String Association housed at the University of Louisville School of Music.

ISA Board President Michael Strauss states, “Ms. Poth will fulfill an organic need in central Indiana by providing an inspired direction for accessible community-based music education. She will continue Dr. Suzuki’s vision of peace and harmony through the common language of music.”

The Suzuki Talent Education method is based on the teachings of renowned Japanese pedagogue Shinichi Suzuki, who taught music in a similar fashion to the way a child learns their mother tongue. Repetition, listening, parent involvement, and learning with peers are key features of the method.

For thirty years, the Academy has inspired young people throughout central Indiana to study violin, viola and cello. The ISA’s program of study incorporates private lessons, group classes, monthly recitals, concerts, chamber music and master classes to inspire and excite students about music. ISA students and graduates include area and regional concerto competition winners, section leaders in high school orchestras, as well as beginners enjoying their first performances of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” The Academy’s transition to a formal Suzuki-based approach is a unique opportunity for Indianapolis families, providing them with an enriching experience for parents and students to learn the joy of music together.

Lessons and group classes are held at the centrally located campuses of the International School of Indianapolis (ISI). The Academy is pleased to have this partnership with the ISI to offer Suzuki instruction to all Indianapolis area families.

The ISA has a dedicated Faculty and Board of Directors who are committed to living out the Suzuki principles in teaching and programs. The ISA Board of Advisors is comprised of renowned artists Laurie Carney, founding violinist in the American String Quartet; Nick Kendall, violinist with Time for Three (ensemble-in-residence with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra); William and Doris Preucil of the internationally recognized Preucil School of Music; and William Grubb, Butler University cello professor and Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music chamber music coach.

For more information, visit

Great Getaways: Brown County, Indiana

August 21, 2011 Leave a comment
Nashville Express Holiday Train in Brown County

Nashville Express Holiday Train in Brown County. Photo provided by Brown County CVB.

Guest Blogger:
Jamie Giles, Brown County CVB

For many years Brown County has been known as “The Art Colony of the Midwest,” and with good reason.  For over 100 years, artists have resided and worked in Brown County, capturing its beauty and essence in their paintings, pictures, and works of art.

It is the natural beauty that originally attracted early settlers, but the preservation of its beauty and nature, and the added abundance of adventure have made Brown County into a year-round premier vacation destination for art, nature, and adventure enthusiasts.  Also offering plenty of history, the county includes two Covered Bridges, The Pioneer Village, T.C. Steele State Historic Site, and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

Brown County is located just a mere 60 minutes from Indianapolis and includes the largest state park in Indiana, Brown County State Park, which boasts miles of trails, scenic look-outs, camping, the Nature Center and a 12,000 square foot indoor Aquatic Center at their Abe Martin Lodge.  A great Getaway for a family!

Art tours, workshops, classes, festivals and gallery openings happen continuously throughout the year.  With over 250 artists that live and work in the area, you are bound to find a handmade item that will make a great keepsake or gift, plus you can even learn some new skills while you are here! Upcoming events  include  The 10th Annual Backroads of Brown County Tour (October 1–31, 2011), a free self-guided driving tour of artists’ homes and studios where you can see them in action and purchase items and the Village Art Walk which happens every second Saturday of the month through December.

Brown County’s newest entertainment venue, The Palace Theatre of Brown County, features top-notch professional entertainment and a wide variety of original shows.  Presented in a newly renovated theatre with state of the art sound and lighting, The Palace is unlike any other theatrical destination.  An assortment of shows is staged regularly throughout the year; from swanky Vegas to down-home country; ragtime to rock; salutes to Elvis and Johnny Cash, they cover all styles and genres.

Growing in popularity for mountain bike riders and adventure enthusiasts, Brown County has 176, 830 acres of forested land and over 25 miles of trails and loops. The County offers Holler Hoppin’ Zip Lines, ATV Tours, fishing, swimming, canoe/kayak rentals, paintball, and even gold panning!   Upcoming events include the September Escapade! 2011 (September 12-16), Brown County Hills Challenge Bike Ride (September 30 – October 1), 7th Annual Brown County Breakdown (October 8 – 9), Hilly Hundred (October 14 – 16), Cabin Fever 5K Run/Walk (November 12), Gravel Grovel (November 26,) and the Tecumseh Trail Marathon (December 3).

On top of a variety of activities and of course, the beautiful Fall Foliage, Brown County also has a wondrous holiday season every year. The Village of Nashville turns into a festive winter delight with many colorful lights, a tree walk, holiday shopping, shows, and open houses, carolers, train rides, carriage rides, and the kids will have the chance to meet Santa and Ms. Claus! Friday, November 11th kicks off the popular Holiday Passport. Complete a Passport(s) and you become eligible to win an instant prize and the Grand Prize of $500 cash and a Brown County Getaway.

Believe in Brown County happens November 11 – January 1, 2012. Remember how you felt as a kid during the holidays?  The excitement evoked by sparkling lights, tempting treats and special traditions shared with loved ones? Brown County has the ticket to recapturing that childhood wonderment. Believe in the magic of the season again, in the enchanted experience; Believe in Brown County.

Brown County has so much to offer. Workshops, wineries, a microbrewery, retreats, outdoor activities, live entertainment, seasonal happenings, festivals, unique shops, local restaurants, a number of exceptional lodging accommodations, etc. Brown County is a wonderful place for just about any kind of weekend including, Girlfriends Getaways, Romantic Weekends, Family Getaways and Destination Weddings. So don’t miss out and visit Brown County soon.  It’s easy to get to, but hard to leave!

Online Event Calendar:

Affordable Summer Getaway in Elkhart County

August 19, 2011 Leave a comment
Quilt Gardens in Elkhart County

Quilt Gardens in Elkhart County. Image provided by the Elkhart County Visitors Center.

Guest Blogger:
Jackie Hughes, Elkhart County Visitors Center

Elkhart County, IN – August 18, 2011 — Looking for a different and fun getaway that won’t break the bank before summer ends?  The Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail in Northern Indiana Amish Country deliver 36 juried designs all bursting with color and a one-of-its-kind experience.

18 eye-popping quilt patterned gardens packed with more than 100,000 annuals blanket the communities of Elkhart, Bristol, Goshen, Middlebury, Nappanee, Shipshewana and Wakarusa, Indiana – all along the nationally recognized Heritage Trail route.    Then add 18 vibrant outdoor quilt art murals gracing buildings throughout the area.  Maps show the way to each location and signs tell the special story about each pattern.  The gardens and murals are all viewable at no charge through September.

Pair the Quilt Gardens with a special event for extra color and local flavor.  Taste of the Gardens, Saturday, August 27 at Wellfield Botanic Gardens in Elkhart combines the beauty of tranquil gardens with exhibiting artists, scrumptious fare, fine wines and musical entertainment.

Get Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail maps and detailed information at  For more information on other things to see and do in the area visit or contact the Elkhart County (IN) Visitors Center at 800-262-8161. 

Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail Locations

Central Park, Elkhart, garden                                      Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Middlebury, garden & mural

Concord Mall, Elkhart, mural                                       Dutch Country Market, Middlebury, garden

Elkhart County Visitors Center, mural                     Greencroft Middlebury, garden

Linton’s Enchanted Gardens, garden                      Krider Garden, Middlebury, garden

Ruthmere, Elkhart, garden                                          Cinnamon Stick, Middlebury, mural

Time Was Museum, mural                                           Varns & Hoover, Middlebury, mural

Wellfield Botanic Gardens, Elkhart, garden           Farmstead Inn, Shipshewana, garden

Elk. County  Hist. Museum, Bristol, garden           Menno-Hof, Shipshewana, garden

Bonneyville Mill, Bristol, mural                                   Weaver Furniture, Shipshewana, garden

Elkhart County Fairgrounds, Goshen, garden      Amish Acres, Nappanee, garden

Elkhart County Courthouse, garden                         Nappanee Center, garden

Goshen Chamber of Commerce, mural                  John’s Butcher Shop, Nappanee, murals

Goshen College, mural                                                  Downtown Wakarusa, garden & mural

Old Bag Factory, Goshen, garden & mural

Johnson County Family Farm Wins Rural Preservation Award

August 18, 2011 Leave a comment
Hopewell Farm

The Hopewell Farm in Johnson County. Photo provided by Indiana Landmarks Center.

Guest Blogger:
Tommy Kleckner, Indiana Landmarks Center

On Farmers’ Day (August 17) at the Indiana State Fair, the Van Nuys family received the 2011 Arnold Award for Rural Preservation from Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Farm Bureau. Kathleen Van Nuys is the current steward of the Hopewell farm that has been in the Van Nuys family for more than 160 years.

Kathleen Van Nuys—the fourth generation owner—oversees the 272-acre operation that includes over 100 sheep, nearly 240 acres of crops, 10 historic outbuildings and the original family home.

“The Van Nuys family has preserved the historic agricultural buildings with respect for the heritage and the use of the property as an operating farm,” said Tommy Kleckner, Director of Indiana Landmarks’ Western Regional Office.

Kathleen Van Nuys lives in the c.1866 homestead which combines Italianate and Greek Revival-style architecture in bricks made in the pasture across the road. The house has steadily been updated with modern amenities, and a 1900 clapboard addition. Large wrought iron rings where visitors could tie a horse and carriage can still be found on either side of the front sidewalk.

Other preserved farm buildings include the “pigeon house,” chicken house and four double hog houses. The buggy shed, corn crib and workshop predate the house’s construction. The homestead and the original six acres were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

As the eldest of three generations of Van Nuys in Indiana, Kathleen expects to pass the farm to her son and grandson. She relies on farm tenants Stan and Stanley Poe, who share her stewardship and preservation ethic.

Kathleen Van Nuys along with her son Rev. Dr. John Van Nuys and grandson Sam Van Nuys accepted the Arnold Award on Wednesday morning during the Old-Fashioned Pancake Breakfast on Main Street. Indiana Landmarks’ President Marsh Davis and Don Villwock, President of Indiana Farm Bureau, joined Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman in presenting the award.

The annual award is named in memory of John Arnold (1955-1991), a Rush County farmer committed to preserving Indiana’s rural heritage.

For more information about the award and nominations for the 2012 Arnold Award for Rural Preservation, contact Tommy Kleckner at Indiana Landmarks, 812-249-3116,

Editor’s Acknowledgment: Jen Schmits Thomas, JTPR, Inc.