Archive for the ‘press releases’ Category

$30 Million Upgrade Planned around IUPUI

July 15, 2014 Leave a comment
IU Natatorium at IUPUI

IU Natatorium at IUPUI. staff photo, (c) 2010, all rights reserved.

Press Release
City of Indianapolis

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, IU President Michael McRobbie, the Lilly Endowment and many other organizations yesterday announced a joint $30 million investment to better connect IUPUI to its surrounding communities and make critical renovations to the Indiana University Natatorium (pictured above).

The $30 million total project will include $10 million from the City to turn Michigan and New York Streets into two-way streets from West Street through campus and across the bridge into Haughville. Those streets, as well as West Street between Michigan and New York, will be rebuilt to include safer pedestrian crossings and sidewalks, bike lanes, specialized lighting, decorative signage, public art, grass medians, trees and rain gardens.  Funding for the road improvements will be provided from the Downtown TIF.  Construction and rerouting of traffic patterns will begin next year.

“Thousands of people enter and exit IUPUI for work, class and access to medical care every day,” said Mayor Ballard. “These streets improvements will make it safer and easier for people to access campus and encourage investment and development in Haughville, Hawthorne and Stringtown from companies seeking to be near IUPUI and the growing IU Health complex.”

The other phase of the project will include a $10 million investment by Indiana University to renovate the Natatorium and maintain it as a worldwide aquatic attraction. The Lilly Endowment will match Indiana University’s financial commitments pending final approvals from all organizational partners. Improvements include a new roof, heating and cooling system, pool filtration, lighting, skylights, and other mechanical repairs. Most renovations will be complete prior to Indy hosting the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Diving in 2016.

“Just as the  IUPUI campus  has been an integral part of downtown Indianapolis for decades, the IU Natatorium has become one of the city’s signature sports venues over the last 30 years,” McRobbie said. “Indiana University’s investment in the future of the Natatorium is emblematic of our commitment to the city of Indianapolis. The planned improvements will allow the Natatorium to provide swimmers and divers of all levels – as well as fans of the sports – with a world-class facility for years to come, furthering strengthening the strong partnership between IU and the city.”

The natatorium was originally built in 1982. The 220,000 square foot facility is the nation’s largest indoor swimming facility with two 50-meter pools and seating for 4,700 spectators. It has hosted many significant sporting events including the 1987 Pan Am Games and 13 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in swimming, diving, and synchronized swimming. It is considered one of the fastest pools in the country. Over 100 records have been set in the pool, including 15 world records.

“We look forward to many more years of Olympians adding their names to the treasured wall of the IU Natatorium, cementing Indiana’s continued position as a sports capital and inspiring future generations of swimmers and divers to strive for greatness at this iconic facility,” said Allison Melangton, President, Indiana Sports Corp.

Annie Oakley Perfumery Introduces ‘Wisteria’ Fragrance Line

April 29, 2014 Leave a comment
Wildflower Woods

The wisteria vines at Wildflower Woods.
Photo provided by Annie Oakley Perfumery and used with written permission.

By Becky Burke
Annie Oakley Perfumery

The Annie Oakley® Perfumery in Ligonier, Indiana, has partnered with the Gene Stratton-Porter Memorial Society to offer “Wisteria,” a new natural fragrance that was introduced at the 2013 celebration of the Indiana author’s 150th birthday.  The fragrance is now available at the gift shop of the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site in Rome City, which recently opened for the season at 1205 Pleasant Point, Rome City, Indiana.

“Wisteria” was created by perfumer Renee Gabet, founder of Annie Oakley®, with inspiration from Stratton-Porter’s beloved wisteria vines in her formal gardens at Wildflower Woods (see photo above), a focal point at the 123-acre State Historic Site.  “The scent captures light florals, fresh lake breezes and more spicy notes from the locust arbor framed by the wisteria that Gene planted nearly 100 years ago,” according to Gabet.  She said the “beautiful and fragrant blooms are in full glory and enchant visitors each spring,” typically blooming in early May.

Guests to the historic site can now take home the memory of Stratton-Porter’s beloved wisteria bushes in the form of either a perfume spray or a perfuming body crème developed by Annie Oakley®.  “The scent can be worn by anyone and has a wonderful lingering effect without overpowering, making ‘Wisteria’ a perfect treat for yourself or a lovely present for a friend,” Gabet said.

The partnership between Annie Oakley® and the Gene Stratton-Porter Memorial Society began in August 2013, when “Wisteria” was introduced at the author’s 150th birthday celebration during the annual Chautauqua Days in Rome City.  Gabet says the partnership between her perfumery and the memorial society will continue as additional fragrances are created for an entire Wildflower Woods collection.  “I couldn’t be more proud to work with the Gene Stratton-Porter Memorial Society to develop a fragrance based on another strong-willed, independent woman like Annie Oakley, for whom my perfumery is named.”

Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924) is Indiana’s most widely-read female author who wrote such favorites as A Girl of the Limberlost and Freckles.  She was also known as a naturalist and a gifted nature photographer.  Her career started with her writing about nature for magazines, but she soon turned to fiction to share stories based on her experiences living among the woodlands and wetlands of northeastern Indiana.  In her lifetime, Stratton-Porter authored 12 novels, seven nature studies, three poetry books, children’s books, and a number of magazine articles.  Eight of her novels were produced as motion pictures.

Annie Oakley Perfumery in Ligonier, Indiana.

Annie Oakley Perfumery in Ligonier, Indiana. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

Her cabin at Wildflower Woods near Rome City is situated on the shores of Sylvan Lake among 123 acres of fields, woods and beautiful formal gardens.  Wildflower Woods has been turned into Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site that is open to the public from April 1 to December 1 each year, with hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

The Gene Stratton-Porter Memorial State Historic Site offers hourly tours of the naturalist’s cabin, occasional nature tours, educational programming and other events, as well as an onsite gift shop.  The store sells a variety of gift items, including the new nature-inspired Wisteria perfume by Annie Oakley® that is sold exclusively at the gift shop.  The spray perfume retails for $30, the perfuming body crème for $15, and a traveler spray is available for $5.

All proceeds from the Gene Stratton Memorial gift shop sales are used to support future educational programming, gardens and grounds maintenance, and restoration and other projects at the historic site.  Gene Stratton-Porter Memorial Society members receive a 10 percent discount on all gift shop purchases when showing their GSPMS membership cards.  Click here for more information on the memorial society, or call 260-854-3790.

Annie Oakley® is a family-owned business that was founded in 1980 by perfumer/ entrepreneur Renee Gabet.  The company can be traced back to Gabet’s home in northern Indiana, where she, along with her husband and five children, began mixing perfumes in their family kitchen and shipping orders from their front porch.  Annie Oakley® soon moved to its own manufacturing facility with a mission to create world-class perfumes in the heartland of America.  The perfumery continues to be a family venture, with Renee, her husband Chuck, and other family members overseeing the operation.

Annie Oakley® has grown from a home-based business to a world-class perfumery selling millions of its various products, which include natural and organic fragrances, along with pure essential oils and body products.  Annie Oakley Enterprises has become an American success story.  In 2011, the firm opened The Annie Oakley Perfumery Studio to provide tourists to northern Indiana’s Amish country with a rare opportunity to view a perfumery operation and learn how Annie Oakley® fragrances are created, blended and bottled. The company was named 2012 Innovator of the Year for Northeast Indiana by KPC Media Group and has been featured on national tourism websites and blogs.

Annie Oakley™ products are sold nationally and internationally through more than 1,000 retail locations.  Its fragrances are offered in Paradies airport Shops and in partnership with independent retailers across the country.  For more information, visit or call 260-894-7219.

New Peace and Nature Garden at Benedict Inn

April 28, 2014 Leave a comment
Benedict Inn Tree Planting

Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley and Matt Wakefield from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful plant a tree at Benedict Inn. Photo provided by Benedict Inn and used with written permission.

By Dema Newby
Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center

The Benedict Inn Retreat & Conference Center, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Benedict, and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc., (KIB) are collaborating on the creation of the Peace & Nature Garden that will be created on the retreat property by KIB.  The kick-off and sign dedication for the project was held on April 5. KIB’s Youth Tree team planted nearly 100 trees on that same date as part of the kick-off.

Part of KIB’s IPL Project GreenSpace program, this space will create a meditative place that is quiet, safe, and ADA accessible. Featuring shaded and open areas, sitting areas, walkways, and art the space will highlight the native plant palette to further the biodiversity of our local environment; improving the habitat for local birds, animals, and insects, which in turn enriches the land and air.

The Benedict Inn will hold an Information Night on May 13, 2014, at 7 pm to introduce the design and plans for the Peace & Nature Garden. The public is encouraged to get involved to help create the community space, as a core objective in the collaboration with KIB is to engage the wider community. Anyone interested in learning more about this project, or in participating on the work days, is welcome to attend the session May 13.  The Benedict Inn is located at 1402 Southern Ave., Beech Grove.  Additional volunteer dates will be communicated during this meeting, as well as in other communications to follow.

The Benedict Inn welcomes women, men, and children of all ages and faiths to its many, varied, and inspiring programs fostering spiritual and personal growth. Myriad programming will be developed to utilize the newly created space once it is implemented. To learn more about Benedict Inn programs, visit

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization with a mission to engage diverse communities to create vibrant public places, helping people and nature thrive. In 2013, KIB worked with more than 30,000 volunteers on over 500 community projects.  To learn more, visit, or follow them on Twitter @kibiorg and like them on Facebook @kibiorg.

Indy City Futbol Launches in Downtown Indianapolis

April 25, 2014 Leave a comment
Indy City Futbol Logo

Indy City Futbol Logo. Image provided by the organizers and used with written permission.

By Jim Walker
On behalf of Indy City Futbol

Indy Eleven and Big Car Collaborative announced today the creation of a neighborhood-themed downtown recreational soccer league: Indy City Futbol presented by Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.  With games played at the Visit Indy Field at White River State Park, neighborhood teams with names like Mass Ave United and Sporting Herron Morton will compete for the Eskenazi Health Championship Trophy and the chance to claim the title as best soccer team in the city. The league is co-ed and open to adult players of all skill levels.

European football-style crests for each team created by Designer Ross Shafer will adorn the players’ shirts at each competition, solidifying the neighborhood focus of each team. But this isn’t just another recreational league. Teams will be judged on wins and losses, but can earn additional points by volunteering together in their neighborhoods, or by commuting together to the games.

“We’re hoping this league not only facilitates the fun and camaraderie that soccer brings to its players, but the kind of community engagement that can only come from getting out and being present with your neighbors,”  said Jordan Updike, the league’s director.

From April 24 to May 28, players over 18 may register for only $25 at Games will be played on Wednesday evenings from June 4 through Aug. 20, with the champion crowned at halftime of the Aug. 23 Indy Eleven game vs. Ottawa Fury FC. Individuals interested in playing but whose neighborhood isn’t on the list can apply to have their neighborhood included

“We are just absolutely thrilled,” said Sherry Seiwert, president of Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. “Downtown Indy is becoming more and more residential so having exciting opportunities such as this for neighbors to gather and get to know each other better is fantastic. Kudos to Indy Eleven and Big Car for pulling it all together. We can’t wait to see this grow and grow.”

“This is an opportunity to build community and identity in neighborhoods, bring people together to have fun and showcase our amazing Downtown,” said Big Car executive director Jim Walker. “And we’re excited to work with such a great group of local sponsors and partners, including Reverie Estates and MYTM8It’s because of their support that we’ve been able to keep to cost for participants at an incredibly reasonable level.”

Big Car found inspiration for a league in Indianapolis after learning of one that brings people from historic neighborhoods together in Detroit called Detroit City Futbol ( With the new excitement around Indy Eleven, now seemed like the perfect time for the league to start in Indianapolis.

Each team’s t-shirts will be sponsored by a local business in the team’s neighborhood. Local companies interested in sponsoring a team can email for more information.

Percussive Arts Society Launches New Publication

April 3, 2014 Leave a comment
Rhythm Scene Publication

‘Rhythm Scene’ Publication.
Image provided by Percussive Arts Society and used with written permission.

By Matthew Altizer
Percussive Arts Society

The Percussive Arts Society recently announced its new bi-monthly publication Rhythm! Scene, replacing the previous publication Percussion News. This new publication is available for mobile devices including iPad, Android tablets, and Kindle Fire, in addition to an online e-reader through The new format offers percussion enthusiasts more information in each issue by embedding links to audio and video, manufacturer websites, and other digital media that simply can’t be duplicated in a print publication, in addition to keeping every enthusiast up-to-date with PAS. Rhythm! Scene is open to the public as a free publication.

Megan Arns

Megan Arns

PAS has tabbed editor Megan Arns to lead the Rhythm! Scene publication efforts by focusing on new initiatives and informative articles. Megan is currently pursuing a D.M.A. in Percussion Performance & Literature and a M.A. in Ethnomusicology at the Eastman School of Music. She holds a M.M. and a Certificate in World Music from Florida State University and a B.M. from Truman State University. Active as a contemporary chamber musician, Megan’s recent highlights include collaborative performances in India, Jordan, Costa Rica, Ghana, and the United States. Megan currently serves on the faculty of Mansfield University in Mansfield, PA and recently filled an interim position in Jordan on the faculty of the National Music Conservatory and as Principal Timpanist of the Amman Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Megan has been awarded travel grants to several countries in Africa and the Middle East for study, research, and education. She also has extensive experience in the field of marching percussion, serving on the instructional staff of the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps and as a performing member of the Santa Clara Vanguard.

Percussive Arts Society Executive Director Jeff Hartsough said: “I’m very pleased that Megan has joined our publications team as Editor for our newest publication Rhythm! Scene.  Her diverse background along with her contacts will bring a depth of knowledge that will cultivate fresh and current subjects to be enjoyed by everyone from students and enthusiasts, to educators and professionals.”

Staci Stokes-Waites

Staci Stokes-Waites

PAS has also hired Staci Stokes-Waites as Advertising Sales Manager. Staci currently teaches General Music in Pearland, Texas. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Masters of Percussion Performance from Texas Tech University. Stokes-Waites spent twelve years with Pro-Mark Corporation, where she worked as the Director of Education. She has a vast background of teaching to all age groups spanning Kindergarten to college level and has also marched and instructed with several corps in the Drum and Bugle Corps activity. Staci served as a PAS intern in 1993 and has also sat on the Education Committee as well as being selected as a PAS Future Leader.

When asked about her new position within PAS, Staci said: “I have always held considerable respect for the Percussive Arts Society and the invaluable role it plays in the educating and nurturing of percussionists of all ages. It is truly an impeccable organization and I am excited to be a part of the PAS team as the Advertising Sales Manager. I look forward to working with so many of my old and new friends in the industry and to contribute what I can to the future of PAS.” For more information about advertising with PAS, contact Staci at

About Percussive Arts Society
The Percussive Arts Society was established in 1961 as a non-profit music service organization. Its mission is to promote percussion education, research, performance and appreciation throughout the world. PAS is the world’s largest percussion organization with more than 7,000 members representing over 50 countries and serves as the central source for information and networking for drummers and percussionists of all ages. The Percussive Arts Society international headquarters is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information about the Percussive Arts Society, visit its Web site at or call 317-974-4488.