Indianapolis insists on innovation


The entire Indianapolis arts community is about to undergo a makeover.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art is preparing to start the first event of the new Innovative Museum Leaders Speaker Series this Thursday. It will bring in an assortment of leaders in the art field to talk about their work and how to boost morale in their organizations.

The series is an outcome of a recent grant received from Eli Lilly and Company for $1 million.

Chris Parker, IMA spokesperson, described the series as a way to better the art community from the inside.

“We’re bringing in people from all around the country from like-minded organizations who have taken their museum or historical place to the next level as an institution,” Parker said.

The first speaker, Marie McKee, is the president of the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. Her methods boosted revenue for her institution and greatly increased attendance at various events and to the museum as a whole.

She will be speaking Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Parker said the IMA hopes to find use in her techniques and implement them to enhance all organizations in the arts community, specifically the museum.

“The Indianapolis Museum of Art has been here for over 100 years and has done amazing things during that time, but we still know with the ever-changing culture in Indianapolis and around the world, there is a constant need to keep up with the times,” Parker said.

Junior arts administration major Andrea Rubens said she appreciates participation from everyone who engages himself or herself in this constantly shuffling culture of the art world.

“I see arts students who go to these types of events with someone from a different major and it is just really great to see everyone involved,” Rubens said.

Rubens said she sees the benefits of going to different events, especially at the IMA, for their educational enlightenment as well as being able to complete the Jordan College of the Arts Indy Metro Requirements.

“It’s nice to be able to see the community and the arts in the community,” Rubens said. “Plus the IMA is so close and it’s always free.”

Parker sees the series as something everyone can relate to, not just arts students.

“It isn’t just about the arts in particular. It’s about the culture as a whole and being able to create something that is expressive, not only for one notch of the population, but for everyone,” Parker said.

The IMA always wants to be a welcoming community, not just during this series.

“We’re a kind of institution constantly fostering diversity,” Parker said. “We want anyone from any sort of background, no matter what it may be, to feel welcomed and feel like he or she is part of something.”

The second installation of the Innovative Museum Leaders Speaker Series will be May 6 and will continue having important members of the arts community  come in and speak about their progress.

Until then, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is free to enter and open Tuesday through Sunday.