Preschool class is getting an artful advantage

The Herald-Times

Preschool class is getting an artful advantage

Our opinion
January 30, 2013

It’s good to see the latest collaboration between Fairview Elementary School and institutions of higher learning reaching all the way to the youngest students.

As detailed by reporter April Toler in Tuesday’s In School feature, Ivy Tech Community College is partnering with Fairview to introduce artful learning concepts to the school’s preschool instruction, beginning next fall. Arts instructors will work with Fairview students and assist Fairview teachers in expanding their use of artful learning strategies in the classroom.

Fairview has been using the project-based learning model developed by the Leonard Bernstein Center for two years, but this will expand the program to preschool. With research placing more emphasis on early childhood development, this is another way to prepare kids to achieve in school by introducing them to learning methods they need to master as they go forward.

Bloomington is lucky to have two institutions of higher learning willing to involve themselves with the community’s schools. The Indiana University Jacobs Schools of Music, for example, has collaborated with Fairview for several years in the String Project, which provides violin instruction for students. Ivy Tech also has worked with the school on other arts-related projects.

Of course, while we’re handing out plaudits, we should recognize the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, without whose support in the way of grants, this latest collaboration would not happen.

Preschooler Patrick England, left, helps Abi Oakley during an exercise to learn the sounds and appearance of letters Monday at Fairview Elementary School. Soon artful learning will be applied to some of their lessons, just as it is for older Fairview students. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Copyright: 2013

Local groups partnering to support entrepreneurship

The Herald-Times

Local groups partnering to support entrepreneurship

Effort designed to help new businesses ‘connect the dots’ on services, advice, programs

By Bill Strother
331-4265 |
January 30, 2013

The city of Bloomington, the local economic development corporation and Ivy Tech’s Center for Entrepreneurship will be working with other groups over the next several months to design an “ecosystem” to help new businesses and entrepreneurs “connect the dots” on services, advice and programs to help them succeed.

Work on the plan was announced in a news release this week. The group’s first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday morning in the Johnson Creamery building downtown.

The effort is being financed by a portion of a $35,000 grant from the Monroe County Community Foundation to the entrepreneurship center. A number of other agencies, ranging from United Way to the Bloomington Enterprise Association to Indiana University to the chamber of commerce to county government, are participating.

The plan is to identify those resources that are available to small-business people just starting out or who need guidance on such issues as managing growth, marketing, financing and other key elements of business development, then devising a coherent and connected system to point people toward the help they need, said Steve Bryant, director of the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship.

Another goal is to create a network that also works for provider agencies to better muster resources and quickly identify and match needs to providers.

Wednesday’s initial meeting will rough out the study plan and outline goals, with regularly scheduled meetings and roundtables that will explore what is available, identify best practices and any redundancies and investigate similar efforts in other cities.

Bryant said most of the study budget likely will go to pay for reports and research and to bring in consultants, and perhaps send small expeditions to explore efforts in cities such as Ann Arbor or Cleveland, two cities that Bryant said have systems that are relevant to Bloomington.

“What we want is it to be agreed upon that ‘here’s the structure and system for serving entrepreneurs,’” said development corporation president Ron Walker. “We’ll know where we fit into the picture and how best to move people through.”

Danise Alano-Martin, the city’s economic development director, said the goal is to provide a framework for collaboration that is as seamless as possible and that works not only for client businesses but also is sustainable for the providers who are involved.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for all of us who have the same big picture goal to figure out the details on how we get there in a way that makes sense for us and for the ones making the big decision and starting a business.”

Copyright: 2013


Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf

Indiana Public Media Arts & Music

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf

By George Walker

Posted January 24, 2013

“George and Martha do love each other, but they are kind of crippled in their communication.”


Photo: Ivy Tech
Bill Simmons as George and Diane Kondrat as Martha in a tense moment.

Event Information

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Play by Edward Albee
Rose Firebay of the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center
January 25 – February 9, 2013

Ivy Tech Community College presents Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. It’s  a farewell celebration for Bloomington actor Diane Kondrat. Performances in the intimate Rose Firebay run January 25-February 9.

Kondrat plays Martha with frequent acting partner Bill Simmons as her husband George. Emily Mange and Mathew Rowlands play Honey and Nick. They’re the young couple who unwittingly fall into George and Martha’s ongoing battle.

Although many will recall Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf as a dark and scary experience, Kondrat is wary of a simple approach.” It’s so tempting for actors to see a piece like this that is so familiar and to let themselves be imitative or derivative from a film or the very dark readings that can occur in a high school honors class,” she says.”Our director Patricia McKee keeps comparing it to Noel Coward’s comedy Hay Fever. She’s insisting on kind of a light touch and wants people to think that at least at the beginning, they’re seeing a romantic comedy.”

Kondrat does admit that, “There are some brutal moments in the play, but we’re daring ourselves to make this Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf more like badminton match than a squash game. “

The community farewell to actor Diane Kondrat sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College is produced by the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center’s Artistic Director, Paul Daily.

In addition to producing the production Daily has arranged for Kondrat to meet with Ivy Tech students in sessions on monologues and scene work.


George Walker, born in Winchester, Virginia, came to Bloomington in 1966 for graduate school in Indiana University’s English Department, and began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently an On-Air Programming Director, George interviews artists in a wide variety of areas, reviews plays and operas, and supervises on-air performances. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys reading, exercising, and playing guitar in his local bluegrass band.

Fairview Elementary to expand artful learning to preschoolers

The Herald-Times

Fairview Elementary to expand artful learning to preschoolers

Ivy Tech Community College partners with school to provide arts instructors

By April Toler
331-4353 |
January 29, 2013

It has been more than two years since Fairview Elementary School began introducing artful learning, a project-based model developed by the Leonard Bernstein Center, into its curriculum.

The school will soon expand artful learning to its preschool class because of a growing relationship with Ivy Tech Community College.

One visual arts instructor and one theater arts instructor from Ivy Tech will work with the students on a weekly basis.

“I am thrilled and honored to have this support from Ivy Tech to develop the arts in our preschool class,” said principal Karen Adams via email. “In addition to enhancing the arts in preschool, this project aligns perfectly with our Artful Learning Model.”

Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus was recently awarded two grants from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, one of which provides more than $11,000 to start the “Preschool Arts Infusion Program” at Fairview.

Jeffery Allen, assistant director for the Center for Lifelong Learning Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, said the idea behind the program is to bring “high quality arts” directly to the school’s lesson plan through a collaboration between a certified teacher and the artist.

“An example might be creating an original fairy tale (creative play) to explore word recognition and cooperation skills, or a painting reflecting a scientific concept, like change of the seasons,” Allen said. “The key is working together, bringing two unique and complementary skill sets to the students to increase learning.”

This school year was the first year Lynne Hall, Title 1 preschool teacher at Fairview, worked on an artful learning unit in the classroom.

By collaborating with Ivy Tech, Hall said, she hopes to expand her knowledge of artful learning strategies and provide opportunities that would not be available without Ivy Tech’s support.

“It’s going to expose (my students) to things I might not have been able to expose them to on my own,” she said. “They are going to be learning our curriculum and our standards through a different way to meet all different kinds of learners.”

The Preschool Arts Infusion Program is not the first collaboration between Ivy Tech and Fairview.

Each year, Fairview students create the college’s holiday card, which is sent to thousands of community members. And this year, Fairview kindergarten and sixth-grade students collaborated with the college for a ceramics project that will be installed on the B-Line Trail this spring.

For Allen, the collaboration has been a give-and-take relationship aimed at providing the best experience possible for students.

“Bringing the parties together to create that has been an absolute pleasure,” Allen said. “Again, the hallmark being it’s not Ivy Tech coming in saying, ‘Here’s a product we’re selling,’ but rather, ‘Here are some skills we have, here are the skills you have — let’s marry these skills and come up with something that’s unique and powerful.’ I think we really have.”

Preschooler Patrick England, left, helps Abi Oakley during an exercise to learn the sounds and appearance of letters Monday at Fairview Elementary School. Soon artful learning will be applied to some of their lessons, just as it is for older Fairview students. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Preschooler Patrick England, left, yells “bingo” Monday while Abi Oakley watches at Fairview Elementary School during an exercise that helps students learn the names of letters and how they sound. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Lynne Hall works with preschoolers on letter identification by sound and sight Monday at Fairview Elementary School. Jeremy Hogan | Herald-Times

Copyright: 2013

Bloomington to Create Entrepreneurship Action Plan


Updated: 1/29/2013 7:29:13 AM

Bloomington to Create Entrepreneurship Action Plan Report

The city of Bloomington has formed a partnership designed to link entrepreneurs and small businesses to service-providing organizations. The Bloomington Economic Development Corp. and the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech-Bloomington are also involved in the effort.

Funding for the initiative has come in part from a recent Community Impact Funding Grant from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County.

January 28, 2013

News Release

Bloomington, Ind. — The City of Bloomington, Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), and the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech-Bloomington, have launched a joint effort to develop an entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem action plan for Bloomington and Monroe County.

The effort will convene leaders of several local organizations that provide services to startups and small businesses to review current programs and services, identify possible new programs and services based on best practices in other communities, and develop recommendations for the community.

“Entrepreneurship is not new to Bloomington,” said Mayor Mark Kruzan. “But entrepreneurs have new ideas every day that, in the right environment and with the right help, will be transformed into new businesses and new jobs. As a community, we have to make sure we’re providing the right support at the right time.”

The goal is to provide clear, coordinated pathways for entrepreneurs and small businesses as well as for those organizations that provide services to them.

“We’re calling this team together to develop an ecosystem that is easy to navigate from a startup standpoint and sustainable to support from a service-provider standpoint,” said Ron Walker, President of the BEDC.

As one of the service providers in the community, the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship was established at Ivy Tech Bloomington in 2010 to provide students, individuals and small businesses with a means to gain and develop the practical application of entrepreneurial skills and ideas.

Chancellor John Whikehart said this joint effort with the City and BEDC helps to further that mission and ensure that the Bloomington and Monroe County community provides a continuum of service to entrepreneurs as their businesses develop.

“Entrepreneurs take great personal risks which can return immense community rewards in terms of jobs and economic vitality,” Whikehart noted. “A community that is successful in helping entrepreneurs make sure those risks are calculated risks – by providing education, technical expertise, mentorship, financial capital and so on – will reap long-term economic benefits that are driven by home-grown innovation.”

The group will create an asset map of existing entrepreneurship and innovation programs, benchmark other communities that have programs and services to support the innovation economy, detail gaps that exist locally and regionally and gather best practices ideas from local entrepreneurial thought leaders. The group will release a final report and recommendations in the spring, and will continue to work together toward implementing those recommendations.

Funding for the initiative has come in part from a recent Community Impact Funding Grant from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. Multiple local organizations will be included in the project.

About City of Bloomington Department of Economic & Sustainable Development

The mission of the Department is to foster a livable and economically resilient community through partnerships, collaboration and outreach, and through strategic initiatives which expand economic opportunities, preserve the health of our environment, provide for social equity to the citizenry, and advance the principles of sustainable development.

About Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech-Bloomington

The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus was established in 2010 to develop and implement practical tools and resources for students, individuals and the community to foster entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Bloomington and in the broader economic development region it serves.

About BEDC

The BEDC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the retention, development and attraction of quality jobs in Monroe County. The BEDC is led by a partnership of private industry leaders, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington. For more information click here

Source: Bloomington Economic Development Corp.

THEATER REVIEW: Fighting games: Ivy Tech presents ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’

The Herald-Times


THEATER REVIEW: Fighting games: Ivy Tech presents ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’

By Doris Lynch
H-T Reviewer |
January 28, 2013

Credit director Patricia McKee with keeping an excellent quartet of actors sparring, feinting, avoiding and coming back for more in Edward Albee’s scintillating comedic drama about marriage, and the strategies couples use to stay married.

In her swansong Bloomington performance, Diane Kondrat gives a loud, “braying,” in-your-face portrayal of Martha, a faculty wife in Edward Albee’s play about an early a.m. party, where two couples are getting to know each other at a small New England college. As the college president’s daughter, Kondrat keeps her rage simmering to boiling all night as she denigrates — no, eviscerates — her husband for his failures as an academic. Matching her one for one — sometimes in Latin — is Bill Simmons as her bogged-down, history professor husband, George.

It’s 1962. Most women don’t work outside the home, and this couple has issues. In some of the most vituperative and witty language to ever flame onstage, Albee examines the nature of love, professional success and long coupledom — what we give our spouses, and more importantly, what we inflict upon them.

Pacing, punchy, using Jeff Grafton’s ’60s living-room set like a boxing ring, Martha tears George apart, cell by cell, in front of her guests, a young faculty couple new to town, Nick, the biology professor (Matthew Roland) and his wife, Honey (Emily Mange).

Cocky and smart, Roland’s Nick earned his MA by age 19. At first, he’s mildly amused by the mind games his hosts present, but soon realizes the potential for serious fallout to his own career that they might cause.

Mange, an IU senior, brings a lovely ingenue quality to her role of a wife who can’t handle her brandy. Her comic timing is excellent, and she shows you the stirrings of a young woman, under her husband’s thumb, who is just learning to speak for herself.

“Woolf” depicts a series of changing alliances. First it’s Martha against George, then George slyly attacking Nick when the women go to the powder room, then Martha pokes fun at Honey before flirting outrageously with Nick.

As the three acts progress, you can see in the actors’ faces the weariness and psychological wounding that they have inflicted upon each other all evening. At one point, Nick collapses to the floor and covers his ears, as Martha and George begin yet another bruising attack against each other.

That’s not to say that this play is not riotously funny, especially the first act, where the insults elicit not only laughs but also shocked surprise.

The mirroring of couples — the older and jaded Martha and George with the young newbies, Nick and Honey — makes one wonder how the new marriage will progress. Will they also learn to love by scarring each other?

With more personal and biting attacks — some true, some fictional — Martha and George keep raising the stakes but also dart back into fiercely protecting each other against Nick. At one point, George turns away from the drama to read in a chair, and it’s fun to watch Kondrat hustle over and fruitlessly demand his attention.

In the third act — significantly during a moment of solitude — Kondrat reveals a vulnerable Martha. All night, Martha has fought fiercely while remaining emotionally inviolate, but here her voice breaks and she speaks quietly. Also, in the third act, Bill Simmons shows a protective caring that George’s elevated language has hidden earlier. Both performances showed much range and depth.

Ambrose Bierce called love “a temporary insanity curable by marriage.” The marriages dissected here are crass, broken and breaking, yet especially in Martha and George’s, you discover a surprising resiliency that you know will last.

For an intense evening of high-octane theater, don’t miss this show.

If you go

WHO: Ivy Tech Community Student Productions

WHAT: “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Feb. 6-9

WHERE: Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center’s Rose Firebay, 122 S. Walnut St., Bloomington

TICKETS: $15-$25. Available at the Buskirk-Chumley box office, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., 812-323-3020 or


WARNING: Contains adult content, strong language.

Copyright: 2013

The first step is research

The Herald-Times

It’s Your Business

The first step is research

By Steve Bryant
A Bloomington voice
January 25, 2013

People come to the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech-Bloomington daily to start a new business. Most are at the idea stage and have not done the research necessary to truly get things moving forward in the near term. The interest is there, but there needs to be more questions asked and answered in order to prepare for the successful start of a new business.

One of the questions we often get is where can I find market research about the field I am entering? According to Wikipedia, market research is generally best described as any organized effort to find information about markets or customers. It can also help you define your competition in the market.

Peter Drucker, a famous management author, believes that “market research is for discovering what people want, need or believe. It can also help you discover how they act. Once that research is completed, it can help you determine how to market your product.”

We are just beginning a new year, and perhaps you’ve made a decision to plan for a new business in 2013. Performing market research should be one of the first things you do as you begin to strategize before going into business. It is an essential part of any business plan and probably the most important part of understanding what people think about what you will be selling. There are companies all over the Internet that perform market research for a living and write detailed reports on many industries. The challenge is, this is often expensive. If you are a startup with limited cash on hand to purchase, you may not be able to afford this expertise.

We recommend doing some very simple market research functions. First, Google everything you can about a particular market or industry. You may be able to find some interesting statistics, business plans or research reports for free. Second, I like the direct approach, so search out people already in the industry or business you want to develop. Ask anyone you can about the product or service. Would you buy this product, what would you pay, or how would you use it? This is particularly important if this is a new product or service. I know several people in the business of developing mobile apps for your smartphone, and this is what they do constantly. Look for user feedback and ideas to help refine the product.

If you are looking to sell a consumer product, go to the store where competitor products are sold and see what the price is, what type of packaging they come in, where the product placed in the store. All this information will be critical to helping you decide if this is the right product in the right place at the right time. Look for markets that are not oversaturated with competition. Are there only two or three competitors or are there hundreds? If you want demographic information, can provide a wealth of information on population, household income, gender, ethnicity and other useful statistics to help guide you in your research through its searchable tools and databases.

So, BEFORE you launch a new business, check out some of these free tools. Hopefully these are a few simple tips to help you get organized and informed. Good luck and get out there and “do it.”

Steve Bryant is executive director of the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Bloomington. Next week, Bloomington’s Danise Alano-Martin will share her views.

Copyright: 2013