The John Waldron Arts Center

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The John Waldron Arts Center, at 122 S. Walnut Street is owned and operated by Ivy Tech Community College. The Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center makes possible the following:
• Combines artists, performers, and educators.
• Serves as a catalyst for economic and community development through the arts.
• Raises visibility and increases public awareness of Bloomington’s cultural resources and Ivy Tech’s commitment to community.
• Develops access each summer to the arts for all young people.
• Serves as the community’s major source for lifelong learning and personal enrichment.
In early 2010 the BAAC made headlines and announced that it needed to raise $120,000 or it would be forced to close the Waldron. In March, the City of Bloomington bought the Waldron’s assets from BAAC for $150,000. BAAC used this money to pay off its debt. An announcement of a new owner, Ivy Tech Community College, by the City of Bloomington ended a several-month-long saga about the building, its future and what role the building would play in Bloomington’s arts community. As part of Ivy Tech’s plan to take over ownership of the Waldron, the college agreed to pay the city $150,000 so it could refund the money it used to buy the Waldron from the arts council. Ivy Tech agreed to create and maintain at least 70 percent arts programming at the Waldron in an effort to preserve and cultivate the rich arts culture that Bloomington enjoys.
The Beaux Arts style building at the corner of Fourth and Walnut Streets was erected in 1915. Frank P. Riedel of Indianapolis was the design architect and George Weaver of Indianapolis was the general contractor. Riedel abandoned the project soon after construction of the exterior walls began, due to a conflict with Weaver about how the limestone facing was being attached to the brick walls. Local architect John Nichols was engaged to supervise construction after Riedel left, but there is no evidence that Riedel’s original design was altered in any way.

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