The Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington is a member-driven organization that promotes the sustainability of the creative arts community by catalyzing communication and collective action. The Alliance seeks to connect all art genres, arts organizations, and art advocates with each other, and with local businesses, tourism, and arts marketing initiatives. By facilitating education and collaboration, the Alliance empowers the individual artist, and enriches the community’s vibrant arts network.
The Arts Alliance Greater Bloomington was formed in August 2010 by a large group of practicing artists and arts advocates. The Alliance was incorporated on October 11, 2011 as a not-for-profit entity. In January 2012, the membership elected its first official Steering Committee, representing all arts genres. IRS 501 (c) (3) status was conferred in August, 2014. The term “Board of Directors” was voted to replace the term “Steering Committee” in 2016.
The Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington identifies five distinct arts genre groups, and two main arts stakeholder groups within in the arts community. Up to two designated representatives for each group communicate their genre’s unique perspectives and concerns as members of the Board of Directors, which then set the Arts Alliance agenda. This direct representational structure is unique among arts service organizations, and insures that the interests of all arts genres are all represented equally. The Alliance strives to be inclusive, and additional At-Large seats provide representation for artists and arts stakeholders who, for whatever reason, do not readily identify within one particular genre or stakeholder group.
- To view our 2019 Annual Report, click here.
- To view our 2018 Annual Report, click here.
- To view our 2017 Annual Report, click here.
Board of Directors
Rachael Himsel – President
Since arriving in Bloomington in 2003, Rachael Himsel has been active with several local arts organizations and nonprofits, sometimes as a volunteer, sometimes as staff, sometimes as teacher, sometimes as performer, and often as producer / director / publicist. At the end of 2019, after realizing the need for high-quality arts programming for youth in the Greater Bloomington area, she started Creative Universe, a series of arts curricula that are process-based, project-oriented, and driven by a commitment to communication, activism through art, and an understanding of past artistic movements in order to process the current and future climate for artists and our communities. In 2015, Ms. Himsel founded Women with Guts as an online magazine for and about gutsy women – literally and figuratively. Since then, she has expanded her work to theatrical productions written by or about Gutsy Women across the state of Indiana- to start. After more than a decade of handling national and international public relations for startups, Ms. Himsel now serves as Director of Communications for Doriot, a midwestern startup challenging the wildly lucrative and elusive world of venture capital investment. Named after the father of venture capital, Doriot is set to bring the worlds of Silicon Valley to the Ohio River Valley, one great idea at a time. She believes her degrees in the arts (BA in Music from DePauw University, Masters in Art Education from Indiana University) have helped her come to every professional situation with a creative mindset, something key to moving forward in a global market, and she thinks people of all ages should have access to a quality educational experience. Contact Rachael.
Barbara Lantz – Vice President
Barbara Lantz has had a balanced career in both business and the arts. A singer/song- writer, she has performed at numerous venues including the Little Nashville Opry and the Bluebird during her three-decade long career. She has recorded several albums, including “Power of Spirit” with the Spudpuppies, which was created for a benefit to raise money to save Native American Chief Joseph’s gravesite. She has also written a book called The Return of Chief Joseph and a second book, Soul on Fire. Contact Barbara.
Cassidy Young – Co-Secretary
Born and raised on the central coast of California, Cassidy now lives with her husband and two sons in Bloomington, Indiana. She has traveled across the US several times, as well as to Hawaii, Japan, Mexico and Europe. In between her rare adventures to far flung locations, she satisfies her wanderlust with actively exploring the woods, restaurants, and hidden gems of Bloomington and Southern Indiana. In addition to her career as an artist, Cassidy shares her experience and love of art as a high school art teacher at the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship, where she teaches a variety of creative subjects and dual-credit courses in collaboration with Ivy Tech. Cassidy has pursued art off and on throughout her life, receiving her BFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her Master’s in Art Education from Indiana University, Bloomington, but only when she began her urban sketch series of “Bloomington Restaurants” in the fall of 2017 did she have the opportunity to create work regularly. Now, after teaching and on her days off, Cassidy finds a quiet spot in a restaurant, on the IU campus or just in an out-of-the-way street corner to sketch the beauty that makes up this great town. Photographs are used as little as possible and most of the works in her architectural study series are completed in one session. She simply draws what she sees and each sketch takes anywhere from 2-5 hours to complete. If Cassidy is not teaching or making art, you might find her scuba diving, gardening, or just reading in the backyard hammock. Her urban sketching and architectural study series have been supported in part by the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC). Among her notable awards and achievements, she was accepted in the Art & Soul of Bloomington show in 2019 and received “Best In Show” at Bloomington’s Art of Chocolate in 2016 & 2013. Cassidy is a member of the Watercolor Society of Indiana (WSI) and the Bloomington Watercolor Society (BWS). Contact Cassidy.
Danielle Bruce – Co-Secretary
Danielle Bruce was born in Southern California but has had the good fortune of calling Bloomington home since arriving in 1988. She has spent the majority of her life in the theatre, occasionally as an actor but primarily as a designer and director. Locally, her work includes the artistic direction for “Storyzilla,” direction of the 2013 incarnation of “The Breeze Bends the Grass,” design work for Monroe County Civic Theatre and the Bloomington Playwrights Project. In addition to working in the theatre, she has spent the last ten years cultivating her talents as a freelance designer and visual artist in both the public and private sector. She also donates her time and talents to various not for profit organizations such as Middle Way House and My Sister’s Closet, of which she is a board member. Contact Danielle.
Brad Schiesser is the Managing Director of Bloomington Playwrights Project. Before taking the job at BPP, he worked for many years in fundraising for Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. An Indiana native from South Bend, he holds both a BA in Theatre and Drama and a MA of Arts in Arts Administration from Indiana University. He firmly believes that new work is the life blood of all art and is committed to training and challenging the next generation of great artists. He is excited to see the growth in arts education for all in Bloomington. Contact Brad.
Adam Nahas, Sole Proprietor of Cyclops Studios LLC and Founder/Executive Director of 501(c)3 charity Artisan Alley LTD, has been involved in art since childhood. An avid sketch artist throughout his school years, and voted “Most Artistic” in a large high school class, Nahas continued his interest in art through music, performance art and finally sculpture. He graduated from Indiana University in 2007 where he majored in Studio Art with concentrations in Metals and Sculpture and minored in Art History and Mathematics. He went on to work with foundry-man and artist Mark Parmenter of White River Foundry, who exposed Nahas to multiple international artists and art projects of all kinds. Nahas then set up his own studio in Bloomington, Indiana called “Cyclops Studios.” Since the inception of Cyclops Studios, he has been commissioned to do hundreds of varying art projects. Cyclops Studios is a multi-service art business with proficiency in project design, clay/plasticine modeling, general constructing, welding, and fabrication. The professional foundry services they offer are mold making, wax chasing and patination. Additionally, woodworking, stonework, and art/sculpture project management are also among their list of services. Cyclops Studios takes commissions for all types of projects and has an ever-continuing objective for high quality work. Contact us today for a free quote. Additionally, Adam has created an ever-evolving local art collective called Artisan Alley LTD, who’s mission is to “bring together area artists and the local community to foster art education, sustainability, art collaboration, and cooperation in support of the arts.” Spanning multiple resource locations in Bloomington Indiana, Artisan Alley is an art co-op that provides a wide range of work studios, co-work spaces, classes, equipment, tools, essential amenities and volunteer opportunities for community members interested in the arts. Adam’s personal creations represent a vast and unique repertoire of his personal interests. Not limiting himself, he pursues a variety of subject matter, mediums, and art forms. His knowledge of anatomy and his attention to detail have allowed him to create a range of structures from robotic prosthetics to monumental sculptures. Nahas’ work ranges from 2D work (including unique portraits, graphic design, prints, sketches, comic illustrations fantasies) to 3D work (including kinetic sculpture, Fired Earthenware, bronze memorial/monuments, robotic prototypes, and other various mediums). Contact Adam.
Tanya Konerman is a children’s writer with a focus on picture books, board books, and middle grade nonfiction. She is also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader with local, regional, and national clients. Tanya has over 30 years of writing experience, including more than 15 years of experience in advertising copywriting and public relations. Published in At-Home Mother, Parents, Career Woman, and Employment News, Tanya has also written frequently for Bloomington-based publications, technical magazines, and websites such as Livestrong, TheBump, e-How, and GlobalPost Parenting. Tanya is an active member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), serving as the Indiana chapter’s Newsletter Coordinator and volunteering at many events. She is a Literary Arts representative on the Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington’s Board of Directors and is active with the Friends of the Library (Monroe County). She is also involved in The Writers Guild at Bloomington, AGPI (Association for Games & Puzzles International), and various online and in-person writer’s groups. Contact Tanya.
Terri Klingelhoefer, MA, LCSW, EAS-C is a native Hoosier, originally from Evansville, IN. She holds a BA in Public Relations with minors in Theatre and German from the University of Southern Indiana, and MA in Telecommunications and an MSW from Indiana University. Ms. Klingelhoefer has been involved in puppetry since childhood. Her first appearance as a puppeteer was at age 12 in “Bernie the Bicycle Breaker” at the Evansville Fall Festival. Klingelhoefer has presented on the history of women in puppetry in Indiana for the 2018 Hoosier Women at Work Conference, and she presented on the history of puppetry in Indiana at Kuklafest in Saugatuck, MI in May of 2019. She has performed with her husband as “Klingler-Engle Puppets.” Klingelhoefer is currently President of the Indiana Puppetry Guild, and has served as Treasurer of the Great Lakes Region of the Puppeteers of America and on the Board of Directors of Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio. Klingelhoefer left the Peewinkle’s Board in 2018 to become their grant writer. Klingelhoefer is a psychotherapeutic social worker for “Serenity Now” in Bedford, IN. Contact Terri.
Mark Casey is a nonprofit marketing professional who has lived in Bloomington for more than 10 years. While he was earning his marketing and communications degree at Indiana University, he fell in love with the culture, people, and scenery of Bloomington and decided to never leave. He has a wide range of experience with digital marketing, web content management, and fundraising. Mark has worked with a number of nonprofits and startup companies in both a freelance and executive capacity, and most recently he was the Marketing Director for a local ad agency before taking on his current role as Director of Audience Development at the Indiana University Foundation, where he has worked for the past 5 years. Contact Mark.
Dr. Filiz Cicek
Dr. Filiz Cicek is an artist, scholar and journalist who is currently serving as a Fulbright specialist for the Arts. She received her MFA and PhD from IU, Bloomington and has been teaching gender, art and cinema courses at various IU campuses as well as at Bosphorus University summer school in Istanbul. As a curator, she organized Bloomington Katmandu, Museum of Broken Relationships and Women Exposed International Art Exhibits. As an artist, she has exhibited her work in museums and galleries in New York, Chicago, California, The Kinsey Institute, IU School of Fine Arts Gallery and various venues in Bloomington. Since 2009, Dr. Cicek has been contributing to The Ryder Magazine as a co-editor, writer, artist, graphic designer, and as an event coordinator. She has also written for local national and international journals and newspapers on art, gender and cinema. She is the regional coordinator for The Feminist Art Project based at Rutgers University, New York. Contact Filiz.
As an arts administrator and dancer/choreographer, Hannah Crane is passionate about building and nurturing communities through art and creative expression. Hannah earned her B.A. in Journalism and Dance in 2014 from Indiana University (IU) Bloomington, and is a first-year Masters of Arts Administration student in the IU O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She has performed, studied, and taught dance around the world, including India, Uganda, Cuba, Panama, China, Jamaica, and Australia. She also volunteered with Movement Exchange, a non-profit providing dance education to at-risk youth, domestically and abroad for five years and served as Marketing Director in 2015. A resident of Bloomington, Indiana, for 10 years, Hannah has been a member of various local dance organizations, including the African American Dance Company (2012–2015), IU Contemporary Dance Program (2010–2014), InMotion Dance Company (2010–2012), Flores do Samba Dance Company (2011–2012), and is currently a dancer and choreographer for Echo Dance Company (2015–present). She is also an ACE Certified Group Exercise Instructor and Zumba® Instructor since 2011. Contact Hannah.