Connecting Through Art — Great Greenwood Arts Council
Writer / Jessica Pflumm . Photographer / Forrest Mellott
Connecting to community allows people to feel united, joined and combined for a common cause. In Greenwood, the Greater Greenwood Arts Council (GGAC) strives to connect the community around them in order to improve quality of life and promote a more artistic cultural environment. By doing so through art, Greenwood’s awareness of the arts is expanded and explored by people of all ages.
Founded in 2009 with a common desire to bring awareness and interest in the arts, GGAC connects its community in several different ways. GGAC provides workshops for local artists, showcases Indiana artists, promotes high school art exhibits and often has a presence at other community events. By planning local art centered workshops, residents of Greenwood — and potentially surrounding areas — exposes many to visual and auditory arts beyond their current experience.
Karen Wilkerson, the current president of the GGAC, has been working with the organization for the past few years. Karen has always admired and valued art as part of her family’s life and has two children active in the arts — a daughter who is a dancer and actress, and a son who teaches music. Being a retired English teacher, Wilkerson understands the importance of integrating art into all of our lives, into our education and sees it as part of our overall humanity. Her leadership is fundamental to the GGAC as she provides strategic direction towards completing key goals that set the foundation for GGAC and will ensure a successful future for GGAC. She works hard to ensure the board of GGAC is focused on setting realistic goals and attainable program objectives.
One of the largest ways GGAC promotes the arts is through their day, “Arts Alive!” Hosted every other year in April, this event focuses on local artists from Greenwood, while providing free workshops and demos for people of all ages. Specific to children, this all day event teaches kids about art, dance and music and often introduces them to local artists. It also promotes themes of what is going on in the Greenwood art community. This past year, the Arts Alive! event was coupled with the unveiling of the sculptures on the Polk Hill Trail off Smith Valley Road. Through a national call out for sculptures, the GGAC committee voted and blindly and coincidentally selected a Greenwood artist and his sculptures. Partnering with the Parks and Recreation department for this unveiling, the community rallied around having these beautiful sculptures as a “gateway into our community and a way to make a statement to our visitors,” stated Wilkerson. With the past two Arts Alive! events being successful, the overall value placed on arts has gone up in the past several years, which is in part due to promoting the arts through events such as this exciting day.
Their annual event and the sole fundraiser for the GGAC is “Art Uncorked!” Collaborating with Mallow Run Winery, the experience includes an invitation to all Indiana artists to create a wine label for a new wine each year. Both the winning label and the new wine are unveiled at this annual evening of celebration. In its third year, this year’s winner was Bargersville resident Patti Paris Owens. Introduced Saturday, December 6, the new wine is a red blend.
The Greater Greenwood Arts Council is thankful for the ongoing support of local businesses and organizations, including partnerships with the Greenwood Public Library, Mallow Run Winery and the Mayor’s office. The GGAC is always seeking new partnerships and will allow anyone to promote an art-centered event on their website via their calendar (greenwoodarts.org/calendar). If you would like to add an event to the calendar, please send information via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer opportunities are available for the various GGAC events. They are striving to find ways they can better serve our Greenwood community. Members meet once a month to discuss open items and how they can become better involved in the Greenwood community. To learn more or to become involved with this outstanding cultural organization, please contact the GGAC at greenwoodarts.org/contact, or go to their “Get Involved” link via their website at greenwoodarts.org/volunteer.
Greater Greenwood Arts Council
P.O. Box 1420
Greenwood, IN 46142
Facebook: Greater Greenwood Arts Council