City of Carmel                                            One Civic Square, Carmel, IN 46032


Date:           December 10, 2004
Contact:      Nancy Heck (317) 571-2494

Release:      Immediate

Arts and Design District Gateway Groundbreaking
Carmel, IN – A groundbreaking ceremony for the Carmel Arts & Design District entry marker gateway took place this morning at 10:30 a.m.  The ceremony was held at the northwest corner of 4th Avenue NE and Main Street, just west of Carmel High School.  Mayor Jim Brainard was joined by Evan Lurie, the Director of the Arts and Design District, members of the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, and other local dignitaries. Members of the Carmel Redevelopment Commission (CRC) include Bob Battreall, CRC President - Ron Carter, Bill Hammer, and Rick Sharp.

The District will be concentrated in the Old Town area of Carmel along Main Street and Range Line Road. The four gateways will be constructed to mark the various entrances of the Carmel Arts and Design District.  Two of the four gateways will be built in the upcoming months.  In addition to the construction this winter, another will be built on Range Line Road.  This will formally mark the district’s southern entrance.  The north and west entrance gateways will be constructed at a later date.  These gateways will consist of red brick columns, connected by stylized iron-work revealing the words, “Arts and Design District.”  The official logo of the district will be centrally located below the wording.

Recent figures indicate that the Indianapolis nonprofit arts industry spending is about $300 million. A study by the Americans for the Arts indicates that the nonprofit arts industry generates $134 billion in total economic activity by arts organizations and their audiences. The study goes on to say that the industry generates $24.4 billion in federal, state and local government revenues annually. “We anticipate that there will be a great economic impact to this area with the combination of retail and arts organizations located in a central geographic area in Old Town area. Breaking ground for the first gateway indicates our solid commitment to the continued renovation of this area and its transformation to the Arts and Design District,” said Mayor Brainard

Overall, the addition of the Arts and Design District will be a positive step for the City of Carmel.  It is Mayor Brainard’s hope that the district will lead to economic development for the city.  It is envisioned that this addition will include plazas and sculptures where visitors can congregate.  The Arts and Design District will eventually include community gatherings and festivals celebrating the arts.  

Several cities across the country have had positive economic development success with creating designated arts districts.  From coast to coast, communities are realizing the positive economic and social benefits generated by the arts industry.  Although the area will eventually contain a mixture of fine art galleries, high-end antiques, unique furniture shops, boutiques, designers and dining establishments.

In November of 2003, at the Carmel Arts Council’s (CAC) 10th Anniversary Gala, Mayor Brainard announced the creation of a unique arts district in the Old Town area of Carmel. Evan Lurie was selected to direct the Arts and Design District for Carmel.

Evan Lurie, one of the founding members of the initiative in West Hollywood announced his plans to build an art gallery in the Carmel Arts & Design District.  The Evan Lurie Fine Art

Gallery will join the owner’s current galleries in California and Boca Raton, Florida. “I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact a designated arts area can have on a community,” said Lurie. He served as Chairman of the West Hollywood Avenues of Art & Design, which recently received the Governor’s award for the best new business district in the state of California. 
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