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Building Better Communities honors Indiana communities for quality-of-life initiatives

Contributed by: Erin Moore
Published: Thursday, 07 August 2014 3:00 PM

Building Better Communities (BBC) today announced the winners of the 2014 Primacy of Place Community Awards Program at an awards ceremony luncheon at the Minnetrista Cultural Center.

Rushville (pop. 6,204) was recognized for its Riverside Park Amphitheater and free summer concert series, which has hosted more than 65,000 concert-goers over the last five years.

Jeffersonville (pop. 45,929) has dedicated substantial efforts and resources to open the Big Four Bridge, which connects the city to Louisville, Kentucky across the Ohio River for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists. A new $5 million park at the foot of the bridge is expected to be completed in October.

Towns and cities in eastern Hamilton and southern Tipton counties (approx. pop. 150,000) are served by Nickel Plate Arts, a community arts initiative that supports, promotes and provides outstanding arts experiences in the six communities along the historic Nickel Plate Railroad.

The Read to Succeed program in greater Lafayette and Tippecanoe County (pop. 180,174) places hundreds of community volunteers in classrooms to help third grade children develop and enhance essential literacy skills.

“A community’s investment in quality-of-place is one of the top-drivers of economic development within that community,” said Bill Davis, executive director of Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs, one of the organizations partnering with Ball State to present the awards. “It helps attract a talented workforce as well as cultivate increased interest for new businesses to move to the community. These communities are among those that are truly focused on determining their economic futures.”

The 2014 recipients were chosen by a panel of representatives from the Association of Indiana Counties, Ball State University, the Indiana Arts Commission, Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.

“From Rushville’s Riverside Park Amphitheater Summer Concert Series to Tippecanoe County’s ‘Read to Succeed’ program, this year’s winners demonstrate how public and private partnerships can successfully catalyze investments in the arts, education, and community wellness,” said Jacob Sipe, executive director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. “It’s exciting to see these examples of positive community engagement that ultimately lead to a stronger state of Indiana.”