Last year I posted about the ground breaking for our new cultural center. (April 3, 2019) It has been so exciting to watch the huge building going up this past year. I’ve been stopping about once a month to take photos of this process.
Just to bring you up to date in case you haven’t been following this story, the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center is located in the center of Jasper, Indiana. Jasper is a prosperous little German town in southern Indiana. Although it only has about 15,000 citizens, in a county of only about 40,000 people, it boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. Many businesses are located here – Kimball, MasterBrand, OFS, Jasper Engines and Transmissions, and others.
The expansion of the arts began as a nugget of an idea back in 2006 when I first became Director of Jasper Community Arts. We already had a decades long history of the arts and a very nice performing arts center. Unfortunately, the economic crisis of 2008 set everything back for years but in the end, we came up with a much better idea.
The new cultural center is a partnership of the arts and the library and will boast over 63,000 square feet of space, part arts, part library, and a central atrium for community events. After many years of planning, public meetings, many design changes, getting a library referendum passed, our dream is finally coming to fruition. With an amazing challenge grant from Jim and Pat Thyen, support from the city and the state, the local businesses jumped on board, seeing this as a wonderful recruiting tool, and private citizens have dug deep to help fund the project.
Although we were not able to save the old Hoosier Desk Building – it would have cost more to refurbish it than to build new – other old factory buildings in the area along the river have become apartments and condos. A new hotel has been erected and other businesses are moving in. All in all, a wonderful development for a small town where people work together.
As my husband often reminds me when I say “we”, I don’t work for Jasper Arts any more. But I’m still proud of all the hard work that has gone into making this dream a reality and will be so excited when it’s open to the public at the end of this year.
If you’d like to see the plans for the building, follow this link. Or Google Jasper
Cultural Center photos for more images.