JTPR nabs Pinnacle Award

Agency News

When you work with smart clients on an important cause, good things happen: JTPR was honored to win a Pinnacle Award from the Hoosier Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for our work with Women4Change. The winning campaign, The Clothesline Project, resulted in a new Indiana law defining sexual consent. 

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Ren Inc. partners to create new options for cryptophilanthropists

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AUSTIN, Texas, June 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ren, North America's leading independent philanthropic solutions provider, and The Giving Block, the leading Crypto Philanthropy platform connecting nonprofits with crypto donors, today announced that they have jointly launched one of the country's first donor-advised funds that allows donors to invest a portion of contributed cryptocurrency.

General availability begins today and is highlighted in The Giving Block booth (#529)s at Consensus 2022, the world's biggest and longest-running crypto festival, held June 9-12 this year at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

Until today, donor-advised funds, which are giving accounts where donors contribute assets and recommend grants to qualified charities, could receive crypto, but the crypto was liquidated upon receipt. Today's announced partnership harnesses The Giving Block's platform, which allows charities to accept crypto, and combines it with a donor-advised fund through Renaissance Charitable Foundation Inc. (RCF), a public charity.

"Crypto will play an ever-growing role in the changing philanthropic landscape – and this new donor-advised fund offering, an industry first, stands as a game-changer in the crypto world just as it does for non-profits," said Kelly Palmer, EVP of Strategic Growth Operations at Ren. "We are honored to work with a fellow driver for good such as The Giving Block to bring an entirely new way to not only leave a legacy but recognize an immediate tax deduction. By investing crypto in a donor-advised fund, you can further organize your philanthropy and even recommend grants anonymously while also giving your heirs the ability to make future grant recommendations."

"We're frequently asked by donors and advisors why a donor-advised fund must liquidate the entire gift and if it's possible to maintain a portion of contributed cryptocurrency inside the DAF," said Mike McLean, Head of The Giving Block Institutional. "The cryptocurrency market is maturing and we're seeing more sophistication at both the user base and with crypto product providers such as Ren. With the launch of this new offering for DAF users, we can empower donors and advisors to harness the full power of cryptocurrency to ensure their philanthropic goals are met and the nonprofits they are passionate about supporting can benefit from the growth of the cryptocurrency industry."

How It Works

Once the donor-advised fund account is established, RCF creates a unique wallet address that is sent to the donor to transfer their crypto assets. Investments of both Bitcoin and Ethereum are currently accepted with the minimum value to open the new donor-advised fund starting at $100,000. Fifteen-percent of the donor-advised fund's value is required to be invested in traditional assets and will be evaluated on a quarterly basis. Therefore, donors can either contribute cash or other traditional assets to their donor-advised fund account alongside their crypto donation. RCF can also convert a portion of the contributed crypto into cash which can then be used to invest in traditional assets within the donor-advised fund. RCF staff work with the donor to help develop a plan to meet the objectives of the donor-advised fund.

For more information on establishing a new donor-advised fund, visit reninc.com/investcrypto.

Today's announcement significantly builds upon the strategic partnership between The Giving Block and Ren, which was announced in September 2021 and began the acceptance of crypto for philanthropic giving at Ren, previously named RenPSG.

About The Giving Block

Founded in 2018, The Giving Block, a Shift4 company, is turning Crypto Philanthropy into one of the greatest forces for good on the planet by making cryptocurrency fundraising easy for nonprofits while empowering donors to give Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to their favorite causes. The Giving Block currently enables more than 1,000 mission-driven organizations, charities, universities, and faith-based organizations of all sizes to accept cryptocurrency donations and helps them maximize their fundraising outcomes with strategic consulting and personal support. Learn more and discover why cryptocurrency is the fastest growing donation method for Millennial and Gen-Z donors, at www.TheGivingBlock.com.

About Ren

Ren is a driving force for powering people, ideas, and institutions for good. As a leading independent philanthropic solutions provider in North America, Ren supports more than $20 billion of assets, delivering the expertise, standards, and technology necessary to power growth and scale throughout the philanthropic economy. The country's most elite financial services firms, nonprofit organizations, and community foundations rely on Ren to provide online access for donors, professional advisors, and staff, to manage their planned gifts, including charitable trusts, donor-advised funds, pooled income funds, endowments, and private foundations. Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Indianapolis, Ren holds an SOC 2 Type 1 certification that underscores its commitment to trust, security, compliance, and transparency. Visit www.reninc.com.

Note: It is important to seek advice from your CPA regarding the characterization and tax treatment of any gains or losses before donating virtual currency.

SOURCE The Giving Block

Fox 59: YMCA camp welcomes kids from military families

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Happing July 3 – 8, the YMCA is hosting a camping experience exclusively offered to children of families with parents who are veterans or active in the armed services, including the Reserves and National Guard. Mark Scoular, the Executive Director of Flat Rock River, joins us live from St. Paul, Indiana with more details on the camp’s week of events. You can also find more information on Camp Flat Rock River’s website.

To view the Fox59 segment featuring the camp, click here: https://fox59.com/news/ymca-ca... 

Fox 59: Novel Conversations lends books to book clubs

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From Fox59: 

Millions of people participate in book clubs every month, especially during the summer months.

Nonprofit Indiana Humanities has a program called “Novel Conversations” helping people get started with reading.

To view the segment featuring Novel Conversations, click here: https://fox59.com/morning-news...

To learn more about the program, click here.

Fox 59: IMPO launched "Eyes Up Just Drive" campaign

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From Fox 59: Distracted driving is an important behavioral factor in fatal crashes.

All drivers can help make roads safer by keeping their eyes up and just driving. That’s the goal of the “Eyes Up, Just Drive” campaign.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization Executive Director Anna Gremling shares why it’s such an important message.

To view the segment featuring Anna Gremling, click here: https://fox59.com/morning-news...

To learn more about the campaign click here.

Indiana Landmarks partners with students on House of Tomorrow

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Northwest Indiana high school students will have a chance to help preserve one of Indiana’s most significant historic landmarks when they participate in a restoration project at the House of Tomorrow—an innovative 1933 Chicago World’s Fair exhibit house that predicted how we would live in the future.

Students from the LaPorte County Career & Technical Education Center in Michigan City will work with a preservation trades expert to remove and repair the house’s original metal kitchen cabinets.

After the Word’s Fair, the House of Tomorrow and four other exhibit houses traveled by truck and barge across Lake Michigan to Beverly Shores, Indiana. Privately owned until the land they occupied became part of the Indiana Dunes National Park in the ’60s and ’70s, the properties deteriorated in recent decades until Indiana Landmarks leased four from the Indiana Dunes National Park and then sub-leased them to tenants who restored four them.

The House of Tomorrow—the most architecturally innovative and historically significant of the collection—has been vacant since 1999 and needs rehabilitation that will cost $2.5 to $3 million. Indiana Landmarks is accepting proposals for the restoration and long-term lease of the house for use as a single-family residence. In exchange for restoring the house to the approved specifications, the successful party will receive a 50-year lease on the property.

For their part, the LaPorte County students will take the home’s kitchen cabinets to their classroom, where they’ll remove rust and return them to their original color, a shade of white determined by previous paint analysis. The work is expected to be finished by the end of May. The restored cabinets will be stored until the restoration/preservation work at the House of Tomorrow is complete, at which time they will be re-installed.

The project is part of The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience), a program that trains youth in preservation trades to expose a younger, more diverse audience to preservation.

“We live in a society of disposable and throw away and on to the new shiny object. Hopefully my students will appreciate the value of history, the importance of history, and the appreciation of restoration,” says Dick Bucher, construction technology instructor at the LaPorte County Career & Technical Education Center.

WHAT: Students working to remove original kitchen cabinets at the House of Tomorrow (the entire house will be open for media viewing)

WHEN: Tuesday, May 10, 9 a.m. to noon Central Daylight Time

WHERE: 214 Lake Front Drive, Indiana Dunes National Park, Beverly Shores, IN 46304

Partners include Indiana Landmarks, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, LaPorte County Career & Technical Education Center, Indiana Dunes National Park, and trades expert Ann Swigart, a New Orleans-based preservation trades expert.

 

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Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit www.indianalandmarks.org.

 

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. National Treasures, the National Trust’s signature program, are a revolving portfolio of cherished and nationally significant historic places for which the organization deploys the full range of its preservation, advocacy, and public engagement resources to secure long-term sustainability. For more information, visit: savingplaces.org

 

About HOPE Crew

Since the start of the program in 2014, HOPE Crews have completed more than 165 projects, trained over 750 young people (including veterans) in preservation trades, performed more than $18 million of preservation work, and recruited thousands of volunteers to protect places that are significant to their communities.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Todd Zeiger, Director, Indiana Landmarks Northern Regional Office, 574-286-5765, tzeiger@indianalandmarks.org.

Molly Baker, Manager, HOPE Crew, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 202-588-6145,  Mbaker@savingplaces.org

Central Indiana Land Trust receives 57 acres for bat habitat

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INDIANAPOLIS (May 3, 2022) – Holladay Properties has donated an additional seven acres within its AmeriPlex complex to the Central Indiana Land Trust Inc. (CILTI). Valued at $570,000, the latest gift means the commercial real estate firm has gifted a total of 57 acres in southwest Marion County to CILTI to enhance and maintain as a nature preserve.

Holladay made its first land gift in the area to CILTI in 2013, allowing the nonprofit land trust to protect and expand habitat for the endangered Indiana bat. Over the years, CILTI and many volunteers have planted trees and removed invasive plants in the partially wooded property to restore it as a nature preserve.

“This latest gift allows us to further preserve an area that serves as the summer home for one of the state’s largest populations of our region’s most endangered species, the Indiana bat,” said CILTI Executive Director Cliff Chapman. “It’s a great example of how protected land in what we call core conservation areas helps to bolster Indiana’s incredible biodiversity.”

Chapman added, “Holladay has a long history of being attentive to environmental impact. For example, AmeriPlex Indianapolis was the first Indiana business park recognized as a certified ‘Wildlife Friendly Habitat’ by the Indiana Wildlife Federation.”

Called the Wallace F. Holladay Preserve at AmeriPlex after the founder of Holladay Properties, the land is open to the public and accessible via Flynn Road. For details, visit https://conservingindiana.org/preserves/wallace-f-holladay-preserve-at-ameriplex/

About Holladay Properties

Holladay is a full service commercial real estate firm. A fully-integrated, full-scale land development, design/build, and property management firm, Holladay has developed over 20 million square feet of commercial space and actively manages over 15.5 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, multi-family, hotel, and healthcare space - and its medical office management portfolio is one of the largest in the country. The firm has more than 250 employees in a variety of specialties working from about 25 offices throughout the eastern half of the U.S. More information at www.holladayproperties.com.

 

About the Central Indiana Land Trust

The Central Indiana Land Trust (CILTI) preserves the best of Central Indiana’s natural areas, protecting plants and animals, so Hoosiers can experience the wonder of the state’s natural heritage. Since it was created in 1990, CILTI has protected more than 6,500 acres of land that meet science-based criteria for conservation value. More information at www.ConservingIndiana.org.

 

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Media contact: Jen Thomas, JTPR, jen@jtprinc.com, 317-441-2487

 

Indiana Humanities launches 2022 Indiana Campfires

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INDIANAPOLIS (April 27, 2022) — Indiana Humanities is launching another season of its award-winning Campfires events, where participants hike a trail or paddle on water co-led by a humanities scholar and a naturalist. Along the way, the groups stop to read short excerpts or poems and engage in conversations about the environment. At the end, they gather for food and drink around a campfire to discuss connections between nature, literature and place.

 “Our Campfires pair nature and literature to spark conversations about Indiana’s future,” said Megan Telligman, director of programs at Indiana Humanities. “Something about the combination of wild places, great writing, a warm campfire and cold beer gets Hoosiers talking in fresh and surprising ways about the world around us and our place in it.”

In 2017, Indiana Humanities was awarded the Schwartz Prize for best humanities program in the country for its Campfires series.

This season’s locations and dates include:

Saturday, May 7, 3-5pm: Cope Environmental Center (Centerville) — Walk through forests, grasslands, wetlands, prairie and ponds. The trek will be led by Scott Hess of Earlham College and a naturalist.

Saturday, June 18, 8-11am: Oliver’s Woods (Indianapolis) — Float along the White River, explore a popular spot from a new angle and consider the ways we can continue working to preserve and connect to this beautiful area. The morning will be co-led by humanities scholar Kevin McKelvey and a naturalist from Friends of the White River.

Saturday, July 23, 10am-noon: Blatchley Nature Study Club (Noblesville) — Take a flora-filled walk on this private nature preserve where Fox Prairie Creek joins the White River. The easy hike includes boardwalks and a few hills, as well as discussion about the ways watersheds tie us to Hoosiers near and far. The event will be led by humanities scholar Ryan Schnurr and a naturalist.

Saturday, July 30, 10am-noon in English and 1-3pm in Spanish: Grand Calumet River Conservation Area (Hammond) — Participants will meet at Seidner Dune & Swale Nature Preserve to trek through the Grand Calumet River Conservation Area with The Nature Conservancy. The trail traverses a mosaic of habitats, including a globally rare natural community known as dune and swale. Along the way, participants will see an impressive variety of flora and fauna, along with possible sightings of great white egrets, and green and blue herons that frequent the river and wetlands. Humanities scholar Ava Tomasula y Garcia will co-lead this event with a naturalist.

Saturday, Aug. 13, 10am-noon: Flatwoods Park (Gosport) — Flatwoods Park, Monroe County’s largest park, is the site of this trek, which will focus on trees. It will be led by naturalist Autumn Brunelle, an Anishinaabe citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

Saturday, Sept. 17, 9am-1pm: Blue River (east of Corydon) — Participants will paddle on the Blue River and consider the ways the winding path has influenced naturalists, artists and other Hoosiers. The humanities scholar for this event is Julie Schweitzer with Harrison County Arts.

Each event costs $8-20 and includes food and an Upland Brewing beer (available to those 21 and over). The treks and floats are designed for those 12 and older. Learn more at https://indianahumanities.org/program/campfires/.

Support for Campfires comes from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Upland Brewing is the official beer provider for the program.

About Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust was established upon the death of Nina Mason Pulliam in 1997 to support the causes she loved in her home states of Arizona and Indiana. The Trust seeks to help people in need, protect animals and nature, and enrich community life in metropolitan Indianapolis and Phoenix. Since its inception, the Trust has distributed more than $292 million. For more information visit www.ninapulliamtrust.org.

About Indiana Humanities

Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. Learn more at www.IndianaHumanities.org.  

 

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Media Contact:

Marisol Gouveia

Director of Engagement

mgouveia@indianahumanities.org

317.616.9112

50th OneAmerica Broad Ripple Art Fair tickets on sale Friday

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After a two-year hiatus, the OneAmerica Broad Ripple Art Fair is back on May 14 and 15, ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary that was postponed by the pandemic. Tickets for the outdoor festival hosted by the Indianapolis Art Center go on sale April 1.

Launched in 1971 on the concrete parking deck that used to span a few blocks of the canal in Broad Ripple, the Broad Ripple Art Fair started with about 100 artists who propped their works against fences and curbs and displayed them on card tables.

A half-century later, that casual affair has become a sophisticated anchor in the city’s cultural calendar, drawing artists from across North America and visitors from all over to the campus of the Art Center and its ARTSPARK. Nearly 15,000 people are expected to visit the event during two days packed with visual art, music and food.

Artists apply to participate in the Broad Ripple Art Fair, and only a fraction of those who apply are chosen. The 2022 fair will feature 150 artists from across the U.S. to showcase and sell their work. Mediums include painting, drawing, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and much more. It also will bring back an “Emerging Artists” area where selected Art Center students and college students will exhibit and sell their work.

This year, music will play a larger role in creating the festival environment with performances that will include local stars Rob Dixon, Pavel Polanco Safadit, Bahiri Asad, The Doo Band, The Blue Side, Living Proof and more, all curated by Indy Jazz Fest.

“In celebration of the 50th anniversary, we’ll have a memory wall where people can share their art fair memories and take new ones with them,” said Mark Williams, president of the Indianapolis Art Center. “We’ve already received memories from the family of the originator of the art fair, Marjorie Beal, and we’re eager to reconnect with others who were involved in the early years.”

Income from the event supports the Indianapolis Art Center programs, which include hundreds of classes and camps, more than a dozen contemporary art exhibitions that are free and open to the public, an outreach program called ArtReach that takes youth and teen art classes into underserved communities, ArtTroop for veterans and active-duty military, and much more.

 

WHAT: 50th Anniversary OneAmerica Broad Ripple Art Fair hosted by the Indianapolis Art Center

WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, May 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Indianapolis Art Center, 820 E. 67th St., Indianapolis 

TICKETS:           

  • $10 Child Ticket* (Ages 5-12, Children 4 and under are free.)
  • $20 Adult Ticket* (April 11-May 13)
  • $25 Adult Ticket* (Day Of)
  • $65 VIP Ticket* (Includes one day Art Fair ticket and VIP Deck pass)
  • $150 Preview Party +VIP Weekend Experience – All Access, All Weekend! (Preview party on May 13, ticket for Saturday and Sunday, VIP parking pass and VIP Deck pass)

*Please note: Tickets are sold separately for Saturday and Sunday and give you access to one day only.

Tickets available beginning April 1, at 9 a.m. at https://indyartcenter.org/

 

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Indianapolis Art Center

The Indianapolis Art Center builds community through art. Every year, the nonprofit offers hundreds of classes and camps, more than 50 art exhibitions in six galleries, an outreach program that takes art into underserved communities, and the Broad Ripple Art Fair. Located in Broad Ripple, along the banks of the White River and steps from the Monon Trail, the Art Center includes a building designed by world-renowned architect and Indianapolis native Michael Graves and Indianapolis’ original ARTSPARK, an outdoor creativity and sculpture garden and green space with trails. More info at indplsartcenter.org.

 

Media Contact

Jen Schmits Thomas, JTPR, jen@jtprinc.com, (317) 441-2487

MDWise works with community groups for 'Back on Track' event

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This article originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune. To read the original article, click here

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a plunge in vaccination rates in underserved communities including Gary and the health officials are working to change that.

According to the Indiana Department of Health school reports, 53% of K-12 students in Gary School have not gotten all their required shots. That compares to 26.4% statewide.

A Back on Track vaccination event, co-sponsored by the Indiana Department of Health, Edgewater Health, the Gary Health Department and MDwise, will take place Feb. 19 in an effort to turn those figures around.

Torriaun Everett, vice president of health plan operations for MDwise, said the provider is working to increase access to not only COVID-19 vaccines but getting children caught back up on routine childhood vaccines.

“It’s all about increasing access, access, access. When you look at the barriers people experience, typically access is what everything boils down to,” Everett said. Food access, transportation barriers, housing access and quality health care access common in some communities of color create substantial wellness obstacles to those living there.

Minority communities are disproportionally behind in routine childhood vaccinations rates compared to nonminority communities. When the initiative first began, the gap in vaccination rates between communities was very broad.

“However, fortunately the recent data suggests the vaccine gap is closing,” Everett said, adding that working directly with minority communities and providing them with factual information has helped.

“With the public health emergency, we see people not going to the doctor. There are a lot of myths about routine vaccines children have been receiving for years,” Everett said.

“We must be responsible with the resources we have to work to have a healthier state as a whole. Regardless if Hoosiers are insured or uninsured, it is our responsibility do our part to increase health and wellness,” Everett said.

Vaccine hesitancy is a combination of factors including history of medical experimentation in the Black community without consents and misinformation, a problem that has become more significantly widespread in the wake of COVID-19 and access to social media, he said.

“That history is deeply rooted in black culture. That oftentimes is difficult to overcome,” Everett said.

Some of the hesitancies around vaccines come with questions about how the COVID-19 vaccine could be developed so fast while researchers still are trying to find cures for disease like cancer and HIV.

“It’s ironic people of color are the most hesitant to get the vaccine when we are the most at risk at the same time due to our history of things like heart disease. All those things are more prone to Black people and people of color,” Everett said.

Indeed, according to the Centers for Disease Control the Black men suffer from hypertension at a rate of 57.6% compared to 52.7% for their white counterparts. The gap is higher for women, where 57.6% of Black women suffer from hypertension compared to 45.4% of their white counterparts. The leading cause of death for both black and white adults over 18 are heart disease, cancer and COVID-19 in that order.

Like Everett, Dr. Roland Walker, Gary’s health director and chief medical officer for Edgewater Health, said access is key to improving the health of the residents in communities like his.

Walker said vaccination clinics often are the link to health maintenance for the community. It’s an opportunity to do an evaluation and touch on academic status, social status, are youngsters developing properly physically. The Back on Track event also will feature blood pressure screening for adults.

“I think the biggest problem is always going to be access. There are transportation barriers, understanding barriers, having people in the community you can identify with,” Walker said.

Being able to provide factual information from trusted sources has become necessary since access to inaccurate information is available at your fingertips.

“I don’t fault people for having concerns and fear. Part of being an adult is you address that. I hate to see people do things against their own interests,” Walker said. “That can be extremely frustrating.”

In communities of color, school systems often step up as the access point to health care and accurate information for children and their caregivers.

School Nurse Genevieve Bellmon-Smoot and Nathan Williamson, federal programs chief business officer and director of special populations for Gary Community School Corp., said the system has been working with parents since they began to enroll this year.

With the return of in-person learning, getting students in for routine vaccinations began increasing.

“By fall break we had a pretty good turnaround,” Smoot said.

Williamson said often the trigger for caregivers to have their children immunized is the return to the classroom.

“The pandemic interrupted health care. The trigger to get those things done comes from the school nurse,” Williamson said. Once the return in person learning began families have been very responsive to getting those immunizations.

Gary has multiple school systems including public charters and private schools and the state figures represent all of them.

“More than half of the children that live in the City of Gary go to other types of schools settings. All of us have challenges,” Williamson said.

GPSC uses social media, webinars, FACE liaisons, traditional media and Skyward to connect parents with resources for their children and families.

Smoot said when the school has family events it invites vendors who provide assistance to families. To further community access to health care, the school system also is working on plans for an on-site community clinic at Westside Leadership Academy to provide the community with access to health care.

“It’s something we’re committed to doing. I know that schools are the hub of communities. Families come with questions,” Smoot said.

“When you are talking about health, it’s not just the physical health, it’s your mind body and your soul,” Smoot said. The district hired its first social emotional learning coordinator and added counselors and social workers, which all plays into the picture of overall health.

“The pandemic has really shown a light on things that already existed, that were needs, but needs are even greater now. We want the students and the families to know we are here to support them in any way can health-wise,” Smoot said.

The Back on Track event at Edgewater will provide routine childhood vaccinations including measles, mumps, rubella, polio and HPV will be available as well as the COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 and older. Wellness checks and COVID tests will be available on-site as well.

The event is open to everyone regardless of school system and will include free food, free school supplies and door prizes of $50 gift cards. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to sign up online at EdgewaterHealth.org. Registration is encouraged by not required.

The event will take place at Edgewater Health, 1100 W. 6th Ave., in Gary.

Carrie Napoleon is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

 

Indianapolis Art Center puts art billboards up for a vote

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This article originally appeared in the Indianapolis Star. To view the article on the IndyStar website, click here

Even though the snowflakes have ceased falling, make sure you still look up to the sky. Ten billboards around Central Indiana are showing off new works by local artists.

The High Art program, which is a partnership between the Indy Arts Council and Reagan Outdoor Advertising, is back for the ninth year. Towering over locations in Marion County and surrounding counties are sculpture, digital works and more mediums, all printed across posters on the billboards. 

Mary Mindiola's "Kukenán Tepui" is at 2223 Lafayette Road.

You can vote on your favorite through Feb. 13 by visiting https://bit.ly/3J5gEby. The winner will be announced Feb. 14, and the artist will receive $500.

Here's the full list of billboards and where to see them. They'll be on display in these locations through February. After that, they'll rotate around Central Indiana over the course of the year.

  • "Heart in Hand" by Peggy Breidenbach: 4328 56th St., west of Guion Road
  • "Echinacea Fields" by Justin Cooper: 5437 Washington St., west of Lynhurst Drive 
  • "Obsessed" by Christina Hollering: 2601 46th St., west of Allisonville Road 
  • "Kukenán Tepui" by Mary Mindiola: 2223 Lafayette Road, south of Kessler Boulevard 
  • "We Watch From Here as the West Burns (Greenfield, IN)" by Stefan Petranek: 5608 Massachusetts Ave., east of Emerson Avenue 
  • "Fez" by Madiha Siraj: 1927 Michigan St., west of Lynn Street
  • "Buttons" by Neal Soley: 3512 Madison Ave., south of Sumner Avenue 
  • "Miracles" by Kristin Whitney: 1800 38th St., east of Millersville Road 
  • "Abundance" by Micah Wilson: 2501 Hanna Ave., west of Keystone Avenue 
  • "Paint Palette" by Shane "Fitz" Young: 3523 Arlington Ave., north of 34th Street 

Indianapolis Art Centers takes local artists to new heights

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This article originally appeared on the WishTV website. To see the original article and view video of the broadcast story, click here

by: Randall Newsome
Posted: Feb 12, 2022 / 05:10 PM EST / Updated: Feb 12, 2022 / 05:42 PM EST

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For the last nine years, the Arts Council of Indianapolis has been creating opportunities for central Indiana-based talent to shine with its High Art Billboard Project.

Every year, 10 works are showcased and rotated throughout Marion County and the seven surrounding counties on billboards for one year.

Three of the featured artists — Christina Hollering, Micah Wilson and Shane “Fitz” Young — talked about their experiences being part of the project.

The community once again this year can check out the work of the other seven artists and vote online for the People’s Choice award winner.

Voting will end at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Women4Change Director Shahid: Indiana needs sexual consent law

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The following originally appeared in the Indianapolis Star. To read it on the IndyStar website, click here.

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By RIMA SHAHID

When buying a baby gift recently, I stumbled onto some boys’ onesies with such sayings on them as “Mr. Steal-Your-Girl,” “Flirting My Way to the Top” and even “I've been deeper in your wife than you’ll ever be.”

And people wonder why the rape culture is alive and well in our nation.

Then again, the fact that rape culture thrives in pop culture is, sadly, not all that shocking. As those onesies demonstrate, it’s all around us. What is shocking is that our lawmakers allow the rape culture to persist in our laws.

It’s true: Because our state doesn’t have a statute defining consent, “no” doesn’t mean “no” in the eyes of Indiana law. Sex without consent isn’t a crime unless the victim can prove that there was use of force, threat of force, or incapacitation. Saying “no” clearly and undeniably? Not enough.

So, yeah: In Indiana, someone can have sex with you against your will, and it’s not a crime.

Fortunately, many forward-thinking Hoosiers are working to fix this by creating legislation that defines consent.

Look, I get it: The topic of sexual assault is uncomfortable. People don’t like to talk about it. But that doesn’t relieve them of the responsibility to pass laws that address sexual assault.

As the law stands now, Indiana prosecutors are reluctant to take rape cases to court because they are hard to win. It can be nearly impossible to prove force, much less threat of force. The definition of consent comes up in every single rape trial. Let’s no longer leave it up to interpretation. Let’s legally define it.

This is not unchartered territory. Nineteen other states and the District of Columbia have criminalized sex without consent. And now we have a bill that can add us to that list. House Bill 1079 “Elements of Rape” is moving through the process of becoming law. But there are many hurdles.

The good news is the bill has had bipartisan support. It passed the Courts & Criminal Code Committee with a 9-1 vote. The full House passed it with an 86-3 vote.

Now the bill advances to the Senate, and we need your help. Here’s what you can do.

  • Contact Senators Liz Brown and Mike Bohacek, who are co-authors of the bill in the Senate, and let them know you’ve got their backs.
  • Contact Senator Mike Young, chair of the Corrections & Criminal Law Committee, and ask him to give the bill a hearing.
  • Find your state senator and let them know that you expect them to speak out in support of the bill, and to vote for it when they get the chance.

As you’re reaching out to those elected officials, remind them of this: The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network reports that, out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, only 50 lead to arrest and only 28 result in felony convictions, with just 25 perpetrators being incarcerated.

Changing tasteless slogans on baby clothes might not affect numbers like those, but changing laws that perpetuate rape culture will. Let’s put a legal definition of consent on the books in Indiana.

Rima Shahid Chief Executive Officer at Women4change Indiana, a non-partisan and grassroots organization to promote the health, safety and respect of all Hoosiers. 

 

IU Health, Irsay gift help mom find strength and resilience

Client Watch

This story originally appeared in IU Health's Thrive newsletter. 

When Rachel Gonzales Pinto was admitted to IU Health West Hospital to give birth to her third child, she was intoxicated. As someone who struggled with alcohol use disorder since she was 14, and who drank during her pregnancy, this moment became her turning point.

Before being discharged, Gonzales Pinto was met by IU Health West Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center Director Trisha Palencer and IU Health Therapist Libby King. They convinced her that she could turn things around.

The next day, Gonzales Pinto went to work on sobriety with King as her primary therapist. She credits her progress to intensive, daily therapy sessions, accountability and being educated about her mental health.

Many of the programs Gonzales Pinto participated in are thanks to Jim Irsay and the Indianapolis Colts—last year gave $1 million to IU Health Foundation in support of increasing access to addiction services for people in need across Indiana.

Because of their gift, the IU Health West program was able to double its staff and add evening classes. Almost 60% of patients who complete the program successfully reach their goals, compared to about 30% for similar programs. It helps people who have lost jobs due to substance use disorder: 51% of people have a job when entering the program, and 70% are employed when they compete it. And the percentage of patients who are sober jumps from 20% at intake to 76% at program completion.

Now part of that 76% is Gonzales Pinto who says the Center made it possible for her to recently celebrate a full year of sobriety.

Having tried a variety of programs over the years—sometimes making progress but inevitably relapsing — Gonzales Pinto lost custody of her two sons, places to live, a relationship with her dad and more because of her addiction.

But now, thanks to the Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center, she has restored relationships with her family, is married and is happily raising her daughter alongside her sons.

 “I can tell you now, I have the best life ever,” Gonzales Pinto says. “And I know it’s only going to get better.”

You can help patients like Gonzales Pinto find their strength and resilience by giving to the Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center at IU Health West Hospital. Once prompted, select IU Health West Hospital as your location. Then select “Other” under “Direct My Gift To.” Type “Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center.”

Damar Village's unofficial mayor 'brings joy everywhere'

Client Watch

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The following originally appeared in the IndyStar on Dec. 22, 2021. To read it in the Star, click here

By  Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star

Since Damar Village opened on Indianapolis' southwest side this summer, one resident has become the neighborhood's "unofficial mayor."

Most nights around dusk, Robert Burcham walks through the complex, which serves Hoosiers with developmental and intellectual disabilities, checking to make sure everyone's wreaths are lit, ensuring the holiday spirit flows throughout the neighborhood.

It's just one of the roles he's assumed as the complex's unofficial mayor, a title Burcham is quick to laugh off. But this quasi-leadership position came naturally to Burcham, said Jim Dalton, Damar Services president and CEO, who said the 42-year-old has a knack for uniting those around him.

While the title doesn't come with official responsibilities, Burcham can often be found walking through the complex, making sure litter is picked up and checking in with his neighbors.

“He’s such a lovable guy," Dalton said. "We love the way that he uses his skills and influences people positively. He’s always in such a positive mood.

"He just brings joy everywhere."

Creating a community for Hoosiers with disabilities

Damar Village is one of the 54-year-old organization's latest efforts to expand services to Hoosiers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Each unit includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and shared living space, and adjustments like grab bars and reinforced walls can be made to meet an individual's needs.

The 13-acre complex, adjacent to the agency's main campus on the city's southwest side, will eventually provide housing to 120 adults with disabilities. The current capacity is 51, Dalton said, and all existing units have already been spoken for.

Dalton said the organization hopes to break ground on the next phase of the project in 2022, which would create 100 additional opportunities for housing.

The goal is to create a space where residents can feel safe, valued and respected. They want to build a community for Hoosiers who may not have found that elsewhere.

“A lot of the people that we serve come from bad situations, bad places," Dalton said. "Even though they’re living in the community, they’re really ostracized in the community."

Burcham said, in his experience, the complex has succeeded in creating that feeling of community. One distinction he wanted to make for those otherwise unfamiliar with the complex is that it doesn't have a clinical, institutional feeling, where residents are isolated from each other.

“It’s not like that,” he said. “That’s what I like, is the freedom to be able to walk outside, interact with people, interact with the staff.”

'We all need to be more like Robert'

When he's not working — Burcham just celebrated his 25th work anniversary at Burger King — or strolling through his neighborhood, Burcham can sometimes be found in his apartment's spare bedroom, where he keeps his train sets.

It's a hobby his father had as a child, and one Burcham said he's come to love over time, too.

His current set-up includes at least two locomotives, including a scale model he says may be his favorite. Because the scale pieces are larger, they often include more detail, he said: "I get more joy out of (it)."

 

"I have cerebral palsy and scoliosis,” he said, “and it’s much harder for me to put a smaller train (on the track) than it is a bigger train.”

So, it's no coincidence that when volunteers set up the neighborhood light display, the piece placed nearest to Burcham's apartment, visible just outside his living room windows, was a train.

"There was a little strategy," in the placement of that particular piece, Dalton admitted.

When asked what he was most thankful for this holiday season, Burcham said he's excited for the first Christmas in his new apartment.

“I’m grateful for what I have," he said, "and where I’m living.”

There are some people you meet, Dalton said, that can offer you valuable lessons in life — if you're open to learning from them. Burcham, he said, is one of those people. He sets an example for others just by engaging with and appreciating the world around him. 

"We all need to be more like Robert,” Dalton said.

Learn more about Damar Services and Damar Village

To learn more about Damar Village, visit damar.org/damarvillage.To learn more about all the services Damar offers, visit damar.org.

You can reach IndyStar reporter Holly Hays at holly.hays@indystar.com. Follow her on Twitter: @hollyvhays.

Conexus: No quick-fix for supply chain issues

Client Watch
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The following originally appeared in the IBJ on Jan. 7, 2022. To read it in the IBJ, click here.

By Andrew Ball and Mark DeFabis

Imagine you hire a contractor to repair a crack in your wall, but the contractor discovers the crack is a symptom of a bigger problem. Your foundation is crumbling, maybe, or termites are eating your floor joists.

Would you want the contractor to slap some plaster and paint on your wall and ignore the bigger problem? Of course not. Your home could literally fall apart.

So, why are we accepting that approach with our supply chain problems?

Over the past two years, as the global pandemic has upended our daily processes, functions and routines, we’ve heard a lot about the toll it has taken on the supply chain.

But we’ve got news for you: The pandemic didn’t cause supply chain problems. It exposed problems that can’t be solved by short-term remedies.

You’ve heard the supply chain horror stories. In ports where ships carrying shipping containers usually steam directly to the docks, dozens sit anchored. Containers that do get offloaded often end up sitting in shipyards, languishing for lack of trucks and truck drivers to carry them to their destination. Labor shortages have limited the hours warehouses can operate to unload containers, so some shipping containers are left on truck chassis until they can be unloaded, which takes those chassis out of the supply chain, which means there aren’t enough chassis to move goods out of shipyards, which means … well, it’s a vicious cycle.

Lawmakers and policymakers have offered several solutions—from running ports 24-7 to calling out the National Guard to drive trucks—but those are only short-term fixes. We need long-term solutions.

So, what should we do?

First, we need to capitalize on the attention of lawmakers and policymakers to educate them about the flaws in our supply chain, helping them see that the current crisis is a symptom of a systemic problem.

Then we need to examine the supply chain holistically, not addressing flashpoints, but recognizing that the supply chain is about velocity—the speed at which goods move efficiently through the system—and that the whole will only function well if all of its components are strong and aligned.

We also must recognize that no individual company, industry or geographic area can solve this problem alone, and that some current policies and regulations actually decrease supply chain velocity.

As we craft our solutions, we need to see this as a long game. We need to adopt national policies addressing commercial freight movement, and we must be willing to make supply chain investments that won’t generate immediate returns but will, over time, strengthen the overall system. We must assess policies and regulations to ensure they don’t impede supply chain velocity.

Finally, we have to recognize that nothing less than global competitiveness hangs in the balance. Addressing supply chain problems as we have over the past decade—with creative workarounds and short-term fixes—created new challenges: rising domestic shipping charges and increased manpower costs, for example, that put the United States and Indiana at a disadvantage internationally. We must offset those disadvantages with increased supply chain efficiencies, innovative approaches and collaboration.

The bottom line is this: We can’t make small repairs to our system and expect a meaningful impact. That’s the approach that put us where we are today. Instead, solve today’s problems while also building a national supply chain that allows us to compete and affirms our role as a leader in the global economy.•

Ball, co-CEO of Henriott Group, chairs the Conexus Indiana Advanced Manufacturing Council. DeFabis, CEO of IDS, chairs the Conexus Logistics Council.

Conexus: Collaboration, networking boost South Bend-Elkhart region

Client Watch

The following originally appeared in the South Bend Tribune on Jan. 8, 2022. To read it in the Tribune, click here

By Mitch Landess

As a company CEO, if you notice that 5% of your sales team is bringing in 16% of your business, you no doubt would want to share your top sellers’ best practices with the rest of your team.

I feel the same way. And since my role is to help Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics companies invest in new technologies, I am sharing how some companies have had great success with Indiana’s Manufacturing Readiness Grants program. 

In the past 18 months, Conexus Indiana and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation have awarded $13.4 million in Manufacturing Readiness Grants to help Indiana companies invest in smart, innovative and emerging Industry 4.0 technologies. 

While these grants have been awarded to companies located in 54 Indiana counties, 16% of all awards and 13% of award dollars have gone to three counties: Elkhart, St. Joseph and Marshall counties. Companies in those counties secured an outsized share of the grants despite representing only 5% of Indiana counties receiving funding.

Which certainly begs the question, what’s their secret and how do they continue to punch above their weight?

From watching and talking with leaders in that region, it’s clear much of their success comes from executing some of the basics: Collaborate strategically, network purposefully, attack problems logically and tap into the resources around you.

Admittedly, these three counties have impressive resources to tap into, including enFocus, a nonprofit that attracts and engages emerging talent for Northern Indiana communities, and the University of Notre Dame. With generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc., Notre Dame launched iNDustry Labs to help regional businesses connect with university resources so that those companies could adapt to the increasingly “digital age of manufacturing.”

It’s important to note that the mere presence of resources doesn’t make things happen. To succeed, the businesses and communities in the South Bend-Elkhart area leveraged available expertise and took advantage of objective perspectives on challenges and opportunities that those on the inside of a business might miss.

For example, iNDustry Labs leaders say that, while many communities or regions might assume that the only way to increase their economic prospects is to attract new businesses, greater success might be found by balancing business attraction with investments that help to make existing industry more productive and resilient. Similarly, the iNDustry Labs team notes, individual businesses should avoid arriving at solutions — “We need robots,” for example, or “We need new software” — before analyzing all of their available opportunities.

Another key component of the region’s success has been its willingness to make the most of networks within its communities and industries. enFocus and iNDustry Labs supported this effort by helping businesses in the South Bend-Elkhart region identify and tap into solutions found just down the road rather than on the other side of the country or overseas.

A third piece of the puzzle has been an emphasis on allowing talent to contribute meaningfully. By connecting with emerging talent at the region’s higher education institutions and beyond, and leveraging the resources of the Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation Network, businesses in the South Bend-Elkhart region have created a place where young people feel they can make a difference and build careers.

Not every community, county or even region has the same resources offered by enFocus or iNDustry Labs. But ambitious communities, counties and regions will reach out to comparable opportunities — colleges or universities, nonprofits, business groups, resident experts, and so on — in their areas. They will connect more strategically with their neighbors and peers across town. And they will create opportunities for emerging talent to engage, contribute and find a home.

If more areas of the state follow the model offered by the South Bend-Elkhart region, we could see Manufacturing Readiness Grants awards going to new concentrations of opportunity. But, even more important, we would see bursts of creative energy in new areas of Indiana — bursts that can fire up the economic engine for the entire state and benefit all Hoosiers for years to come.

Mitch Landess is vice president of Innovation and Digital Transformation at Conexus Indiana.

 

 

 

Depicting an evolution

Inside JTPR
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Sometimes marketing types talk about brands and identity like they’re talking about alchemy. Or top-secret missile codes. Or Col. Sanders’ seven herbs and spices.

We tend to think of it more plainly than that. A brand should simply be a reflection of an organization or product. And as that organization or product evolves, that brand and the way it is communicated – through a graphic identity, a tagline or whatever – should evolve, too.

That’s why you’re seeing a new logo for JTPR. We’ve evolved, and it’s time for the way we present ourselves to evolve, too.

Of course, we started out as Jen Thomas PR, a one-woman show that quite simply got the job done.

We grew into JTPR, a two-JT firm that offered solid, clear-cut skills and expertise.

And now we think of ourselves a little differently. We still offer those same services, but we put an increasing emphasis on the power of the well-chosen word, straightforward counsel and the right action at the right time. It’s what our clients say they expect from us … what we do best.

So now we describe ourselves like this: JTPR gets people talking about things worth talking about in order to move people to action. With expert counsel, the right words and hands-on execution, we help organizations reach the right audiences, say the right things and get the results they want.

This fits nicely with our business plan, which we sum up by saying, “Work with nice people, and have fun doing it.”

When we discussed this vision of our business with our friend (and designer extraordinaire) Lindsey Hadley, she brought back a new logo for JTPR that we think captures wonderfully who we aspire to be: It’s sturdy and solid, with a dash of color and whimsy. It gets the job done with a bit of flair and fun.

That might not be as impressive as alchemy, or as intriguing as missile codes, or as “spicy” as a secret chicken recipe. But it’s who we are. 

 

We are Doers

Inside JTPR

During our firm’s recent rebrand, we spent a lot of time pondering the right words to describe what we do best.

We settled on Advisors. Writers. Doers.

Since the core of our work involves writing, Writers was a no-brainer.

Advisors was pretty easy, too. At this stage of our careers, we’re confident in our recommendations and the advice we provide clients.

The last word, though, was harder. We ended up with Doers.

We hesitated about that at first, worried that it sounded too tactical, too elementary, too lightweight. “Doers” are often seen as the “lowest rung” on the ladder, and we didn’t want people to think of us as a “low-rung” organization.

On the other hand, one of the reasons we opened our shop is that we wanted to provide advice to our clients and then actually see it through to fruition. To DO the work. We like what we do, and we plan to stay small – just the two of us – so we are, by design, the doers.

Of course, we also believe that serves our clients well. When they choose us, they get veterans doing the work. We’re not cooking up big ideas and handing them off to junior staffers. We’re not promising expertise and delivering rookie execution. We’re following through. Putting our experience to work. Making sure the job gets done.

And when we do need help? We reach out to the best partners and subcontractors in the business – people who we know value good work as much as we do – and continue to be engaged so that the job is done right.

Yep: We’re doers. And we feel good about that.

John and Jen

© JTPR, INC. 2022

Indianapolis