By: Lauren Hansen—
Muncie, IN—On Tuesday, December 5, Cornerstone Center for the Arts hosted its Annual Donor & Community Reception. This is the third year for the event which recognizes the founders of the organization with awards named in their honor. This year, Cornerstone served over 2,000 students in educational programs, awarding almost $13,000 dollars in financial aid to families in need. This year, the event specifically recognized the efforts of all Board Members since the creation of Cornerstone Center for the Arts in 2004, and our Executive Directors. These individuals were instrumental in the merger of the arts programming and building utilization efforts housed within the facility.
The first award acknowledges Beth Turcotte who stepped up to lead the organization for three years while taking a sabbatical from her position at Ball State University. Turcotte’s passion for the arts sparked a fire in the Muncie Community to rally behind this new organization. In her honor, Kayla Kern was named the 2017 Beth Turcotte Arts Education Achievement recipient. Kayla is a dance instructor, and teaches students from age one to ninety, solidifying our connection with the community. Her classes include Youth Musical Theatre, Youth Lyrical, Youth Ballet, Performance Ballet for Adults, Party Like a Princess, Early Tap I, Early Tap, Early Hip Hop Jazz I, Early Ballet: Ages 1-2, Early Ballet II, Early Ballet I, Early Ballet, Contemporary & Jazz, and Basic Ballet for Adults. Kayla teaches a total of 7% of all students enrolled here at Cornerstone, making her commitment to the community unmatched and highly cherished.
Secondly, Cornerstone honored Judith Barnes, who had volunteered her time and energy to Cornerstone since its inception. Barnes spent the past 18 years advocating for the arts community and doing everything in her power to help Cornerstone succeed. It is through selfless volunteers like her who help make Cornerstone’s programs and events possible. The Son of Scarevania main cast were named the recipients of the 2017 Judith Barnes Spirit of Service Award. This group of actors were working our haunted house every Friday and Saturday night in October. All eight nights, from 8 p.m. to midnight, they worked to make Son of Scarevania one of the most horrifying haunted houses in the area. All the haunted house’s proceeds go towards Cornerstone. This event would be impossible without the hard work and dedication of this group of people.
The third award of the evening celebrates the lives and legacies of Robert and Beverly Terhune. Since the creation of Muncie Center for the Arts, the Terhune family has worked tirelessly to support the organization financially, as well as with their time and talents. The 2017 Robert and Beverly Terhune Corporate Champion was awarded to the National Energy Council and Joe Stevens. They helped Cornerstone become more energy efficient by getting 420 solar panels onto Cornerstone’s roof. They found funding for the panels, for the regulation of heating and cooling throughout the building, and the efficient, LED lights throughout our building. Through them, Cornerstone could afford to become a greener organization for the community.
Lastly, through his work at the Ball Brother’s Foundation, Douglas Bakken was instrumental in organizing the right team to establish the historic building as an arts center. His guidance and support through the merger that created Cornerstone Center for the Arts were crucial to the organization’s development. Even in retirement, Bakken continues to be an avid supporter of Cornerstone. It is through caring individuals like Doug Bakken and small businesses that Cornerstone is able to thrive. The choice for the 2017 Douglas Bakken Small Business Steward were New Corner Brewing Co. and Guardian Brewing Co. These two small businesses donated their beer and efforts for A Taste of Muncie and Brewfest. Being two of our biggest fundraisers of the year, these events could not be possible without their help. Having community partners is vital to the success of Cornerstone and it is through these relationships that the organization is able to grow.
Each year Cornerstone will add the award recipients to a plaque that will be hung in the Founder’s Room on the second floor. This will preserve the legacy of the organization’s founders and donors as well as outstanding instructors, volunteers, corporate sponsors, and small business partners who go above and beyond to support Cornerstone Center for the Arts.
Cornerstone Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization with a mission to nurture community connections by providing opportunities for creative expression, educational programs, and events in a historic setting.