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Columbus sculpture project receives tourism award

INDIANAPOLIS – The Columbus Area Arts Council has received a $25,000 award for its Columbus Indiana Sculpture Biennial project. Two other organizations, one in Bloomington, Ind., and the other in Oxford, Ohio, each received $5,000 runner-up cultural tourism awards.

The awards were presented at the recent Midwest Cultural Tourism Conference. The event is presented by the Efroymson Family Fund and the IU Department of Tourism, Conventions and Event Management at IUPUI.

The $25,000 Efroymson Award for Excellence in Cultural Tourism is given to a Midwestern nonprofit with a creative, emerging cultural tourism initiative. Selection criteria include efforts that demonstrate new ideas, attract new visitors, promote the Midwest as a tourism destination, foster a greater understanding of history, heritage and culture, and create a substantial local economic or other impact.

The Columbus Area Arts Council project is an inaugural project of the newly created Columbus Arts District, drawing on the city’s internationally recognized reputation for art and architectural excellence in the built environment. The project will bring a collection of large outdoor sculptures to Columbus and immerse observers in a dynamic physical experience with public art. The rotation of temporary works on a two-year basis will encourage repeated visits by tourists and will ensure continued engagement and dialogue within the local community.

The Lotus Education and Arts Foundation in Bloomington was recognized for its Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, now in its 20th year. It fosters artistic excellence by presenting more than 25 performances by musicians, and it creates opportunities for underserved audiences to participate in arts activities highlighting diverse world cultures

The Oxford Visitors Bureau was recognized for its Oxford Kinetics Festival, a celebration of creativity in motion with activities for tinkerers of all ages. The festival’s goal is to get people thinking differently about art and to see the interaction between artistic sculpture, science and engineering.