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New Castle | Henry County

INSIDE: Henry Community Health’s orthopedic innovations

Chamber Magazine Fall 2018

New Castle

history IN THE MAKING

NEW CASTLE IS HOME TO INDIANA’S OLDEST MUSEUM COMPLEX ROBERT INDIANA ART INSPIRES BENCHES BUSINESS GROWS ON BROAD STREET


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New downtown plaza will transform into outdoor gathering place for residents

A

fter considerable planning and careful thought, a neardowntown plaza is taking shape. The outdoor gathering space on the south side of the 1400 block of Broad Street, is envisioned to be the kind of place you’d bring your family. These are the kind of high quality of life amenities that not only draw the public to your downtown during the holidays, they attract full-time residents and new businesses all year. The area is expected to feature more than 100 parking spaces as well as an area for community events such as the Farmers Market, Broad Street cruise-ins and performances by bands and choirs. All of it is in keeping with public input, as well as the downtown revitalization strategy formulated a few years ago.

‘This new development is a good example of the needed balance between a space you can use for festivals and events, and one that provides much-needed parking to support downtown businesses and bring Missy Modesitt people downtown.’ EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The planners have worked hard to create a multi-use, flexible events space that maximizes parking. This new development is a good example of the needed balance between a space you can use for festivals and events, and one that provides much-needed parking to support downtown businesses and bring people downtown. The plaza, as designed, provides for water and electricity access at multiple points. It is designed to be a low maintenance and kid friendly space and expands on existing downtown resources such as the Arts Park. The design emphasizes parking on the west end to accommodate Jennings Building tenants and patrons of the ground-level businesses expected to occupy it. The east end features a stage-like area, landscaping features, an area that lends itself to seating and spaces where overhead cover will provide shade for event visitors. A central walkway that runs parallel to Broad Street through the middle of the plaza would provide a “bridge” from the Jennings Building to the Arts Park. This $1 million project has had the support of City Council, the mayor, the Redevelopment Commission and the Chamber. It is an example of a community working together to make a difference. It is the kind of collective efforts the Chamber is proud to be a part of, improving the quality of life in our beautiful community. ■ Missy Modesitt is Executive Director of the New CastleHenry County Chamber of Commerce. 4 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2018

New Castle | Henry County

Chamber Magazine Volume 8, Issue 2 PUBLISHER Missy Modesitt, Executive Director, New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce info@nchcchamber.com DESIGN AND EDITORIAL DIRECTION The JMetzger Group Juli Metzger | juli@thejmetzgergroup.com John Metzger | john@thejmetzgergroup.com www.thejmetzgergroup.com 765.744.4303 CONTRIBUTORS Writing: Doug Gruse, Michelle Kinsey Photography: Kurt Hostetler Design: Tammy Pearson To advertise, contact The JMetzger Group: 765.744.4303 | john@thejmetzgergroup.com For subscription information, contact Missy Modesitt at 765.529.5210.

Chamber Magazine: The voice of New Castle-Henry County Chamber businesses. It is a product of the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and The JMetzger Group. These materials are the sole and exclusive property of the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and The JMetzger Group, and may not be used without written consent. Copyright 2018: The New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and The JMetzger Group.

The JMetzger Group specializes in branded content, custom publishing and social media solutions. Learn more: www.thejmetzgergroup.com




    

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New Castle | Henry County

Chamber Magazine TABLE OF CONTENTS

8

Corey Murphy

Jobs are growing. The workforce is not. Employers can help.

G

ov. Holcomb recently wrote an op-ed in the Indianapolis Star in which he said his “greatest charge as governor “is to align those who want better jobs with the business owners who have openings.” Key to his mission is post-secondary education. I couldn’t agree more. As Chamber members, we are keenly aware of the growing disconnect between the workplace and the workforce. Amplifying the need for a qualified workforce is the unemployment rate, which is at a 50-year low nationwide. The jobs are growing. The workforce is not.

BOARD PRESIDENT

Kevin Brown

MUSEUM COMPLEX

12 14

Henry Community Health

Broad Street business

Art-inspired benches ON THE COVER:

10

17

A 1930 Chrysler built in New Castle is displayed at The Henry County Historical Society museum.

Inset: Career Center welding instructor Steven Vitatoe’s students crafted benches installed in the community.

6 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2018

‘Learning new skills throughout one’s career is critical... Employers like those of us who are chamber members must invest time and resources into the ongoing development of the workforce.’

In Henry County, we have a strong high school career center and technical education courses that can lead to high-wage industries. But, as the governor says, nearly every job being created requires something beyond a diploma. It is critical our workforce seek out additional training in order to be competitive in the workforce but also to train for jobs that the community needs to fill. Gov. Holcomb says there are 90,000-plus jobs available right now in the state. At the Chamber, we often hear from employers looking for employees. The state’s NextLevelJobs. org is a program to support adults by offering programs that can be accomplished while working. The Employer Training Grant provides financial support to Indiana companies to hire, train and retain Hoosier adults while a Workforce Ready Grant offers tuition-free certificates at Ivy Tech or Vincennes University in high-demand areas. These are the kinds of programs our workforce needs to catapult to the next level. In fact, statistics show that continuous education is a fact of the modern economy. Learning new skills throughout one’s career is critical to continuous employment. Likewise, employers like those of us who are chamber members, must invest time and resources into the ongoing development of the workforce. Indiana’s own Lumina Foundation says the nation will need 60 percent of working-age people to have college degrees, workforce certificates or other quality credentials by 2025 to meet social and economic demands. Lumina says 16.4 million Americans are not on track. Lumina is working to ensure that six out of 10 working-age Americans have “meaningful and marketable credentials beyond a high school diploma by 2025.” At the Chamber, we’re here to help facilitate that kind of growth in Henry County’s workforce. ■ Kevin Brown is president of the Board of Directors for the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.


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Early childhood focus offers a strong return on investment

R

egular readers of this column (Hi, Mom) will recall the topics of increasing access to high quality early childhood education and childcare. These influence so many areas of our community: children, families, schools, churches, law enforcement and businesses. This is a topic that directly affects Henry County prosperity and your business success. Our community must continue the quest for greater access to high quality early childhood education and childcare facilities. Recent successes are cause for celebration: Agape Learning Center, a state-licensed day care center, preschool and kindergarten in New Castle, is expanding! This should inspire more action. Why does this matter? 90% of brain development occurs from birth to age EDC DIRECTOR 5. Getting it right the first time is so much less costly than remediating. Early childhood offers a strong return on investment (ROI) of $4 for every $1 invested. The ROI is realized through reduced high-school dropout rates, improved health behaviors, reduced burden on the criminal justice system and higher individual earning potential. Another aspect of early childhood education is ensuring communities have high quality childcare providers as Corey Murphy measured by the state’s Paths to Quality Initiative. Could the Henry County business community partner with schools and child care facilities to increase access? Is adequate childcare available for 2nd and 3rd shifts? Is the lack of childcare affecting employee attendance? Is the lack of childcare costing businesses money? Recent closures of local childcare providers might provide anecdotal evidence of increased employee absenteeism or higher turn-over. A June 2018 study from Early Learning Indiana provides answers to the business cost question. The Indiana University Public Policy Institute’s “Lost Opportunities: The Impact of Inadequate Child Care on Indiana’s Workforce & Economy found that Indiana businesses have a $1.8 billion direct cost from lack of access to childcare. The impact is in both rural and urban counties. The study included specific data for three urban and three rural counties. The annual cost to businesses in Parke County (population 17,000) is $3.3 million. In Jackson County (pop. 44,000), the annual business impact is $12 million. The impact is here too and most likely closer to Jackson County. Why should businesses get involved? Numerous surveys of the business community reveal that workforce and talent are top challenges. This is magnified with an unemployment rate below 4%. At a recent statewide conference, Olivia Warner, President of Indiana Stamp Co., Inc. cited higher employee retention (reduced turnover) as the business case for her company getting involved in childcare issues. Addressing access to childcare will help the immediate need but more importantly it will help the child, a child that likely lives in poverty. The Indiana Youth Institute reports one in five Henry County children live in poverty. Generational poverty has hit our community (and much of Indiana) hard. Early childhood education is a proven strategy that reduces generational poverty. Please consider joining the Henry County Early Learning Coalition led by Liane Nickey (lnickey@huffermcc.org) and Nan Polk. Additional resources include https://earlylearningin.org/ and the U.S. Chamber’s Guide for Business Engagement in Early Education. ■ Corey L. Murphy, CEcD, serves as President of the New Castle Henry County Economic Development Corporation.

8 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2018


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CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2018 | 9


Oldest New Castle museum complex

facility of its kind in Indiana

The museum opened in 1902 in the

Grose mansion and houses this iconic desk made by the home’s architect. The 57,000 small pieces of wood used in its construction include parts of Abraham Lincoln’s carriage.

STORY BY DOUG GRUSE 10 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2018

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PHOTOS BY KURT HOSTETLER


The museum houses two automobiles historical to Henry County as well as other popular attractions for visitors.

History is most interesting when it gets personal.

As director of the Henry County Historical Society, Kaye Ford helps people connect with the past. The lower level of the museum is home to two automobiles “People come in to research their family history or the history representing the rich history of manufacturing in Henry County. of their home. Sometimes they want to know the history of a A 1911 Maxwell and a 1930 Chrysler, both built in New Castle, business,” Ford said. “We keep files on surnames, clubs and are popular attractions for visitors. organizations, retail businesses, manufacturers and files on all of Another iconic piece in the collection was built by Civil War the 13 townships.” Veteran Thaddeus Coffin, the architect who designed the Grose With the popularity of TV shows like TLC’s “Who Do You mansion. Coffin built the iconic desk, donated to the museum in Think You Are” and “Finding Your Roots” on PBS, amateur 1996, as a retirement project. He advertised in the Grand Army genealogists are discovering the historical society as a place to of the Republic newspaper, a periodical for Civil War veterans, fill in some of the details from clues gathered through online for fellow soldiers to send him “pieces of wood of interest.” He ancestry searches and DNA tests. collected more than 320 species of wood, constructing the ornate “We have a large collection of research materials, including desk using nearly 57,000 single pieces of wood, during a 35-year old courthouse records,” Ford said. period. The puzzled-together wood includes oak from the first The Henry County Historical Society has records of the Henry County Courthouse, a log cabin-like structure that served earliest books written about the county, which were indexed in from around 1823 to 1836; walnut from the stump of the big the 1930s as a Work Progress Administration project. log at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago; laurel from Although family genealogy often gets people through the Lookout Mountain in Tennessee; beech from the tree Gen. Lew museum doors, the institution offers a bigger picture. Wallace sat under while he wrote the last chapters of “Ben Hur”; “We like to start with the family file and see if we can find and part of the carriage that Abraham Lincoln rode to deliver a any information that folks have donated or we have pulled from speech in Atlanta, Ill., in 1854. records. It’s interesting what you “One’s nerves are on a strain to can come across in the historical get the small pieces to fit well, and society that might be related to the first thing you know, you actually your family. I love helping people almost forget to breathe. When I had find the story of their ancestors this feeling, of course, I always quit in the history of the county,” said work and took a rest,” Coffin said Ford, a professional genealogist. during a 1915 newspaper interview. The Henry County Historical Ford is happy the one-of-a-kind Society was founded in 1887. piece found a permanent home at The New Castle museum the local museum. complex, which is the oldest “The family first offered it to the continuously operating facility Smithsonian Institute, but they said of its kind in Indiana, opened in they were afraid it would end up in 1902. Housed primarily in the storage. The family then decided 16-room Victorian mansion of to choose us, and we are thrilled Gen. William Grose, a Civil War to have it. It is a really fascinating veteran, the facility exhibits an piece,” she said. Henry County Historical Society Director Kaye Ford ever-growing array of original The museum has added a helps connect people with the past. artifacts dating back to the number of events to help more region’s first pioneers in the people connect to the facility. Recent special programs welcomed 1820s. Vietnam War Veterans on a Saturday, and an Afters Hours “We are always on the lookout for photos, documents and lecture included a slideshow on masterpiece quilts from the small objects related to the area. We are the place where people Daughters of the American Revolution Museum collection. The — when they don’t know what to do with something — they come museum also offers free admission and extended hours the first to us. If it’s pertinent to Henry County, we find a place for it,” Saturday of each month. Ford said. “We love to talk about Henry County and showcase our In addition to the main house, the museum has two collection. It’s a great place to come visit,” said Ford, who first outbuildings, which serve as offices and storage. The collection started working at the museum five years ago as a volunteer. includes a wide variety of items, including American Indian As museum director, Ford hopes more people will visit the arrowheads, historical photos and military memorabilia, collection to connect how their family stories interweave with local including items connected to the Civil War, World War I, World history. “We have a good representation of the changes in time War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. and what the county used to look like. We like to show people a “We are always interested in anything to do with the county, representation of their ancestors and how they lived,” she said. ■ if it is 20 to 25 years old or older,” Ford said. The museum recently accepted an early Macintosh computer MORE ONLINE | Visit our photo gallery for more from the 1980s, an item sure to have great historical significance images at www.nchcchamber.com as technology continues to evolve.

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CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2018 | 11


Dr. Damion Harris is an orthopedic surgeon and shoulder specialist at Henry Community Health.

Orthopedic innovation brings shoulder relief & mobility to Henry Community Health patients STORY BY DOUG GRUSE

Technological advances in the last 10 years have brought amazing relief for people suffering with chronic shoulder pain and limited mobility, and Henry Community Health is fortunate to have an innovative orthopedic team serving the region. 12 | CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2018

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF HENRY COMMUNITY HEALTH

S

urgical technology at Henry Community Health is helping Baby Boomers continue to remain active as they grow older.

Shoulder injuries and pain are common as people reach middle age and beyond. In fact, about 50 percent of people over the age of 60 will have a rotator cuff tear, according to the Duke University School of Medicine. In the past, the medical options for shoulder injuries were limited. “There was very little physicians could do to help people. The surgeries performed were fairly subpar. Even if they brought reasonable pain relief, there was minimal function,” said Dr. Damion Harris, an orthopedic surgeon and shoulder specialist at Henry Community Health. But technological advances in the last 10 years have brought amazing relief for people suffering with chronic shoulder pain and limited mobility, and Henry Community Health is fortunate to have an innovative orthopedic team serving the region. “With Dr. Harris as part of our orthopedic group, it gives us a very strong presence in Indiana with a level of skill not found in many communities our size,” said Paul Janssen, president and CEO of Henry Community Health. Harris has been able to bring great relief to patients who would have had few options just 10 years ago.


The biggest change has been the reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, which involves replacing the normal anatomic bony ball with a metal stem and plastic cup, while the normal anatomic bony cup is replaced by a metal half ball called a “glenosphere.” This changes the mechanics around the shoulder to allow for better motion, even without the rotator cuff muscles. The very earliest versions of the reverse total shoulder came in the 1970s, but complication rates were extremely high and those designs were basically abandoned until 1985 when, in France, Paul Grammont developed the first designs of the modern reverse total shoulder arthroplasty. These designs were not approved in the United States until 2004. Harris finds that the best candidates for the surgery are people over the age of 70 with rotator cuff arthropathy and pseudo paralysis of the shoulder. The surgery also has helped elderly patients with severe shoulder fractures and inflammatory arthritis. “We try to be as conservative as possible in recommending patients, but for those who are a candidate, it can be a heroic surgery,” Harris said. The surgery itself can be completed between one to three hours, with patients noticing significant relief two to three months after the procedure. “Patients will see improvements for up to a year out. They have to learn how to reuse the shoulder, which doesn’t move like your normal anatomical shoulder,” Harris said. “Pain relief is one of the more amazing aspects of it. These patients have lived with pain and limited mobility for so long, the ability to use it is pretty amazing.”

3

PATIENTS SHARE THEIR ORTHOPEDIC SUCCESS STORIES

“I was umpiring with a buddy and we were sharing stories about shoulder pain. He recommended Dr. Harris. After surgery and therapy, I could return to all my activities.”

— Mark Robbins, Richmond, total shoulder arthroplasty

The biggest change has been the reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, which changes the mechanics around the shoulder to allow for better motion. Orthopedic surgeons have been cautious about using the surgery in younger patients because the procedure is relatively new. The medical community is waiting for longer-term data to ensure the materials will hold up over time. In addition to the reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, Harris also cites the superior capsular reconstruction as another important recent breakthrough for shoulder-pain sufferers. “It is used for the exact same problem but in a younger population, most often people 45 to 60 who have developed rotator cuff arthopathy, which is disease of the joint, with or without inflammation. The procedure treats massive, irreparable rotator cuff tears without performing a reverse shoulder replacement. The surgery restores shoulder motion by taking a soft tissue graft and placing it into the area where the patient suffered tissue loss. Harris has conducted 30 of the groundbreaking surgeries in a year and a half. “My patients have developed immense improvements in range of motion and immense decreases in pain,” he said. Harris estimates that 80 percent of his surgeries are on shoulders, but he also helps patients with other orthopedic problems, including knee injuries, fractures and carpal tunnel issues. He is proud to be a part of a team of medical professionals bringing the next generation of orthopedic procedures to rural Indiana. “I love this community, and I love this hospital,” he said. “We have one of the best orthopedic groups I’ve even been associated with — or ever been exposed to.” ■

Dr. Damion Harris.

Mary Ellen, Mark and Darlene Robbins.

“I was hurting all over, but it was just my shoulder. Dr. Harris made it very easy to understand just what he was going to do.” — Mary Ellen Robbins, Richmond, reverse total shoulder arthroplasty

“I had a fall on black ice. My shoulders hurt bad, and I knew something wasn’t right. After two surgeries, I now have full range of motion in both shoulders.”

— Darlene Robbins, Richmond, rotator cuff repair in both shoulders CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2018 | 13


Making Her Move

Pam Brake opens two businesses on Broad Street

T

STORY BY MICHELLE KINSEY

|

PHOTOS BY KURT HOSTETLER working at what was then called Straight Status, located in a New York Avenue warehouse, in 1994 as a telephone sales representative. At that time, the company’s biggest money-maker was catalogs for orthodontists. She loved her job and over the next few years would learn how to do everything there “except run machines.” When the owner passed away in 1999, Brake and her brother, Mike Barber, bought the company and renamed it Professional Design. “I never really planned on owning a printing business,” she said. “It just happened.” The same could be said for the bridal shop. In 2000, she gathered with her sisters from Ohio and her niece at a little bridal store on 14th Street. “It was a little hole-in-the-wall place,” Brake recalled. “We went in there to get our dresses for our niece’s wedding, and I walked out with the whole store that day.”

he young woman paused in front of the large shop window on Broad Street, taking in the display. Dresses, in delicately discernible

shades of white, are the impeccably staged stars of this show. Her eyes land on the strapless, satin gown with just a whisper of lace. Inside, Pam Brake is the owner Brake is watching. And smiling. of A Moment in “That happens a lot now,” she said. “And we Time Bridal and love it.” Brake is the owner of A Moment in Time Professional Bridal, which recently moved uptown to the former Design. Industrial Loss and Consulting Building. She also brought along her printing business, Professional Design, which occupies the space - and another display window - next door. They officially opened the doors on Cleaning house both sides at the new location in September. “But we’re not done At the beginning of this year, Brake felt like switching things yet,” Brake noted with a smile. “There’s still lots of work to do.” up, maybe downsizing a little. She was shown the historic building on Broad Street and couldn’t help but remember the ‘It just happened’ hustle and bustle on this street as a child. A renewed interest in Perfectly positioned between the two spaces, in what was the area – new restaurants and shops, some apartments – meant once a hallway, sits Brake’s office, the command center for two that the hustle and bustle could be coming back. And Brake businesses that have quite a history in this area. Brake began

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Pam Brake owns two businesses on Broad Street that serve the community — a printing business and a dress shop.

wanted in. So, in June, the renovations on her two new spaces began. (She also owns the parking lot beside the building.) “And we have downsized a lot,” she said. “But we needed to do that. It was time to clean house.”

Dream dresses

We should point out here that this shop is about more than wedding gowns. “We do great with prom,” Brake said. She said her team makes sure they have dresses at all price levels. “We want to make sure everyone can walk out of here with the dress of her dreams,” she said. She also wants people to know they don’t have to travel far to get that perfect dress. “We need people to come in and get out of the feeling that we are just a small-town shop,” she said. “So many people think they have to go to Indy to get their prom dress or wedding dress. You don’t. We have the same things right here.” On the other side, Brake said Professional Design is responsible for about 90 percent of the school “spirit wear” in the county. They also work with several organizations and businesses, many of them miles away. There’s a Pennsylvania cheer club, an Ohio construction company, baseball teams from Greenfield, and more. They still operate the catalog company as well, along with printing cards for orthodontists, optometrists, chiropractors and teachers. “We keep busy,” Brake said, leaning back in her office chair. “Very busy.”

All in the family

Brake moved to New Castle with her family in fourth grade when her dad took a job at Chrysler. She has nine – yes, nine – siblings. She knows everyone in town, thanks in part to a brother, George, who was a basketball star here. “This is my home,” she said. “Always will be.” Which is why, she said, she supports local events and programs in New Castle as much as she can. “It’s important to give back to the community,” she said. “So, I am pretty involved.” It doesn’t take long to realize what’s at the center of everything Brake does: family. Brake’s sister, Pat

Hartwig, is manager of the bridal shop. In fact, all of her siblings have been involved in the businesses at one time or another. And her daughter, Amy, works at Professional Design. She also considers her employees family. “They are just phenomenal,” Brake said. “I don’t know what I would do without Dawna [Hardwick], who runs [Professional Design]. She’s been with me for over 10 years.” “I love it,” Hardwick said of her job. “Why? The customers.” Brake nods. “She gets to know everyone who comes through that door,” she said. And their shirt preferences, of course.

Different worlds

Brake offered a quick tour, beginning with the shop in the front of Professional Design, decked out in “off the rack” shirts, sweatshirts and other spirit wear in New Castle High School green and white. Next is the office, followed by the engraving room, a shirt printing room, kitchen, shipping area, screen printing room and paper supply room. “Everything here has its own room, which is really nice,” she said. A door leads to the other side and another world, a sharp contrast from t-shirts to tulle skirts. There’s a steaming room; a private bridal consultation room with dressing rooms; a tux room; more dressing rooms, then racks and racks and racks of dresses. From short, barely-there glittery prom dresses to lavish pearl and lace covered ball gown wedding dresses that span several feet. Brake has invested more than $30,000 in the renovation of the building’s first floor. Her next project is the second floor. Her dream, she said, is to take the bridal store upstairs, so it’s more of an “experience” with larger dressing rooms, couches and areas for bridal parties to gather. Think destination bridal shop. “I’ve always got ideas,” Brake said. “But one of these days I’d like to retire. One of these days. …” ■

MORE ONLINE | Visit our photo gallery for more v images at www.nchcchamber.com

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Legacy

New Robert Indiana-inspired benches help build New Castle

STORY BY DOUG GRUSE

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PHOTOS BY KURT HOSTETLER

Love is all around in New Castle. With the recent addition of art-inspired custom benches downtown, the Robert Indiana Arts and Cultural District is becoming a beacon of regional artistic expression. “I think art is a way to make a lasting legacy for New Castle,” said Carrie Barrett, executive director of New Castle Main Street, the organization leading the redevelopment project. “Robert Indiana said that he wanted to cover the world in hope. I hope that we are doing justice to his legacy.” Indiana, who was born Robert Clark in New Castle in 1928, became a pop-art master after his famous “LOVE” design was commissioned in 1965 for a Museum of Modern Art holiday card. The artist died in May, after a prolific career spanning more than five decades. The district already features a replica of Indiana’s classic “LOVE” sculpture, which was installed in 2017 in the Arts Park. The piece, built by welding students at New Castle Career Center under the direction of instructor Steven Vitatoe, is composed of stacked letters individually measuring four-byfour feet. The sculpture got Vitatoe thinking about other — more functional — works of art. “Our town needed new benches, trash cans a way to recycle. When I heard New Castle Main Street was planning new benches, I saw an opportunity for my program to help out. We had most of the material available. Because we had worked on other Robert Indiana-inspired pieces, I had a good idea of what the benches should look like,” Vitatoe said. He pitched the concept to Barrett, who trusted his vision based on his past contributions to the district. “We were talking about what was going on around town, and he said he had an idea for benches. I didn’t even know it was a possibility,” Barrett said. The welding-instructor created a one-by-three-inch prototype, which became the model for four benches — two depicting the popular “LOVE” design and two featuring the word “HOME” in the artist’s iconic style. Vitatoe encouraged his students to participate in the project, and he credits recent Career Center graduate Michael Weiland with being an integral part of the construction. “I think it is great for students to see their work in the community and to see how their contributions are making our town a nicer place,” Vitatoe said. “It’s great for us to collaborate with other organizations and good publicity for the Career Center — and it helps our students feel invested in their hometown and county.” Installed in September, the four functional works of art are located in the 1300 block of Broad Street and on 14th Street. Funded through a grant from the Henry County Community Foundation and through additional fundraising, the benches are just the beginning of what Barrett hopes is yet to come. “The work has made a huge impact, and I can’t say enough about the collaboration. I believe collaboration is key to the future,” she said. Vitatoe has enjoyed watching the project help transform the way people view downtown. “They are unique to our town, and the people I have spoken to seem to really like them. It shows when we all come together, we can make a difference,” he said. Barrett hopes the community will view the benches as more than just a place to sit. “The brightness and the colors and the messages of home and love are inspiring,” she said. “That is something we could all use in our lives.” ■

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CHAMBER MAGAZINE, Fall 2018 | 17


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NCHC Chamber Magazine, Fall 2018  

Chamber Magazine: Fall 2018. Published twice yearly, Chamber Magazine is the voice of the New Castle-Henry County (Indiana) Chamber of Comme...

NCHC Chamber Magazine, Fall 2018  

Chamber Magazine: Fall 2018. Published twice yearly, Chamber Magazine is the voice of the New Castle-Henry County (Indiana) Chamber of Comme...

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