Got a Musical Instrument Forgotten in the Attic? Let ChIRP Loan It to a Child

BY MOLLY BRUSH As a community orchestra, Bloomington Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to learn to play and appreciate music. But for some families, the cost of purchasing and maintaining an instrument can prevent their children from participating in music lessons and developing musical skills. To help, the BSO created the Children’s Instrument Recovery Program (ChIRP). “We want music to be accessible to those who, for various reasons, cannot get instruments on their own,” says bassist Audrey Williams, president of the BSO board of directors and director of ChIRP. Founded in 2001 by former BSO board member Frank Galiani, ChIRP loans instruments to children at no cost. The loan is for a period […]

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CIP: College Internship Program Helping Students on Autism Spectrum

BY SUSAN M. BRACKNEY From teaching time management skills to helping students discover their passions, College Internship Program (CIP) Bloomington offers services which could benefit nearly anyone. However, the young adults assisted by the local transitional program fall on the autism spectrum or have other learning differences that make it difficult for them to navigate college or jump straight into a career after high school. “We work with students to develop goals and reach their highest potential,” explains CIP Bloomington Assistant Program Director Ellen Davidson. The program helps students develop both hard skills (such as how to navigate campus or plan meals) and soft skills (like emotional regulation and detecting social cues). “So much of what we do is automatic, […]

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WFIU Launches Second FM Station So Listeners Can Pick Talk or Music

BY BARB BERGGOETZ Choosing between classical music and quality news programming during the day is now easier for Bloomington listeners with the arrival of a new public radio channel — WFIU2. WFIU (103.7 FM) launched WFIU2 (101.9 FM), allowing Bloomington-area listeners to pick up FM radio programming that had previously been available only online or on HD radio for the last 10 years. The station also added the same programming at 100.1 FM in Seymour, Indiana. The move was made this fall to better serve WFIU’s two main audiences — classical music listeners and news followers — and to attract new listeners, says WFIU Operations Director John Bailey. Another reason for the additional station, he adds, is that despite talk […]

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Getting to Know Your Local Cop Over a Cup of Coffee (or Juice)

Bloomington Police Department Deputy Chief Joe Qualters gets to know 2-year-old Thisbe Ellenwood at Coffee with a Cop. Photo by Jenn Hamm   BY PAUL BICKLEY It wasn’t a typical day at the library, and 2-year-old Thisbe Ellenwood stood shyly behind her mother until one police officer handed her a bottle of juice. Then she sat next to Bloomington Police Department (BPD) Deputy Chief Joe Qualters, attentive to his conversation with Mom. Thisbe and her mother were among several community members who attended the BPD’s latest Coffee with a Cop event, held October 7 at the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL). Chief Mike Diekhoff says holding Coffee with a Cop events in places like the library lets kids, and adults, [...]

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Sisters In Peace: Women of Different Religions Unite

BY CARMEN SIERING In October 2015, a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf was attacked outside Sofra Café on South Walnut. The incident sparked an outpouring of concern from members of the Bloomington community, says Anna Maidi, who handles much of the correspondence for the Islamic Center of Bloomington. “After the attack, a lot of people were reaching out and they didn’t really know what to do,” Maidi says. “We got letters from people who just wanted to express that they appreciated our presence in Bloomington.” Maidi says that while the incident at the café is an extreme, it’s not the only time a member of Bloomington’s Muslim community has felt threatened. “So to have the community respond in that way […]

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