Editor’s note: This post is Part 23 of “Celebrating the People of Bloomington,” a special retrospective revisiting some of the stories Bloom has published since its inception in 2006. The details in these stories have not been changed since they were originally written, but we have provided updates when possible. Each story highlights an individual who contributed to making Bloomington a compassionate, diverse, and creative community. For more stories from “Celebrating the People of Bloomington,” click here.

Archie Miller: New Coach on the Hot Seat

Photo by Rodney Margison

Ryan “Archie” Miller has been introduced as the new head basketball coach at Indiana University. Miller, 36, replaces Tom Crean, who was fired in March after nine seasons.

In six years as head coach at the University of Dayton, Miller had a 139-63 record and took the team to four NCAA Tournaments. Last season, he won Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year.

The team plays a tougher-than-usual pre-Big Ten schedule this year that includes Duke and the University of Louisville. “I think we’ll play one of the toughest preconference schedules

in the country,” Miller says, “partly by design and partly by inheritance. … We just have to do our jobs. Expectations are high, but nobody’s expectations are any higher than ours.”

Kate Galvin Named Cardinal Stage Artistic Director

Photo by Rodney Margison

Following a competitive, nationwide search, 37-year-old Kate Galvin has been selected as Cardinal Stage Company’s next artistic director. Galvin replaces founder Randy White, who moved to Chicago.

Galvin holds a bachelor’s of music in vocal performance (musical theater) from New York University and a
master’s in musical theater production from Goldsmith’s College, University of London. She apprenticed—and later worked for seven seasons—at Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, and for the past five years has been freelancing as a producer and director. She won the 2017 Barrymore Award for directing the musical Lizzie at Philadelphia’s 11th Hour Theatre Company.

“I want to put Cardinal on the map and make it into a nationally recognized regional theater,” Galvin says.

Adrian Matejka: Poet of Distinction

Photo by Jeff Richardson

Among the troubles at the heart of Adrian Matejka’s poetry is the dilemma of being “mixed.”

In his first collection of poems, The Devil’s Garden, Matejka describes himself as a “half-blood.” “Whatever group I’m with, they tend to see me as Other,” he says. “A lot of white Americans think I’m Mexican; Mexicans think I’m from the Middle East.” In Mixology, his second book, he quotes director Spike Lee as telling him, “You ain’t even black.”

“Bad to be black,” Matejka writes, “worse to be a mixed indetermination.”

Presently, the 1995 Indiana University grad and faculty member is taking a break from poetry and collaborating with a French illustrator on a graphic novel.

Matejka’s third collection of poetry, “The Big Smoke,” was a 2014 Pulitzer Prize finalist. He has been Indiana’s poet laureate since 2017.

Debra Morrow: Executive Director, Middle Way House

Photo by Rodney Margison

More than a decade ago, Debra Morrow needed help with an abusive relationship. She found that help at Middle Way House, the Bloomington agency serving survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. In January, Morrow, 49, was named Middle Way’s executive director. After earning a criminal justice degree from Indiana State University, she served as Middle Way’s community outreach coordinator for seven years.

Morrow says that violence- and rape-prevention efforts will continue to be a part of Middle Way’s mission and feels that working with children is key. “As kids grow up, we teach them two plus two equals four, and they don’t ever question that,” she says. “We need to teach them what healthy relationships are and when they grow up, they won’t question that, either.”

Toby Thomassen: Salvaging Laptops to Help CASA Kids

Photo by IU Communications

Jackson Creek Middle School student Toby Thomassen, 12, probably knows more about technology than most adults. He’s coded, programmed, and at the age of 10 even built a 3-D printer.

After learning about e-waste and realizing that some students have no learning technology, Thomassen conceived the idea of purchasing nonworking laptops from Indiana University Surplus Stores, repairing them, and donating them to Monroe County CASA program teenagers.

“These kids wouldn’t dream of having laptops,” says Kristen Bishay, Monroe County CASA executive director.

Toby plans to expand the program into schools. “You help a few kids who are good at this stuff, and then they can help others,” he says. “It’s like a chain reaction.”

Ross Gay: Spreading the Power of Poetry

Photo by Jeff Richardson

Gratitude runs like a bright thread through the work of Ross Gay. His first poetry collection, Against Which, concludes with a poem entitled “Thank You,” and those two words also form the last line in the book.

The gratitude Gay expresses throughout his poetry arises in spite of grief and loss. “With so many awful things happening we can fail to notice the goodness,” he says. “Cruelty and pain aren’t the only truths about our lives. I want to talk about what I love, too.”

Why does Gay write? “To become clearer to myself,” he says. “It’s a spiritual practice, I guess. I’m trying to cultivate my humanity by understanding myself and others more deeply.”

In 2019, Gay released a collection of essays, The Book of Delights. His third book of poetry, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

Gabe Gloden: Managing Director, Cardinal Stage

Photo Jim Krause

For Gabe Gloden, 36, Cardinal Stage Company’s new managing director, it was the city’s professional theater scene that lured him back to Bloomington.

With a master’s from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Gloden served as managing director of Bloomington Playwrights Project and as a development officer at Wayne State University in Detroit. Feeling “the pull back to theater,” he worked a year in theater in Iowa then found his way back to Bloomington.

Gloden recalls that the Ann Arbor, Michigan, professional theater company closed down. “And yet, here in Bloomington, we have two thriving professional theater centers. My goal is to make sure that professional theater in Bloomington continues to thrive.”

Click here to download a PDF version of “Celebrating the People of Bloomington: Part 20.”