Topic: Building Better Communities

August 7, 2014

Projects in eastern Hamilton/southern Tipton counties, Greater Lafayette/Tippecanoe County, Jeffersonville and Rushville are winners of the 2014 Primacy of Place Community Awards, Ball State University’s Building Better Communities announced. The awards recognize these communities’ approaches to improving quality of life for their residents, businesses and visitors.

The winners, announced today at Minnetrista in Muncie, are:

  • The communities in eastern Hamilton and southern Tipton counties, for Nickel Plate Arts, which supports, promotes and provides arts experiences to an estimated 150,000 people in six communities along the historic Nickel Plate Railroad. 
  • The city of Jeffersonville for the Big Four Bridge across the Ohio River, connecting the community to Louisville, Ky., for pedestrians and cyclists. A new $5 million park at the foot of the bridge, Big Four Station, is scheduled for completion in October. 
  • Greater Lafayette and Tippecanoe County for Read to Succeed, which places hundreds of community volunteers in classrooms to help third-graders develop and enhance essential literacy skills. 
  • The city of Rushville for its Riverside Park Amphitheater and free summer concert series, which has hosted some 65,000 concertgoers over five years. 

The 2014 award recipients were chosen by representatives from the Association of Indiana Counties, Ball State, the Indiana Arts Commission, Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.

“A community’s investment in quality-of-place is one of the top drivers of economic development within that community,” said Bill Davis, executive director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, a Primacy of Place Awards partner. “It helps attract a talented workforce as well as cultivate increased interest for new businesses to move to the community. These communities are among those that are truly focused on determining their economic futures.”

The Primacy of Place Community Awards Program was launched in 2013 to showcase Indiana communities that have invested in areas such as arts, education, well-being, community design and effective governance to strengthen local economies. The program is part of BBC’s larger Primacy of Place initiative to help communities attract and retain top talent through quality of life efforts.

Award winners will be further highlighted at BBC’s second annual Primacy of Place conference on Oct. 16 at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre. This year’s conference will feature keynote presentations by Aaron Renn, an opinion-leading urban affairs analyst and entrepreneur; Ed Burghard, creator of the Strengthening Brand America Project, helping economic development professionals apply product and corporate branding to market communities for capital investment; and Mike Langellier, president and CEO of TechPoint, Indiana’s statewide technology initiative.

“From Rushville’s Riverside Park Amphitheater Summer Concert Series to Tippecanoe County’s Read to Succeed program, this year’s winners demonstrate how public and private partnerships can successfully catalyze investments in the arts, education and community wellness,” said Jacob Sipe, executive director of the Housing and Community Development Authority. “It’s exciting to see these examples of positive community engagement that ultimately lead to a stronger state of Indiana.”