Topics: College of Fine Arts, Immersive Learning

October 6, 2014

The inaugural Union City Arts Festival will take place Oct. 10-12.
The inaugural Union City Arts Festival will take place Oct. 10-12, celebrating the visual, performing and culinary arts of east central Indiana with the aim of attracting emerging artists to the area. Featured artists will include (top to bottom): Allen Bannister, Josh McGarvey, and Joshua Welker.

Celebrating the local arts and attracting emerging artists to east central Indiana are the goals of the inaugural Union City Arts Festival, a three-day long celebration resulting from an immersive learning class at Ball State University.

The festival is free and takes place Oct. 10-12 in Union City, located about an hour away from the university. It will span five blocks of the city's downtown and showcase visual, performing and culinary artists from the area, including Ball State students. One exhibition, Hatch, has been curated specifically to raise awareness of a new artist residency program created by Union City officials in conjunction with the festival's launch.

"The people of Union City wanted to use art as a means of revitalizing their city," says Maura Jasper, assistant professor of video art. "They were eager to provide the places and community support needed for an event like this, but they came to us looking for the direction, structure, and talent to get it off the ground."

Beginning in January, Jasper's students, representing disciplines including art, music and business, began meeting monthly with Union City Mayor Bryan Conklin and other government officials to plan the event. From programming and marketing to branding and budgeting, the students played a key role in all logistical aspects of the festival's creation.]

"It's so rewarding to know we started this project from the ground up, with none of us having previous festival experience," said Ball State senior Tiffany Raber, a dual major in biology and fine arts.

Raber says her greatest hope for the festival is to see it continue — and grow — on an annual basis. "Even more important than the festival itself," she said, "is the long-term goal of attracting younger, more diverse people to Union City who will want to aid in its growth through the arts."

For more information about the Union City Arts Festival, visit