The LaFontaine Arts Council was first organized in the early 1970’s and was incorporated in 1978. The Council was infused with new leadership in 1987, reflected a period of steady growth, and focused on a mission surrounding arts education within Huntington and Whitley counties. It wasn’t until 1990 that the council started the Arts in Education programming in Huntington County Schools, which is a vital asset for youth in the community when engaging in arts and culture. In 2020, the Council moved to its current home and public office within the Huntington Arts & Entrepreneurial Center and plans to expand arts programming for all visitors and residents of Huntington.
The Arts in Education is a series of activities seeking to enhance creative opportunities and strengthen cultural awareness for students in grades PreK-12. Arts in Education is a tool that makes the arts accessible to our students and elevates their ability to learn. In addition to in-school programming, the Council is dedicated to providing public sources of art outreach as well, for all community members to enjoy. Arts in Education is made possible by continuous financial support from businesses, individuals, grantors, and memberships.
The Lafontaine Arts Council seeks to promote and present the arts to the entire community with a special emphasis on providing yearly in-school arts in education programming for all Huntington County students. The Council is dedicated to continuing to offer culturally rich and artistic opportunities important to the quality of life in Huntington County.
Goals and Objectives
- To ignite creativity in students’ thinking and problem solving through arts in education programming
- To improve cultural opportunities to the Huntington County community
- To cultivate an appreciation for the arts and to develop an understanding of various forms of artistic expression
- To increase awareness of the arts programming opportunities in the region
- To encourage participation in the arts
- To encourage citizens to become patrons of the arts
- To promote an understanding of multicultural differences and diversity
- To reinforce the importance of positive attitudes and student behavior
- To further promote the cooperation between educators, the arts community and the LaFontaine Arts Council
President: Adam Drummond, Director of Professional Learning, ICLE
Vice President: Samantha Garcia, Lake City Bank
Secretary: Erin Didion, Executive Director, Love Inc.
Treasurer: Debbie Dyer, Retired – Former ED
Executive Director: Katy Strass, Arts Center Director – Pathfinders Services
Bryan Ballinger – Professor of Digital Design, Huntington University
Robert Blackham – Mechanical Engineer, Troyer Group
Kenneth Butler – Art Department Chair, Huntington North High School
Barb Drummond – Vice President, Huntington Sheet Metal
Kathryn Garrett – Attorney, Delaney Hartburg Roth & Garrett
Josh Heim – Ceramicist, JH Pottery Works
Trace Hinesley – Guidance Counselor, Horace Mann Elementary School
Jill Jamison – CPA, Culp CPA Group
Shonah Landes – Jeweler, Bowers Jeweler
Annette Little – Art Teacher, Andrews Elementary School
Lisa Loza – Professional Vocalist
Kelley Miller – Assistant Director, Love INC.
Sarah Schwab – Activity Specialist, Pathfinder Services
Ann Siegfried – Retired Educator
Lauren Winterfeld – Reporter, Huntington County TAB
Governance and Management
The Board of Directors of the Lafontaine Arts Council is a diverse group of 21 individuals who volunteer service in each of their areas of expertise. The board determines policy, establishes operational procedures, approves budgets and evaluates programs and activities. An executive director oversees and manages daily operation of the Council, provides leadership and actively participates, along with the board, in fundraising, organizing and implementing programs and activities.