Music to our ears

It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since Sandi Patty sang in front of a crowd of 7,000 at a new outdoor amphitheater that seemed like it was out in the middle of nowhere. Three name changes later, an explosion of growth in nearly every direction, and millions of music lovers from all over the world have visited Deer Creek Music Center, Verizon Music Center and now Klipsch Music Center pumping an estimated $30 million a year for Hamilton County businesses, mostly to local hotels, restaurants and shops.


To celebrate the 25-year anniversary, the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau will have booths during the Miranda Lambert (Aug. 9) and Keith Urban (Aug. 24) concerts to promote all that Hamilton County has to offer, and it will host a Government Night. As part of its radio ad campaign, HCCVB will give away tickets to four concerts and promote the venue through other marketing efforts.


“Klipsch is a major attraction for Hamilton County. Nearly 70 percent of the 450,000 who go to a concert annually, come from outside of Hamilton County,” said Karen Radcliff, HCCVB deputy director. “On top of that, Live Nation hires more than 600 people seasonally to work at the concerts. It’s a destination driver and an economic development driver.”


The anniversary lineup includes Kenney Chesney, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Dave Matthews Band in June. Matchbox Twenty & The Goo Goo Dolls, Jonas Brothers and Lynyrd Sknyrd in July. See the whole line up at here.


The Indianapolis Star published an article in May featuring the history and success of the music theater, including the impact it’s had on Hamilton County. Click here to view the article.

It’s like American Idol for theater

A dozen of the nation’s best community theater productions is coming to Carmel June 17 to 23 for the AACTFest 2013, a national festival making its first Indiana debut at the Tarkington Stage at the Center for the Performing Arts.


The American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) puts on state and regional festivals throughout the country, Europe and armed services to find the best in community theater. The finalists will perform in front of live audiences and a panel of judges, similar to how contestants perform on reality TV shows, American Idol or The Voice.

"To be able to see and experience the newest and latest of what is going on in the theatre world is a community theatre's dream," said June Clair, AACTFest Chairman and a member of the Carmel Repertory Theatre, which submitted a bid for a chance to host AACT Fest.

The city’s commitment to the arts helped Carmel Repertory Theatre win the bid.

"It is not often that a city sees the benefits of supporting the performing arts," said Kristi Quinn, AACT Vice President of Festivals. "However, the overwhelming facts are that investment in the performing arts reap multiple benefits in return, both monetarily and quality of life for the community."


Tickets are on sale for $15, which includes two sessions. The Carmel Repertory Theatre also will host a free concert at 5:30 p.m., June 21 on the Center Green featuring some of the out-of-town talent along with local artists.


For more information on the Festival and AACT, go to

Something to talk about

Hamilton County is one of four Indiana communities selected to host Community Conversations as part of a series – now in its fifth year – convened by Indiana Humanities and the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University to help communities tackle challenging issues. The focus of the next three years will be Bicentennial 2016: The Next Indiana.


HCCVB will lead a meaningful cross-county conversation about how Hamilton County’s heritage can be preserved and presented for the future. The first conversation will be June 14, which will include a countywide heritage tour, where each Hamilton County historical society will showcase its current programs and talk about its goals. Learn more about the program at:


A dose of Hoosier Hospitality

When 10 or more golfers book a Stay & Play Package, they get treated to great golf options, sure, but this year, they also get a personal welcome. Judy Erner, HCCVB Community & Events Manager, greets the group before tee-off, thanks them for choosing Hamilton County and gives them a goody bag. One group of men – which ranges from 12 to 30 depending on the year – has been coming to Hamilton County for seven years for a four-day stay where they play multiple courses, stay at the Staybridge Suites in Fishers and dine at local eateries. “The Golf Recognition Program is just one more way for us to connect with our visitors and thank them for choosing Hamilton County,” Erner said.


Read all about it

The Indiana Chamber Executive Association (ICEA) is the only professional association for staff leaders that are employed by local chambers of commerce in Indiana.  Each year at the Annual Winter Conference, ICEA awards top honors to the best in the chamber industry through a variety of special individual awards.


The Fishers Chamber of Commerce received the Communications Excellence Award for the Fishers Chamber Magazine.  Congratulations Fishers Chamber!


Wanted: internships for disadvantaged youth

As a way to help disadvantaged youth get work experience, WorkOne Hamilton County pays the wages for internships for youth. Hotels and restaurants are two key industries where youth can get on-the-job training from entry-level positions all the way up to management. For more information, go to: