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Batesville Sky began with the Umbrella Sky Project installation from Agueda Portugal. Ethel Rodriguez, Batesville Area Arts Council 2020-2021 President, had seen similar installations in Chihuahua, Mexico and Coral Gables, Florida and thought this would bring a lot of color to our community. While planning for the art installation began well before the pandemic, the timing was perfect to bring an interactive outdoor space to our community where people could safely gather outdoors. It was a wonderful enhancement to our wonderful Batesville Farmer’s Market, and many of our local organizations have hosted events under the Batesville Sky.

Once people started traveling again and our first installation was up in the summer of 2021, the BAAC took the opportunity to market the Batesville Sky Project in the Cincinnati and Indianapolis markets and beyond to get visitors to come and see it, but also to shop, eat and enjoy our wonderful town. Batesville saw a big boost in tourism because of the exhibit, which was one of only 5 of its kind in the United States. It was so well received, BAAC extended the installation to include two more Umbrella Sky exhibits, and two holiday light displays. Many sponsors, donations and grants made these displays possible, and BAAC is grateful to the community for their support and enthusiasm for this project.

The Batesville Sky has been written about in The Washington Post and its Facebook page has received over 150,000 visitors. While the time has come for BAAC to focus efforts into new projects, we are thrilled that the Sky Project will continue to bring joy to residents and visitors in its new home of Elmhurst City Center, Illinois. Elmhurst City Center has purchased the structure and will be moving it to their city around April 4th, 2023.

BAAC's vision is to offer many opportunities for artistic engagement for students and community members in a variety of art genres, which include performances, public art and our nationally recognized Arts In Education program that has brought over $1,000,000 in visiting artists, authors and illustrators to work with our local school children since its inception in 1998. For those interested in getting involved or donating to BAAC’s mission, please visit our website at

Area schools brought in talented art educators this fall to work with local students across many disciplines. These schools are funded by Batesville Area Arts Council's Arts in Education (AIE) program.

September 30, October 21, October 28, 2022 BPS

Potter, Elisha Frazier, created pottery with every 2nd grade student at BPS. Students enjoyed working on the pottery wheel and learning the steps to create a successful pot. Students will be glazing their pottery and will each get to take home their special artwork in December. A family night was held at the end of October allowing parents and guardians the chance to help their students make a piece of pottery.


October 17-21, 2022 BIS

A performing artist from Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park joined each 3rd grade class in BIS for 45 minute workshops during the 5 day week. Students in third grade centered their workshops on dramatic interpretations of the novel “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame that was previously read and studied in class. The third graders’ task was to bring characters and scenes from the book to life. At the end of the week, each group performed their interpretation of a specific scene from the novel.


October 19, 2022 OA

Michael from Swine Dining Indiana came to the culinary arts class at Oldenburg Academy. He talked about the different kinds of woods and meats that can be used in a meat-smoker. While pork was being smoked, Michael talked about working in the field and the cost margins he looks at when making food and setting prices. Michael also showed the students how to make barbeque sauce and the students worked in pairs to create their own blend, with his assistance. The students shredded the meat, added their barbeque sauce, and had a quick snack before class ended.


October 20, 2022 OA

The Sam Butler quartet from Indiana University came to Oldenburg Academy to expose the freshman music students to jazz. The group played and explained the methodology and history of jazz. They talked about call and response and improvisation. They invited the students to sit close and see exactly what they were doing. A free jazz performance was also held for the community during the evening.


November 2, 2022 OA

Steven Harmeyer from The 812 stopped by Oldenburg Academy’s student media class to talk about using video to tell a story. Steven reviewed some of the students’ work, talked about his own experiences, and worked with them on some production ideas for both video and studio design. The students took a lot away and are looking forward to working towards elevating the OA news program!


November 11-12, 2022 BHS

Chris Rasor, a professional music educator and choreographer from the Fort Wayne area, worked with BHS students on choreography for their contest season show. Students are preparing for performances in the spring, and Mr. Rasor is putting together the movement for the show. In addition to teaching students the choreography for the contest show’s closing number, Chris also recorded practice videos and helped review a previously choreographed song from the fall concert that will be part of the show.


November 14, 2022 BMS

BMS welcomed Dr. Chris Tanner from Miami University (Ohio) to demonstrate his musical skills and passion for music-making on the Trinidadian steel pan. Chris has studied world percussion for the last 30 years and lives his dream of working with steel pan ensembles across the country while simultaneously composing music and performing internationally.

The steel pan is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago (a Caribbean Island nation) made from the remnants of old metallic oil drums with a rich history and bright future. While watching Chris perform his various tunes and musical styles on the instrument, students were able to clap along in traditional soca rhythms, learn about modern day carnival celebrations, and discuss important life lessons that emerge from the instrument’s history - including perseverance, cooperation, and creative problem solving!


November 15-16, 2022 BIS

Robin McBride Scott hosted individual pottery workshops for all 5th grade classes on November 15th and 16th. In the hour-long workshops, Robin taught the students about Native American pottery, its visual characteristics, and functional features. She also taught them about effigies and how making containers depicting the images of people or animals is a commonality between the ancient native culture and today’s. Robin then guided the students through creating their own effigy bowls in the form of birds. This project is continued in art class after Robin’s visit, as students paint the birds, read Native American legends, and write their own legend concerning their effigy bird to serve as an artist statement for their work.

Chaz Kaiser, local artist-in-resident, visited Batesville Middle School in March of 2022 to work with approximately 50 students in the 8th grade Industrial Technology classes. Mr. Kaiser has worked with 8th graders through this program for over 27 years. Mr. Kaiser assisted 8th grade students in the design and creation of a stained-glass piece which was fashioned into the sliding door on a working lantern. Mr. Kaiser spoke to the students about safety, demonstrated how to cut glass, and how to use the glass grinder, ring saw, and soldering irons.