Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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November 29, 2013

Workshops explore outdoor fests

“Knowledge for Not-for-Profits,” an information-sharing workshop, will take place Thursday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. in the Versailles Lions Club Building, 202 W. First North St., Versailles; and Tuesday, Dec. 10, at noon in The Commons performance hall, 300 Washington St., Columbus. The topic of these free 90-minute workshops will be best practices for outdoor events and festivals.

Presenters are Jeff Kuehl and Tami Sharp of the Columbus Area Arts Council, who have over 20 years of experience in producing outdoor events. They will talk about gaming policies, outdoor stage restrictions and emergency planning they gathered at the recent Indiana State Festival Association annual conference held in early November in Indianapolis.

At the Versailles session, they will be joined by Jerry Gilpin, a local festival director and country music promoter, and Katherine Taul, Ripley County Tourism Bureau director. Gilpin will discuss booking musical and talent acts and parade setup. Taul is expected to present information about event sponsorship and marketing.

At the workshop in Columbus, Kuehl, Sharp and Taul will be joined by local business owner Kurt Schwarze. Alcohol sales, permits and barricades will be added to the topics covered. “After having the Columbus Marathon here this fall, we learned a lot about festival setups and alcohol sales. Giving people the opportunity to walk around with alcohol enhances the experience, but also creates challenges for the people in charge,” claims Schwarze.

Any representatives of organizations that hold outdoor events with stages, parades, raffles or alcohol sales are advised to attend. As space is limited, seats should be reserved: Jeff Kuehl, 812-376-2535 or

These sessions are being offered by the Columbus Area Arts Council, a regional arts partner; Bartholomew County Directors of Volunteers in Agencies (DOVIA); and Region IX Advisory Council.

Kuehl explains the Indiana Arts Commission works with 11 regional arts partners throughout the state. The Columbus Area Arts Council is the partner for the southeastern Indiana region, which includes Franklin, Ripley, Bartholomew, Dearborn, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, Ohio and Switzerland counties. In addition to technical assistance, the regional arts partners also provide grants making and information referrals to arts organizations and citizens.

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