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Nicole Roales
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Baker Place Building and Art Gallery dedicated in Bloomington

Legendary jazz musician David Baker, the 2001 Indiana Living Legend award winner, has another honor to add to his resume.

The opening of the newly renovated Baker Place Building and Art Gallery was recently announced by Ron and Liz Stanhouse, the Bloomington Area Arts Council (BAAC), Downtown Bloomington, Inc., the City of Bloomington Mayor's Office and the City's Housing and Neighborhood Development Department. In July, a dedication ceremony was conducted on the sidewalk in front of the building, located at 115 S. College Ave. in downtown Bloomington.

"Words cannot begin to express my heartfelt gratitude to Liz and Ron Stanhouse for choosing to honor me with this magnanimous gesture," Baker said. "While I am the principal recipient of their generosity, I feel that this naming also demonstrates their love and dedication to the entire arts community in Bloomington."

The upstairs in Baker Place has been renovated into a three-bedroom rental condo. All artwork displayed in Baker Place is produced by regional artists and is for sale. The building is located in the heart of the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD).

"Baker Place represents the best of what can result from the arts and business communities working together," said Ed Vande Sande, BAAC interim director. "A beautiful, old downtown landmark building has been restored to a mix of retail and residential use, and local artists have a new and exciting venue in which to exhibit and sell their works."

The dedication ceremony featured remarks from the city, the developer, David Baker and the BAAC. This project is another tangible example of the positive connections that can be made between business and art. It also serves as an archetypical project for BEAD.

Baker studied with J.J. Johnson, Janos Starker and George Russell. He has been honored with nominations for the Pulitzer Prize and the Grammy Award. Baker has received the Down Beat Magazine's New Star Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Jazz Education Hall of Fame Award, the National Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame Award, and the National Endowment for the Arts American Jazz Masters Award.

Baker serves as the conductor and artistic director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. He is president and former vice president of the International Association of Jazz Educators, president of the National Jazz Service Organization, and senior consultant for music programs for the Smithsonian Institution.

To his credit are more than 2,000 compositions, including jazz, symphonic, and chamber works; other publications include 65 recordings, 70 books, and 400 articles.

He has served many music organizations including the National Council on the Arts, American Symphony Orchestra League Board of Directors, the Jazz Advisory Panel to the Kennedy Center, and the Jazz/Folk/Ethnic Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts.