Shelby County Players Managing Director Cindy Leahy (right) shows Indiana Arts Commission Executive Director Miah Michaelson plans for the new facility that SCP intends to build. Michaelson visited SCP Offstage as a consultant to the project, taking a tour of the facility and discussing several topics including how the organization will be financing it. Ross Flint photo
Shelby County Players Managing Director Cindy Leahy (right) shows Indiana Arts Commission Executive Director Miah Michaelson plans for the new facility that SCP intends to build. Michaelson visited SCP Offstage as a consultant to the project, taking a tour of the facility and discussing several topics including how the organization will be financing it. Ross Flint photo
With a new job she started a couple weeks ago, Miah Michaelson is finding herself running all over Indiana.

The Bloomington resident was in Monroeville on Wednesday afternoon, which is 18 miles southeast of Fort Wayne, before going to Fort Wayne that night.

Thursday afternoon, Michaelson made the drive down to Shelbyville to tour SCP Offstage and learn about Shelby County Players’ plans to turn the facility into a performing arts home.

Michaelson recently started her new job as the executive director of the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) and visited Shelbyville as a consultant to the project, which is working on receiving donations for the remodeling of the facility.

The relationship started in 2012 when Michaelson, working as a community consultant for the arts commission in Bloomington, had the opportunity to start working with SCP.

“I have a very soft spot in my heart (for SCP),” she said before the tour, which was led by SCP Managing Director Cindy Leahy.

While she was familiar with the basics of the project before the tour, she said it was “pretty rare” for a community the size of Shelbyville to have its own theatre.

“Quite rare, actually,” she said. “To have as deep a bench of talent and commitment and eye to quality, every community theatre in every community is special. But it’s just interesting to see one that’s programming goes as broad and as deep and has a level of commitment from volunteers and staff, it’s great. It’s a delight to see.”

During the tour, Leahy and Michaelson discussed a myriad of topics related to the new facility, from the organization’s efforts to reach out for donations to the plans for the facility itself.

While Michaelson said the timing was “rotten” for a drive, given the COVID-19 pandemic, she said it could have been worse. The organization could have already started the drive in 2020 and had to shut it down, she pointed out.

Before the tour, Leahy said the purpose of the visit was for Michaelson to connect them with other entities that can help make the facility a reality. The IAC executive director has connections throughout the state that can help form partnerships.

Indeed, Michaelson was able to direct Leahy to some organizations that could help with the fundraising drive, which has a goal of $2.5 million. SCP has raised $1.5 million so far.Michaelson said she was delighted to see the developments in downtown Shelbyville and believed Shelby County Players would benefit.

“I think the Players are cresting the wave of all the good things that are happening in Shelbyville,” she said. “I’m excited to sit in a seat and applaud as they cont to grow.”

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