A community that is vibrant has an undeniable aesthetic appeal. Those who live and work there recognize the importance of art and appreciate the dimension it adds to the quality of place. Bringing art to a city takes people with passion, determination and a willingness to push uphill. Those traits describe Steve Gruber perfectly, so too do caring, insightful and having a deep love for Elkhart and the surrounding area.
Steve is striving to expand the Arts throughout Elkhart County. His work with the Elkhart County Arts Council, running a three story “arts hub” Arts on Main and ArtWalk put him in a position to support the arts and artists on a daily basis. Steve plays a vital role keeping the area’s art scene alive and growing.
Steve was instrumental in getting Elkhart’s ArtWalk started six years ago. This event is run monthly from April through October. It features artists of all types in venues up and down Main Street in Downtown Elkhart. The artists get to meet people and display and discuss their work. There is music to enjoy and often opportunities to make art as well.
Steve celebrates the arts in many ways. He is also very aware that artists should be able to sell their work and be justly compensated for what they have created. In an article in the Goshen News, Steve says, “What I want to do is coalesce countywide arts and music interests, because a lot of times people don’t know about each other,” he said. “There’s competitive grants they don’t know about, places where musicians can have a gig. We’re trying to get the thought out in people’s minds that these people have a product, and they deserve to be paid.”
Steve’s commitment to downtown Elkhart is strong. He is also dedicated to bringing his neighborhood a renewed beauty and vitality. He recognizes the importance of having people live and work near Main Street.
A vibrant arts scene has many components. It takes artists, of course, but it also needs sponsors, patrons and consumers. Most of all it needs some one with the skills and energy to bring those people together. That is Steve Gruber.
Steve is ably assisted by his cat Gerald.
On a side note, Steve is actively involved in Little Big Idea grants. Grants are given to bring to life ideas that are fun, even a little quirky and make Elkhart County an even better place to live, work, learn and play. He excited to help hand out money for people with good concepts, a well thought out plan and the drive to make something happen.
To learn more and propose your Little Big Idea go to the Vibrant Communities website: vibrantelkhartcounty.org.