Message from Mayor Hamilton

Our Bicentennial is a milestone worth celebrating. An exciting 2018 in Bloomington and Monroe
County will include meaningful, moving and educational events for residents of all ages. It’s
more than just a 200th birthday. We commemorate and honor the generations of people -- their
hard work, generous spirit, and difficult choices -- that made this place what it is today. That
helped make us who we are today. Our predecessors gave us a beautiful and valuable physical
environment: bricks and mortar, parks and trees, pipes and reservoirs, streets and sidewalks,
and streetscapes and vistas. They bequeathed to us as well the spirit and heart of our
community -- our culture, our diversity, our creativity, and inclusiveness.

Our jewel of a city sparkles with an energy and shine that reflects 200 years of grit and
ingenuity, creating this “Blooming Town” out of a wilderness, surviving civil war, social fractures,
economic depressions, and a thousand forks in the road that cumulatively add up to today. As
we celebrate, let’s resolve to take the best of the past 200 years and use those lessons and
inspiration to drive our choices and actions today. With this Bicentennial let’s rededicate
ourselves to those values of fairness, charity, kindness, ingenuity, innovation, education and
good old-fashioned hard work that brought us here. As we pass the torch to the following
generations, let’s do our part to pass along a healthy, humane and thriving community, so the
next milestones will inspire celebrations as well. Happy Bicentennial, Bloomington and Monroe

city of bloomington


Bicentennial Arts Contest

The Bicentennial Arts contest is part of the City of Bloomington and Monroe County Bicentennial Celebration.  It is open to any school-aged youth who lives in Monroe County.  They are encouraged to research a person or organization from our community using such local resources as the Monroe County History Center and the Monroe County Public Library and to create a drawing, sculpture, song, play, video, or other artwork that portrays the subject they researched.  The subjects should be people from underrepresented populations, such as racial, religious, or ethnic minorities; people in the LGBTQ community; people with disabilities; the economically disadvantaged; or others who have been traditionally overlooked. 

Three individual winners and one group winner will be chosen in each of the following grade-level categories: K-2, 3-6, 7-8, and 9-12.  Their works will be displayed at the Monroe County History Center starting with an opening reception on July 27.  Prizes will also be presented to the winners at the reception.

The Bicentennial Art Contest is a project created by the Bloomington Commission on the Status of Children and Youth, Commission on the Status of Black Males, Commission on the Status of Women, Human Rights Commission, Dr.  Martin Luther King Jr.  Birthday Celebration Commission, and the Bloomington Arts Commission, along with a representative of the Monroe County Bicentennial Planning Committee.  The contest is endorsed by the City of Bloomington Monroe County Bicentennial Committee.

Entries can be submitted in person to the Community and Family Resources Department at City Hall (401 N.  Morton St., Suite 260) or via email to by 5 p.m. on June 29, 2018. 

The official contest guidelines required coversheet, and list of resources are available for download at the links below. 

Bicentennial Arts Contest Coversheet
Bicentennial Arts Contest Guidelines
Bicentennial Arts Contest Research Resources

Bloomington - Monroe County Indiana Bicentennial Projects

The Bloomington & Monroe County Bicentennial is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We invite you to join the celebration of our history, people, and culture. The Bloomington & Monroe County Bicentennial Planning Committees have developed a formal endorsement program for local projects in order give area residents, agencies, and organizations an opportunity to be involved in the Bicentennial Celebration.

Click here for more information and criteria to submit your program or event as an Endorsed Bicentennial Project. 

Submit your Endorsed Bicentennial Project