812.323.3020 114 E Kirkwood Ave. Bloomington, IN 47408
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Rental Support Programs


Arts Start Up Seminar logoHave you always wanted to put on a show at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater? Do you dream of starting your own dance company? Do you aspire to bring your favorite musician to your favorite stage? Do you know just the movies to build the next Bloomington film festival? The Arts Start Up Seminar connects the expertise of the BCT staff and partners to community members who want to create the next big thing in Bloomington. Applying the philosophy and business approach of entrepreneurship and the startup industry, the seminar is an annual day-long workshop, usually held in the spring, that offers enterprising artists, organizers, and promoters the opportunity to learn the basics of imagining, planning, and executing a successful event.

This seminar is ideal for people who have an idea they want to implement but is also open to those who are just interested in learning more about the event planning process. It includes information specific to planning events at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, but the majority of the content focuses on event conceptualization and planning in general. Those who complete the workshop are eligible to submit an event proposal to the Arts Start Up Fund, which provides support for promising ideas in the form of further coaching and development, or possible rent-free use of the BCT.

Fall Arts Start Up Seminar Timeline:

  • November – Seminar is hosted by BCT staff and community partners.
  • March – Event proposals are due.
  • April – Accepted proposals are announced.

Spring Arts Start Up Seminar Timeline: (will not be held in 2020)

  • March – Seminar is hosted by BCT staff and community partners.
  • September – Event proposals are due.
  • October – Accepted proposals are announced.

Funded events must take place in the following calendar year.


No events are currently on the schedule. Please check back soon.


We also present a series of educational workshops to help potential event planners develop their skills in specific areas. These workshops are a great way to prepare for the seminar but are open to anyone with an interest in learning more. The subject matter is not specific to renting the BCT!

Panic Free Planning
Far too often, events born of great ideas and newfound energy devolve into panic and spurts of chaos by the time event day arrives. If you’re tired of moving through this cycle of high hopes, followed by frustration, followed by results that were not up to your expectation, or a planning team vowing “never again,” join this two hour session to change your event planning strategy. Participants will leave the program with a compelling pitch for their event, and the outline of their event plan.

Marketing That Works
You’re passionate about what you do; the mission of your organization, the magic of your event, but you struggle to convince news media to cover it. Writing a press release seems overwhelming and who to send it to, a great unknown. Does this sound familiar? Are you looking to refresh your marketing plan or develop one for the first time?¬†Participants will leave the program with confidence in their ability to sell their event to potential donors/sponsors, audiences, and news outlets.

Event Tech 101
Are you planning a big fundraiser, your first ever multi-venue festival, a show that you’ve been dreaming up for the last five years? Have you just now recovered from the nightmare of putting together some difficult event that left you feeling like you’ll never do it again? Don’t despair. There are easily employable methods and techniques that can help make the process of putting on your show be just as successful as the end result. The show must go on, but wouldn’t it be amazing if putting it together felt just as good for the participants as it does for the audience or guests who attend?


No events are currently on the schedule. Please check back soon.


The Buskirk-Chumley Theater began as the Indiana Theatre, a silent movie house, in 1922. We honor this legacy by offering the BCT Movie Partner Project to encourage film events at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. For only the cost of labor and projection equipment ($400-$550 in most cases), this program enables anyone with an interest in film to screen a movie at the BCT without the usual rental fee. Options include organizing a fundraising event, sharing a documentary about an important issue, hosting a film festival, or developing a creative arts event with a focus on film.

Interested in becoming a movie partner? Here are a few things you need to know:

  • Your contract cannot be confirmed more than 12 weeks in advance, although you are welcome to express interest in a date at any time so it can be noted on our booking calendar.
  • Although creative programs are encouraged, film must be the primary aspect of your event, with at least 50% of the event focused on the screening.
  • We can advise you on obtaining the licensing for your film, if needed. In many cases, obtaining the right to show the film will involve an additional fee so be sure to include that in your budget.
  • Our online availability calendar can tell you what dates are still available for your event.

For more information about the program, click here.

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