When most individuals hear about Bloomington, their first association is Indiana University, known as one of the most beautiful campuses in America. This is also home to several other schools as part of the university system. Yet while this city has deep educational roots, there is also a rich history and vibrant economy.
Bloomington received its name from the settlers who were impressed by the haven of blooms when they first settled in the area during 1818. The city became the county seat of Monroe County and is the seventh largest city in the state of Indiana. It was also designated a Tree City for more than 30 years. This is a tree planting and tree care program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation for a variety of cities and towns within the U.S.
As a result, the city has a very environmental focus. Additionally, the city located on a summit of a divide between the basins of the West and East Forks of the White River. Therefore, dams have been constructed throughout the county to provide for the area’s water needs. Monroe Lake, for example, was created by the US Army Corps of Engineers. It was originally meant to provide flood control, but over time it became a source of water for the city and the county.
With its strong educational background, the city is also home to a vibrate art scene. Among the most notable of these are the Indiana University Dept. of Theater and Drama; the Bloomington Playwrights Project; Theatre of the People, and the Indiana University Auditorium, a venue that brings in national tours of plays, live entertainment and musicals.
Music is not neglected here, but is warmly embraced. For example, they are home to a large folk punk music scene, which includes publishing companies and record labels. The city also hosts an annual festival known as the Lotus Festival of World Music. Public music performances in the area number more than one thousand each year. Traditional music is also extremely popular, due to the presence of the Archives of Traditional Music and Indiana University’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology.
A majority of downtown is filled with plenty of dining, shopping and drinking establishments, giving plenty of social opportunities for both visitors and residents. Students can take advantage of the international flavor of the community, due to the number of international students attending Indiana University. Food choices reflect a larger urban setting as a result.
Throughout this beautiful city, there are also plenty of signs of economic growth. The largest employers are diverse and represent a variety of industries. These include education, science and medical healthcare, as well as plenty of examples of entrepreneurs starting their own businesses.
Bloomington is a vibrant city with a solid foundation of arts and music. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy shopping, various foods from around the world and so much more. Truly, a city with international flair tucked into the heart of Midwest Indiana.