Getting to Know the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center and its New Executive Director
As the new executive director of the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center, Cynthia Young is focused on expanding the Center’s reach beyond its traditional audience. Young’s goal is to make the Center an integral part of the entire community. In doing so, she hopes to eliminate those all-too-frequent instances in which local residents walk in and tell her, “I have lived in Zionsville for twenty years and have no idea what you do here.” Young’s qualifications set her apart from the rest, making her the perfect candidate in the attainment of this goal.
Young’s passion has always been for the arts. She grew up in Anderson and attended Ball State University where she received a degree in Fine Arts. For several years, she worked in the private sector as a succe
ssful interior designer. In the 1990s, Young started her own interior design business, Cynthia Young Interior Design. Success came for Young when she was hired to design the interiors of over 30 corporate suites at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Here, she designed suites for BMW of North America and PPG Industries.
While Young worked as an interior designer, she continued to participate in art fairs. Through these fairs, she gained a reputation as a prominent local painter. In 2006, Young’s acrylic-on-canvas paintings were featured in an article in the Indianapolis Star. Her painting, Irises at Dusk, even graced the cover of the Gardens of Zionsville event program.
Over twelve years ago, Young moved to Zionsville with her husband, Monty Young, and their young son, Alex. Since moving to Zionsville, Young has been involved in the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center. She began her time at the Center as an art instructor in summer camps. She later progressed from camp coordinator to art center director, a position she still holds, in addition to the position of executive director.
The Center, located at 225 West Hawthorne (right behind the Bentley dealership), is one that many have driven by without knowing the true purpose of the building. For those readers, Young offers this explanation: it is a center dedicated to providing educational opportunities for the young and not-so-young of Zionsville. While many have seen the flyers for fabulous art instruction camps, not enough Zionsville residents realize the opportunities that lie within the Center. Although Young has an extensive art background, she is determined to maintain the Center’s role as a collecting museum and as the keeper of Zionsville’s history. For example, volunteers of the Center take monthly trips to Zionsville elementary schools, where they teach third graders about the history of Zionsville. In addition, the Center offers a large repository of Zionsville historical references for those who are looking to learn a little more about their ancestry and the history of Zionsville.
One of Young’s first efforts to broaden the appeal of the Cultural Center is a new event entitled “Garden Classics,” which is to be held on June 14. Young describes this new event as a mixture of art and classic automobiles. A display of several classic automobiles will surround the Center’s offices, along with a display of automobile-related art. This unique event will blend well with the Zionsville Merchant’s Association’s “CruZionsville” event, which is scheduled for the same weekend.
Photography by JJ Kaplan