During the fall of 1990, a group of Piqua citizens began discussing the need for an organized group to sponsor and promote the arts. The result of these conversations was the formation of a new committee of the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce in January of 1991. Ruth Koon became the first chairperson of the newly organized Piqua Arts and Humanities Council. The Council's membership represented a wide variety of musical, fine arts, theater, historical and educational groups. During its first few years, the Council set the pattern for its role in the community by sponsoring and creating a diverse and exciting schedule of activities. The Council provided theater training for junior high students, the Music in the Park series which continues to provide musical programs during the summer for a more mature audience and an annual art exhibit that serves all age levels.
The Council's name was simplified in 1993 to the Piqua Arts Council and in 1997 moved out from under the wing of the Chamber of Commerce to become a full-fledged independent arts organization. For the first time in Piqua's history, an arts group attempted to reach a wide range of area citizens. The Council's programs were not just oriented to music lovers or artists, but encompassed a wide range of educational, traditional and non-traditional arts and humanities presentations. The Council has followed a long and positive tradition of arts and music organizations in Piqua. But the Council has two significant features that separate it from its predecessors. The first is the Council's longevity. The average length of time for any post-World War II arts group in Piqua has been about three years. The Council has exceeded that many times over as an active and vibrant organization. The second unusual feature of the Council is its diverse programming coupled with the diversity of its board members. Previous organizations concentrated on a single type of programming such as musical events or art shows. The boards of these earlier groups were often fairly select groups that did not always represent a cross-section of the community.
The Piqua Arts Council has promoted, organized and sponsored projects in the performing arts, the visual arts, the practical arts and educational events for both adults and students. The Council's board, over the years, has been composed of a diverse group of citizens that reflect the racial, gender, age, and various socioeconomic groups of the community. The Piqua Arts Council has provided Piqua with its only diverse and stable arts organization of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The Council's ability to survive has been strengthened by its track record of providing programming for the whole city for all ages. The history of the Council has been the history of a group able to meet the needs of an ever-changing community.
In February of 2013, Jordan K. Knepper came on board as the Executive Director of the Piqua Arts Council. The skills and insights Jordan brings from past employment experiences in the greeting card industry, graphic design field, and as a programming coordinator for a regional arts council make him well suited to guide the Piqua Arts Council into the future. Jordan has a passion for the arts and has dedicated his professional work to sharing his passion with others.
Mike McCorkle, President
Katie Sarver, Vice-President
Mike Cox, Treasurer
Brittany VanHorn, Secretary
Aaron Scott, Past-President