StoneGate Arts & Education Center

Executive Director

Linda Henderson

StoneGate Center Hours:

  • Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

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All rights reserved.

By Carol Johnson Times-Mail
BEDFORD — Expanding workforce development and helping students attain their education goals have always been important to Linda Henderson, and now she has a chance to work on both of those as the new executive director of StoneGate Arts and Education Center in downtown Bedford.
   Henderson started the job Jan. 11. She succeeds Gene McCracken, who retired in December. The position was made full time with the hiring of Henderson.
   Henderson brings a background of working in higher education as well as community development and nonprofit groups to StoneGate. She has been an adjunct professor with Ivy Tech since 1998, teaching her first class in the former StoneGate on I Street when it was home to Bedford College Center. She also has taught for Oakland City University and Vincennes University.
   For 10 years, she worked at the Indiana University School of Public Health. She left that position in
2018 to work with Lawrence
County’s Families Forever

Henderson named new director at StoneGate Center

Coalition, a nonprofit that operates the Recovery Engagement Center.

   Just as Families Forever’s mission is to help families thrive by focusing on workforce development, recovery engagement and community education, Henderson said as director of StoneGate, she will continue that mission of workforce development.
   “I have a real heart for those students who are first generation to cross the threshold into college,” she said. “I always tell my students who are first-generation that you broke the glass ceiling for your family, for your children and grandchildren by paving the way for them to pursue an education.”
   StoneGate opened in 2018 and was built as one of Bedford’s Stellar Communities projects. The city formed partnerships with Ivy Tech Community College, Oakland City University and Vincennes University to provide college classes and job training.
   Henderson said she is eager to work with the universities that partner with StoneGate to expand offerings to the community.

“Long term, I’d like to see the building utilized as a regional site for workforce development and continuing education,” she said.

  Henderson said many professions need to complete continuing education hours and StoneGate would be an ideal location for those courses.

   Currently, Oakland City University is offering in-person classes. Ivy Tech began its spring semester Jan. 19 virtually and classes moved to in-person sessions Feb. 1.
   Henderson wants the building to be friendly and accommodating to instructors and students as well as a place for community events and promoting the arts.As an instructor, Henderson has taught public speaking and interpersonal communications. Henderson said she considers teaching a hobby and hopes to continue teaching as her schedule allows.
Henderson’s professional background also includes work with the Indiana Youth Institute, planning the Hoosier Uplands Safe Night in the late 1990s, and working in admissions in Oakland City University.
“I’ve done a lot of community work and community relations work,” she said. “At the end of the day, I’m passionate about helping families break the glass ceiling as far as economics. If we can help them achieve academically and increase their work skills … huge for that family and workforce.”

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