Latent Emissions, Chakaia Booker
A Nebraska native, Todd Bruce jokes that he never thought he'd ever live in South Bend, Indiana, or ever root for Notre Dame. "We always rooted against Notre Dame." Yet, today, he is one of South Bend's biggest fans.
He came to Indiana via Anderson College and moved to South Bend in 1998 due to the career of his first wife. Todd, who is with Lake City Bank, remarried in 2005 and his wife, Lorraine, is an interior designer from Michigan. A huge University of Michigan fan, she tended to root against Notre Dame as he initially had.
Notre Dame. South Bend. It didn't take Todd long to champion both. "What a great place South Bend is," he says. "When you work downtown, you get a nice vibe. There are a lot of positive things going on . . . the restaurant scene, the arts scene."
Indeed, many of the positive aspects of South Bend can be attributed to the arts.
"I don't wake up every day thinking about the arts, but as a banker, I wake up every day thinking about the economic vitality of the community," he says. "I see the importance of retaining a talented workforce, and one of the primary elements of that is having a great cultural experience in the community. And we do have a great cultural base -- the symphony, theater, the arts, to which the Snite Museum is so vital."
Todd says he was first aware of the Snite Museum through the annual Holiday Event. "It's the best holiday event in town. Everybody is at that event."
He says he knew several people on the board of The Friends of the Snite Museum, and when he was asked to join two years ago, he didn't hesitate -- "It was definitely a yes."
Todd admits that he is no art aficiando. "Well, I was kind of an artist as a little kid. I won some awards," he laughs. Coming from a musical family, his artistic side went toward music. He still plays the bass guitar, occasionally with a local band and often at Granger Community Church.
His outlet for the fine arts has become the Snite, where, as a Friends board member, he can direct his energies and experiences. "The Snite has always been called a hidden jewel. I think it will be important to the community in the future," he says. "It has a good management team in place, who try to be innovative in finding new ways to bring people into the museum."
Becky Emmons, Friends Board of Directors