Entanglements Series: Humanity at the Crossroads

The Crossroads Project brings the power of performance art to bear one of the great conversations of our time — humanity’s growing unsustainability and the possibility for a truly meaningful response. Comprising two original performance works ― grounded in science and elevated by art ― the project offers audiences an evocative and shared space from which to contemplate the choices before us and the pathways they create.

This multimedia performance fuses spoken word, live music, painting, and photography to reflect upon some of the most pressing issues facing humanity today. After the performance, the Crossroads Project team participate in a conversation with the audience. The performance will take place at the Indiana Historical Society, 450 W. Ohio St. in Indianapolis, on Wednesday, April 12 at 7pm. Free tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Funding for this presentation of The Crossroads Project is provided by an IU New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Grant.

 

Death of the Mechanical Man premiers in City Market Catacombs

dotmm-with-eventbriteOn October 25, 2016, at 7 pm, the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute presents the premier of the new audio-visual sci-fi experience, Death of the Mechanical Man. Developed by Big Robot, this work brings together silent film, acoustic instruments, and computer interactivity to create a multi-dimensional performance of sound and space in the heart of the brick barrel arches and limestone columns of Indianapolis’ City Market Catacombs.

This event is supported by our partners at Sun King Brewing. Additional support provided by the IUPUI Department of Music and Arts Technology and the Donal Tavel Arts and Technology Research Center.

The City Market Catacombs are an undeveloped historic asset and are not handicapped accessible. The Catacombs feature a very rough, uneven dirt floor. This event is not navigable for guests with walkers, canes, strollers, or wheelchairs. We recommend closed-toed shoes. Alert to people with breathing sensitivities: The Catacombs are a musty, sometimes damp area. Guests assume all personal liability for entering the catacombs for this free, public event.

IUPUI welcomes Indy Jazz Fest, Wes Montgomery Tribute Day

indy-jazz-festCampus and community collide when Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis hosts Wes Montgomery Tribute Day, the marquee event of Indy Jazz Fest, from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday, September 17th at the IUPUI Campus Center.

IUPUI has partnered with Indy Jazz Fest to celebrate Indianapolis’ music history and pay tribute to the greatest jazz guitarist produced by the city. A Grammy Award winner in 1966, the late Wes Montgomery was a self-taught musician who revolutionized the sound of jazz by strumming his guitar strings with his thumb rather than using a pick.

Montgomery made a name for himself playing in the clubs of Indiana Avenue. On Saturday, IUPUI will bring his sound, and that of many others, to the Campus Center.

More than 40 local and national bands will perform. Among those scheduled to appear are the IUPUI Jazz Ensemble and other acts from Indianapolis colleges and high schools. National headliners include Pat Martino, Chuck Loeb, Henry Johnson, Russell Malone, Bobby Broom, Fareed Haque, Dave Stryker, Will Matthews, Royce Campbell and Peter Bernstein.

The majority of the performances are free to the public. Tickets for main-stage acts are $25 for adults and $10 for students and can be purchased online.

In addition to the school’s jazz ensemble, IUPUI students will be involved in Wes Montgomery Tribute Day by performing behind the scenes. The Department of Music and Arts Technology will assist with the live audio aspects of the performances. Students employed at the Campus Center, many of whom are already well-versed in event management, will continue to put practice to action through their work with the community partners.

“It’s a great learning experience for the students,” said Doug Bielmeier, assistant professor in the Department of Music and Arts Technology, who also described the importance of being involved in a live event to boost students’ employability in the future. “It’s real.”

Those attending Wes Montgomery Tribute Day will find more than just music. An exhibit by Mark Sheldon Photography is also scheduled, highlighting the history of jazz in Indianapolis. Artifacts showcasing Montgomery’s life will be on display. Free panel discussions featuring Zev Feldman of Resonance Records and Robert Montgomery, Wes’ son, are slated as well.

David Williams will be signing his book, “The Masters, Legends and Legacy of Indiana Avenue.” Copies of the book are available at Barnes & Noble @ IUPUI, which will remain open until 8 p.m. on Saturday.

 

ABOUT INDY JAZZ FEST: The mission of Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and Indy Jazz Fest is to preserve the legacy and promote the future of jazz in Indianapolis through education and performance. A celebration of community and culture that showcases jazz music in a variety of great venues across the city, Indy Jazz Fest has become a cultural icon since its start in 1999. With an increased emphasis on jazz education, Indy Jazz Fest has expanded from just one day to an entire experience, ultimately benefiting the Indianapolis arts community throughout the year by creating meaningful links between jazz education and the city’s jazz performance scene. Indy Jazz Fest is the preeminent performance event of Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and will ultimately reach upwards of 34,000 people through a combination of performances, workshops, school concerts, master classes, and community partnerships, as an integral cog in the Indianapolis arts scene. The 2016 Indy Jazz Fest is taking place Sept. 15-24, 2016.  For more information, visit the Indy Jazz Fest website.

 

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Indiana Repertory Theatre Presents The Three Musketeers

three-musketeers-web-friendlyAdapted by Catherine Bush from Alexandre Dumas’s novel, The Three Musketeers tells the story of an eager young lad from the French provinces who arrives in Paris to join the king’s guard. This legendary tale of danger and daring, royalty and romance vibrantly comes to life on the IRT stage.

The performance will take place at 7:00pm on October 12th, 2016, at the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

Dr. Jason M. Kelly, Director of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, will offer a post-performance discussion focused on the historical people and events presented in the novel and the play.

This event is co-sponsored by the IRT and IAHI. Tickets to The Three Musketeers can be purchased directly through the IRT Box Office at 317.635.5252 or online.

Voices from Central State to feature a conversation with Nanny Vonnegut

Blue Square

The artist Nanny Vonnegut, daughter of the acclaimed author Kurt Vonnegut, will read her maternal grandmother Riah Cox’s brief memoir, “I Remember Jones,” written about Cox’s hospitalization at Central State in the 1940s. Along with IUPUI Professor of English Jane Schultz, Vonnegut will discuss her family, the history of mental health care, and the healing power of the arts. Vonnegut will be sharing some of her own artwork, as well as family photographs.

The program will be held at the Indiana Medical History Museum on September 26th and 27th, 2016, at 6pm. It is presented with funding support from IU’s New Frontiers Program, Indiana Humanities, and the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute.

This event is the second of a three-part series of programs called “Voices from Central State,” all featuring writings by patients at Indiana’s flagship mental hospital during its 150-year history. Visit http://www.imhm.org for more information, and be sure to register in advance for your free tickets.

Voices from Central State Performance and Exhibition Series

Voices from Central State photo“Voices from Central State,” based on writings by patients at what was Indiana’s flagship psychiatric institution for nearly 150 years, begins with a one-woman show adapted from a patient’s memoir published in 1886 about her seven-year hospitalization.

The show, titled “Then There Is No Need to Speak,” will be performed at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26 and 27 at the Indiana Medical History Museum, 3045 W. Vermont St.

Each night, the 60-minute performance will be followed by a brief historical presentation by Kathleen Brian, a cultural and intellectual historian at Western Washington University who specializes in histories of science, medicine and public health.

The production is directed by Terri Bourus, a professor of English drama in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and founding artistic director of Hoosier Bard Productions. The script was adapted by Thomas Hummel from Anna Agnew’s memoir, “From Under a Cloud.” The patient, Anna Agnew, will be portrayed by Indianapolis actress Denise Jaeckel.

“What we’re looking to do with ‘Voices from Central State’ is tell an alternative kind of history through creative formats,” said Elizabeth Nelson, an associate faculty member in the Department of History at IUPUI and director of public programs at the Indiana Medical History Museum. “Most histories of medicine or mental health care are written from the point of view of doctors and administrators. It’s rare to have the patient perspective.”

“What we call mental illness — what our ancestors would have called ‘madness’ — has been part of the Western dramatic tradition for at least 25 centuries,” Bourus said.

“This interest in madness is part of drama’s fascination with extreme situations and extreme emotions,” Bourus continued. “At its best, theater makes it possible for spectators to imagine what it would be like to be another person, strikingly different from themselves. Theater provides us with a vicarious experience of the ‘other.’ That’s why memoirs, like Anna Agnew’s, are so invaluable. Agnew’s memoir tells a story of mental illness from the inside.”

The Indiana Medical History Museum is housed in the former department of pathology of the Indiana Hospital for the Insane, later known as Central State Hospital.

The second program in the “Voices from Central State” series, “I Remember Jones,” will take place at 6 p.m. on Sept. 26 and 27 at the museum. Nanette Vonnegut, daughter of acclaimed author Kurt Vonnegut, will read a short story by her maternal grandmother, Riah Cox, about her hospitalization in the 1940s.

Along with Jane Schultz, an IUPUI professor of English, Vonnegut will discuss a number of themes related to Cox’s story, including how mental illness affects families, the historical role of the nurse and the power of the arts to promote recovery.

The third program, titled “Leaving Home,” is an exhibit featuring newsletters produced by patients in the years leading up to the hospital’s closure in 1994. The exhibit opens Nov. 10 at the museum. That evening’s program begins with a 6 p.m. panel discussion about how the closing of the state hospital affected patients as well as Central Indiana residents who developed mental illness after the closing. Attendees may browse the exhibit beginning at 7 p.m.

All three programs require advance registration on the museum’s website. “Then There is No Need to Speak” is $5 for the public and free for students. “I Remember Jones” and the “Leaving Home” exhibit opening are free. “Leaving Home” will be on display at the Indiana Medical History Museum through March 2017.

“Voices from Central State” is supported by the IU New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Arts Council of Indianapolis. It is presented by the Indiana Medical History Museum and the Medical Humanities and Health Studies program in the School of Liberal Arts with assistance from Discover Near West Indys.

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IUPUI Professors Debut BIG TENT Performance Concept at Indianapolis Museum of Art

Date: November 7, 2015Big Tent Image at Indianapolis Museum of Arts
Time: 12:30 PM-5PM
Location: Toby Theater at the Indianapolis Museum of Arts

INDIANAPOLIS — Robin Cox and Benjamin Smith will pitch their unique Big Tent for its public debut on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater.

Cox and Smith, music and arts technology professors in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, are co-creators of Big Tent, a portable space designed for multimedia performance using the latest in audio and visual technologies.

Big Tent is a 40-foot-diameter octagon composed of 12-foot-high video-projection walls to showcase 360 degrees of art and other visuals, an array of audio speakers, and a central computer core to facilitate interaction between the acoustic and electronic performance.

Like circus tents of the previous century, Big Tent may be taken to a parking lot, a lawn, or a high school gym to transform that space into a multimedia art-and-performance venue.

The first Big Tent performance takes place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. and features multimedia works by Cox, Smith, Herron School of Art and Design student Danielle Riede, Sharon Zhu, and more.

The second show of the day will be a production of Hourglass, a community-participation work Cox created to encourage dance movement through performance of a composed arc of music. It will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. and feature visuals by Smith, Shawn Goodman on bass clarinet, Cox as violinist and Stephanie Nugent as dance facilitator.

In addition to the Nov. 7 events, IMA will host a third Big Tent performance from 5 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 28 as part of the museum’s “Silent Night” presentation.

Cox and Smith are hopeful that Big Tent will become a marketable invention. They foresee a continuing development process and contributions coming from a wide variety of creative talents.

Supported by the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, the IUPUI Department of Music and Arts Technology, the Indianapolis Opera, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Hourglass Is Back

For those of you who have been wishing for a return of Hourglass, it’s back! And this time, indianapolis-museum-of-art-dusk-david-pixelparableit will be held in BIG TENT at the Indianapolis Museum of Art 11/7 and 11/28!  And what’s BIG TENT, no less than a 40 foot diameter, 360 degree audio and visual environment, completely surrounding you in music and video.

We are very excited about this and hope you’ll mark the calendar with these dates.

HOURGLASS
A sixty-minute continuous arc of live and electronic music encouraging attendees to live in the moment with a community in motion. With Robin Cox -violin/composer, Shawn Goodman -bass clarinet, video by Ben Smith, and movement facilitated by Stephanie Nugent.  www.hourglass-music.com,  www.thebigtent.org

11/7/15 at 4pm
Indianapolis Museum of Art, in the Toby Theater (as part of the Community Day “Secrets” event)

11/28/15 at 6pm
Indianapolis Museum of Art, in the Deer Zinc Pavilion (as part of the IMA’s “Silent Night” event)

More Ask an Expert: Tuesdays on Monument Circle!

Ask an Expert with Gabe FilippeliIs it Tuesday? Is it lunchtime? Then come down to Monument Circle. Each week, you will get to meet university experts and ask them any question you want about their area of expertise. In exchange, our experts will ask you about your expertise. It’s always fun, and you never know what you’re going to learn.

Our upcoming Ask an Expert events are:

  • Art Therapy with Juliet King (15 September)
  • Christianity and Globalization with Joseph Tucker Edmonds (22 September)
  • Art and Anthropology with Fiona McDonald (29 September)
  • Women in Politics with Kristy Sheeler (6 October)
  • Science Fiction and Philosophy with Jason Eberl (13 October)

“Ask an Expert” was designed by the IAHI and the Kinetic Project. We are currently offering this program as a collaboration with Big Car and its SPARK: Monument Circle project.