Since the late 1980's, Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) students have volunteered their time and efforts to a number of local homeless health care clinics. These clinics provide medical care to the homeless and working poor of Indianapolis and its surrounding areas. With help from IUSM faculty, medical students help to meet the needs of those who might often be overlooked in the community. Through these volunteer efforts, students have gained valuable experiences in the many complex social economic and cultural issues that exist in the Indianapolis population. In return, these clinics are greatly benefited by the help the student volunteers provide. Unfortunately, lack of funding often limits the ability of the clinics to provide quality medical care.
During the 1991-1992 academic year, a group of medical students wanted a forum to showcase the many artistic and musical talents of their colleagues. From this discussion, the idea of a variety show featuring medical students, faculty and administrators was born. As the idea blossomed, the students decided that these talents should be tied into the volunteer efforts at the homeless health care clinics. On April 25, 1992 the first Evening of the Arts (EOTA) took center stage and has been an annual extravaganza ever since. The tradition of donating the proceeds from Evening of the Arts to local health clinics was also established. Since its conception, Evening of the Arts has been proud to donate over $30,000 in support of the health needs of central Indiana's homeless population.