Association for Recorded Sound Collections returns to roots with Bloomington conference

When the Association for Recorded Sound Collections held its first conference in Bloomington back in 1967, audiocassettes were new technology.

The association is now celebrating its 50th anniversary at a conference that began May 11 here at Indiana University.

While media formats have changed over the years, the nonprofit organization has the same mission: It is dedicated to the preservation and study of sound recordings, in all genres of music and speech, in all formats and from all periods.


Patrick Feaster is an expert in early sound media and media preservation specialist for IU’s Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative.

If these aims sound similar to Indiana University’s commitment to media preservation, it should be no surprise that more than 30 IU students, faculty members and staff are participating in the conference.

IU’s Patrick Feaster, media preservation specialist for the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative, serves as president of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. Brenda Nelson-Strauss, head of collections/technical services at the Archives of African American Music and Culture, is the conference manager and a past president.

The conference, with the theme of “Recorded Sound in the 21st Century: Preserving, Collecting, Collaborating and Connecting,” is bringing together sound recording archivists, record collectors and other experts in recorded sound history and technology for a series of talks, tours, demonstrations, workshops and other activities through May 14.

While most programs are limited to conference registrants, the general public is invited to attend these evening programs, which will be held in the Walnut Room of the Indiana Memorial Union:

  • 8:30-10 p.m. May 12, Ask The Technical Committee” — Attendees can pose questions about audio preservation and restoration to a panel of experts led by Mark Hood, an associate professor in the Department of Recording Arts at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and Dennis D. Rooney, a producer of reissues for Sony Classical. This session is geared towards those who already possess a moderate degree of technical knowledge.
  • 9:30-11 p.m. May 13, Collectors’ Roundtable” — This annual informal social event for record collectors is chaired by Kurt Nauck of Nauck’s Vintage Records in Spring, Texas. The gathering typically draws collectors from around the country. Attendees are invited to bring a few records they would like to sell or trade and a record or two for “show and tell.”

Graduating IU students honored for their work at national technical theater conference

Post courtesy of newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

The United States Institute of Theatre Technology recognized three IU students during their annual conference as part of the Young Designer’s Forum. The conference, held in March in Salt Lake City, Utah, gave these students an opportunity to showcase their technical work for professionals and fellow students alike.

The three students were Kelsey Nichols, a third-year M.F.A. student in costume design, Kristen Martino, a third-year M.F.A. student in scenic design and Aaron Bowersox, a third-year M.F.A. in lighting design.

“It’s fairly major for us to have all three disciplines recognized,” said Drew Bratton, managing director for the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance.

Bratton compared the event to a basketball national championship, an event where the best of the best come out and showcase their skills.

Only 15 students in the United States are granted the opportunity to participate in this forum, receive feedback from adjudicators on their work and put their work on display in a public viewing of their portfolios.

“It’s the biggest conference in the U.S. for technical theater,” Nichols said. “You’re already a winner just being there.”

Telling a story with costumes

Nichols said the application process was an extensive one, involving submitting virtually her entire portfolio as well as letters of recommendation. Being selected with her fellow students was a worthwhile experience, though.

Kelsey Nichols

Kelsey Nichols

“It’s a really great way to get your name out there,” she said.

As a costume designer, Nichols said she looks at the script, the actors and the materials in order to weave together a character’s wardrobe.

“Basically I’m a storyteller through clothes,” she said.

Recently, Nichols said she designed the costumes for “Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play” which proved to be an interesting challenge due to the nature of the pop culture characters from the television series “The Simpsons.”

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Indiana University graduate student chosen as official poet of the Indianapolis 500

Post courtesy of newsroom intern Annie Brackemyre:

In a game of word association, the Indianapolis 500 and poetry and are not obvious counterparts.

And yet for the 100th running of the race May 29, an official poet has been selected: Indiana University student and instructor Adam Henze. The race-day program will feature his poem “For Those Who Love Fast, Loud Things.”

henze headshot

Adam Henze is a Ph.D. candidate at IU Bloomington and a touring poet. Photo courtesy of James E. Moriarty

The poem was selected by a panel of writers in a contest co-sponsored by Indiana Humanities as a way of reviving a 1920s tradition.

Henze is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Literacy, Culture and Language Education in the School of Education at IU Bloomington.

A practitioner of performance poetry, he hopes his poem succeeds on both the page and the stage.

“I knew that if I won, my poem would have to look good in the racing program and sound good when heard over the track loudspeaker,” Henze said. “Plus, when I read my work, I don’t really settle for recitation. My goal is to make an empathetic connection with the audience, and I hope my performance resonates with fans come May.”

For race fans, the poem reads like an ode to their passion. It begins with these stanzas:

This poem is for the track folk who just love the smell of Ethanol.

For the Carb Day cut sleeve sporters, the Snake Pit dancers, and Coke Lot campers with bald eagle bandanas.

This is an anthem for the hearts that’ve surged at the scope of the Pagoda. For the hands that know the feeling of slapping the North Vista tunnel ceiling. For the lips that whisper along with Florence Henderson when she sings, yes. This poem is for the 500 fans who love fast, loud things.

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Shakespeare expert Ellen MacKay to appear on ‘The Wonder of Will Live’ program on CSPAN-2

Ellen MacKay

Associate Professor Ellen MacKay will participate in ‘The Wonder of Will Live’ program, which will be telecast on CSPAN-2 Book TV April 23. Photo by Eric Rudd, Indiana University

Ellen MacKay, an associate professor in Indiana University’s Department of English, has spent much of her professional life celebrating William Shakespeare.

Now, MacKay will help the Folger Shakespeare Library bring that celebration to the public in a televised and live-streamed event Saturday, April 23 that marks 400 years since Shakespeare’s death. Scholars believe his birthday fell on the same date, based on a 1564 christening record found in the Stratford parish register.

Actors, writers, scholars and other dignitaries will come together at the library in Washington to share performances and personal stories about their connections to Shakespeare in “The Wonder of Will Live,” which begins at noon Saturday on on C-SPAN2 Book TV.

“‘The Wonder of Will’ is an opportunity to celebrate Shakespeare’s remarkable legacy via personal reflections that demonstrate the range and depth of his influence,” MacKay said.

First Folio

This Martin Droeshout engraving of William Shakespeare is from the First Folio, printed in 1623. Image courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library.

MacKay will be in good company at the event.

Participants include Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman William D. Adams and Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and an Indiana University alumna.

“The Wonder of Will Live” also will feature the Reduced Shakespeare Company, a cultured comedy team, and Kal Penn, an actor and producer known for his roles in the TV hits “House” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

Following the program on C-SPAN2 Book TV, MacKay will join Michael Witmore, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library, in a national call-in show hosted by Peter Slen.

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Newly formed Art and Design Association brings art, business students together

Post courtesy of newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

Sophomore Rachel Taylor has a passion for business, but, she said, it’s not her only love.

While in high school, Taylor said she loved art as well. Since she came to IU, though, she had been missing that part of her life. While exploring the possibility of getting an art minor, she said she realized some art students are disconnected from the Bloomington arts scene.

To bring art and business together in a way that benefits both student artists and students studying business, last fall Taylor founded the Art and Design Association. The campus group is dedicated to helping IU art students find opportunities to show and sell their work in the Bloomington community.

Apollo Infinity art

Tommy DeNardo titled this digital work “Apollo Infinity.” Photo courtesy of the artist

Taylor said their first art show, held at The Hub in downtown Bloomington, drew a crowd of about 50 people. It featured the work of about 30 students, including sophomore Tommy DeNardo.

While DeNardo is not an art student, he said he has had a love of graphic design and digital art since he was in middle school.

Ever since DeNardo heard about the Art and Design Association, he has been pursuing his art further, creating more work to show in gallery events hosted by the group.

DeNardo had no idea what was in store for him at the gallery. He admitted he was intimidated, assuming all of the art students’ work would be vastly superior to his.

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Spring concert series showcases the ensembles of IU’s African American Arts Institute


The African American Dance Company, shown here performing in “Potpourri,” will present its spring concert Saturday. Photo courtesy of Iris Rosa.

Post courtesy of newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

Throughout the month of April, the three ensembles of Indiana University’s African American Arts Institute will host their annual spring concerts.

The central mission of the institute is the preservation and celebration of African American culture. IU students across many areas of study participate in its performance groups as a way of connecting to that culture and sharing it with wider audiences.

The African American Dance Company will present the first concert Saturday, April 9. IU Soul Revue will perform April 16 and the African American Choral Ensemble will host a special 40th anniversary celebration April 30.

All three events will begin at 8 p.m. at Bloomington’s Buskirk-Chumley Theater. For each one of the shows, tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for children and students with an ID.

African American Dance Company

Professor Iris Rosa, director of the African American Dance Company, said the group addresses the “lived experiences” of the African disapora.

On Saturday, the ensemble will perform “Visions of the Past; Actual Realities,” using two versions of the song “1960 What,” by Gregory Porter. The piece will illustrate urban challenges, from the past fires in Detroit to the current leaded water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Rosa said the dancers’ movements will be supplemented with visuals that help carry the narrative along as the songs “Feeling Good” and “A Change Is Gonna Come” play. These musical selections examine the question of where people “find the spaces for solace and hope,” she said.

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Recent IU graduates take on technology and cinema as their film heads to Cannes festival


From left, Eli Bevins, Heather Rachael Owens, Sydney Franklin and Lu Bevins attended CMF Hollywood in July 2015 to support the film “My Dear Arthur.”

Last May, Joyce “Eli” and Jean “Lu” Bevins had graduation on their minds. Both earned master’s degrees from the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington.

Fast forward to just one year later: Their film “My Dear Arthur” will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. It is one of 30 titles Campus MovieFest is taking to the prestigious event in France.

Each year, the Campus MovieFest program lends free laptops and camcorders to college students around the country so they can complete films within a week.

This year’s CMF filming wrapped up at IU last week, with more than 75 teams signed up. Of all the five-minute films submitted before the deadline, 16 will be shown starting at 9 p.m. April 8 at Whittenberger Auditorium as part of IU Late Nite.

Winning films

Eli and Lu Bevins are twins, business partners and independent filmmakers.

In 2015, they didn’t finish one film for Campus MovieFest. Instead, they submitted three.


Campus MovieFest will announce its IU winners for 2016 at a 9 p.m. screening April 8 in the Whittenberger Auditorium.

Lu said they prepared for the competition by getting as much rest as they could the week before. “We knew we weren’t going to sleep.”

“We kind of tagged-teamed,” Eli said. “We usually write together, we usually direct together. I do most of the editing for our film projects, while she does most of the filming.”

All three films made an impression in last year’s CMF competition.

My Dear Arthur” won best picture at IU. The short thriller spans time, revealing a mother who found a surprising way to dodge punishment for witchcraft.

The Exit,” which deals with domestic violence, received one of four local jury awards.

And “ID,” a film about racial stereotypes and prejudice, was awarded a national honorable mention in the Elfenworks Social Justice category.

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‘Intersectionality: IU Latina Film Festival and Conference’ brings rich perspectives to campus


The 2002 film “Real Women Have Curves” features America Ferrera, left, and Lupe Ontiveros. Photo by Nicola Goode, courtesy of LaVoo Productions/The Kobal Collection

Guest post courtesy of IU Communications colleague April Toler:

The third biannual Latino Film Festival will take place this week, and this year it focuses on Latina directors, actresses and film scholars.

The Latina Film Festival and Conference, hosted April 7-9 by IU’s Latino Studies Program, will include numerous film screenings and panel discussions at IU Cinema.

The aim of the festival and conference is to present new perspectives in the studies of Latina identity that combat stereotypical representations and to showcase the intersectionality of identity within the contexts of immigration, gender, sexuality, social class and race/ethnicity issues.

Patricia Cardoso

Patricia Cardoso, director of “Real Women Have Curves,” will speak at 5 p.m. Thursday at IU Cinema.

“The Latino Studies Program is committed to providing enriching academic and cultural experiences that help the IU community understand the Latino/Latina population in complex ways,” said Sylvia Martinez, director of the Latino Studies Program. “We see the film festival as complementing what we do in our courses by organizing this type of programming — a cultural production in the form of film.”

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‘The Man Who Saved the World’ as seed saver to visit IU Cinema, Wylie House Museum


American agriculturist Cary Fowler was instrumental in establishing the Arctic seed vault that aims to protect diversity in the earth’s food crops. He visits IU this week.

Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino contributed to this story:

Cary Fowler is on a mission to save seeds — and quite possibly the human race.

The American agriculturalist and humanitarian who helped found Svalbard Global Seed Vault will appear at IU Bloomington on Monday. Fowler will participate in a question-and-answer session following the sold-out 7 p.m. screening of “Seeds of Time” at IU Cinema. A stand-by line will be recognized at 6 p.m.

Wylie House Museum and IU Libraries have jointly sponsored the screening and the appearance by Fowler.

The documentary directed by Sandy McLeod focuses on Fowler’s epic effort to preserve crop diversity around the world.


Wylie House Museum is holding a public seed-saving workshop at 3 p.m. today. Participants will learn how and why to save seeds. They also can sign up for the new heirloom “seed library,” which allows participants to “check out” a pack of seeds, grow plants and later return seeds.

In the recent past, a shift to large-scale commercial agriculture and other market forces have greatly reduced the number of plant species grown as food. And today, climate change presents an additional threat to the planet’s food supply.

“Seeds of Time” tells the global story by sweeping from the Peruvian potato farmers trying to preserve their way of life to the “doomsday vault” of seeds carved deep into an Arctic mountain half a world away.

And here in Bloomington, biodiversity remains just as relevant.

Once home to IU’s first president, Andrew Wylie, the Wylie House Museum on Second Street maintains its own heirloom garden of flowers and vegetables. It strives to keep alive the plant varieties the Wylies themselves might have seen on the property.

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Independent Filmmaker Kris Swanberg to speak at IU Cinema as part of film series

Guest post by Barbara Ann O’Leary, “Directed by Women” founder:

Kris Swanberg has been called one of Chicago’s “superwomen.”

This week, IU Cinema will recognize her contributions to film with their “Midwest Independence: Kris Swanberg” series, which includes several film screenings and a Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture on Friday.


Kris Swanberg will speak at 3 p.m. Friday as part of the Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series.

Earlier this year, Swanberg received Women in Film Chicago’s Focus Award, which honors the accomplishments of the “superwomen who continually put Chicago on the map.”

Her response?

“It’s really nice for Chicago to like me, too. It’s mutual. I love Chicago.

“I talk about it all the time,” she said. “Almost every interview I do, I end up talking about Chicago — why I live here, why I work here. Really, when I’m home, I feel the most inspired.”

Swanberg studied filmmaking in the Midwest at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale — “six hours from Chicago … so you’re really isolated.”

She appreciates the chance to talk with students about how to make it as a working filmmaker. “I love sharing my work with anyone, but I especially love sharing my work with film students. I remember how important it was when I was a film student. When I talk at universities, I try to be very candid with students.”

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