Candidates for lieutenant governor discuss arts and culture at local SPEA-sponsored forum


Joe Hren moderated a forum on the arts held Oct. 17 with the candidates for lieutenant governor in Indiana. A radio broadcast of the forum will air at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 on WFIU.

Two candidates for lieutenant governor in Indiana shared their views on the arts Monday night at the WFIU studios before an audience of about 50 students and other invited guests from the community.

Republican Suzanne Crouch, the current state auditor, and state Rep. Christina Hale, a Democrat, each were granted opportunities to speak separately rather than engage in debate at a very civil forum sponsored by the Arts Administration Program in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington.

Karl Tatgenhorst, the Libertarian candidate, did not respond to an invitation to participate.

Both candidates in attendance agreed on the value of art and culture in creating a sense of place and its value in making Indiana a state that attracts young people and top talent to live and work.


Christina Hale

Hale began her 10-minute introduction with an appeal to reintroduce tax credits for media production in the state.

She also provided several examples of arts and cultural projects designed to become revitalizing forces in their communities, including the recent Artspace redevelopment of a 1920s office building in Michigan City into affordable live/work spaces for artists.

Crouch used her 10 minutes to speak about funding she distributed to area arts and cultural projects as a Vanderburgh County commissioner. She also mentioned the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and spoke about culture in broad strokes that included development of the culinary arts and the economic power of festivals.

During the question-and-answer period, neither candidate precisely answered all the questions, but expounded upon various favorite initiatives.

Hale responded to six questions, at least in theme, and directly expressed support for Indiana tax incentives aimed at attracting on-site production by the film industry.


Suzanne Crouch

Crouch spoke briefly about the concrete economic impact of the arts. Mostly, however, she chose to speak at length about her passion for projects in the Regional Cities Initiative rather than answer the questions submitted in advance by IU students and arts advocates. She also spoke about the growth of agriculture and food culture rather than more traditional concepts of the arts.

With her filibuster, moderator Joe Hren of WTIU/WFIU was never able to deliver even the third question, which regarded her stance on state tax credits for film.

A broadcast of the entire conversation on the arts will air on WFIU 103.7 FM and other radio stations around the state from 8 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19. An audio recording of the forum also will be posted on the Indiana Public Radio website.

IU Bloomington a cappella group Hooshir will open for Vocalosity at IU Auditorium

Hooshir rehearsal

Hooshir music director Becky Mann warms up the group during a rehearsal at the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center. Hooshir will open for Vocalosity Oct. 20. Photos by James Brosher.

Post by IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

Students stand around a piano on the second floor of the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center rehearsing for an upcoming performance. Nobody is playing the piano, though. All the music the group is making comes from their bodies.

Hooshir, an a cappella group at Indiana University Bloomington, recently won a contest to open for Vocalosity Oct. 20 at IU Auditorium.

When they sing, Hooshir’s energy is intense and fills a room. All of them move to the music as they sing an a cappella rendition of “Larger Than Life” by the Backstreet Boys and a compilation of “Demons” and “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons.

Musical director Becky Mann, a senior, explained that Hooshir formed in 2006 when the White House called IU Hillel’s rabbi, Sue Silberberg, looking for a Jewish a cappella group that could sing at its annual Hanukkah party. Silberberg said they had a group, and promptly formed it when she hung up the phone.

Auditions were quickly held, and after that first performance the group stayed together under the name “Hooshir,” which roughly translates to “he who sings” in Hebrew.

Mann said the group performs a mix of Israeli pop, American pop and Jewish sacred music.

Members of Hooshir including music director Becky Mann, center, rehearse at the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. The group will open for Vocalosity on Thursday at the IU Auditorium.

Becky Mann, center, loves the music and friendship shared by performing in Hooshir.

Hooshir director Halle Fromson, a sophomore, said the group still travels to synagogues across the country to perform traditional Jewish sacred music from the group’s repertoire.

“We kind of have this Middle Eastern sound we bring to our music,” she said.

Mann, who studies Jewish sacred music, is the only senior in Hooshir this year.

She said that so far this year their gigs have mainly been performed in Hebrew. Opening for Vocalosity will allow them to tap into the pop songs they have been working on recently.

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‘(Re)Imagining Science’ exhibition at Grunwald Gallery turns collaboration into an art

What happens when we look at science differently?

Artists and research scientists at Indiana University Bloomington have teamed up in more than a dozen creative partnerships to visualize scientific principles and foster new ways of understanding.

Rosamond Purcell photo of eggs

Rosamond Purcell’s “Field Collector’s Box of Murre Eggs” appears in “(Re)Imagining Science.” Purcell speaks at noon Oct. 13 at Harlos House.

The results of their collaborations will be on display in the exhibition “(Re)Imagining Science” Oct. 14 to Nov. 16 at the Grunwald Gallery.

Opening night begins with a 5 p.m. lecture by visiting photographer Rosamond Purcell, whose exquisite still life images breathe life into the lifeless and uncover beauty in the discarded.

“Purcell is a scientist, an artist and a poet: the comprehensiveness of her vision reminds us of the time when disciplines had not yet separated into supposedly different modes of understanding the world,” said Christoph Irmscher, Provost Professor of English and director of the Wells Scholars Program.

In the exhibition, 18 of her photographs will accompany the projects made by the IU faculty teams.

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‘Resilience’ play delves into hidden history of African Americans in the Hoosier state

With a single word, “Resilience,” Liz Mitchell and Gladys DeVane have described two centuries of life among African Americans in Indiana.

In a single weekend, they hope to shine some light on history that has been largely hidden.

These two longtime Bloomington residents will present their new play Oct. 14, 15 and 16 at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.

Resilience promotional card“I’ve always been passionate about African American history,” Mitchell said.

She’s a collector of facts, a gatherer of stories. When she travels the state and crosses the country, these are her souvenirs.

Over time, Mitchell discussed her discoveries with DeVane, an actress, storyteller and retired professor from the IU Kelley School of Business. “I told her what I’ve seen — different things I found out that I didn’t know,” Mitchell said.

DeVane felt these little-known stories about Indiana should be written into a play, so last year they did just that.

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First Thursdays arts and humanities festival offers costume party, dance and fresh fare

First Thursdays Sept 2016

IU’s First Thursdays festival launched last month with a lively mix of arts and cultural events.

IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino contributed to this story:

IU Bloomington’s new monthly celebration of the arts and humanities will return Oct. 6 with a fresh schedule of entertainment and activities.

First Thursdays are free festivals designed to engage students and other members of the community at Indiana University, in Bloomington and beyond. The action is focused around the Arts Plaza surrounding Showalter Fountain from 5 to 7:30 p.m., with several events later radiating out across the campus.

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U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera to share message of unity at Bloomington reading

In these contentious times, we too often see how words can divide.

Poet Juan Felipe Herrera still believes words have the potential to heal and to bring people together.

Herrera will appear at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 in Bloomington’s Buskirk-Chumley Theatre as part of Indiana University’s celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

The event “¡Poesía Now! The Power of Poetry in Our Lives,” is free and open to the public. Not only will Herrera share passages of his own work, but he hopes to inspire others to harness the power of language in their lives and communities. A question-and-answer session will follow the reading. Free, general admission tickets are required but will be available on a first-come, first-served basis 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Friday and just prior to the event at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre box office.

Juan Felipe Herrera Poet Laureate

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will appear at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre.

This month Herrera began his second term as the Poet Laureate of the United States, the first Latino to hold this prestigious post bestowed by the Library of Congress.

“Mr. Herrera’s work gives voice to a uniquely American perspective that for too long has been left out of our national story,” said Alberto Varon, an assistant professor in the IU Bloomington Department of English.

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IU’s Center for Documentary Research and Practice hosts seminar on legacy of colonialism

Post courtesy of IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

Documentary media and historical transformations will be the focus of the first Sawyer Seminar hosted by Indiana University’s Center for Documentary Research and Practice.

Intended as part of a five-part series, the two-day event will be led by Joshua Malitsky, director of the center and an associate professor in The Media School, and Marissa Moorman, an associate professor in the Department of History.

The seminar “Documentary and the Legacies of Colonialism: Images, Institutions, and Economies” will include films screenings, lecture and a round-table discussion Sept.15 and 16 at IU Cinema.


“Afrique, Je’Te Plumerai (Africa, I Will Fleece You)” will be screened at IU Cinema Thursday, Sept. 15, as part of the Sawyer Seminars. Director Jean-Marie Téno will answer questions after the film.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, a selection of Indian colonial and post-colonial films will be screened and curated by Priya Jaikumar, an associate professor of cinema and media studies from the University of Southern California.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, IU Cinema will host a screening of director Jean-Marie Téno’s “Afrique, Je’Te Plumerai (Africa, I Will Fleece You).” A question-and-answer session with the director will take place after the screening.

At 9 a.m. Friday, Lee Grieveson will deliver the lecture “Documentary and the Long 20th Century.” Grieveson is the director of the graduate program in film studies at University College London. His lecture will focus on the formation of documentary as a genre and how it can be used as a tool.

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Nationwide 20th anniversary tour of ‘Rent’ begins at Indiana University Auditorium

Post courtesy of IU Newsroom intern Amanda N. Marino:

A young Skyler Volpe first heard the music of “Rent” when she was about 5 years old. Her parents had seen the show and fell in love with the music.

“I came into ‘Rent’ when I was very young, maybe too young,” she said.

At that same young age, Volpe was already singing, dancing and performing on stage.

Now Volpe is starring as Mimi Marquez in the 20th anniversary tour of “Rent.”

The touring production will premiere tonight at Indiana University Auditorium in Bloomington and continues with two more performances Sept. 13 and 14 before traveling to nearly 70 cities across the United States through next summer.

Volpe, Skyler

Skyler Volpe will portray Mimi Marquez in “Rent.”

Volpe said it’s a dream come true.

“This is my biggest role so far,” she said.

Along with her personal connection to the musical, Volpe said she feels she is carrying a relevant message to audiences even three decades after the AIDS crisis hit New York.

It’s more than a story about AIDS, she said. It’s about living your life generously and full of love, an important message even now.

“We are definitely carrying on a legacy in a way I’ve never felt responsible for in the past,” Volpe said. Read more…

‘Framing Beauty’ trains its lens on aesthetics and cultural notions with exhibition, events

Michael Baldwin, Branch Brook Park, Newark, NJ 2007

The exhibition”Framing Beauty: Intimate Visions” includes Bill Gaskins’ photograph “Michael Baldwin, Branch Brook Park, Newark, NJ,” 2007. Gaskins also will participate in several public events as part of the accompanying symposium. Image courtesy of the artist.

Indiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences is digging deep beyond the surface meanings of “Beauty” this fall in its eighth annual Themester.

One signature event of Themester 2016 will be the “Framing Beauty” symposium taking place today and Friday in the Fine Arts Building on the Bloomington campus.

The symposium’s free lectures, panel discussions and other events are related to the exhibition “Framing Beauty: Intimate Visions,” which will remain on display at the Grunwald Gallery through Oct. 6.

The show includes photographs, paintings, videos and objects from 20 major contemporary artists, including IU Bloomington photography associate professor Osamu James Nakagawa and Gordon Parks, the groundbreaking fashion photographer, filmmaker and chronicler of black America who died in 2006.

“Framing Beauty: Intimate Visions” was curated by Deborah Willis, chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School for the Arts at New York University. Read more…

New lecture series at IU’s Fine Arts Library features artists who create handmade books

Bea Nettles photos

Bea Nettles created her “Mountain Dream Tarot Cards” in the 1970s, before the advent of digital image manipulation tools such as Photoshop. Nettles will speak at IU Bloomington on Oct. 27.

The Fine Arts Library at Indiana University Bloomington is home to many one-of-a-kind objects of art. In addition to its stacks of books covering many facets of art and its making, the library hosts an extensive collection of artists’ books.

Jasmine Burns, the interim head of the Fine Arts Library, has designed a new lecture series to highlight what she describes as their magnificent, historic collection.

“The book arts are part of a wonderfully fluid artistic style that pushes all boundaries of the traditional book form,” she said. “Artists’ books can take on any material format such as flip books; tunnel and accordion books; and decks of cards, to name just a few.”

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