Monday, September 28, 2009

Mike Beas: Purdue's loss to ND

Posted By on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Some men are born to be college football coaches. Head college football coaches. Others because of their personality and/or coaching strengths and weaknesses are better suited to remain the outstanding assistant they were prior to getting an opportunity to sit in the big office.

After watching Purdue's nationally televised 24-21 loss to Notre Dame, I remain on the fence as to which category Danny Hope belongs in.

The stunning reality behind the Boilers' 1-3 start is that they should/could/would be 4-0 if Purdue: A) Knew how to tackle (Oregon), B) had been properly motivated to play a supposedly inferior program (Northern Illinois) and, most recently, C) hadn't gone to the Bob Davie School of Clock Management (Notre Dame).

With the sting of Saturday night's heartbreak still fresh, some Purdue fans are crying for Hope's head as the program, losers of its three games by a total of 12 points, continues to find new and creative methods of coming up short.

There is plenty to like about Hope. He bleeds gold and black (he was Joe Tiller's offensive line coach from 1997-2001), mines prep talent from Florida better than some of the college coaches from that state and is a firm believer that hard work and discipline are time-tested paths to that elusive next level. Like tear-away jerseys and Swoosh-free football pants, Hope is a throwback. A get-you-to-run-through-a-brick-wall throwback who probably idolizes Mike Ditka, Knute Rockne and every other one of yesteryear's iron-fisted football coaches.

I want Hope to succeed. Really. But in another era I badly wanted Leon Burtnett to continue what Jim Young had started, Fred Akers to clean up the mess Burtnett had made and Jim Colletto - or Jim Colletta, as Lou Holtz used to call him - to at least achieve some semblance of mediocrity after Wrong Said Fred lost his job and retired to the comfort of his Texas reputation.

It remains too, too early to see where the Purdue program is going under Hope's guidance. For one, most of his players were recruited by Tiller, who, frankly, didn't fare well in that department his final few seasons in West Lafayette. We must also remember Hope is following the program's all-time winningest coach, a man who did the unthinkable by leading Purdue to its Emerald City, the Rose Bowl, not to mention nine other bowl games in his 12 years.

Tiller set the bar high. Whether Danny Hope has what it takes to jump up and knock it down or spends the next few years pawing air remains to be seen. October will tell us what we need to know.


RIVALRIES GOOD FOR FOOTBALL - Lane Kiffin calls out Florida's Urban legend and in less time than it takes mimic the Gator Chomp, it's on. Brett Favre has the audacity to sign with the despised Vikings and suddenly the state of Wisconsin yearns to Lambeau Leap all over anything purple.

Rivalries tend to have more to do with two of our favorite classes - geography and history - than anything else, though every now and again a good flame-fanning is required simply to keep things interesting. Kiffin's big mouth and Favre's inability to remove himself from the limelight have accomplished this.

Tennessee vs. Florida is now relevant beyond the invisible boundaries set by the Southeastern Conference; Minnesota-Green Bay, whose snow-drift games from the 1960s and '70s are legendary (until the Vikes wussed out and built a domed stadium), again is must-see television.

Sagging rivalries take note. That's you, USC-Notre Dame. One way to spice it up would be to accost the guy paid to dress up as the Trojan mascot and instead parade Fighting Irish coach Charlie Weis around on the horse in front of USC players prior to kickoff.

Just make sure to apologize to the horse afterward. His back will be killing him.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ways to support Very Special Arts Indiana

Posted By on Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Very Special Arts Indiana has taken some hellacious hits in the past few weeks funding-wise. Here's the latest from VSAI regarding upcoming programs and ways you can support their work...




Indiana School for the Deaf

1200 E. 42nd St.

(The Plaza is about 100 yards north of 42nd Street on the Monon Trail.)

VSA arts of Indiana, The City of Indianapolis and The Indiana Deaf School Celebrate GRAND OPENING OF THE INDIANA DEAF SCHOOL MONON PLAZA New Sculpture, Access Point on Trail Will Provide a Gateway to Deaf Culture for Greenway Users

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, City Councilor Jackie Nytes and Indiana School for the Deaf Superintendent David Geeslin will join the school's students, neighborhood residents, community leaders and greenway users in celebrating the grand opening of the Indiana Deaf School Monon Plaza.

The plaza, located on the west edge of the school's property along the Monon Trail north of 42nd Street, features a sculpture created with a "Gateway to Deaf Culture" design. Indiana School for the Deaf students have worked with VSA artist Barb Zech and ISD Teacher, Scotty Zwicker to create hand-made unique, individual ceramic tiles that encircle the archway of the sculpture. The gateway incorporates four themes chosen by the students that highlight American Sign Language and Deaf Culture. Other features of the plaza include a pathway, benches, drinking fountain and new trees, shrubs and perennials.

VSAI's project and community partners for the Indiana Deaf School Monon Plaza include CSO Architects, Indy Parks & Recreation, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and Shiel Sexton.


enROUTE Gallery

in the Harrison Center for the Arts

1505 N. Delaware St. INDIANAPOLIS

Friday, October 2

Gallery Opening, 6-9 p.m.

Join us for Art Beyond Sight, a showcase for VSAI's Visually Impaired Program- VIP (Formerly BOSMA). Students will exhibit ceramic and other 3-D artwork as well as share music created in their weekly class. One of the first studio groups at VSAI Community Classes, the VIP group has met weekly for eight years. This exhibit is held in conjunction with Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month.

Art Beyond Sight is a national initiative to raise public awareness about making art and culture a part of life for children and adults affected by sight loss. One focus is to familiarize parents, educators, and school and museum administrators with the benefits of art activities and museum visits for children with sight loss, and with how art can be used to foster braille literacy. Another is to enable community institutions to create and maintain programming for people with visual impairments through the use of a variety of learning tools. During Awareness Month, staff members are trained on sensitivity and accessibility, blind and sighted people are invited to participate in educational and art activities, and museums and schools lacking art programs for blind and visually impaired patrons and students are challenged to develop them - Art Beyond Sight website.

The Gallery will also have a variety of ceramic and 2-D artwork for sale created by the VSAI Urban Artisans and Community Class students. Gallery opening - Friday, October 2, 6-9 pm. Exhibit will hang through October 30. Gallery hours - M-Th, 11-4 or by appointment. Call Emily Compton, Gallery Director, at 974-4123 or go to for more information.


Please join the Board of Directors of VSA arts of Indiana for an evening of the arts as we Reflect upon thirty years of Partnership and Service to Individuals with Disabilities throughout the state.


Saturday, October 3rd., 2009

From 7 — 10 p.m.

at the Indianapolis Art Center

820 East 67th. St., Indianapolis, IN

This unique evening of hors d'oeuvres and drinks will feature musical talents by VSA arts of Indiana artists and friends. A special live and silent auction will feature some of Indiana's most creative and successful visual artists as they present original artwork in the form of embellished mirror frames (reflections).

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mike Beas: The Dallas Cowboys' unnecessary excess

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 4:00 AM

America's Team backed the shiny new Rolls-Royce out of its seven-car garage the other night so that a football-watching universe could squeeze in one collective ooh when it wasn't busy aah-ing. There were bells, whistles and I'm guessing concession prices so outrageous that brown-bagging might be an option during future events.

"You want pepperoni on your slice of pizza? Should have said so. I'll need to see that debit card again."

Never has a bologna sandwich and a Zip-lock filled with Ruffles sounded so tasty.

As you've probably guessed, I'm not a Dallas Cowboys fan. Rooted against Tom Landry, Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett as a kid. Felt the same about Jimmy Johnson, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin a decade later. Just plain laughed at self-written punchlines like Barry Switzer and franchise owner Jerry Jones, the latter now positioned one cosmetic procedure away from having to breathe through his forehead.

Speaking of Jones, Dallas' home opener against the New York Giants was all about the stadium, a 111,000-seat monstrosity replete with a video screen the approximate size of New Hampshire. And about Jones, whose every move (not counting rest room breaks, thank God) was caught by NBC cameras.

There's Jerry waving. There's Jerry high-fiving. There's Jerry grimacing. Spectacular as it may be, Cowboys Stadium is one more 1.3-billion-dollar reason for us to loathe the franchise because it's nothing more than unnecessary excess. Two weeks into the regular season and already it's been shoved down our throats. There's more to come beginning with Dallas' game this coming Monday night against Carolina and continuing with sure-fire national broadcasts the remaining six home games.

With any luck, the streak stops there, with the Jan. 3 date with Philadelphia. Any more means Dallas made the playoffs, and, seriously, we just don't need that.

COLTS NOT DOMINANT, BUT WINNING: Nine of the NFL's 32 franchises will enter Week 3 undefeated, the Indianapolis Colts being one of them. Indy has won those first two games by a total of six points, hardly reminiscent of Colts squads of years past that would hang 35 or 45 points on some outmatched opponent scrambling like mad to slow Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and the others.

Guess what? The standings don't care. Wins are wins, which means Indianapolis is getting accomplished exactly what it set out to do when the 2009 season began. Sure, the Colts have issues on both sides of the line of scrimmage to address, but name a high school, college or pro team that doesn't.

No, the team isn't one of the league's highlight-reel darlings through two weeks, but it is finding ways to win close games, a habit that will come in handy in December and January.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Violin Competition receives grant

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 4:00 AM

This just in from the International Violin Competition...

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

Receives Award from Christel DeHaan Family Foundation

Indianapolis - The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI) has received a grant from the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation in honor of the children and families of Christel House in the amount of $30,000. This General Operating Support award will be used to underwrite the Original Composition for the 8th Quadrennial Competition to be held September 10-26, 2010.

An Original Composition has been commissioned for each Competition since its inception in 1982. It is included in the Competition's repertoire in order to test the interpretive skills of the young artists in playing a piece that has no performance history. American composer Joan Tower has been chosen to write the work for the 2010 Competition.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

(Promo) One of My Favorite Indy Weekends

Posted By on Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Summer has come and basically gone. It has been a whirlwind and probably a large reason as to why my blogging has been on a diet these past few months, but I couldn't resist just a wee post about one of my favorite weekends in Indy (as stressful as it is, it's great).

I'm sure there are a lot of events this weekend, but every year I look forward to it because it includes Irish Fest and Oranje.

Irish Fest is September 18th-20th at Military Park. This festival is full of great Irish music, food and activities that give you a great look into the Irish culture. I think my favorite part of this festival is that it introduces fall to Indy the best way possible---the weather is usually amazing, the atmosphere is fun and stress free, and the beer---mm, the beer. This is the 14th year for the festival, and if you haven't been, do yourself a favor and go. Just a side note---NUVO readers voted it the Best Outdoor Festival in our 2009 Best of Indy Poll.

Then there is Oranje. You have probably heard of Oranje and its tagline "Indulge Your Senses." I would say it also asks everyone to do something really unique---it asks us to be innovators. Whether you are an artist creating your work, whether you are a sponsor creating an interactive booth, whether you are an attendee who is looking for inspiration---you will walk into this event being challenged to try something new. I mean, look at all who are involved: Indy Hub- innovative; My Old Kentucky Blog- innovative; the creators of Oranje- innovative! I almost wish the ticket price came with a private show of the last few days of setup of Oranje. To see how much energy, time and effort a group of people put into an empty warehouse to make it something as dynamic as it is on that 3rd Saturday of September---it's exciting--and a relief that Indy has a chance to see art and music in a whole new way. Oranje will feature over 30 artists and over 30 music acts including one of my faves, Andy D!

So there you have it. Irish Fest is at and Oranje is at Please check them out if you can--you won't be sorry.

Sarah Myer is the Promotions and Marketing Manager at NUVO. She can be contacted at

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Very Special Arts benefit

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Very Special Arts Indiana's programs have recently been decimated by state budget cuts. Here's a release and invitation to a benefit to try and support this important arts organization...

Please join the Board of Directors of VSA arts of Indiana for an evening of the arts as we Reflect upon thirty years of Partnership and Service to Individuals with Disabilities throughout the state.


Saturday, October 3rd., 2009

From 7 — 10 p.m.

at the Indianapolis Art Center

820 East 67th. St., Indianapolis, IN

This unique evening of hors d'oeuvres and drinks will feature musical talents by VSA arts of Indiana artists and friends. A special live and silent auction will feature some of Indiana's most creative and successful visual artists as they present original artwork in the form of embellished mirror frames (reflections).

All proceeds to benefit our programs for adult clients.

RSVP by September 25, 2009

For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Committee Member, Amy Bear of the Board of Directors at (317) 602-6738 or go to

VSA arts of Indiana Board of Directors:

Julie Conrad**, Chair, Diane Seybert**, Vice-Chair, Mary Fortney, Immediate Past-Chair, Rebecca Martin**, Treasurer, Amy Bear**, Secretary Gayle Foy, Joan Bahlmann, Beth Campbell, Debra Fetzer, Lois Horth*, Milton Keys, Marc Lohr**, Judith Merritt-Morgan, Andrea Murray, Judy O'Bannon*, Daniel Ryan, Clare Skeehan, John W. Streetman III**, Lois Templeton**, Betsy Traub, Bruce Westphal** Phil O'Malley**, Dan Henkle**, Paul Harris** Telene Edington**

Honorary Bd. Members *, REFLECTIONS Committee Members **

This event is paid through private sponsorship

Duke Energy; Katz,Sapper and Miller; Tube Processing Corporation; Beyond the Barnyard LLC, Bluefish Wireless Management; Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart; Ice Miller LLP; RJE Business Interiors/Knoll; The Great Frame Up; Printing Partners; One Hope; Bahlmann Family; Indianapolis Art Center; Pairings Wine and Spirits

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Mike Beas: On Serena Williams' outburst

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Serena Williams when she wants can flash a smile potent enough to illuminate a small city. We've come to find out she has a temper nasty enough to shut down that same city's electricity while sending small children scurrying for cover. Somewhere in the middle is the real her. A certain lineswoman probably isn't in a hurry to find out.

We're constantly bombarded with excuse phrases such as "He/she is a warrior," "He/she just hates to lose" and, my personal favorite, "He/she was in the moment."

For clarification sake: athletes defined as warriors is insulting to this country's military personnel, we all hate to lose and what the heck does "In the moment" even mean?

Williams' recent outburst at the U.S. Open, while a punch to the midsection of her reputation, should have cost her more than $10,000 and a few fans. Ten grand to someone who years ago achieved millionaire-many-times-over status is like pulling a quarter, two nickels and a clump of lint from the pockets of you and me.

Ten grand isn't even a slap on the wrist, it's a whispered voice saying, "Serena, darling, you made a bad choice. We would greatly appreciate it if you didn't do it again. Are those hair extensions? They're pretty."

But as is the case with today's coddled professional athlete, someone on the Williams payroll pulled her aside, reminded her of how ridiculous she looked and sounded and then instructed her to flip the switch and pour on the sugar the next time cameras were rolling.

She did and now the world is a better place again. Supposedly. Unfortunately, the opportunity to notify Williams, a three-time Wimbledon singles champion, that she's not bigger than the sport she plays has passed. The spineless suits running professional tennis should have tacked another zero onto that $10,000 fine.

Williams still could find herself suspended when all is said and done, but, again, no message is sent. She's the master at pulling herself out of events a few days ahead of time. All this does is save Williams the trouble.

NFL SEASON UNDER WAY: One week does not an NFL season make. Nevertheless, here are a few observations:

* Drew Brees might not possess a Howitzer for a right arm, but he is the league's best quarterback. Brees put up outrageous numbers in 2008 and his six-touchdown performance against Detroit - OK, it was Detroit - probably won't be duplicated any time this season. Or next. Apologies to Tom Brady and Eli's brother. There's a new sheriff in town.

* Only six seasons removed from representing the NFC in the Super Bowl, the Carolina Panthers are now five shades of awful. Losing to Philadelphia is one thing. Getting creamed 38-10 in your own stadium is inexcusable. An 0-3 start appears likely as Carolina travels to Atlanta on Sunday, then plays at Dallas in a Monday night game.

* It's great to see Bill Laimbeer's younger brother quarterbacking the Chicago Bears. Oh, that's Jay Cutler? Sorry, the comb-over fooled me.

* Much as I like Anthony Gonzalez, the Indianapolis Colts should be OK without the injured wideout. Sure-handed rookie Austin Collie will fill the void nicely, Reggie Wayne is now an upper-echelon talent and Dallas Clark is a tight end with a receiver's skillset.

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Ballet legend teaches master class

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 4:00 AM

This just in from Indianapolis School of Ballet...

Indianapolis - Violette Verdy, internationally renowned ballerina, choreographer and teacher, will teach the final class of the Indianapolis School of Ballet's "Dancing with the Masters" 2009 series on Sunday, September 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Miss Verdy is a former prima ballerina with the New York City Ballet and artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet and Boston Ballet. She has served the world of dance as a teacher, choreographer, coach, author and lecturer for over 60 years. Miss Verdy is currently Distinguished Professor of Ballet at the Indiana University Jacob's School of Music. In 2009 Miss Verdy was named a Chevalier in France's National Order of the Legion of Honor, France's highest and most prestigious decoration.

"Dancing with the Masters" is an incredible opportunity for dance students and teachers from the Indianapolis area and across the Midwest to experience high quality instruction from legendary teachers. In addition to Miss Verdy, the impressive list of master teachers for the 2009 series included Michael Vernon, Chairman of the Ballet Department at Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University; Daniel Duell, Artistic Director of Ballet Chicago; and Scott Jovovich ballet and Broadway artist and choreographer.

The Sunday afternoon master class will be held at the Indianapolis School of Ballet studios located on the second floor of the Cadillac Building, 502 N. Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana. The classes are offered to dancers ages 13 and up with at least six years of formal ballet training for a fee of $25 per class.

To register or receive additional information, visit the Indianapolis School of Ballet's web site at or call 317-955-7525.

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Indiana State Museum Free on Sept. 26

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 4:00 AM

This just in from the ISM...

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana - Admission to the Indiana State Museum will be free on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, as the museum participates in the fifth annual Museum Day, presented by Smithsonian magazine. A national celebration of culture, learning and the dissemination of knowledge, Smithsonian's Museum Day offers everyone the opportunity to see what museums have to offer. Doors will be open free of charge to everyone holding a Museum Day Admission Card, which can be downloaded from

Last year, upwards of 200,000 people attended over 900 participating museums on Museum Day, in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico.

At the Indiana State Museum, visitors can see - for free! - a major Indiana art exhibition called Making it in the Midwest: Artists Who Chose to Stay, as well as Footprints: Balancing Nature's Diversity and two floors of other core galleries. Other free days at the museum include Dr. Martin Luther King Day, the Monday before Christmas and First Tuesday, when admission is half price on the 1st Tuesday of each month.

Visit to download your Museum Day Admission Card. Attendees must present the Museum Day Admission Card to gain free entry to participating institutions. Each card provides museum access for two people, and one admission card is permitted per household. Listings and links to participating museums' can also be found at

In addition, the IMAX Theater is presenting a special director's cut in digital format of "We the People". First come, first served at just two showings on Sept. 26; 1:50 p.m. and 5:40 p.m.

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Phoenix seeks holiday scripts

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 4:00 AM

This just in from the Phoenix Theatre...


Indianapolis — The Phoenix Theatre is celebrating the winter holidays the best way we know how — with the fourth production of A Very Phoenix Xmas 4: Our Stockings Are Stuffed! Do you have a twisted sense of humor? Is there a holiday that you feel just doesn't get the attention it deserves? Maybe you need to channel that crazy energy you get from spending a little too much time with family... Well, we want YOU to send us your musings, be it in the form of a sketch, a short video, or a song. Is movement theatre your passion? We want your work too!

Phoenix Theatre of Indianapolis seeks submissions from writers for its annual alternative holiday production: A Very Phoenix Xmas 4: Our Stockings Are Stuffed. Submissions should be comedic reflections on any or all of the winter holidays: Christmas, New Year's, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah. There is an eight-page, six-character limit for each piece submitted. Writers should send submissions via e-mail or regular post. Submission deadline is midnight, October 1st. All questions and submissions should be directed to Producing Director Bryan Fonseca, Phoenix Theatre, 742 N. Park Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46202 or

We will select 10-12 sketches to comprise A Very Phoenix Xmas 4: Our Stockings Are Stuffed, November 27th through December 20th on the Phoenix Mainstage.

Ticket Prices

Thanks to the generosity of Duke Energy, our CheapSeats performances are expanding to Thursdays and Sundays, so our prices for the 2009-2010 Season will be $15.00 per person on Thursdays and Sundays. In response to the economy, and because we know that there are only so many entertainment dollars to go around, we are offering a discounted rate of $20.00 per person on Fridays and Saturdays (down from $25.00 last season). The Phoenix will continue to offer a youth rate of $15 for those 24 and under. We won't be selling FlexPasses this year, since all rates are discounted from our standard prices, so tickets are available now for all shows in the 2009-2010 season. Tickets for the new season may be purchased by calling the box office at 317.635.PLAY (7529) to charge by phone and will be available to purchase on-line at beginning August 10, 2009. All seating is general admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Performances are Thursdays at 7:00 pm; Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 8:00 pm. and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Doors open ½ hour prior to curtain for seating. The Phoenix Pub, located inside the theatre, offers beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee, and bottled water, as well as treats, and all refreshments may be taken into either theatre and consumed during the performance.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big Car receives $50,000 grant

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 4:00 AM

This just in from Big Car...

Big Car receives $50,000 grant to connect art with community

Made for Each Other series provides city with public art boost

Thanks to a recently awarded $50,000 grant from the Great Indianapolis Neighborhood Initiatives IMAGINE Big program, Big Car - a locally based non-profit arts collective with a gallery in Fountain Square - will bring a series of eight community art projects to eight different neighborhoods across Indianapolis in 2009-2010.

The series, titled Made for Each Other -- -- is designed to connect art with the community and engage people of all walks of life in helping create shows, performances and events within the context of Indianapolis neighborhood. Made for Each Other starts with an exhibition at Lafayette Square Mall in October celebrating the rich cultural diversity of the neighborhood, followed in November by a collaborative community art show in Fountain Square connected with the Spirit & Place Festival.

Internationally known social practice artist Harrell Fletcher will advise Big Car on the series and will participate as the lead artist on at least one of the eight neighborhood projects. Fletcher, one of the creators of the collaborative project Learning to Love You More (, is based in Portland, Ore.

Projects in Made for Each Other will bring neighbors together to help with the planning, creating and celebration of each project - bridging gaps between art, artists and art institutions and our neighbors in the community. The artwork will be inclusive, interactive, and dynamic. Most will be temporary, but some - depending on ideas that arise when neighbors and artists collaborate - will likely be longer lasting.

"The end result will be bringing the community together and developing a broader audience for art in our city," said Big Car curator and co-founder Jim Walker who is coordinating the series. "And now, more than ever, is the time to be working hard together to make this happen in Indianapolis."

Projects will take place in urban areas across the city: Southeast (Fountain Square), Near Eastside, Martindale-Brightwood, Near West (Haughville), West Indianapolis (southwest of downtown), Lafayette Square, Crooked Creek (Michigan Road north of 38th Street) and the Binford Boulevard area (northeast).

The IMAGINE Big grant covers most of the Made for Each Other project costs but not Big Car staffing and administrative expenses. So Big Car, a 501c3 nonprofit arts organization, is raising dollars through grants and donations to pay for the rest.

With major funding cuts, large-scale public art projects - like those create by the Arts Council of Indianapolis through the city's Cultural Development Initiative - may be less likely for the city in the immediate future. But Big Car's Made for Each Other series will help continue the momentum created by the Arts Council's public art projects of the last several years.

The series will also take public art in some new and important directions. First, it moves public art from the realm of cultural tourism in downtown locations to community locations in city neighborhoods across the city. For this series, the target audience is no longer visitors. It is people who live nearby. Second, the social nature of these projects will more directly connect members of the community with the final product. The work located in each community will be about these communities in authentic ways. The work will be made based on ideas and input from neighbors engaged in the communities. And the community will be part of the creation and celebration of the projects.

"We are calling it Made for Each Other because the projects are just that - made for and by each other in our community," Walker said. "If it sounds like the title for a romantic comedy that's just fine. This series is all about exploring a real love for our city and our neighbors - and having fun making art together."

The Made for Each Other series will include work by local and national artists and features partnerships with the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Susurrus, Herron School of Art, Hoosier Environmental Council, Spirit & Place and more. Projects include an environmental art festival at Skiles Test Nature Park, two sculptures, an urban garden, a dance performance at the former Central State grounds, participation in a parade at Lafayette Square mall and interactive and collaborative art shows in temporary galleries across the city.

As an example, one of the first shows in the series will feature an installation created with help of Fountain Square community members taking portraits of their neighbors and providing profile information about them. Another portion of this show included in the Spirit & Place Festival will feature incidental photos taken with camera phones by local artists and community members while on walks, shopping, driving, etc.

More about Big Car: Big Car, best known for its eclectic gallery in Fountain Square, is a collective of artists that explores - through contemporary art practice and art as social engagement - the notions of people and place, and the unique aspects of community that connect them. It has hosted art, music and spoken-word events at its gallery and performance space since 2004. Big Car also puts on Masterpiece in a Day each year in Fountain Square and has worked with the Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Oranje and other events and groups in the community on various projects. Big Car Collective is made up of more than 20 artists, musicians and writers - most located in Indianapolis. Some are students in art school and others have exhibited or published work on national and international levels. To find out more and see profiles of the artists and images of work from past Big Car shows, visit

More about Harrell Fletcher: He has worked collaboratively and individually on a variety of socially engaged, interdisciplinary projects for over 15 years. His work has been shown at SF MoMA, the de Young Museum, The Berkeley Art Museum, and Yerba Buena Center For The Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Drawing Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Sculpture Center, The Wrong Gallery, and Smackmellon in NYC, DiverseWorks and Aurora Picture show in Houston, TX, PICA in Portland, OR, CoCA and The Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, WA, Signal in Malmo, Sweden, Domain de Kerguehennec in France, and The Royal College of Art in London. He was a participant in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. Fletcher has work in the collections of MoMA, The Whitney Museum, The New Museum, SFMoMA, The Berkeley Art Museum, The De Young Museum, and The FRAC Brittany, France. In 2002 Fletcher started Learning To Love You More, a participatory website with Miranda July. A book version LTLYM was published in 2007 by Prestel. Fletcher is the 2005 recipient of the Alpert Award in Visual Arts. His exhibition The American War originated in 2005 at ArtPace in San Antonio, TX, and traveled to Solvent Space in Richmond, VA, White Columns in NYC, The Center For Advanced Visual Studies MIT in Boston, MA, PICA in Portland, OR, and LAXART in Los Angeles among other locations. Fletcher is a Professor of Art and Social Practice at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. His website is

More about IMAGINE Big and GINI: This is the first year for the program offering a grant or grants of up to $50,000 grant to Indianapolis neighborhood-based organizations courtesy of The Great Indy Neighborhoods Initiatives (GINI). Since 2007, the IMAGINE program has provided small matching grants from $500 to $5,000. But IMAGINE Big is designed to deepen and expand the impact of resident engagement efforts. In the highly competitive grant process, GINI asked neighborhoods to think creatively about potential projects to receive IMAGINE Big funding. It sought multi-neighborhood collaborations that increase the quality of life in a community; intergenerational projects that use neighborhood assets to engage neighbors together; or, organizing efforts to support micro-business in a neighborhood. IMAGINE Big grant recipients must offer 1 dollar of matching resources for every 2 dollars granted, but may count volunteer labor, donated materials, supplies, services or cash as part of that match. GINI is a three-year program promotes comprehensive community development to strengthen and improve the quality of life in local neighborhoods. Comprehensive community development focuses on collaboratively improving all aspects of neighborhoods that impact residents' quality of life. Find out more at

Note: We are happy to provide contact information and/or arrange for interviews with Fletcher and officials from the GINI program.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Theater Within Mercy Seat announcement

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2009 at 4:00 AM

This just in from Rod Isaac at Theater Within. One of their lead actors for the 2-person show, The Mercy Seat has had to withdraw from the production due to illness. But the show goes on, albeit in an altered form...

The original actor playing the role of Ben Harcourt is not able to continue with the show so we have found a new actor to play the role. Obviously, he is not able to learn a two person show in a week so we are continuing the show as a staged reading and admission will be free to the public. I know that this may not be something that you wish to see when you could see other full-fledged shows with your limited time so I completely understand if you choose not to review the show. An unfortunate situation but the best solution, I believe, under the circumstances. Thank you for your continued support of The Theater Within.

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