Creme de les Femmes Holiday Burlesque (Slideshow)
NRG: Do You Fear What I Fear (Slideshow)
The Naptown Roller Girls host an international double-header as Louisville's Derby City Roller Girls and Toronto's (as in Canada, eh!) CN Power visit the Pepsi Coliseum. Some other Northern visitors showed up, as well.
Both visiting teams took a drubbing, with final counts finding the Tornado Sirens topping the CN Power 266-67, and the Warning Belles beating the Derby City Roller Girls 192-57. Stacy Kagiwada's photos tell the rest of the story, above.
But then again, I've become inured to profanity; we curse like sailors around the NUVO office — or, as the case may be, like Madame Mao. Plenty of stations around the country noticed though, fearing FCC fines, in some cases; in others, merely because such profanity was out of line with their programming philosophy.
University of Indianapolis radio station WICR was among those that took offense, and station leadership brought up the opera during negotiations to broadcast the Metropolitan Opera for the 2011-12 season. Those negotiations are ongoing, and as the broadcasts remain off the air for the first time in recent memory, longtime listeners — many of whom cannot or choose not to listen online or attend the HD simulcasts at local theaters — are starting to get restless.
According to Chris Tolzmann, administrative vice president for the Fine Arts Society, which contracts with WICR to provide local classical music programming, WICR and the Met have agreed to terms for the season, but nothing has yet been signed. WICR makes the final decision on programming, in concert with the Fine Arts Society, and they have been in negotiations with the Met over three concerns:
1) WICR has asked that they be notified in advance if a broadcast will contain profanity, which was not the case for the broadcast of Nixon in China, which contained profanity in violation of FCC rules. As Tolzman puts it, "The University, a Methodist school, and WICR, an FCC licensee, cannot tolerate such actions in the future."
2) WICR is concerned about the start time for Met matinee performances gradually creeping earlier in the afternoon, necessitating the pre-emption of programming.
3) And WICR would like the right to pre-empt the opera for sports programming.
Local opera buffs have been on the horn about this; a letter to the editor appeared in the Star last week, and I've been hearing this week from Peggy Hillman, who has also contacted The New York Times in the effort to bring attention to the situation, which she characterizes as censorship.
Here's part of her email to the Fine Arts Society: "Historically, the Fine Arts Society, a very small not-for-profit group, has teamed up with WICR, an FM station associated with the University of Indianapolis, a small, private, Methodist college which supposedly is committed to fine arts. I was surprised when the first opera of the Met radio season was not broadcast last week (Saturday, December 3rd) ... Simply unbelievable: Can you imagine telling John Adams that Nixon In China is profane? I saw the opera (in the HID at the movies) last spring, and I wonder what caused them grief (something Nixon said???) ... I strongly suspect that the Fine Arts Society is not behind this censorship. It is a lovely little group founded by an Eli Lilly chemist from Poland who would be turning over in his grave if he knew."
Hillman goes on to note that Gounod's Faust, broadcast last weekend by the Met, is "somewhat profane in staging and libretto (in French)," and to wonder if WICR would censor or edit such material.
Both Adams and Deal have composed long-form percussion-centric pieces with names drawn from indigenous Alaskan languages: Adams' Inuksuit, written for a gigantic percussion ensemble that may include which may require use of "topographic maps, GPS units, two-way radios, cellular telephones, backpacks, tents and camping gear, off-road vehicles and other such tools"; and Auksalaq, a multimedia opera concerning climate change written by Deal and University of Virginia professor Matthew Burtner.
Auksalaq, which recently won an innovation award from Internet2, a networking consortium for global researchers and scientists, will receive its world premiere in New York in October 2012. A portion of the opera was performed at the Intermedia Festival in Indy in 2010.
Ross has written effusively of Adams before; he called a 2011 performance of Inuksuit in a New York City armory "one of the most rapturous experiences of his listening life." John Shea had this to say about the piece in the Boston Globe: "Despite a rather majestic climax, Four Thousand Holes unfolds at a measured pace, like a kind of contemplative walk in the woods in which the landscape changes slowly but dramatically over time. There is a spontaneous feel that belies the careful craftsmanship. Drury’s piano part is made up exclusively of chords based on major and minor triads, with Deal’s vibraphone and orchestra bells adding an extra sonic glitter. On top of it all, Adams generates a processed electronic ‘aura,’ derived from the piano lines, and it spreads out like a canopy of sound: dense, rich, and enveloping."
Deal continues to play in the local electronic trio Big Robot, which is at work on an hour-long DVD due for release in 2012.
Prince Julius Adeniyi, known nationwide as a teacher of Yoruba culture through music, dance, storytelling, food and the language of drumming, has been particularly loved by two generations of children, parents, teachers and friends in Indianapolis. He had lived in the city since 1971, raising a family and connecting the community at large with the growing presence of Nigerians who work here as professionals.
For many of us, Prince Julius has been a central figure at international and arts and music events, welcoming us into his circle of friendship. His warmth, joy of life and never-ending curiosity has inspired us to be open and eager to learn not only about his heritage, but our own.
With the late drummer Jack Gilfoy, in 1977, Prince Julius formed the performing-teaching group, Drums of West Africa. The group led to the development of the Omo Obukun African Cultural Resource Center, in what he liked to call “the heart of an ‘African Village’ in Indianapolis.”
His influence has transcended time and place as a master teacher with Young Audiences, which named him YA 2002 Artist of the Year, and with Traditional Arts Indiana, performing on the TAI Indiana State Fair stage, demonstrating, and working with apprentices in Yoruba drumming and drum making.
Prince Julius participated in the first Lotus Festival in 1994 at the Waldron Center in Bloomington, Ind., taking the stage late at night, and keeping us enthralled way past closing time. For many years we enjoyed Prince Julius’ cuisine at his Sambusa Hut restaurant at 40th Street and Boulevard Place.
For me, most memorable was his patience in teaching me to listen to and speak with the African drum. Prince Julius taught as he learned at age three in his Yoruba home, by placing his hands over the hands of his maternal grandfather as he drummed. Prince Julius lovingly spoke of being infused with his family’s drumming tradition through personal touch.
Prince Julius’ mantra lives on the Traditional Arts Indiana website, where he is quoted: “You don’t beat drum. You play drum. Every time you put your hand on the drum, you want that drum to say something.”
Prince Julius is survived by his wife, Margaret Adeniyi; his children, Julius Jr., Adedayo, Adedapo, Adetokunbo and Oluremilekun; his stepchildren, Melvin Bell, Ann Bell and Sharon Butler; and 27 grandchildren.
Visitations: Friday, Dec. 16, from 5-8 p.m. at Lavenia, Smith & Summers Home for Funerals, 5811 East 38th Street; Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church North Indianapolis, 880 W. 28th St., followed by A Celebration of Life at 11 a.m., followed by interment at the Washington Park North Cemetery.
This brief video interview was posted on the Storytelling Arts blog:
The Big Car nonprofit organization and collective ended its run in the Murphy building with a closing party Wednesday night. Big Car had occupied a second floor gallery space in the building since March 2005.
At the center of festivities was a table where children and adults worked on collaborative drawings using 8 ½ by 11 sheets of white paper, folded into three parts, as their canvases. After these drawings were finished, the artists were able to display their work for the evening by taping it up on the wall.
There was also musical entertainment: Beat Debris, consisting of drummer Jess Halverson and electric guitarist/singer Tom Burris, was the first musical act; their first show together as a band was in the Big Car space four and a half years ago.
“We like to play places where we can see people of all ages,” said Halverson, who is the mother of preschool-aged children who were in attendance during the performance. (Her daughter had her first birthday party in the Big Car space.)
27-year-old Adam Kuhn, who also played his electric guitar to his own vocal accompaniment, distinctly recalls how he first heard of Big Car Gallery.
“I was emailing a band called Big Big Car and they told me to email Jim Walker at Big Car," he said. "I had just moved to Indy a month earlier, came from Shelbyville. I got married in Big Car, had my wedding there. I easily play here more than 15 times.”
Judy Sloan, 55, has been coming to Big Car for the past five and a half years, but this is the first time that she's participated in a collaborative Big Car activity.
“I loved it,” she said. “They took me out of my comfort zone.”
Big Car executive director Jim Walker said that the only thing Big Car would leave in the space after they had pulled out all their equipment was a decal on the wall reading simply “OK.” It was a remnant of signage from their last show, which featured artwork inspired by the films of John Waters, but it seemed to describe the attitude of Walker and his colleagues towards the closing of Big Car Gallery.
This is because Big Car will be more involved than ever in Indianapolis — in its Service Center space on the Westside and Made for Each Other office on the Eastside, and its new office space in Earth House downtown.
Walker, who says that Big Car never been about being grounded in any one particular space, seemed happy and relaxed while celebrating this occasion with his wife Shauta Marsh, executive director of the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, his Big Car colleagues, and friends.
“It’s just great to see all our friends, and too have a chance to have a nice evening to enjoy each other here, just all these people who’ve made this space fun over years,” Walker said.
The Artist, a French silent film with musical soundtrack that has yet to screen in Indianapolis, won best film, best director (Michel Hazanavicius) and best score (Ludovic Bource). Win Win won two prizes, best actor (Paul Giamatti) and best original screenplay (Thomas McCarthy).
The Tree of Life won the Original Vision Award, which is "meant to recognize a film that is especially innovative or groundbreaking. And the Hoosier Award, which recognizes significant work by an Indiana resident, was awarded to Lindsay Goffman, the producer of Dumbstruck, a documentary about ventriloquists released by Magnolia Pictures.
The organization's 11 members include NUVO film editor Ed Johnson-Ott and contributor Matthew Socey.
Best Film of the Year
Winner: The Artist
Runner-up: The Descendants
Other Finalists: Coriolanus, Drive, Hugo, Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Muppets, The Skin I Live In, Super 8, The Tree of Life.
Best Animated Film
Runner-up: Winnie the Pooh
Best Foreign Language Film
Winner: The Skin I Live In
Runner-up: 13 Assassins
Winner: Project Nim
Runner-up: Into the Abyss
Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Thomas McCarthy, Win Win
Runner-up: J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants
Runner-up: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Moneyball
Winner: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Runner-up: Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Winner: Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Runner-up: Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Viola Davis, The Help
Runner-up: Amy Ryan, Win Win
Winner: Paul Giamatti, Win Win
Runner-up: Ralph Fiennes, Coriolanus
Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Runner-up: Albert Brooks, Drive
Best Musical Score
Winner: Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Runner-up: Howard Shore, Hugo
Original Vision Award
Winner: The Tree of Life
Runner-up: The Artist
The Hoosier Award
Winner: Lindsay Goffman, producer of Dumbstruck
Brian Payne, president and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation and leader of the Cultural Trail project, made this announcement today at a noon press conference at 37 Place (formerly IPS School 37) on the near Eastside. Payne was joined by a number of leaders from the city's African-American community who were involved in opposition to the Wilson piece, including Imam Michael Saahir of Citizens Against Slave Image.
Payne said that after a series of community meetings in which 100 people took part, it was determined that 90 percent of those participants were against going forward with the Wilson piece because the proposed figure promoted a biased 19th century image that did not represent the contemporary African-American community. Payne said the Wilson proposal had caused members of the African-American community "great anxiety and pain," for which, he said, "I apologize."
The boards of the CICF and the Cultural Trail both voted unanimously to abandon the Wilson project, according to Payne. Mayor Greg Ballard, upon hearing of these votes, praised the decision not to move forward with the project.
Payne said this process had impressed on him the significant difference between public art and art in museums. He said CICF is now prepared to support a process led by African-American leadership to see if a memorial piece can be created. "We are at your service," he said, emphasizing that the CICF is "happy to help, but I don't want to get ahead of you."
Speakers on behalf of the African-American opposition to the project spoke in praise of the process that led to the abandonment of the proposed Wilson piece. Imam Saahir struck a common theme when he said: "Abandonment of the project is testament to what people can accomplish when they come together for the common good."
Payne reported that Fred Wilson was informed of the decision not to go forward with "E Pluribus Unum" last Sunday. He said Wilson was "disappointed" and wanted to know the nature of the conversations that took place leading up to the decision. Payne characterized Wilson as "a classy, gracious gentleman."
The CICF has budgeted $175,000 to support the development of a "public art/memorial" project, created in concert with representatives from the African-American community involved with protests against Wilson's sculpture. A kickoff meeting for the project will be held in early 2012, according to a CICF press release.
A $50,000 grant made by the Joyce Foundation in support of the Wilson project may also go toward the creation of an African-American memorial, according to Payne. He said the Joyce Foundation was aware of how things had played out and was "complementary" about the process leading up to the decision to terminate the Wilson project. The $50,000 is currently in a separate fund; the Joyce board will now vote on whether to ask for a return of funds or, as Payne hopes, put it toward the new initiative.
Big Car will close doors on its Murphy Art Center gallery next week, ending a seven-year run during which the organization hosted a variety of programming in the space, including art openings, music performances, film screenings, readings, parties. But they won't drive off under cover of night: Big Car will celebrate its legacy — and preview the road ahead — with a closing party on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 7-9 p.m.
The Big Car nonprofit organization and collective will live on and continue to serve Indianapolis in multiple ways and in multiple venues, including its recently opened Service Center in Lafayette Square.
“It’s going to be really laid back,” Big Car’s Shauta Marsh says of the party. “Anyone who wants to can bring an instrument and play. It’s going to be a really organic night, just going with the flow a little bit. We’ll probably make some art. People will be welcome to put whatever they want on the wall as long as it’s not spray paint.”
When Big Car Gallery moved into its second floor space in the Murphy Building in 2005, art tours were infrequent and storefronts in the surrounding neighborhood stood empty. But even during the first event that Big Car held — before there was an official Big Car Gallery — Jim Walker and his Big Car colleagues sensed that they were in the right place at the right time.
“People were there dancing in that room that very first night, before we had any lighting or even knew what we were doing at all,” he says. “It was just a matter of what felt comfortable and getting to know each other. I think we knew right away that we had something good.”
Big Car Gallery would go on to record 1500 people coming in through its doors during one particularly busy First Friday opening. The gallery's presence in the Murphy — and the impressive foot traffic it generated — helped to spark an artistic renaissance in Fountain Square.
In fact, the sense that Fountain Square has become an established commercial district like Mass Ave has led Big Car leadership to feel it’s an opportune time to close their Murphy space. The relocation will allow them to focus on other areas of the city that would benefit most from their innovative community-building programs, say Big Car organizers.
Big Car’s Service Center for Culture and Community, located in a former tire shop near Lafayette Square Mall, opened this summer. Big Car will also operate the Made For Each Other Community Art Space on 2807 E. 10th Street as a hub for its social-practice public art initiatives.
And for those people who might miss Big Car’s presence downtown, not to worry. The nonprofit organization will be moving its offices to Earth House, and it will collaborate with that organization on programming.
The opening of Katie Lampert’s Cirque de Poupèe Blindèe (Circus of Robot Dolls; at Indy Indie Artist Colony through Dec. 29) featured an odd collection of live actors dressed up as her characters and a popcorn machine complete with her own designs printed on the popcorn bags. But these accoutrements could do little to distract from the fact that there was very little going on here artistically or conceptually.
The exhibition, her Herron undergraduate thesis show, was certainly varied: there was a diorama-style circus installation with small rides and cutouts of Lampert’s characters (pictured), twelve circus posters and a few larger prints, some ceramic robot pieces, and two robot sculptures that are functional printing presses.
Stylistically, however, Lampert’s work feels like a cheap rip off of Tim Burton’s characters, specifically The Nightmare Before Christmas. These character designs would be better suited for the Etsy online marketplace than gallery walls.
The artist statement that I obtained from the gallery director, absent from the exhibition, explains that “Robots, dolls, puppets (and all that is almost-human) interest me for just that reason. They are close enough to being human that I can relate to them, but different enough that I have been able to use them and their creation as an outlet.”
Still, Lampert doesn't justify her interest in robots, dolls and puppets; the titles lend absolutely no clues or context, and the work isn't rich enough to inspire viewers to attempt to answer the question on their own. Creating a successful artist’s circus with little conceptual backing is possible; Alexander Calder did so with his Cirque Calder. But Calder's piece achieved success through an originality, artistic prowess and clarity of vision that's lacking in this exhibition.
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