In 1972, the National Endowment for the Humanities brought together five Hoosiers to help draw federal grants to local grassroots initiatives. That tradition continues today, with the added goal of encouraging, cultivating and inspiring humanities in Indiana. Among its numerous efforts is Novel Conversations, a free lending library which spans the state, and Chew on This, a program which uses food and drink to provoke community and conversation about a variety of topics.
Even with an international reputation and touring schedule, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir remains at its core a music performance and education program for children and youth. The ICC's annual concert series is augmented by performances at civic and cultural events throughout greater Indianapolis. In 2003, ICC expanded its vast repertoire of classical, folk, ethnic, sacred and secular choral music with the world premiere of an opera for young singers. If your child loves to sing and wishes to join this highly respected choir, auditions are held on a competitive basis in January, May and August until the choirs are filled.
Since 2004, this annual festival has exhibited films from nearly every state in the country and more than 50 countries around the globe. It features the best in independent and innovative film from both award-winning professionals and emerging filmmakers. It has included such popular, critically acclaimed films as (500) Days of Summer, Sita Sings the Blues, Another Earth and Natural Selection. Films screen at the Indianapolis Museum of Art; the after parties happen all over town. A key aspect of the IIFF is the close proximity of filmmakers to audiences. See the films, hang around and then go get a drink with your favorite director, writer, production designer or actor.
With an emphasis on “keeping in step with the advancement of American dance in the 21st century,” the Indianapolis School of Ballet offers classical ballet and other dance forms to students of all ages and levels. Master classes have been offered since ISB’s founding in 2006. Graduates of ISB have entered prestigious university programs and these graduates now are performing in regional companies. ISB's pre-professional students perform alongside guest dancers for a season at Scottish Rites Cathedral, Indianapolis Artsgarden and Penrod and at other special performances.
Since 1984, Indy Reads has served the Indianapolis community as an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to improving adult literacy in the city. Funded by individual donations, corporate contributions and grant money, the group provides literacy resources, trains volunteers in tutoring practices and produces events such as spelling bees and scavenger hunts as fundraising and public outreach opportunities. The organization hosts the annual Alphabet Affair event, which celebrates its supporters and highlights a letter of the alphabet. The group is the driving force behind Indy Reads Books, a bookstore, program venue and July 2012 addition to Mass Ave.
For 17 days every four years Indianapolis becomes an arts destination, not only for the U.S. but for the world. Held every four years, last year’s was the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, having launched in 1982. It now vies with the Brussels Queen Elisabeth Competition and Finland’s Sibelius Competition as the world’s top three for the violin. Prizes and awards are valued at over $250,000. Annually, the IVCI also sponsors the Laureate Chamber Series to feature present and former laureates in concert with local performers.
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