The Spirit & Place Civic Festival is like a lasso that gets thrown around the wealth of cultural activity taking place in Indianapolis every November. There’s not another festival in the country that seeks to wed the arts, humanities and spirituality in an exploration of community the way Spirit & Place does. S&P is a month-long feast. What makes this festival even more than the sum of its diverse parts is the opportunity it affords us to get out and reintroduce ourselves to Indianapolis by going to programs at venues and in neighborhoods that may be new to us — or that might be old acquaintances due for a fresh look. This year’s theme is Tradition and Innovation. For a complete schedule of events go to www.spiritandplace.org. In the meantime, here are our picks for the coming week…
The 2006 International Festival brings over 50 of the city’s ethnic organizations together for displays of art, native dress, crafts, music, dance, authentic food and more. Special guests this year is the performance group, San Jose Taiko. San Jose Taiko has mesmerized audiences and critics for three decades with the powerful, spellbinding and propulsive sounds of the taiko drums. Located at the Exposition Hall at the Indiana State Fair Grounds (1202 E. 38th St.), the International Festival runs through Nov. 5. Tickets at the door are $9 for adults, $8 seniors and $6 for kids. For a complete schedule call 317-293-7518 or go to www.indyinternationalfestival.org.
Mombasa Party and the Royal Drummers of Burundi: African Drumming Celebration will present a free demonstration of centuries-old East African drumming techniques at Butler University’s Clowes Hall (4602 Sunset Ave.) from 6-7 p.m. This group will perform at Clowes Hall on Nov. 3. Call 317-940-9697 for information or to make reservations.
This proactive exhibit curated by Kyle Ragsdale is an aesthetic response to the current state of Indiana’s environment. There will be live music and food, as well as playful “activist training” where attendees can practice making signs, speaking out and taking civic action. Presented by the Hoosier Environmental Council and the Harrison Center for the Arts at the Harrison Center (1505 N. Delaware St.) from 6-9 p.m. Free of charge.
Saturday, Nov. 4
Indy VoiceWorks Miraculum 2006: Choral Art Rebuilt
The word “miraculum” means a pleasant surprise — this musical presentation aims to do that therough innovative, eclectic choral repertoire, featuring ancient texts alongside more recent works. The concert, at Northminster Presbyterian Church (1660 Kessler Blvd., E. Dr.) will showcase major and minor classical works, vocal jazz, American popular songs, and early Americana pieces. Admission is $17 adults, $15 seniors, students free with ID. 7-10 p.m. For more information call 317-966-5645 or go to www.indyvoiceworks.org.
A Public Conversation with Sr. Joan Chittister, Angelo Pizzo and Dr. Manning Marable
The Public Conversation is the highlight of every Spirit & Place Festival, an opportunity to listen in as three distinguished guests, moderated by noted author Scott Russell Sanders, talk about the festival’s theme in terms of their own experiences. Sr. Joan Chittister is a human rights activist and author, Angelo Pizzo is a film producer (Hoosiers) and Dr. Manning Marable is one of America’s most influential voices within African American studies and ethnic studies. This event takes place at Butler University’s Clowes Hall from 4-6 p.m. and is free, but tickets are required. Call 317-2778-3623 for information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Golden Chain: A Chamber Music Concert
The Ronen Chamber Ensemble and Ensemble Voltaire, two of the city’s top chamber groups present a joint performance that demonstrates the evolution of traditional music from centuries past to the innovative forms and instruments of today. It’s a musical journey including visits with Handel, Rameau, Brahms and Christopher Rutkowski. Tickets for this concert at the Frank and Katrina Basile Theatre at the Indiana History Center (450 W. Ohio St.) are $20 for adults, $15 seniors and $10 students. Call 317-846-9334 or go to www.ronenchamber.org for tickets and information. This event begins at 7:30 p.m.
Stay tuned to NUVO for further coverage, each week, of the ongoing Spirit & Place Festival.