United States of Mind, one of the city’s key progressive cultural (and counter-cultural) spots, is celebrating its third year in operation at 40th and Boulevard streets on Saturday, Dec. 10 with “Naptown Roots,” a benefit for USOM and its neighbor, Paper Matches Books.
The show, which reflects USOM’s diverse mission, features a historic discussion as well as poetry and music from a variety of Indiana performers. It costs $7 and starts at 7 p.m.
“We named the show ‘Naptown Roots’ because we are proud of what’s going on in Indianapolis, on the street level, with the art scene here,” said Joshua Strodtman of USOM. “Every once in a while it’s good to get together and celebrate that. And Tom Healy can help put that in perspective.”
“Naptown People’s Historian” and storyteller Healy shares the spotlight with USOM-connected performers Sarah Graub (acoustic Afro-indie Brazilian), Ike Boyd (spoken word), Joseph Redfeather (verbally percussive acoustic funk) and Native of Indiana (Strodtman’s acoustic Afro-punk).
“Paper Matches and United States of Mind have made the intersection of 40th and Boulevard a destination for local culture,” Strodtman said. “We’ve given people a reason to come to a side of Indianapolis that is beginning to bloom.”
USOM’s portion of the proceeds from the event go to providing scholarships to neighborhood kids for the group’s new peace- and literacy-based after-school programs. These will include: hip-hop studio production, breakdance, West African drumming, creative writing, visual art and boxing.
A recent restructuring, which placed USOM under The Peace Learning Center’s umbrella, has USOM getting organized with a board of directors, bylaws and a clear vision for what it wants to accomplish. “For the first time at United States of Mind, we really know what it is,” Strodtman said.
T.J. Reynolds, USOM’s most prominent face and the host of its weekly poetry reading, has decided to take a break from the group, Strodtman said. “Everyone misses him. But working 30 or 40 hours a week for zero pay can wear on you.”
USOM is located at 291 W. 40th St. For more info call 317-921-9607 or e-mail email@example.com.