If you’re looking to soak up some great culture from über-talented African-American artists, Art & Soul is the month-long event series for you. Poetry, dance and drumming, jazz/soul/R&B, and theatrical performances await you – and, of course, your friends and family.
Now in its twenty-first year, Art & Soul is the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ annual celebration of the vibrant creativity from Indiana’s African-American artists. The series kicked off this week and will continue until Saturday, February 25. All performances are free, open to the public, and take place each week, Wednesday through Saturday, at 12:15 pm in the Indianapolis Artsgarden (110 West Washington Street).
Art & Soul highlights anywhere from three to five artists each year. This year’s featured artists are musician Carrington Clinton (a.k.a. Clint Breeze), literary and theatre artist Devon Ginn, dancer Taylar Green, and visual artist Tiffany Marie Parker. Though Ms. Green’s performance has already passed, Clint Breeze and the Groove will perform jazz and soul on Saturday, February 11. Poet Devon Ginn will share “an immersive, site-specific living art installation” on Friday, February 24. Ms. Parker’s work is on exhibition throughout the Artsgarden.
“Local talent is what makes this celebration so spectacular,” says Danielle Dove, Director of Marketing & Community Engagement for the Arts Council. “We receive invaluable support in terms of ideas and programming and artists we should feature throughout the month from [community] partners who help program and plan events. It makes for a more robust event.” This year, Art & Soul’s partners are the Asante Children’s Theatre, Indy Jazz Fest, Madame Walker Theatre Center, and the Kenyettá Dance Company.
Here are some suggestions for additional can’t-miss performances:
- Wednesday, February 8: A poetic tribute to jazz great Nina Simone by poet and artist Tasha Jones
- Friday, February 10: Senior line dancing from Heritage Place Senior Community Center’s The Silver Foxes Still Rockin’ It Line Dancers
- Thursday, February 16: Soul and R&B vocals from Alaina Renae
- Saturday, February 18: Modern dance from the Kenyettá Dance Company (Learn more about the company in this short YouTube video.)
Get more information about Art & Soul on the Arts Council’s website, including a complete list of performances and information about past events and artists. Follow along on Twitter – and share your experiences! – using hashtag #ArtSoul.