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Best of the Rest: Jan. 22, 2016

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Sure, we want you to visit Sky Blue Window daily, but we realize stories about incredible events, entertainment and interesting organizations that are transforming Indiana pour out of publications all over this city. So in this space, we bring you the Best of the Rest, a collection of other notable pieces spotlighting arts and entertainment around town.

Check out the list of hot topics from beyond our Sky Blue Window. When you’re finished, stick around to browse some of our stories you might have missed this week. Enjoy!


Eiteljorg Museum makes layoffs as attendance and revenue fall

By Lesley Weidenbener via IBJ

Falling revenue forces layoffs at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. -
  • Falling revenue forces layoffs at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.

Last week, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art eliminated five full-time employees as part of a restructuring process aimed at more efficient operating costs. The move comes at a time when the museum is launching a five-year campaign to boost its $20 million endowment. IBJ’s Lesley Weidenbener has the details on the financial challenges facing the Eiteljorg, which endured a $100,000 revenue shortfall in 2015. Visit the IBJ for an in-depth look at the situation and planned remedy. For more on the Eiteljorg, revisit Chi Sherman’s profile on poet, fiction writer and essayist Shonda Buchanan who spoke at the museum last summer.


Introducing a new monthly hip-hop series: The Dojo

By Seth Johnson via Musical Family Tree

In a nondescript, cinder-block building on South East Street this Friday, several noteworthy names from the local hip-hop community will take the stage to kickoff a new concert series. Sirius Blvck, New Wave Collective, Mr. Kinetik and Brooks the Prophet will share the stage at Kismet as part of The Dojo – a new, monthly series from Localmotion founder Mat Davis and Theon Lee. Musical Family Tree’s Seth Johnson discussed the concept for the series with Lee in an interview this week. The Dojo is the latest in a wide range of events that have heightened the profile of Indy’s hip-hop scene. For more its that rise, revisit our story on the inaugural Chreece hip-hop festival held in Fountain Square in August.


Phoenix Theatre leaving Mass Ave. area

By Wei-Huan Chen via Indy Star

There are certain buildings and monuments on Indy’s Mass Ave that stand as immovable pillars: The Athenaeum, the historical Fire Station, and (since 2008) the Julian Opie's digital Ann Dancing just outside Old Point Tavern, which is another landmark on the street.

The Phoenix Theatre may also serve as an immovable artistic institution within the Mass Ave. area. However, that will soon change. Indy Star’s Wei-Huan Chen broke the news late last week that Phoenix will soon leave its home of nearly 30 years. The nonprofit theater has decided to sell its building, which will be converted into condominiums. As a result, Phoenix recently purchased three buildings on the 700 block of North Illinois Street. Visit Indy Star, for the full details on the motivations behind the move. For other info on a current production at the theater, check out Phoenix’s play Butler – a Civil War era production from playwright Richard Strand.


Q&A with Urbanski on the Cosmos Music Festival

Chantal Incandela via NUVO

ISO conductor Krzysztof Urbanski talks about the new Cosmos Music Festival. -
  • ISO conductor Krzysztof Urbanski talks about the new Cosmos Music Festival.

To borrow a pun, it appears the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra conductor and musical director Krzysztof Urbanski has his head in the clouds at the outset of the 2016 season – or, more accurately, above the clouds. From this evening until Feb. 6, ISO performances and activities will have a celestial focus in the form of the Cosmos Music Festival. According to the ISO website, the festival consists of three weekends of music and activities centered on the theme of space. Ahead of the fest, NUVO’s Chantal Incandela talked with Urbanski about what symphony patrons might expect from the performances. For more on the ISO, check out this trove of Sky Blue Window stories .


Seeing art through touch

By Carrick McDonald via NUVO

In early 2014 we alerted readers to a new opportunity for the visually impaired to experience art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art through their sense of touch. It’s not often a museum encourages its visitors to touch the priceless works of art on display. However, IMA launched this new experience with an eye toward making its art available to everyone. This week, NUVO writes about a new exhibit, entitled reVISION, that features works created for, and by, people with visual impairment. The exhibit will remain on display at the Indiana Interchurch Art Gallery until Feb. 26.


Songs on screen: Kelly Pardekooper’s Heartland roots is already in your head

By Katherine Coplen via NUVO

Kelly Pardekooper finds success by licensing his music. -
  • Kelly Pardekooper finds success by licensing his music.

The days of musicians relying on album sales to fund their artistic endeavors are a distant memory at this point. Even with the resurgence of vinyl and a renewed celebration of music in the physical form, any successful musician is forced to diversify his or her financial portfolio in the form of live shows, online streaming, licensing opportunities and a myriad of alternative revenue sources. The days of berating your favorite rock star for “selling out” by licensing their art for a television commercial seems almost laughable at this point. This week, NUVO music editor Kat Coplen profiled one local musician who has found success in licensing his work for films and television. Songs by Kelly Pardekooper, an Iowa native and Indy transplant, have found their way into a handful of big cable television series with a film from Luke Wilson and Katie Holmes on the horizon. Coplen talks with Pardekooper about navigating these complicated licensing agreements and his unexpected success on the big and small screens.

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