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Best of the Rest: Jan. 29, 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!


Arts in 2016: We’re facing an identity crisis, and it’s great

By Wei-Huan Chen via Indy Star

With a retrospective eye on last year’s biggest headlines and a look ahead at the 2016 Indianapolis arts calendar, Indy Star arts writer Wei-Huan Chen recognizes an overriding theme: identity.

More specifically Chen cites an increased public and political discourse around gender, race and identity as a driving force in the local art scene. Whether you proscribe to Aristotle, who believed that art imitates life, or Oscar Wilde, who believed that life imitates art, the result is the same: exploration of identity is a major point of discussion these days. Visit Indy Star for a better understanding of Chen’s rationale.

For another look at artists investigating gender identity, revisit Jennifer Delgadillo’s piece spotlightingGeneral Public Collective’s Difficult Women event from last August.


Athenaeum plans $1.2M makeover

By Maureen C. Gilmer via Indy Star

Longtime friends of the Indianapolis Arts,Frank and Katrina Basile will lend their names to the Anthenaeum and their support to renovate to the historic landmark. -
  • Longtime friends of the Indianapolis Arts,Frank and Katrina Basile will lend their names to the Anthenaeum and their support to renovate to the historic landmark.

A big announcement in the form of a major renovation came from the Athenaeum Foundation earlier this week. The group, responsible for the management of the Mass. Ave landmark baring its name, will rename the building’s historic theatre for the principal donors on the project, local philanthropists Frank and Katrina Basile.

Planned renovations include tuck pointing and brick work, restoration of large art windows, enhancements to sound and lighting, and much more.

Visit Indy Star for the full details on the project. For a more intimate look at the Basiles, revisit our Shelby Roby-Terry’s tour of their personal art collection.


Conflicted views search for clarity through ‘Skylight,’ a production of David Hare’s play at Theatre on the Square

By Jay Harvey via Jay Harvey Upstage

Tom Sergeant (Bill ASimmons), left, and Kyra Hollis(Sarah McGee) began a secret romance when Kyra worked as the nanny to Tom’s son Edward (Tyler Ostrander), background, in Skylight.
  • Tom Sergeant (Bill ASimmons), left, and Kyra Hollis(Sarah McGee) began a secret romance when Kyra worked as the nanny to Tom’s son Edward (Tyler Ostrander), background, in Skylight.

Last week we alerted you to a British drama making its Indy debut at Theatre on the Square. Skylight, a 1995 play from British dramatist David Hare, centers on life, love and the circumstances that drive each.

This week, longtime local arts critic Jay Harvey offered up a review of the production. Harvey does well to examine the conflicting relationship between an audience’s expectations and the goals of the production itself. While the production fails to fit neatly within the box Harvey has planned for it, his review is largely favorable and admirably articulates the larger themes with which the play is wrestling.


Daisy Fried: Reverie vs. real life

By Chi Sherman via NUVO

We are unabashed fans of Chi Sherman. For evidence, dive into thegrowing volume of stories she has published on Sky Blue Window. This week, Sherman lent her talents to NUVO for a fascinating interview with renowned poet Daisy Fried. Fried will speak at Butler next week as part of the university’s Visiting Writer’s Series.

However, this is not the poet’s first stop on the Indianapolis campus. She taught an intensive workshop as part of the university’s MFA program late last summer. Check out Sherman’s interview for more on Fried and her thoughts on Indianapolis.

For a look at another powerful female poet, revisit Sherman’s profile of Shonda Buchanan ahead of her appearance at Eiteljorg last summer.


Diane Coffee’s Grooving Bloomington Bunch

By Seth Johnson via Musical Family Tree

Diane Coffee band sets down roots in B-town after leaving New York. -
  • Diane Coffee band sets down roots in B-town after leaving New York.

Diane Coffee, the alter-ego of musician Shaun Fleming, has received a fair share of local press over the last few months. Fleming has made recent headlines in NUVO and Indianapolis Monthly for his decision to relocate to Bloomington from Brooklyn for creative reasons.

This week, local arts and music writer Seth Johnson turned the story on its head, shifting the focus from Fleming to the Bloomington bandmates who have been subsequently scooped up into this whirlwind of a creative project since his arrival on Hoosier soil. Visit Musical Family Tree for the full scoop. For another story on a Hoosier transplant reshaping our local music scene, revisit Ben Shine’s 2013 conversation with Annie Skinner.

Thee Tsunamis’ BeBop interviews Babes’ Barberelo


By Betsy Shepherd via NUVO

While we wholeheartedly recognize the contribution that journalists can offer to an arts community (see: our mission), we also recognize there’s no real substitute for content that allows artists to interact with fellow artists. For evidence, we admittedly often look to the national arts website The Talkhouse.

This week, NUVO tapped Thee Tsunamis’ guitarist Betsy Shepherd to interview drummer Lori Barbarelo, of iconic Minneapolis punk trio Babes in Toyland. The results were magical. Visit NUVO for the complete conversation.

For more awesome female rock n’ roll, revisit Ben Shine’s spotlight on fellow Thee Tsunamis member Sharlene Birdsong’s work with local music archive Musical Family Tree .

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