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Best of the Rest: March 4, 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!


Behind Booth Tarkington

By Dan Grossman via NUVO

Any Indianapolis native of with a middle-school reading level or higher is likely familiar with the name Booth Tarkington. What even avid readers of Tarkington’s may not know is the author was an avid collector of visual art and a prolific sketch artist in his own right. A new exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art that runs until early next spring aims to change that. A Gentleman Collector From Indiana: Portraits from the Collection of Booth Tarkington features both prominent works from Tarkington’s private collection (which the IMA now owns) and Tarkington’s copies of his own drawings. This week, NUVO’s Dan Grossman interviewed the show's curator Jacquelyn Coutré. Visit NUVO for the full interview. For another celebration of Tarkington, revisit Hugh Vandivier’s blog post considering who would earn a spot on Indy’s Mount Rushmore.


Introducing The Museum of Psychphonics

By Seth Johnson via Musical Family Tree

Kipp Normand amid his studio in the Harrison Center for the Arts. Today Normand will proudly welcome visitors to the opening of The Museum of Psychphonics in Fountain Square. - COURTESY OF KIPP NORMAND
  • Courtesy of Kipp Normand
  • Kipp Normand amid his studio in the Harrison Center for the Arts. Today Normand will proudly welcome visitors to the opening of The Museum of Psychphonics in Fountain Square.

What are the primary essential elements needed to constitute a museum? Is it a multimillion dollar endowment? Is it a collection that includes Renaissance masters? Or is the definition something simpler – a room that contains art perhaps? A new installation housed inside Joyful Noise Recordings’ record store on the second floor of Fountain Square’s Murphy Building challenges visitors to investigate the meaning of museum, or at least play with it. The Museum of Psychphonics will premiere tomorrow during First Friday festivities. The unique gallery space was the brainchild of Michael Kaufmann and celebrated local artist Kipp Normand.

In advance of the debut, Musical Family Tree’s Seth Johnson caught up with Normand to discuss his vision for the permanent installation and the reaction he hopes it will elicit from visitors. Check out MFT for the full details. For more on Normand, revisit the profile of him by Sky Blue Window's Jennifer Delgadillo sentimental pack rat.


The Personal is Political

By Emily Taylor via NUVO

Poet and founder of VOCAB, Tatjana Rebelle speaking to a packed house last summer during a women317 event. - COURTESY OF SHEHIVE
  • Courtesy of Shehive
  • Poet and founder of VOCAB, Tatjana Rebelle speaking to a packed house last summer during a women317 event.

Late last fall, our own Jennifer Delgadillo informed readers of an event series with the aim of providing women with a safe space to speak their truths through performance and visual art. The women317 series was cofounded by local writer, artist and activist Elle Roberts, and it’s a derivative of her other organization the Shehive. The next installment of the women317 series will take place this Saturday, March 5 at Garfield Park Arts Center. The event, titled Homecoming will focus on immigrant artists who identify as women. It’s a partnership between women317, Indy Parks and the Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance. For more on Saturday’s event, check out Emily Taylor’s preview over at NUVO. It should serve as an excellent kickoff to Women’s History Month festivities. For another female-focused arts event, revisit our story on General Public Collective’s Difficult Women series.


Why isn’t Indianapolis theater more diverse?

By Wei-Huan Chen via Indy Star

Actor Ray Hutchins playing the role of fugitive slave Shepard Mallory in Butler, which just wrapped up its run at the Phoenix Theatre last month. - BY ZACH ROSING
  • By Zach Rosing
  • Actor Ray Hutchins playing the role of fugitive slave Shepard Mallory in Butler, which just wrapped up its run at the Phoenix Theatre last month.

In January, Indy Star arts writer Wei-Huan Chen predicted a year in which Indianapolis’ arts calendar would be chock-full of installations, events and conversations around identity politics. If national political headlines are any indication of what local artists will be wrestling with in their work, Chen will likely be proved correct. This week, Chen took the topic further with a spotlight on the lack of diversity within Indianapolis’ theater community. According to stakeholders within that community whom Chen interviewed, the reason for the lack of diversity lies largely on the constant struggle for financial viability that theaters all over town face. As a result, production companies are more likely to play it safe and aim to attract as wide an audience as possible. For an in-depth pulse check on the diversity of Indy’s theater scene, visit Indy Star. For another conversation around diversity, revisit Malina Simone’s 2013 blog post on the subject.

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