Words » Journalism

Swan Songs and Such



Friday, March 11th Sky Blue Window’s coverage of Central Indiana’s arts ends as you know it. You’ll still find all our content online through June 1st, and we’ll continue to post occasional new pieces. But now we'd like to thank you all for your Likes, Shares, comments and support for us and the people, organizations and events we've covered. Here, some of us SBW contributors and editors share our thoughts.

Carrie Kirk — Writer

Carrie Kirk — Writer -
  • Carrie Kirk — Writer

There’s a young woman who runs like the wind. She was on my son’s school track and field team last year, and I expect that I will see her again soon with the season starting up in a couple of weeks.

Last year when I mentioned her to William – how fast she was, an intentional runner with her black braids streaming behind her as she would glide past all other competitors in the accompanying lanes – William got unusually close to me and his voice had a confiding tone.

He was 13 at the time, so it was a blip of bliss for a mom in need of closeness from her oldest child. William asked if I knew her name. He said it was Sky … Sky Blue.

I always want to write a story about this young runner who shared the name of the website where artists and art forms and art movements were uncovered, discovered and shared.

This teen and this website’s endeavors seemed so similar. They were young and new. You could see how hard they were trying. They both had talent and potential and enthusiasm. And, of course, they shared such an unusual and hopeful name.

So this spring as I sit with all the other tired but proud parents in the stands at an evening track meet, I will cheer on Sky Blue as she rounds the track, remembering the online magazine that offered energy and knowledge to our city.

Go, Sky Blue, Go!

Thank you for reading Sky Blue Window for three years EXACTLY to the day tomorrow. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of it.

Shelby Roby-Terry – Writer

Shelby Roby-Terry - Writer -
  • Shelby Roby-Terry - Writer

Saying see ya to Sky Blue is the equivalent of saying goodbye to someone you'd only met a few years prior, but developed a quick and deep friendship with. Someone (or in Sky Blue's case, something) you grew to love.

I quickly fell in love with Sky Blue Window because it did not "play favorites." It (and its writers and editors) saw the beauty and VALUE in the arts and the creators of art. From the largest arts organization to the newest arts start-up, to the longtime visual artist and the dancer in the beginning of his or her professional career, Sky Blue Window found the stories in each and told those stories well.

Quite frankly, I fell in love with writing again thanks to this publication.

It started with my first piece on Betty Perry and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, continued through my conversation with arts philanthropist Frank Basile and his amazing New Orleans art collection, and lasted through one of my final features on Dance Kaleidoscope dancer and Phoenix Rising founder Justin Sears-Watson, who credits dance to saving his life.

Writing for Sky Blue Window has been a privilege and a joy. The publication, the content and the people behind the words will be greatly missed.

Jennifer Delgadillo — Writer and Illustrator

Jennifer Delgadillo — Writer and Illustrator -
  • Jennifer Delgadillo — Writer and Illustrator

Sky Blue Window gave me a reason to go out and talk to people I would not normally talk to. I have strong hermit tendencies and keep to myself most of the time. I am not one to make chitchat with the barista or bartender, much less someone to seek out speaking with an artist I admire. But I am very curious, and so SBW became my motivation and my badge to ask just about anything to anyone.

My search for good stories ended up being one of learning and self-exploration. Learning the chops of being a good interviewer went hand-in-hand with understanding the Latino culture and identity in our city. I think spending an evening shadowing the work of Mariachis Sol Jalisciense was one of my favorite experiences for this reason. Since I moved to Indiana 12 years ago, I’ve been watching them perform, and they’ve become somewhat symbolic to me and instrumental in feeling right at home.

But listening to their stories also helped me realize that the Latino culture one finds in Indiana is particular and unlike the Latino communities elsewhere. Back home is the origin story of how we become Hoosier Latinos, and we are as Hoosier as anyone else.

It takes knowing the stories behind the people to understand these things, and I will always be grateful for the honor of being the person to scratch the surface of the magic in those stories.

Joseph S. Pete — Writer

Joseph S. Pete — Writer -
  • Joseph S. Pete — Writer

Many publications have come and gone from Indianapolis over time, including the Journal, the Sun, the Freeman, the Times and the News, which was once the largest newspaper in the state. It’s now an especially challenging time for media outlets, including – sadly — Sky Blue Window.

The Circle City has some fine arts journalists, including the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Lou Harry and IndyStar’s Wei-Huan Chen. NUVO is always solid. But they can’t make it to every play or symphony performance. Sky Blue Window was the only publication dedicated solely to covering the local arts scene, which is something a city as large and dynamic as Indianapolis deserves. Not that SBW could cover all the arts, but it certainly helped.

I’m proud to have been a part, covering IDADA First Fridays, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Khaos Theatre Company, 21c, literary readings, Maestro Kirk Trevor’s final year with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Little Free Libraries, the Indy Reads book and so much more. It was always fun and fascinating. I got to work with some great people, and I’m really going to miss it.

Will Baker — Production Manager and Writer

Will Baker — Production Manager and Writer -
  • Will Baker — Production Manager and Writer

When I was asked to write a few words about my time with Sky Blue Window, I almost declined respectfully. As the freshman of the group, only being with the team since late November, it seemed like my two cents wouldn’t amount to much on the subject.

Then I started to think a little more about it, and while I have only officially been with SBW for a few months, I have contributed as a producer and editor for pieces from WFYI for nearly three years.

Indianapolis is my home, and I love learning about all of the nooks and crannies of culture the city has to offer, which is why I am privileged to have gotten to upload every story since Thanksgiving. Not only am I sharing what’s going on in the city I love with other Indy lovers, but I got to find out and learn about events about which I wouldn’t have otherwise known. I just want the thank Sky Blue Window for the opportunities it gave not only those who contributed to the publication, but the opportunities it gave the community as well.

Rob Peoni — Social Media Manager and Writer

Rob Peoni — Social Media Manager and Writer -
  • Rob Peoni — Social Media Manager and Writer

It proves nearly impossible to condense a couple of years of work into a few short paragraphs. So I won’t bother attempting to articulate the value of Sky Blue Window, its mission or make any plea as to the necessity of quality arts coverage in Indy. I won’t pontificate on whether or not the fact that it will cease to exist after June 1st matters to the city in general. I can only tell you what this publication has meant to me personally.

Working on Sky Blue Window (and with organizations like Musical Family Tree and Big Car) has radically changed my perspective on the city in which I was raised and still call home. This work has made me aware of the innumerable TALENTED, sincere, humble and amazing people who actively strive to reshape life in Indy on a daily basis. These are radical human beings who deserve a voice and are worthy of celebration. On our best days, it felt like we were doing that at Sky Blue Window. It felt like it mattered.

Significant power lies in the realization that artists reside on every corner of this city. The fact that the guy running my food at Milktooth is also the best rapper in Indy elevates the work he does at his job. It makes the food taste better. Recognizing that the guy who pours my coffee at Calvin Fletcher’s is also an accomplished poet and photographer elevates an otherwise mundane morning routine. It makes the coffee taste better. This realization has changed the way I view my hometown. It has made it a place worth living in, and I will remain forever grateful for the people and organizations this work has connected me with during its short run. It was worth much more than a paycheck.

Jami Stall — Wrangler of Wordsmiths and Writer

Jami Stall — Wrangler of Wordsmiths and Writer -
  • Jami Stall — Wrangler of Wordsmiths and Writer

You may as well add “Procrastinator” to my title today.

I’ve held off as long as possible penning this, this ... what is it exactly?

A letter of appreciation? Not really.

Although I remain grateful beyond dark chocolate and solid hugs to many, many contributors, current and former colleagues, artists, performers, PR folks, college students and instructors.

You know who you are.

And then there's our readers. Oh how I respect and adore you. I always know who will be the first two LIKES on every post each day. Wow, I'll miss that. You also know who you are.

But should this piece serve as a sentimental nod to a digital publication I dig more than any I’ve ever worked on?

Nah, as you’ve just read, our contributors did a knockout job with that already. (See why I love them too?) We’re all proud of our work here and what it means to the greater cause.

Maybe it should be an insightful written rant or poignant plea that compels a philanthropic arts enthusiast to whip out the financial defibrillator. It’s not too late to restore the rhythm back into the heart of our beloved publication.

A girl can dream. But nope, I’m too much of a realist.

And now you see my dilemma. I’m trying to write this while processing Kübler-Ross’ model -- the five stages of grief and loss -- as it applies to my dear friend Sky Blue Window.

So please bear with me as I waffle between bargaining and acceptance. And now if you'll excuse me, I have a recorded interview to transcribe for an article we’ll post next week. Then I need to make some calls about that music festival coming up...

The group photo at the beginning of this piece was taken by Nora Spitznogle at the Red Key Tavern. From left to right (front row) SBW Founder and Publisher Mike Knight, Writer Chi Sherman, Writer and Illustrator Jennifer Delgadillo, Writer Shelby Roby-Terry and Editor Jami Stall. (The back-row bearded brethren) Writer Ben Shine, Social Media Manager and Writer Rob Peoni and Writer Dan Carpenter.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Add a comment