Recent Public A&H Projects

The Legacy of Ousmane Sembène + Paulin S. Vieyra

Vincent Bouchard - Department of French + Italian

Nazareth Pantaloni - IU Libraries

Dana Vanderburgh - Department of Anthropology

Planned for May 2025, the Legacy of Ousmane Sembène & Paulin S. Vieyra is an event series which underscores the crucial role these two pioneers played in the formation of early African cinemas. In collaboration with Bloomington’s Buskirk-Chumley Theater, the public will be invited to view African films at the BCT and to participate in discussions with film critics, some of the filmmakers’ collaborators, witnesses from the period, and African Film specialists. This public-facing event series will thus contribute to the visibility of African Cultures, Francophone Studies, and Postcolonial Studies within both the Indiana University and Bloomington communities. It will also act as a kick-off event for the Collections of Sembène and Vieyra Archival Workshop which will bring an international cohort of scholars to the Indiana University campus in summer 2025.  

Black Metal is for Everyone!

Michael Dodson - Department of History

Black metal is about the connection between people and land, the environment, and the creation of community through shared narrative. As such, some black metal bands continue to associate themselves with causes such as white nationalism (ex: French band Peste Noire), believing that the genre’s focus on territory makes it intrinsically exclusionist. In the United States and Britain, however, black metal has for some years now been reclaimed as a form of extreme music that not only explores our relationship to the natural world and the environment, but also celebrates gender and sexual queerness, post-capitalism and anarchism, migration and the free movement of people, and anti-fascism. Thus from its origins, black metal is now a global musical form that a great diversity of people enjoy and engage in.

More info coming soon!

Singing America's Past and Future: Brent Michael Davids' Requiem for American

Timothy Hsu - School of Engineering + Technology

Rachel Wheeler - Department of Religious Studies

"Singing America’s Past and Future” is a collaborative Public Arts project featuring the recording, performance, and public discussion of two movements of Requiem for America, a major new work in progress by renowned Mohican composer, Brent Michael Davids as part of the gala opening of the Acts of Faith exhibit at the Eiteljorg Museum in April 2024. It will feature a public conversation and performance by Davids, Medicine Bear Singers, and the IUI chorus, moderated by Dr. Rachel Wheeler. Dr. Timothy Hsu will produce the professional audio and visual recordings with full orchestration in collaboration with the Indianapolis Opera, thus extending dissemination and assisting Davids toward the world premiere of the full Requiem.

For the Family: The Global Cultural Impacts of the Fast & Furious Franchise

Alicia Kozma - IU Cinema

Born from a 2001 remake of a B-movie from 1954, the Fast & Furious franchise spans more than 20 years of filmmaking, becoming one of the most popular and successful film franchises of all time. In addition to its commercial and audience popularity, the franchise has earned the perhaps unlikely distinction of being one of the few serialized cinema brands to both embrace and actualize the globalization of film production and culture. Resultingly, the franchise has opened myriad avenues of critical investigation around the intersections of visual culture and race and representation, gender, sexuality, transnational flows of financial and cultural capital, geopolitical impacts on cultural creation, postcolonialism and neocolonialism, inclusive film production, technological developments in effects-based filmmaking, and much more. Despite these fruitful and necessary intellectual avenues, little serious scholarly attention has been paid to the series. With the release of a new edited collection, Full-Throttle Franchise: The Culture, Business, and Politics of Fast & Furious (eds. Joshua Gulam, Fraser Elliott, and Sarah Feinstein, Bloomsbury Academic, 2023) the time is right for a multidisciplinary conference dedicated to the Fast & Furious phenomenon.

Black Lunch Table

Alex Lichtenstein - Department of American Studies

Phoebe Wolfskill - Department of American Studies

In conjunction with the exhibit, Unmasked: The Anti-Lynching Exhibits of 1935 and Community Remembrance in Indiana, now on display at the Crispus Attucks Museum, the IUB American Studies Department will host Black Lunch Table.  
BLT is a "radical archiving project" that brings community members into conversation about cultural history, media, and the urban environment. The Attucks Museum will host BLT's "People's Table" and "Artists' Table" on October 21, 2023.  
Additionally, in conjunction with IUI's Arts and Humanities Institute, BLT will conduct a wiki-thon associated with updating entries on Black artists.

Blurring the Lines: Art at the Intersections of Human and Artificial Creativity

Arthur Liou - Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design

The Grunwald Gallery will present Blurring the Lines: Art at the Intersection of Human and Artificial Creativity. This exhibition showcases a curated selection of artists from around the world who use artificial intelligence (AI) to explore new processes and forms of creativity. The artworks on display push the boundaries of what is possible in art, technically and conceptually. 

The exhibition features a range of media, including evolving generative works, interactive installations, and traditional art forms. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the artworks firsthand, and some pieces may even respond to their presence and actions. Blurring the Lines is a unique opportunity to explore the changing relationship between human artists and AI. The exhibition invites viewers to reflect on what it means to be creative in the digital age and to consider the future of art in a world where humans and machines are increasingly working together. 

An open call will be utilized as part of the curation process. 

InLight Human Rights Documentary Film Festival 2024

Joshua Malitsky - Director of the Center for Documentary Research and Practice

InLight Human Rights Documentary Film Festival is a biennial student-directed and facultyadvised film festival which features a curated selection of contemporary documentaries that engage a broad range of human rights concerns across the globe. The goal of the film festival is to generate dialogue by bringing together international filmmakers, IU students and scholars, and the local community in Bloomington to address critical social and political issues as well as documentary film culture. Inaugurated in 2015, the sixth edition of InLight Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in 2024 will feature eight documentary screenings and a series of lectures, workshops, and roundtables by filmmakers, scholars, and community members.


Indiana University Prison Arts Initiative

Adrian Starnes - IU Arts & Humanities Council

Destin Hubble - Writing Instructor

Abbigayle Poirier - Drawing Instructor

Larissa Smith - Drawing Instructor

IUPAI was founded by current and former Indiana University Graduate students—these students together designed the courses that have been and are currently being taught at Putnamville Correctional Facility and Edinburgh Correctional Facility. These courses are specifically designed to be taught in correctional facilities and are intended to teach students the fundamentals of drawing, basic writing and narrative techniques, and ultimately give each student a safe environment to explore their creativity. We are currently in our third semester of teaching the course: Draw and Write Your Story at Putnamville Correctional Facility and are starting our first semester of teaching a landscape drawing course at Edinburgh Correctional Facility.

Public Arts Projects

Anatomy of a Film Score

Larry Groupe-- Jacobs School of Music

Anatomy of a Film Score aims to collaborate with industry professionals in order to create a series of master classes that educate audience members on the technical and creative aspects of film scores at the IU Cinema. 

Deep River: American Spirituals My Mother Taught Me

Jamie Tagg- Associate Professor of Music, Audio Engineering and Sound Production

Deep River: American Spirituals My Mother Taught Me is a collaboration between the Bloomington-based early music ensemble Alchymy Viols, IU Jacobs alumnus and lauded countertenor Michael Walker, and Jacobs Associate Professor of audio engineering Jamie Tagg. This project, initially proposed by Mr. Walker, harnesses the unique character of viola da gambas—a gentle Baroque string instrument for which there is no modern counterpart, but which has historically often been marked as the most human-sounding instrument of all. Period viols provide an overlooked and uniquely supportive sonic accompaniment for early American Black spirituals. Two local performances and an internationally released commercial album featuring arrangements by H.T. Burleigh, Margaret Bonds, and Moses Hogan, with further adaptations by Alchymy Viols’ director Philip Spray, will be presented.  

Blood Baby

Rebecca Fasman – Curator, Kinsey Institute 

Blood Baby is an iterative performance quadriptych exploring the intersectional experiences of gender performance, queer motherhood and parenthood, queer sexuality, and belonging. Presented in parts or in total, Blood Baby embraces performance, dance and somatics as expansive, extending beyond a discrete theatrical moment. The four forms—Carpet Womb, Communion, Primordial and Touch Library—can be presented together or accordioned apart, each embracing a distinctive aspect and materiality of the experience of parenting queerly through choreography, sculpture, and drag. 

Created and performed by a community of queer artists, Blood Baby enlists the perspective of queer parents to extend the physical materiality of gestation and gender into performance. Developed alongside a series of queer parent convenings, Blood Baby utilizes multiple materials and performative formats to unhinge the intersectionality of gestational experience, queer experience, and parenthood and bring distinct parts into relief.

More Info

House of the Singing Winds Multichannel Video Exhibit

Arthur Liou - Herman B. Wells Endowed Professor, Digital Art, Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture, and Design

Theodore Clement Steele (1847-1926) has been one of the most venerated American Impressionist painters. Many of his masterful interpretations of nature and rural landscape began in Steele’s remote Indiana Brown County home. The century old house is preserved as a historic site today. With 95% original objects from the family, the house authentically reflects T. C. and his wife Selma Steele’s personality and lifestyle. House of the Singing Winds is an homage to Steele’s work, which depicts the landscapes around and the intimate details inside the historic house. The narration is adapted from Selma Steele’s memoir and provides a rare female perspective on the couple’s pioneering life. 

More Info

Color Field Community

Carissa Carman - Area Coordinator and Senior Lecturer, Fibers; Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design

Color Field Community is a public arts proposal for the Eskenazi School's Fibers department to solidify a partnership with Hilltop Garden and Nature Center to teach community members how to use natural dye sourced from Color Field dye garden. Aspiring educators in the field of Fibers will teach hands on workshops with as many as 150 participants of all ages throughout Bloomington. Each participant will engage in the harvesting, processing and design of natural dye colorants to create multi-use bandanas.

Public Art at Lake Salinda

Jei Jeeyea Kim - Assistant Professor of Architecture; Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design

Students in Z602, Architectural Design Studio V, of the Miller M. Architecture Program, focused on one of the objectives of the Center for Rural Engagement, Quality of Place, through the topic of Creative Placemaking at Lake Salinda of Washington County. Through an integrated design process with the community members, students proposed a public art installation as a group of two or three. Two selected proposals are commissioned to be built with the grant support of the CRE and Washington County Community Foundation during the summer of 2021. 

Living with Architecture: Engaging Community Members with Intelligent Art Using a Brain-Computer Interface

Gregory Lewis - Assistant Research Scientist; Kinsey Institute - Assistant Professor of Intelligent Systems Engineering; Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

This collaboration is creating a sequence of live demonstrations of brain computer interfaces that interact with artistic expression devices. Through the series of events, the collaboration between Wonderlab, the Intelligent Systems Engineering department of IU, and the Living Architecture Systems Group, will engage the public in this STEAM exhibit. Based on community feedback we will develop a teacher curriculum and final STEAM kit. Middle-school and high-school teachers from the region will then be able to attend a workshop, learn about the STEAM kit, and reserve it for use in their classrooms. We hope to inspire future generations of Hoosier artists, engineers, neuroscientists, and creators.

ChamberFest Brown County: Where Music and Nature Meet

Futaba Niekawa - Lecturer in Music (Chamber and Collaborative Music), Jacobs School of Music

ChamberFest Brown County is a 6-day festival of classical music taking place in Nashville, Indiana during August 17-22 presented by the non-profit organization, RiverSong Music, Inc. The festival seeks to provide the opportunity for locals and visitors to attend concerts, lectures, and multimedia presentations given by world-class artists, ensembles and lecturers in collaboration with the IU community.  

More about ChamberFest

6th Street Arts Alley

Daniel Martinez - Assistant Professor of Architecture; Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design

This project transforms an existing street in downtown Columbus, IN into a flexible gathering space through a combination of public art, modular furniture, and urban design. Completion of Phase 1 is expected in late summer 2021.


Columbus Area Arts Council; City of Columbus; Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County; Indiana Arts Commission; First Financial; IU Arts and Humanities Council

Ongoing Matter: Democracy, Design, and the Mueller Report

Sarah Edmands Martin - Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Area Coordinator of Graphic Design; Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design

Ongoing Matter is a nonpartisan, grassroots design initiative fostering audience engagement with the Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election, or, as it is more colloquially known, the Mueller Report. The multi-platform exhibition of contemporary design artifacts, including posters, AR, video, and UX/UI, brings the words of the report to life visually, making the text more approachable and providing entry points for learning more about the report's content. 

More about the Ongoing Matter

Fifth House Ensemble Residency

Alain Barker - Director of Entrepreneurship and Career Development; Jacobs School of Music

As part of the Jacobs School's Community Engagement Initiative in partnership with IU's Center for Rural Engagement, the Fifth House Ensemble Residency is an 18-month program combining a leadership conference with live performances and interactive gaming to enage IU students and youth from communities around southern Indiana.  The project will culminate in a public performance of Undertale Live, an interactive gaming experience that includes a live performance by the Fifth House Ensemble in a Bloomington community venue.

Learn more about the Jacobs School's Community Engagement Initiative

Monika Herzig playing the piano

Jazz Girls Day 2019

Monika Herzig - Senior Lecturer; O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Jazz Girls Day provides advocacy and role models for girls and young women to stay involved in the world of jazz, where the dropout rate in participation from secondary schools to colleges has been shown to be more than 90%. Jazz Girls Day 2019 featured harpist, composer, and motivational speaker Destiny Muhammad. Female jazz musicians participated in performance clinics and mentoring opportunities. After a panel discussion with professional leaders, the young musicians showcased their learning in a concert. This national initiative was presented for the first time in Bloomington, free and open to the public.

Learn more about Jazz Girls Day

Train at a station with people around

B-Line Express

To foster community art and commemorate an important piece of community history, the B-Line Express mural has been created along 455 feet of exterior wall on The Warehouse, a community space for youth in Bloomington, Ind., situated along the new Switchyard Park under construction. The mural was created with the talents of high school art students, community artists, and Indiana University art students. The theme of the wall reflects the time when the railroad was a hub of city life and offers a reflective piece of art for the community to enjoy.

Tuning Speculation Live at the Back Door, November 3, 2018, Johnson + Zemlicka

Tuning Speculation VI Arts Showcase

The 6th Tuning Speculation workshop, an annual event exploring the dimensions of sound, culminated in an Arts Showcase at local community space, The Back Door. Sound artist Kurt Zemlicka performed an hour-long sound installation and performance piece exploring the occultist origins of early electronic music.

Learn more about Tuning Speculation

Logo for PEACOC (Public Experiences with Art Connect Our Community)

Public Experiences with Art Connect Our Community

The Public Experiences with Art Connect Our Community (PEACOC) project bridged the divide between aging populations and families with elementary-aged children by engaging community members in five interactive art exchanges including creating clay vases, designing floral arrangements in the vases, photographic representations of floral designs, and water color designs. The creative work was exhibited at five locations around the Bloomington community.


child playing at the instrument petting zoo

The Instrument Petting Zoo

The Instrument Petting Zoo offered an up-close look at music instruments of the 13th to 19th Centuries, allowing children to touch and try them out. It was combined with a set of three family-friendly concerts. The project extended and enhanced connections between IU students and their creative work and the Bloomington community. As a learning experience, the project gave students an opportunity to plan, produce, and implement a valuable outreach initiative, which will serve them well as they connect in the future with other communities.

Joe Dawson playing the fiddle

The Joe Dawson Project

This project celebrated the life and work of Joe Dawson, a master carpenter and fiddler born in Bedford in 1928. As an accomplished fiddler, Dawson kept alive the distinctive repertories of traditional music indigenous to Monroe and Brown counties. Dawson’s knowledge was handed down through community jam sessions, collaborations, conversations, interviews, and extensive recordings by fiddler Grey Larsen (donated to IU’s Archives of Traditional Music in 2015). This project included a presentation of recordings by Larsen and others as well as a performance event in the form of a "slow session" for students of the IU Historical Performance Institute and other members of the Bloomington community.

Learn more about the Joe Dawson Project

Piece from the Juvenile in Justice Exhibition

Juvenile in Justice, a Richard Ross Photography Exhibition

Award-winning photographer Richard Ross visited Bloomington in April 2018 for an interdisciplinary public art series highlighting his nationally acclaimed photographic series, Juvenile in Justice. This project is a unique source for images of the American juvenile justice system, depicting the treatment of American juveniles housed in facilities that treat, confine, punish, and assist them. An exhibition of Ross’s work was shown at Bloomington’s City Hall, alongside a lecture, performance piece, workshops, and discussions throughout campus and the city. This interactive project helped to build creative ties and promote collaboration between IU and the city through visual and performing arts and community discussions.

Learn more about Juvenile In Justice

living statue from the Monumental Move project

Monumental Move

This interactive multicultural performing arts experience engaged local high school students in the creation of an original theater piece shared in indoor and outdoor sites throughout the city of Bloomington, IN. Using the techniques of “living statues”, young people explored how they see the world and how they are positioned within it. Unlike traditional live statue art, the statues in Monumental Move spoke out. As a hands-on and experiential cultural project, Monumental Move recognized the vital role the arts and education play in the holistic development of creative and sensitive human beings in a contemporary, pluralistic society.

Person waving a flag as part of the 1968 events

Wounded Galaxies 1968: Beneath the Paving Stones the Beach

A symposium and festival to commemorate the 50th anniversary of 1968, Wounded Galaxies welcomed scholars, writers, artists, archivists, filmmakers, performers, and others interested in exploring the intellectual and artistic legacy of that pivotal year. Programs focused on watershed 1968 events that occurred in Paris, Chicago, and Prague, and examined their resonance with current struggles in the U.S and around the world. The project’s goal was to open a conversation about the political significance of art and its ability to address compelling sociopolitical issues, both past and present.

Learn more about Wounded Galaxies