Learn more about IU Bloomington projects in the public arts and public humanities. Public humanities projects are supported by IU’s Office of the Vice President for Research, the IUB Office of the Vice Provost for Research, and through the New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program.
A&H project highlights
Public Arts Grants
Jazz Girls Day 2019
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
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 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
Immersive Experimental Cinema at Lotus
Immersive Experimental Cinema at Lotus was a digital media installation and performance at the 2018 Lotus World Music and Arts Festival in Bloomington, IN. The event featured the Big Tent, a 360° video and audio projection environment developed by IUPUI faculty. The installation served as a catalyst for students and faculty as they created work for a massive video/sound surround environment designed for public presentation. Interaction between Lotus artists, visitors, students, faculty, and the public was facilitated through the open concept of Big Tent.Learn more about The Big Tent
Getting Together to Figure Out How to Get Together
Three collaborative get-togethers sponsored by Indiana University’s M.F.A. program in creative writing, Ledge Mule Press (a local independent press), and Spoke and Word Gallery (a collaborative space facilitating poetic expressions and creative human movements) were held to explore and inquire into how we collaborate. Each get-together asked these questions from a different angle. The events in included a collaborative dinner, a “loiterary” street event, and a puppet event.
Public Experiences with Art Connect Our Community
The 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.
The Instrument Petting Zoo
This event 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.
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 Joe Dawson
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
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.
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
Public Humanities Grants
Granfalloon: A Kurt Vonnegut Convergence
The Granfalloon is a cultural festival inspired by the life and writing of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., one of the Hoosier state's most famous authors. It takes place annually on the Indiana University Bloomington campus and in the city of Bloomington. Open to the public, Granfalloon brings together musicians, artists, thinkers, and the community to kick off the summer arts scene in Bloomington. Granfalloon 2019 features musical performances by renowned bands from across the U.S., academic panels and keynote addresses from leading Vonnegut scholars, and creative activities presented by IU and the Bloomington community. Guests include Neko Case, Dave Eggers, Parquet Courts, Khruangbin, Sudan Archives, Durand Jones & The Indications, Barrie, and Huckleberry Funk.Learn more about Granfalloon
This three-part initiative, operating out of the Department of Religious Studies at IU Bloomington, consists of a top-flight academic journal, a related online presence that curates innovative academic and creative projects, and public talks on "The Religion of Things", where a “thing” not ordinarily associated with religion is used to illuminate both the study of religion and the thing in question.
Marriage Equality: Stories from the Heartland
Following the monumental change in marriage equality, how have the lives of LGBTQ+ citizens changed? This project captures, analyzes, and shares the marriage stories of same-sex couples in Indiana and the impact of recent legal changes on their senses of citizenship and belonging, and on their own relationships as well as public and familial acceptance of those relationships. The audiotaped conversations are used for two purposes: to create educational podcasts and informational web content for the public and to add to a research archive that can be used by scholars now and in the future. Through sharing personal narratives with the public, Marriage Equality: Stories from the Heartland will increase understanding of sexual diversity and the impact of public policy on people’s lived realities.Learn more about Marriage Equality
The Journalism Academy: Exploring the Efficacy of a Community-based Media Literacy Intervention
This project is probing the proposition that transparency and engagement are keys for fostering trust in news media. It involves partnering with local news media outlets and professionals to facilitate a day-long “Journalism Academy” designed to bring members of the local community into contact with news media practitioners. The goal is to facilitate interaction between journalists and local citizens, as well as further probe the habits, beliefs, and attitudes about the news media within and beyond the Hoosier state.Learn more about the Journalism Academy