In 1969, when Geoffrey Simon and Tamás Ungár were students at the Indiana University School of Music, they noticed a lack of performance opportunities for musicians in Bloomington and set out to establish a community orchestra. While Simon actively recruited musicians, Ungár managed behind-the-scenes operations. The result was the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra (BSO).
Author Sam Stephenson’s work focuses on the culture, music, and art that develops in large cities like Los Angeles and New York, yet, he says, Bloomington is a good place for a writer with eclectic cultural interests.
Photographer Jeffrey Wolin has spent a lifetime capturing the tragedy, grit, and beauty of the human experience, and his photographs are displayed in museums and galleries worldwide. Now, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University has acquired Wolin’s archives—and they contain more than just his previously exhibited and published works.
Film and theater roles for women over 50 have traditionally stayed in a narrow lane—one filled with maternal or spinster archetypes. The Roommate, penned by playwright Jen Silverman, is a dark comedy that aims to break that mold. “Older women are often depicted in a way that belies the truth,” says Indianapolis-based actor Constance Macy. “They aren’t the 50-something women I know.”
The Bloomington Music Expo—part record and music-memorabilia show, part art and music festival— will be held Saturday, February 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Monroe Convention Center. The event, now in its second year, came from the mind of Mike McAfee, executive director of Visit Bloomington.
The documentary film Henry Glassie: Field Work opens with a series of vignettes of Brazilian sculptors creating traditional sacred art. Not until 30 minutes into the film does Glassie, an internationally renowned folklorist and Indiana University professor emeritus, make an appearance.
Local drummer Luke Narey has long been a fan of alternative metal band 10 Years. “I would blast their music while driving to and from [Edgewood] high school, but never would have imagined I’d have a chance to be part of the band one day,” Narey says.
It’s been 50 years since the Woodstock Music & Art Fair brought 400,000 people together on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York. A new book from IU Press, Pilgrims of Woodstock, celebrates the festival’s anniversary by gathering previously unpublished photographs along with the reminiscences of audience members.
Joel Kohen has been passionate about the Bloomington music scene since his days as an undergraduate at Indiana University, but he went from enthusiast to proprietor when he and his wife, Deana, bought the Port Hole Inn in January 2017.
Although Salaam has been together a quarter of a century, founder Dena El Saffar says that only recently has the Middle Eastern quartet hit upon a certain balance that had been quietly simmering for nearly a decade. With patience, practice, and the space to make intuitive music, she says the group feels it has achieved the ideal blend of cultural sounds.
David and Martha Moore say they do not have time for stuffy, pretentious art spaces. Once, while in Seattle, they visited an art gallery with a plastic model of a massive, red T. rex on display. David recalls his disappointment seeing a “Don’t Touch” sign juxtaposed with several children running around the model, dying to play with it. “Plastic dinosaurs are meant to be played with,” he says. “How do you not touch a huge, plastic dinosaur?”
Once again, Bloomington-based singer-songwriter Krista Detor will be staying close to home for the holidays, performing an annual show to benefit a local nonprofit organization. “It’s my way of giving back to the community and, at this point, it feels like a tradition, although it’s always a little bit different,” says the internationally acclaimed performer.
When local nonprofit bookstore Boxcar Books closed in 2017, the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) was the recipient of more than 300 zines, increasing its collection to nearly 600 of the small-circulation magazines that are typically self-published and frequently photocopied.
After being closed for renovations since May 2017, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University will reopen on November 7. David Brenneman, museum director, says planning for new spaces and re-conceived galleries has been a main focus of the renovation.