Art & Soul Rotator

Art & Soul 2016 at the Indianapolis Artsgarden (See full calendar of events)

Art & Soul is hosted by the Arts Council of Indianapolis
with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc. 


The Arts Council of Indianapolis is pleased to partner with American Pianists Association, Asante Children’s Theatre, and Indy Jazz Festival to present the 20th anniversary of Art & Soul: A Celebration of African American Art & Artists in Indiana at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. #ArtSoul

The Indianapolis Artsgarden is located above the intersection of Washington and Illinois Streets. Events are free and open to the public.

Events start at 12:15 pm 

Saturday, January 30
Art & Soul Kickoff Celebration
Art & Soul 2016 will celebrate the arts in the journey to freedom. The kickoff will feature a procession of featured artists, arts leaders, and worship arts ministers, an inspirational gospel choir, a tribute to Amos Brown, an African American food and vendor fair, along with a student art exhibition highlighting the talents of Indianapolis students. Meet Featured Artists: Derrick Carter (Visual), Mariah Ivey (Literary), Nicholas A. Owens (Dance), and Jared Thompson (Music).

Wednesday, February 3
Mariah Ivey
Spoken wordHEALing and HILLing Towards FREEdom
Featured Literary Artist, Mariah Ivey

Thursday, February 4
Griot Drum Ensemble
African drumming

Friday, February 5
Kenny Phelps and Owl Music Group
Gospel jazz experience

Saturday, February 6
Native Sun
Fusion of the sacred sounds of hip hop, gospel, and soul

Wednesday, February 10
Brenda Williams
Music inspired by Mahalia Jackson

Thursday, February 11
Steven Jones and Allyson Horton
The poetic story of jazz

Friday, February 12
Epiphany Dance Collective
Fusion of African, modern, and hip hop dance

Saturday, February 13
Rob Dixon Quartet featuring Goldie
Tribute to John Coltrane and Nina Simone

Wednesday, February 17
Black Dance Matters
Exploring the black arts movement through dance
Featured Dance Artist, Nicholas A. Owens 

Thursday, February 18
Bashiri Asad
Essence of African American R&B, soul, and folk music from 1970-2000

Friday, February 19
Ben Rose 
Music and spoken word from protest to worship, Africa to America

Saturday, February 20
Asante Children’s Theatre
Word Dance: A celebration of poetry and music followed by Any Given Child Indy forum
Any Given Child Indy parent forum is the first in a series of parent dialogues about arts education in Indianapolis

Wednesday, February 24
Kevin Johnson
Music inspired by Langston Hughes

Thursday, February 25
Krash Krew Dance Ministries
Gospel and hip hop dance

Friday, February 26
Jared Thompson and Premium Blend
Jazz inspired by Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, and Herbie Hancock
Featured Music Artist, Jared Thompson

Saturday, February 27
Art & Soul Closing Ceremony
Continue this month’s journey to freedom with a closing celebration marking milestones from Emancipation through same-sex marriage. In the defiant spirit of love, black couples in America have long created ways to celebrate and bless their chosen unions, including the African derived marriage tradition of "jumping the broom.” 

This artistic tribute will feature a procession of same-sex couples who jumped the broom in 2015, with a performance by the LifeJourney Gospel Choir, and an Arts Council commissioned poem and music featuring the talents of Art & Soul Featured Artists Mariah Ivey and Jared Thompson. 


Meet the Art & Soul Featured Artists:

Mariah Ivey: Literary
Wednesday, February 3 at 12:15 pm
Spoken word: HEALing and HILLing Towards FREEdom

Mariah Ivey was raised in Indianapolis in a progressive culture of musical performers. Having drawn inspiration from musical icons such as Lauryn Hill, The Fugees, India Arie, Erykah Badu, and Nas, Mariah began to find and cultivate a unique sound, message, and platform of her own, ultimately opening doors of artistry and activism. As a spoken word artist, MC, and vocalist, Mariah is commonly known for her authentic and outspoken lyricism, powerful performances, and community involvement throughout the socially conscious, neo-soul, hip hop, and spiritual communities advocating inner peace, self-love, economic power, and challenging the social norms of society.

Recently launched projects include That Peace Open Mic every third Thursday at Write on the Poetry Spot, and The Liberating HER Project where she aims to unify, educate, and shed light on the experiences of women and girls through workshops, conferences, showcases, and more. She is committed to the idea of Ubuntu, the African Principal that means “I am because we are.” When one does better, we all do better!

Nicholas A. Owens: Dance
Wednesday, February 17 at 12:15 pm
Black Dance Matters: Exploring the black arts movement through dance

Nicholas A. Owens is known throughout the Indianapolis arts community as a freelance choreographer, director, dancer, and the co-founder and former Artistic Director of Kenyettá Dance Company. His goal is to create, encourage, and provide training and performance opportunities to aspiring dancers seeking professional dance experience. In 2010, he formed his own modern dance company, Nicholas Owens Dance Company (NODC).

An ambassador for the art of dance, Nicholas uses each performance to demonstrate his commitment to artistic excellence, individual achievement, cultural relevance, and social engagement. His training includes contemporary modern, ballet, jazz, African dance forms, tap, and hip hop. Currently he teaches at the Indiana Ballet Conservatory, Dancer's Studio, and Iibada Dance Company. He also serves as the Assistant Artistic Director of Iibada Dance Company.

Derrick Carter: Visual
Derrick Carter, born and raised in Indianapolis, is a contemporary visual artist, specializing in mixed media figurative painting. Through an emotional and expressive process, he uses sand and acrylics to communicate his beliefs and understanding on life’s contrast between the world and himself. Sand has become his primary medium in defining the meaning of difference and to help capture interest through his viewer’s eyes. Using a substance as simple as sand in the place of more traditional media helps to uniquely distinguish Derrick’s work.

Derrick attended The Art Institute of Indianapolis, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design while studying with professional artist, Mason Archie. In 2010, Derrick began to merge his knowledge of fine arts with principles of graphic design to develop a new style of art that has enhanced the reactions of his viewers.Derrick has exhibited his artwork in group exhibitions such as Flava Fresh, Meet the Artist, and Art and Soul.

Derrick’s artwork is featured in this year’s exhibition along with highlights from student artists in central Indiana. Derrick is helping to encourage these younger artists by sharing his feedback through a personal critique of the student work in collaboration with Gallery 924 curator, Shannon Linker. The show runs from January 30 - February 27.

Jared Thompson: Music
Friday, February 26 at 12:15 pm
Jared Thompson and Premium Blend
Jazz inspired by Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, and Herbie Hancock

Jared Thompson, North Central High School and Denison University alum, began the framework of Premium Blend in 2004. With the guidance of Indy Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Rob Dixon, Thompson learned the intricacies of the Indy jazz community, while honing his unique ability to bridge the gap between the aesthetics of ‘old school' jazz fans with the ever-changing tastes of his millennial contemporaries.

Ryan Taylor (guitar), Brian Yarde (drummer), and Steven Jones (keyboard/key bassist) make up his 'league of extraordinary gentlemen' better known as Premium Blend. Their debut album Sum of All Parts (S.O.A.P.) released in 2015, highlights each musician not only as competent modern torchbearers of the jazz tradition, but also showcases their prowess at composing thoughtful and engaging modern jazz music. With tasteful nods to bebop, Latin jazz, R&B, and hip hop, Premium Blend's sound has been described as a unit that is truly a sum of all parts.

Premium Blend plays on Sundays at the Chatterbox from 8 – 11 pm.