In February as we kicked off Black History Month in Indianapolis and celebrated 25 years of Art & Soul. The popular annual festival, traditionally hosted at the Indianapolis Artsgarden, moved online due to ongoing COVID-19 health and safety concerns. 

Highlights of the month-long festival included shows and exhibitions by four Featured Artists, performances by 12 musical acts, and special programming. Please follow @ArtsCouncilIndy and #ArtSoulIndy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the celebration throughtout 2021.

Art & Soul 2021 partnered with WISH-TV to bring you on-demand concerts to the comfort of your home. Thank you WISH-TV!


2021 Performances

Art & Soul Kickoff
Various Artists

AshLee Baskin
Featured Artist - Vocalist/Poet/Spoken Word Artist

The Phelps Connection
Jazz, pop, soul, gospel

Bashiri Asad & The Lady
Jazz, R&B, soul, and funk

Native Sun
Hip hop 

Matthew Cooper
Visual artist/painter

Brenda Williams Trio

Clint Breeze and the Groove Quartet
Hip hop, jazz, soul

Marrialle Sellars
R&B, slow pop

Featured Artist Yadin Kol

Teresa Reynolds
Pop and R&B

Bulletproof Soul
Roq n' soul

Goldie and Friends
Soul & jazz

Featured Artist Christopher Pitts
Jazz pianist

Rob Dixon and Triology

Megan Simonton Group 
R&B, jazz, rock, neo-soul

Staci McCrackin Band 
R&B and soul


Christopher Pitts

Christopher Pitts is a pianist who connects jazz piano traditions with the modern ear through energetic performance, thoughtful collaboration, and aesthetic compositions. Read his full bio here.

AshLee Baskin

AshLee"PsyWrn Simone" Baskin is a vocalist, songwriter, lyricist, poet/spoken word artist, actress, and teaching artist who is guided by Nina Simone’s words, “An artist’s duty…is to reflect the times.” Read her full bio here.

Matthew Cooper

Matthew Cooper is a self-taught visual artist who studied drawing and Africana studies at the IUPUI Herron School of Art and Design. He reads as much as he can about a subject before he re-creates it on canvas: “I want to give life once again to our untold history.” Read his full bio here

Yadin Kol

Yadin Kol is a self-taught guitarist, singer, and songwriter whose conscious-stirring lyrics come from his southern roots and urban life experiences. His debut EP will be released this year. Read his full bio here

Featured artist photos by Wildstyle Paschall. 


Thank you to the following restaurants for being part of Art & Soul and offering delicious meals for enjoying while watching performances. 

Pa & Ma’s Backyard BBQ, 3469 N. College Ave.

Menu selections change almost daily in this cafeteria-style setup, but you can get a choice of 1 meat and 2 sides of your choice, along with a dessert and canned drink, for $15. Just ask for the Pa & Ma’s Art & Soul Meal. Follow Pa & Ma’s on social @pamasbackyardbbq. 

In 1995, the owners, George and Monica Nelson, wanted to start a restaurant where George could enjoy his love of craft cooking. With the support of their family, the Nelsons invested their last $175 and opened Pa & Ma’s Backyard BBQ. They’ve been married for 31 years and have two children and two grandchildren.

Chef Oya’s The TRAP, 3355 N Keystone Ave.
Lil Trappers Tray and Trap Chowder Combo
This lunch special gives the customer a fulfilling sampling of what we have to offer. The Lil Trappers Tray is a popular mini-version of our Loaded Shrimp Tray. 
It contains steamed potatoes, fresh broccoli, fresh sweet corn, a boiled egg and 3 jumbo shrimp topped with your choice of one of our 5 Trap Buttah sauces and Young Bae Seasoning at the spice level of your liking. This combo also comes with an 8oz cup our famed Trap Chowder; a super decadent, cream based chowder chocked with seafood such as shrimp, crab and crawfish tails, it contains potatoes, corn and is topped with shredded parmesan cheese, and a garnish of freshly chopped green onion and parsley. 
Chef Oya's The TRAP is a locally owned lunch staple on the Eastside of Indy. Specializing in what Chef Oya calls a "Great Lakes City Country Seafood Boil". 

The Arts Council would like to thank Lilly Endowment Inc. for its generous annual support of the Art & Soul series, as well as our 2021 programming partners, Asante Art Institute and Indy Jazz Fest. We are also grateful to Yelp Indy for their promotional support.  


Past Art & Soul Featured Artists

Art & Soul Featured Artists
Over the years, the Arts Council of Indianapolis has featured numerous African American artists through its unique programming and performances during Black History Month. The following includes a list of past Art & Soul Featured Artists dating back to 2009:

Manon Voice - spoken word
Tenéh Karimu - musical theatre
Josh Betsey - visual art
Okara Imani - vocal performance

Allison Victoria - music
Joshua Thompson - music
Lalah Hazelwood - dance
Shamira Wilson - visual

Ryan L. Bennett - theatre
Lauren Curry - dance
Gary Gee - visual
Joe "Too Black" Clemons - spoken word


Carrington Clinton - music 
Devon Ginn - theatre
Taylar Green - dance
Tiffany Marie Parker - visual

Derrick Carter - visual
Mariah Ivey - spoken word
Nick Owens - dance
Jared Thompson - music

Matthew Davis - literary
Zakk Knight - music
Kassim Norris - visual/film
Ronne Stone - dance

E’Jaaz Collins - music
Myah Evans - music
Ash Robinson - visual
Kristina Sharpe - music

Tasha Beckwith - visual
Blair Clark - music
Rusty Redenbacher & Mr. Kinetik - music

Michael Jordan - visual
Lee’a Ro - music
Tony Styxx - music

Donna Edmond - music
Lobyn Hamilton - visual/music
Rob White - music

Bashiri Asad - literary/poetry
LaShawnda Crowe Storm - visual
Shederick Whipple - music
F!ghting Words an'NEM - music/spoken word

Mike Graves - visual
Gabrielle Patterson - poetry/spoken word
Temara Payton - theatre
Albert Paul Spaulding, Jr. - rhythm and poetry
Denise Tichenor-Collins - music
Herman Whitfield III - music

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Thank you to our funders

City of Indy logo
Indiana Arts Commission
Clowes Charitable Foundation