Grammy-nominated oud player Rahim AlHaj, an Iraqi political refugee since 1991, was invited by the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation to participate in the Lotus Blossoms outreach program in March. He performed at various Bloomington locations and also at Owen Valley High School in Spencer. Filmmaker TJ Jaeger recorded the trip.
An opera coach at IU has been working to lessen the damage of dismantling arts education in public schools. Kim Carballo’s Reimagining Opera for Kids performs for school children, introducing them to opera and helping to “make opera not a dirty word.” LP columnist Jennifer Pacenza takes a look at ROK in Behind the Curtain. Click here to read the full story.
When the absurdist art movement known as Dada began spreading to major cities around the world in the 1920s, it rarely found its way to sleepy Midwestern towns. But writer Michael G. Glab looks into how a soda shop in Bloomington became a hotbed of Dada, courtesy of favorite son Hoagy Carmichael and his friends. Click here to read the full story.
Punk rock was a lively part of the Bloomington music scene even before the godfathers of American punk, the Ramones, recorded their first album in 1976. And it is still alive and kicking. Sierra Vandervort looks into the hardcore beginnings of punk and how it has influenced today’s stock of DIY musicians. Click here to read the full story.
B-town is home to a variety of musicians and bands that bend and blend genres from punk to folk, country to classical, jazz to metal. Writer Sierra Vandervort says these different “factions” work together to create a vibrant and independent, yet supportive, music scene that is true to Bloomington’s central character. Click here to read the full story.
Since high school, Miller Susens has known what her career would be: teaching music. But now, as a cellist and junior at IU’s Jacobs School of Music, the music-education major has to answer questions like “Is music even a job?” The “major shaming,” she says, has never silenced her desire to teach. Click here to read the full story.
Recognizing the wealth of “artists and thinkers” on campus, the IU Arts and Humanities Council has created the First Thursdays Festival at Showalter Arts Plaza. The monthly event will “celebrate and showcase” a range of arts — musical, visual, performance, and other creative endeavors — free and open to the public. Click here to read the full story.
Many people think what’s happening at The Back Door is culturally transformative,” Zak Szymanski writes about Bloomington’s only queer bar. In a post-Orlando world, places like The Back Door, with “its diversity and ideology,” are becoming sanctuaries for the disenfranchised — and “the future of LGBT space." Click here to read the full story.
Writer TJ Jaeger says surviving Plan-It-X Fest — a folk-punk music festival running July 22 to 24 at Stable Studios in Spencer — “is no walk in the woods.” So he asked the festival organizers for tips and tricks to make sure you “and your inner anarchist” get the most out of it. Click here to read the full story.
Bloomington’s vibrant, homegrown music scene thrives in genres that span the spectrum. With such talent and energy, it’s only natural that a recording industry would be a part of the scene. In this short documentary made for Limestone Post, filmmaker TJ Jaeger tours a few of the area’s many studios. Click here to watch the video.