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Last modified: Thursday, April 26, 2012

Free events, family-friendly fun among highlights of IU's second annual Summer Festival of the Arts

April 26, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Free events and family-friendly events abound in Bloomington this summer during Indiana University's second annual Summer Festival of the Arts.

Summer Festival of the Arts

The festival offers 113 days of arts programming, beginning May 6 and continuing through Aug. 26. Events are held at venues across campus including IU Auditorium, IU Cinema, IU Art Museum, Jacobs School of Music, Lilly Library, Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Wylie House Museum, Grunwald Gallery of Art and Lee Norvelle Theatre & Drama Center.

"I am extremely pleased to announce the return of Indiana University's Summer Festival of the Arts, which we fully expect will continue to develop into one of IU's most anticipated annual traditions," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "This 113-day festival allows the university to showcase its longstanding tradition in the arts and entice more visitors to experience our Bloomington campus and the surrounding community through the spring and summer. This year's festival also reflects the breadth and depth of cultural activity that takes place in Bloomington in the summer, activity that is easily on par with our nation's most notable summer arts festivals."

"The Summer Festival of the Arts showcases the splendid artistic talent that makes this campus and community a special place all year round," Interim Provost Lauren Robel said. "The robust offerings throughout the summer highlight the inextricable connection between the arts and our academic mission."

The festival began last year as a way to support the creation of new arts events and showcase the vibrant cultural offerings at IU that help make Bloomington such a popular arts destination throughout the summer -- for townies and tourists alike, as well as those attending the various camps, conferences and workshops held on campus.

The festival also complements IU's summer tuition initiative, which offers several ways for students to save money and earn extra credits toward graduation in summer school. Starting this year, Indiana resident undergraduates enrolled at IU campuses statewide will receive a 25 percent discount in tuition for courses taken in the summer. Nonresident undergraduate students will receive an equivalent dollar reduction in their tuition.

While a complete list of Summer Festival of the Arts activities can be found at, highlights include:

  • Riverdance, IU Auditorium. 7:30 p.m. May 17. See the classic show that made Irish stepdancing a worldwide phenomenon. Cost: $30 to $70.
  • Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show at the Grunwald Gallery of Art. May 18 to July 21. Contemporary art exhibition featuring paintings, prints, photographs, ceramics, wearable art, metalwork, books, sculpture, fiber art and video installations by a mix of local, national and international artists. Cost: Free.
  • "Children of Paradise" (1945), IU Cinema. May 31 to June 2. This ineffably witty tale of a woman loved by four different men deftly entwines theater, literature, music and design, resurrecting the tumultuous world of 19th-century Paris. IU Cinema presents the new, 4K digital restoration of this masterpiece, repeatedly declared the greatest French film of all time. Cost: $3 for students, $6 for the general public.
  • "A Tribute to William Zimmerman (1937-2011)," IU Art Museum. June 12 to Sept. 9. Original paintings from "Life Histories of North American Woodpeckers" book by nationally recognized wildlife artist and Brown County resident William Zimmerman. Cost: Free.
  • Menahem Pressler and Friends, Auer Hall. June 17 and 18. Menahem Pressler and Friends perform with Pressler on piano; Andres Cardennes, violin; Paul Neubauer, viola; and Antonio Meneses, cello. Cost: $15 for the general public, $8 for students.
  • "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs," Studio Theatre. 11 a.m. June 23, 26-30 and July 2-3, 5-7. The long-suppressed account of the Big Bad Wolf is brought to light in Piggsylvania's trial of the century, where the audience acts as the jury to decide the Wolf's fate. Cost: $25 general, $20 senior citizens, $15 students.
  • "Brain Extravaganza," public art installation. May to October. Twenty-two 5-foot-tall, anatomically correct brain statues featuring different themes will be displayed in Bloomington and on the IU campus to spread awareness and educate people about the organ. Cost: Free.

Interested in receiving a weekly e-newsletter from Summer Festival of the Arts with reminders about upcoming concerts, movie screenings, art exhibits and theatrical performances? Sign up at