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Last modified: Thursday, January 27, 2005

IU's ArtsWeek celebration to honor and explore the creative process

Showalter Fountain, IUB

Photo by: Chris Meyer

The theme of this year's ArtsWeek celebration is "Exploring the Creative Process." Above: Showalter Fountain, the centerpiece of Indiana University Bloomington's Fine Arts Plaza.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- We see art. We hear it. We touch it. But how does it actually get made?

The organizers of Indiana University's annual ArtsWeek celebration have decided to get creative and try something new this year. ArtsWeek will not only showcase and honor the best and most exciting work on campus and in the surrounding community, but also enable audiences to learn just how artists do their work.

"Exploring the Creative Process" is the theme for ArtsWeek 2005, which will be held from Feb. 10-20. Now in its 21st year, ArtsWeek has drawn audiences to Bloomington to experience the city's wide range of theater, literature, music, dance and visual arts. This year's event promises to give audiences an overview of the talented artists living and teaching in Bloomington, while also giving them special insights into how the creative process works.

"We are doing this primarily by bringing more artists to Bloomington and making it possible for audiences to learn how they do their work. Even some of the more product-oriented presentations will feature materials and explanations of the process behind the completed work," said Michael Wilkerson, special assistant in the Office of the Vice President for Research and coordinator of ArtsWeek.

At each ArtsWeek venue, audiences can learn about the creative process as well as enjoy the resulting product. Several special events have been designed for the purpose of exploring the creative process, including a panel discussion on Feb. 11 in which visiting artists of several disciplines will discuss the creation of their original works. The panel is expected to include Irish playwright and translator Colin Teevan, whose new version of Euripides' The Bacchai will be performed for the first time in the United States by the IU Department of Theatre and Drama, and African American playwright Marsha Estell, whose play Heat will be staged by the Bloomington Playwrights Project.

Wilkerson said the goal for ArtsWeek is for everyone to experience an arts event that is outside of his or her normal routine. Considering the diverse lineup for ArtsWeek 2005, there should be plenty of opportunities for audiences to break from their typical entertainment diet.

Those opportunities include a concert by the Grammy Award-winning Cajun group BeauSoleil, which will kick off ArtsWeek on Feb. 10 with a 7 p.m. performance at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in downtown Bloomington. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former IU faculty member Yusef Komunyakaa will return to Bloomington on Feb. 12 for a collaborative jazz and poetry performance with Susie Ibarra and her percussion-based band, the Susie Ibarra Quartet, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Comic composer Peter Schickele, who discovered the "last and least" of J.S. Bach's musical offspring, the inept P.D.Q. Bach, will perform the closing concert of ArtsWeek on Feb. 20 at the IU Auditorium.

Other highlights of ArtsWeek 2005 include:

  • The first collegiate production of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom's A View from the Bridge by the Indiana University Opera Theatre at the Musical Arts Center on Feb. 11 and 12. (Additional performances are scheduled for Feb. 4-5.)
  • A public reading by five IU faculty writers -- Samrat Upadhyay, Scott Sanders, Crystal Wilkinson, Alyce Miller and Maurice Manning -- at the John Waldron Arts Center's Rose Firebay on Feb. 13.
  • The second annual Arts Leadership Awards presented by the Bloomington Area Arts Council. Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan and IU Vice President for Research Michael McRobbie are scheduled to speak at the Bloomington Convention Center on Feb. 16.
  • A panel discussion on the future of cultural tourism in Bloomington, featuring Kruzan, at the John Waldron Arts Center Auditorium on Feb. 18.
  • A presentation of Words and Sounds by students of poet and IU Professor of English Catherine Bowman and IU School of Music composer P.Q. Phan at the John Waldron Arts Center Auditorium on Feb. 19.
  • A reading by writer and IU alum Michael Martone, a Fort Wayne, Ind., native who has gained national attention for his fiction and nonfiction about Indiana, at the John Waldron Arts Center's Rose Firebay on Feb. 20.

Most events are free and require no tickets. Tickets for other events may be purchased from individual venues. For a full schedule of all ArtsWeek events and information on participants, opportunities to explore the creative process, venues and parking, visit

For information about specific arts groups or programs, contact Michael Wilkerson at 812-856-1745.