Indiana University

News Release

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Last modified: Wednesday, February 6, 2008

IUís annual ArtsWeek celebration examines politics and the arts

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Feb. 6, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Get ready for an expressive week as "Politics and the Arts" are explored during the 24th annual ArtsWeek, Bloomington's winter festival of the arts.

ArtsWeek, a collaboration between the City of Bloomington and Indiana University, offers exhibitions, performances, discussions and family-friendly events using many modes of artistic expression. No longer able to contain itself, ArtsWeek now spans 11 days, from Feb. 20 to March 1, with a few events following on March 2.

"The partnership between Indiana University and the City of Bloomington in Artsweek is one of many examples of the energy that animates our glorious tradition in the arts and humanities," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "IU's arts and humanities programs are among the finest in the world, and the City of Bloomington has always encouraged an appreciation of and a participation in the arts within the community."

Among the main features of the festival is the "Writing on the Wall" exhibition at the School of Fine Arts Gallery, opening on Feb. 29 at 5:30 p.m. This campus-community project looks at how public space is utilized as a canvas for political expression. In addition to the work of five local graffiti artists, the exhibition includes several panels that have been stationed around and off campus for passers-by to "tag" with their writings and drawings on the subject of democracy.

During the signature event, attendees will listen to pre-recorded selections from this communal experience. In addition, the five contributing artists will comment on the impetus for their work, and an interactive discussion will take place with a panel of experts including project curator Joe LaMantia; Miah Michaelsen, Bloomington's associate economic development director for the arts; Jon Simons, associate professor in the Department of Communication and Culture; and Michelle Facos, history of art professor. A reception will follow the panel discussion.

As part of IU's Movable Feast of the Arts, the "Writing on the Wall" project also will travel to different campuses throughout the state.

People of all ages will enjoy another headlining event. "Politics on Ice" offers a family-friendly winter treat in the form of ice sculptures carved in People's Park at the corner of Dunn Street and Kirkwood Avenue. Beginning at noon on Feb. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and Mar. 1, carvers from the Indiana Ice Studio will demonstrate their craft with sculptures related to politics.

A third headlining event will focus on "Censorship in the Arts." Taking place Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. at the Law School, this panel will be moderated by law professor Fred Cate and will include Bruce Fein of the Washington Times; Janet Allen, artistic director at the Indiana Repertory Theatre; and lawyer and IU alum James Fitzpatrick. The discussion will focus on how censorship has shaped public perceptions and artistic expression, and will be followed by a question-and-answer period inviting audience participation and then a reception.

ArtsWeek is sponsored in part with a New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities grant through the Lilly Endowment with additional support from Indiana University and the City of Bloomington.

"Artsweek includes a wonderfully wide range of events this year incorporating visual art, dance, theater, poetry and many other formats," said Sarita Soni, IU vice provost for research. "We are fortunate to have such a strong base of talent and scholarship in the arts and humanities to draw from, both at IU and in the community at large."

Among the many other events are:

Most events are free and require no tickets. Tickets for other events may be purchased from individual vendors. For a full schedule of ArtsWeek events and information on tickets, participants, venues and parking, visit

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530 E. Kirkwood Ave., Suite 201
Bloomington, IN 47408-4003