February is Black History Month and Downtown Indy is offering a full lineup of events. Whether you want to partake by enjoying special live performances, educational activities or unique exhibits, Downtown Indy is the place to be.
A Celebration of African-American art and artists in Indiana
Jan. 30 – Feb. 26
Art & Soul, Downtown Indy’s celebration of local African-American arts and artists, returns to the Indianapolis Artsgarden this winter with performances from musicians, dancers, poets and visual artists. Performances begin Jan. 30 with the Art & Soul Kickoff featuring an inspirational gospel choir, an Art & Soul artist showcase, a tribute to Amos Brown, an African American food and vendor fair and student art exhibitions. All Art & Soul events are FREE.
Meet the Artists at Central Library
Now – March 26
The Central Library hosts Meet the Artists, displaying the works of prominent local African-American artists in a wide array of mediums. Art lovers are encouraged to meet the artists and enjoy an evening of free cultural entertainment – including African drumming, gospel music and soul, a fashion show and spoken word artists – during the Meet the Artists Gala Reception Saturday, Feb. 13 from 5:45 – 10 p.m.
FREE admission at the Children’s Museum
Feb. 4 from 4 – 8 p.m.
Visit the Children’s Museum for a special Target Free Family Night and enjoy free admission. At 4 p.m., hear storyteller Portia Jackson share tales of great African Americans, plus enjoy a performance by the Freetown Village Singing Troupe. From 4 – 7:30 p.m., hear from Kara Walker about her black cut-paper silhouette artwork. Other activities include learning how a traditional Adinkra cloth was made and a performance of Ruby’s Story.
Live music at the Cabaret
Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.
Paula Dione Ingram makes her Cabaret debut in Dark Legacy: Bright Lights of Black Broadway. Backed by musical director Don Rebic, Ingram pays tribute to Black composers, lyricists and performers of early Broadway. Their songs, including “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Some of These Days,” have become part of the Great American Songbook.
Music and dancing at the Madame Walker Theatre
Feb. 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Learn the story of Madam C.J. Walker, America’s first woman self-made millionaire as told from a unique point of view. The Madame Walker Story, presented by Freetown Village, brings Walker’s vibrant story and history to life at Madame Walker Theatre. Admission is FREE.
Performance and discussion at Indiana Repertory Theatre
Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.
Catch the play To Kill a Mockingbird at Indiana Repertory Theatre through Feb. 28. Following the Feb. 5 performance, Malina Simone and IndyHub will take the stage for a post-show discussion. They will tackle the hard to swallow and not-so-PC topics found in the production and our everyday lives.
A night with the ISO
Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
For their annual Celebration of Black History Concert, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra offers a free performance at Hilbert Circle Theatre. This year’s performance will feature violinist Adé Williams, the 2012 first place laureate of the Junior Division of the Sphinx Competition. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Artist Talk at the Alexander
Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.
The Alexander Hotel houses 60 works of art curated entirely by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, including Sonya Clark’s portrait of the Indianapolis hair-care tycoon Madam C. J. Walker made entirely out of combs. 3,840 combs, to be exact. Hear from the artist herself in her talk “From Hair To There.” Sonya will discuss her recent projects inspired by hair and collaborations with hairstylists such as the Hair Craft Project. RSVP to RSVP@cityway.com.