Feature Stories

May 23, 2007

The image stuck in Jennifer Robinson's mind – a woman striding through the Bloomington Farmers' Market during a rainstorm, carrying a single bag of lettuce with her husband following, pushing a baby stroller.

And when she and husband J. A. Hartenfeld, longtime Bloomington market vendors who live and work on a Greene County farm, decided to write a book about the Bloomington Farmers' Market, they wanted to learn why so many venture out in rain, cold and blazing heat to get products they could get at local groceries.

"Although many people have the sense that it's cheaper to go to a grocery store, they still go to the market," Robinson said. "So we went to people with the question, 'Why are you doing this?'"

May 23, 2007

Boogie-Woogie in Bryan Park
June 2
5-8:30 p.m.

A promise comes to life in Bryan Park when two exalted piano players arrive in Indiana next week. Local pianist Craig Brenner was recently awarded a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission to study with Bob Seeley and Big Joe Duskin -- among the greatest boogie-woogie and blues piano players, ever.

"I promised to use what I learned and help stage a large, outdoor concert and bring the artists to Bloomington, and to collaborate with other local organizations to make it happen," Brenner says.

May 8, 2007

Jeremy Gotwals knows how to work the crowd.

On a sunny Saturday morning at Bloomington High School South’s baseball field, the spectators laugh and clap as he performs a fight song, yelling “Cougars!” at his command.

When Gotwals slides into home plate to end his performance, the crowd erupts. He jumps up, hoists his jeans back into place and beams.

“Thank you!” he yells, taking an exaggerated bow.

May 8, 2007

Susan Swaney hopes to build on some Hoosiers’ knowledge about the historic labor leader Eugene V. Debs, a man whose time she argues has returned.

“People have either never heard of him or barely heard of him,” the artistic director of the Bloomington-based Voces Novae chamber choir says. “They’ve read about him in their high school government textbooks, along with the muckrakers and Theodore Dreiser. You know, it was kind of a paragraph in my high school text.”

Indeed, history written in the post-McCarthy era, she argues, has all but forgotten Debs, at best, or maligned him, at worst.

“He was kind of tainted,” she says. “The implication was he was one of those pinkos who was always stirring up trouble,” which, as those who attend the May 19 Voces Novae performance of Eugene V. Debs: An Indiana Original will learn, is an apt description.

April 24, 2007

A somewhat unlikely assemblage of beguiling musicians is clicking on all cylinders these days, riding high in their two complementary musical vehicles, Men of Many Vices, a funk-tinged bluegrass rock amalgam that resists tidy pigeonholing, and Fautlines, a more straight-ahead, high-octane bluegrass outfit whose reverence for both tradition and the avant garde is obvious.

Upright bass player Ryan Deasy, banjo man Toby Oler and fiddler Mike Lindeau form the nucleus of the five-man collective and funnel their disparate musical interests into both bands. Indianapolis-based Nick Mallers lends percussion to Men of Many Vices, and Chris Padgett sporadically plays acoustic guitar for Fautlines since he relocated to North Carolina.

April 24, 2007

My world, the world, is a little less brilliant today. Two of the brightest lights ever produced in the state of Indiana – novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and former Congressman Jim Jontz – died within four days of each other this month. And the planet will never, ever be the same.

To say that both of these men profoundly influenced my life would be understatement of monumental proportions. Long before I laid eyes on either, their spirits tapped me on the shoulder whispered, “That way, young man. That way.”

By the time I finally did see them in person – the mid-80s for Jim and mid-90s for Kurt – I was well down that path and couldn’t have been more grateful.

April 11, 2007

It’s time to start thinking “cardinal” when it comes to great theater in Bloomington.

Since its debut in January 2006 with the successful production of “Our Town,” Cardinal Stage Company has consistently provided the Bloomington community with accessible, fun shows that range from American classics to children’s musicals.

Its sophomore season included the shows “Unveiling,” “A Year with Frog and Toad” and, most recently, “Amadeus.”

April 11, 2007

David Baker, Jr., is a world-renowned composer and master of multiple instruments, including the trombone, cello and piano.

The Distinguished Professor of Music at the Jacobs School of Music is a writer, clinician, pedagogue, chair of the jazz studies department and director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.

Growing up in Indianapolis during the 1930s and 40s, Baker immersed himself into music early on in his childhood and young adulthood. Although he came from a non-musical family, it seemed he had something special inside him right from the start.

MFA, African and New Testament works on display

March 28, 2007

On March 28, the IU Art Museum will premier several exciting new exhibitions, with work from Master of Fine Arts candidates in the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, African artists Tijani Sitou and Kalidou Sy and Venetian draftsman Domenico Tiepolo.

The exhibitions will be on view in the Special Exhibitions Gallery and at the School of Fine Arts (SoFA Gallery) through May 20.

November 19, 2006

Sandra Abraham, a client of the Center for Behavioral Health, always knew she wanted to paint. But until she finally started four years ago, thanks to encouragement from the center and her friends, she never realized it could be a therapeutic — and affordable — hobby.

"I don't think I realized how much it would help," says Abraham, who'd been discouraged from painting in the past because she thought it would be too expensive. But she soon found that painting was a great release, much like journaling her thoughts, something she's been doing since she was 19.

Now an active participant in the center's art group, her work has been featured in the organization's calendar and all-occasion cards.

Abraham's art will be part of "The Art of Mental Health" exhibit at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Saturday, Dec. 2. The exhibit, displaying the work of Abraham and other clients at the center, is part of a larger series of events co-sponsored by the Center for Behavioral Health and the Mental Health Alliance (MHA).

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