Indy Art and Soul

‘Art and Soul’ event goes virtual to mark 25th anniversary

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The 25th annual Art and Soul event at the Artsgarden is just days away from starting. You can expect to see a variety or artists, but experiencing them will be different this year.

In a typical year, hundreds would pack the Artsgarden for the monthlong celebration. Instead, those fans will be watching online this year.

Organizers said with an event with such longevity, it was important that even with COVID-19 safety measures the shows go on.

Hovering above downtown’s Washington Street is the Artsgarden. For 25 years, countless artist have taken up space here with their music, art and other talents. The annual Art and Soul celebration is part of the heartbeat that keeps this place alive.

“It is mind-boggling to think in terms of — this is an annual celebration that has lasted that long. And it’s just getting better and better every year,” said Ernest Disney-Britton, vice president of community impact and investment with the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

All throughout February, featured artists, musical acts and dining will take center stage. The passion for spotlighting Black artists has remained the same over time, but how it’s delivered will be a bit different.

“In a normal year, you would have 200 people in here. Now thousands of people will be able to experience Art and Soul at the Artsgarden,” Disney-Britton said.

Indiana, he said, is packed with artistic talent. But a common problem when it comes to artists and organizations of color is they often have fewer opportunities to advance or lack the promotion.

“I think we have a real opportunity here to continue to sort of blast out the fact that this is the major music mecca. We have super-talents here.”

After all, he said, it’s a part of our history that goes back to the jazz legends on Indiana Avenue.

“This is a way of experiencing that history and that vibe, as you said, that everybody wants to be a part of, whether you’re Black, brown, whatever.”

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