Arts Council of Indianapolis to Celebrate Black History Month with 23rd Annual Art & Soul at the Artsgarden

INDIANAPOLIS– The Arts Council of Indianapolis will celebrate Black History Month with a series of free, daily performances and not-to-be-missed events at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. This is the 23rd year of the celebration, known as Art & Soul, which will run from February 2 – February 28, 2019.

To begin the month of festivities, the Arts Council will host the Art & Soul Kickoff event on Saturday, February 2. The celebration will include an African drum procession, a youth choral performance, Indianapolis Living Legends: Men in the Fire and Sandy Lomax, singing of the Black National Anthem, an inspirational dance performance by Kenyetta Dance Company, and performances by this year’s four featured artists: Allison Victoria (voice), Lalah Hazelwood (dance), Joshua Thompson (piano) and Shamira Wilson (visual).

“We look forward to Art & Soul each year because it gives us the opportunity to highlight so many talented Indianapolis-based artists,” says Shannon Linker, Interim President of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, “We thank the Lilly Endowment and incredible artistic collaborators who have helped make this year’s Art & Soul a success.”

This year’s theme, Black Migrations and Urban Realities, draws inspiration from the 2019 national theme for Black History Month, Black Migrations, with the expansion into Urban Realities to emphasize social realities and the movement of African American people from the South to new urban destinations in the North.

Art & Soul will continue throughout February with numerous performances at the Artsgarden. Performances are free and open to the public and begin at 12:15 daily. The Arts Council hopes that Art & Soul will serve as the start of a year-long celebration of African American history and culture among Indianapolis artists and arts organizations.

“I'm particularly excited about public relations support being provided by Matchbook for the four Featured Artists.” Says Ernest Disney-Britton, Director of Grant Services at the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the lead organizer of Art & Soul, “These are four super talented emerging artists who now have the resources of a local PR firm, Matchbook Creative, to support them. This is the first time that we've been able to provide that kind of career building assistance.”

Art & Soul is hosted by the Arts Council of Indianapolis with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc. To develop the theme and roster of acts for the 2019 Art & Soul, the Arts Council partners with Keesha Dixon, Asante Children’s Theatre; Rob Dixon, Indy Jazz Fest; Nick Owens, Nicholas Owens Dance Company; and Krystle Ford, Metropolitan Youth Orchestra to plan and present Art & Soul at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. Art & Soul has become a highly anticipated annual tradition in Indiana dating back to 1996.

Art & Soul at the Artsgarden

The Indianapolis Artsgarden is owned and operated by the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Located above the intersection of Washington and Illinois Streets. All Art & Soul events are free and open to the public and start at 12:15 pm.

Art & Soul is hosted by the Arts Council of Indianapolis with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc. For more information, visit #ArtSoulIndy


About the Arts Council of Indianapolis

The Arts Council is an organization that advocates for the need and importance of broad community funding and support for a thriving arts scene; connects artists, audiences, businesses, foundations, and arts and cultural organizations with opportunities to expand central Indiana’s creative vitality; and innovates by constantly pursuing and promoting programs that catalyze creative growth in central Indiana.

The Arts Council owns and operates two performance and exhibition spaces, the Indianapolis Artsgarden (attached to Circle Centre Mall) and Gallery 924 (at 924 N. Pennsylvania Street). The Arts Council allocates public funding to arts and cultural organizations through a competitive grant program; offers fellowship opportunities including the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship, the Transformational Impact Fellowship, the Robert D. Beckmann, Jr. Emerging Artist Fellowship, and the DeHaan Artist of Distinction Award; provides programs, services, and technical assistance for artists and arts organizations; and manages the city’s public art program including the new Public Art for Neighborhoods initiative. The Indy Arts Guide provides a comprehensive arts calendar featuring thousands of events, performances, and exhibitions throughout central Indiana. For more information on the Arts Council, call (317) 631-3301 or visit online at

Connect with the Arts Council of Indianapolis on Facebook/indyarts, Twitter and Instagram @artscouncilindy, and online at



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