Indy Arts Council announces the full schedule and the four 2024 Featured Artists as part of this year’s Art & Soul, its largest public program that has kicked off Black History Month in Indianapolis since 1996 and helped expand the City’s awareness and appreciation of African American art and music. Art & Soul, supported annually by Lilly Endowment Inc., will take place in February, celebrating the theme “We Are One, The Naptown Experience.” “The Art & Soul program experience will be curated to make everyone feel valued, celebrated and relaxed," said Valerie Phelps, Art & Soul 2024 event producer. "The current 'Naptown Experience' is vast, and over the past decade or so, ‘Naptown’ has become a term of endearment for our city. The grand finale will be a non-stop, power packed tribute sharing highlights from 'the Avenue' past to present, popular music and dance from the 40’s to now -- in costume. The program will represent the African American community as a whole, capitalizing on strength in variety, and serve as a cultural representation of where we are as a people in the City of Indianapolis."
2024 ART & SOUL FEATURED ARTISTS For more than 25 years, Art & Soul has helped launch the careers of emerging Black artists in central Indiana. Four Featured Artists are selected annually to be spotlighted at Art & Soul events. In addition, the Featured Artists receive year-long career development support.
Indy Arts Council partnered with Keesha Dixon of Asante Art Institute, D. Del Reverda-Jennings of FLAVA FRESH !, Roland Smith of iibada Dance Company, Rob Dixon of Indy Jazz Fest, Jeffery Thomas II of The Bridge Indy, Angelita Hampton of Collective Liberation Arts, Devon Ginn of Indiana Repertory Theatre, and event producer Valerie Phelps to develop this year’s program and select the 2024 Featured Artists:
Boxx The Artist, Visual Artist
Dexter Clardy of Shvdy Rollins, Musician
Austin Day, Dancer
jus Will, Spoken Word Artist
2024 ART & SOUL SCHEDULE OF EVENTSThree events in February will feature a visual art exhibition and multiple music, dance, and theater events at different venues. A special thank you to this year’s performance sponsors Eli Lilly and Company and Mojo Up Marketing + Media.
Friday, Feb. 2 - Art & Soul Kickoff
Exhibition: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Debuting work by 2024 Featured Artist, Boxx the Artist and featuring works from previous Art & Soul visual artists. No RSVP ticket required for the exhibition.
Performances: Doors open at 5 p.m.; show from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Get to know the 2024 Featured Artists and enjoy performances by local legends. RSVP here for a seat at The Cabaret
The program will also include a check presentation to Indy Arts Council for their $10,000 Stand for the Arts award from Ovation TV in partnership with Charter Communications.
Wednesday, Feb. 7 - Featured Artist Music Showcase at The Jazz Kitchen
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. for drinks and dinner. Tickets $15+; purchase here.
Guests will enjoy a pre-show “art experience” with Boxx the Artist, a performance by Dexter Clardy with his band Shvdy Rollins, a spoken word reading by jus Will, and more.
Friday, Feb. 23 - Celebration + Naptown Tribute at the Indianapolis Artsgarden
5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 4:30 p.m.). General admission: FREE; cash bar available. RSVP tickets available here.
This year’s finale celebration will feature a Naptown Tribute, highlighting the iconic music of Indiana Avenue from past to present. Enjoy performances by the Art & Soul 2024 featured artists alongside local legends. Artwork by Art & Soul 2024 featured artist, Boxx the Artist will also be on display.
New this year:
IPS Kids Zone: IPS student artwork will be on display on the upper level of the Artsgarden along with a performance by the Arsenal Tech High School Jazz Combo.
5 p.m. – IPS Kids Zone (Artsgarden Upper Level)
6 p.m. – Naptown Tribute show begins
7:30 p.m. – Event ends