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Art & Soul festival kicks off Black History Month in Indianapolis

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Posted at 11:48 AM, Jan 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-01 13:19:03-05

INDIANAPOLIS –Art & Soul, a staple in the art community of Indianapolis will highlight black art, music, dance, and literature at several events in February.

Their artist program has launched and supported careers of emerging Black Artists for more than 25 years. Art & Soul is presented by Indy Arts Council and supported annually by Lilly Endowment Inc.

In its 27th year, the festival will center around the theme “Kings & Queens”

"We want everyone who comes through the door to feel special. Yes, it's a celebration of Art & Soul, but it’s also a celebration of YOU–and who we are as people," said Valerie Phelps, Art & Soul 2023 program and production manager.

The festival will feature three different events throughout the month of February, including:

Feb. 3: Festival Kickoff at Gallery 924 & The Cabaret

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On Friday, Feb. 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Art & Soul kicks off with a First Friday opening reception at Gallery 924.

The Gallery will feature Kings & Queens: Beyond What Has Happened So Far, an exhibition curated by D. Del Reverda-Jennings of FLAVA FRESH with artworks by more than 10 artists, including 2023 Featured Artist Jamichael Kyng Pollard.

At The Cabaret guests will enjoy performances by Art & Soul alumni and a welcome from Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Judith Thomas.

The event will include drinks and food provided by the Jazz Kitchen.

Art & Soul notes that an RSVP ticket is required if you would like a seat for the performances at The Cabaret. Seats are first come, first served and guests are able to arrive as early as 5 p.m.

Feb. 8: Featured Artist Showcase

On Wednesday Feb.8 three of the four Art & Soul 2023 featured artists will perform at the Jazz Kitchen.

Jazz musician Brandon Douthitt and playwright Crystal V. Rhodes will take the stage while visual artist Jamichael Kyng Pollard creates a live painting. Other appearances will be made by artist Bob Dixon and more.

Tickets range from $15-$25. All the profits from ticket sales will benefit Art & Soul Artists.

Feb. 25 Celebration + Wes Montgomery 100-year Tribute

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To close out the festival, Art & Soul will celebrate the old and new generations at the Indianapolis Arts Garden from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There will be a tribute to Indianapolis native and legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery who would have turned 100 in March, followed by performances by the emerging talent of the four 2023 Featured Artists.

The event will also feature food, drink, live painting, and performances by a dozen local music artists including Damon Karl, who has opened for Babyface and Ashanti and Staci McCrakin, lead singer of The Flying Toasters and backup singer in Jim Irsay’s all-star band.

The main floor of the event will be free and offers tables and seating, vendors, cash bar and food available for purchase at Circle City Mall.

A Next Level Experience ticketis available for $15 that includes main floor access plus balcony seating, complimentary food, cash bar, a dance party and a 360 red carpet photo booth.

Learn more about Art & Soul and the festival here.