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The Indiana Daily Student

arts community events

Indiana Remixed festival celebrates state's diversity

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IU's semesterlong Indiana Remixed festival will bring Hoosiers to campus who integrate the traditional with the new in art, writing and scholarship.

This is the fourth Remixed festival. While past festivals were based on countries such as China, India and Mexico, the regionally focused Indiana Remixed complements the Bicentennial year. It celebrates the state’s vast global connections, said Ed Comentale, director of the Arts and Humanities Council.  

“The Hoosier state is a creative state, and it’s a state where artists and thinkers are constantly remaking tradition in new ways,” Comentale said. “We take a really broad approach to who is a Hoosier artist.”

The lineup of guests includes contemporary musicians, comedians, graphic novelists and popular and classical artists. 

One invited artist, Allis Markham, is an Indiana-born taxidermist who has been recognized internationally for her craft. Another guest, Jason Zaideman, helps army veterans rebuild motorcycles for “hot-rod therapy,” addressing post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and depression.

Laverne Cox, IU alumna, actress and activist, will speak at the IU Auditorium this semester for the Indiana Remixed festival. 

The Arts and Humanities Council started about five years ago as part of Provost Lauren Robel’s strategic plan for the campus, associate director of the council Joe Hiland said. A faculty committee recommended Robel create the council, as well as a number of initiatives for her plan. 

“One of those initiatives was focused on using the arts and humanities to help bridge some of the gaps between our domestic and international students,” Hiland said. 

Two years later, in 2017, the council presented China Remixed, its first festival of the series. The goal was to allow international students to share parts of their culture with domestic students to broaden their social network, Hiland said. 

“We really made sure that the Remixed festival was a large collaborative effort. It’s not all our work, and it couldn’t be all our work,” Hiland said. 

The council collaborated with the campus’s multiple culture centers, IU's Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance, IU Cinema, the Mathers Museum and the Jacobs School of Music, as well as dozens of other IU faculty, staff and students to plan more than 20 events and galleries. 

Betsy Stirratt, director of the Grunwald Gallery of Art, worked with the council to make the exhibit “New + Next” part of the festival. It features recent pieces made by IU faculty.

“It’s a good example of what’s being made in Indiana,” said Stirratt. “Many of the faculty here combine traditional techniques with new technologies.”

One artist, Joshua Kosker, made a brooch with gold-plated silver and soap, which looks like a large opaque gemstone in the center of the jewelry. 

Another artist, Jooyoung Shin, combined traditional sewing and embroidery techniques with 3D printing to create fashion designs that contrast in texture, technique and color. 

Comentale said traditional elements of the Midwestern aesthetic, such as starkness and minimalism, are really just a small part of it now. 

“The festival feels like a local festival, but it also feels like a world-class fine arts festival,” Comentale said. “It’s nice to bridge those worlds.”

All Indiana Remixed events are free and open to the public. The IU Arts and Humanities website has a full list of events.

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