Ready or not, autumn is almost
here. Break out the cozy sweaters and warm sports coats, boots and best winter
loafers. Summer has had its last hurrah. And, as you know, local arts
organizations are getting ready to launch their 2014-2015 seasons.
Oh, you didn't know? Well, don't feel
bad; you're not alone. This time last year, I hadn't even set foot in some of
the city's most cherished performing arts venues. That all changed when I found
out about IndyHub's
Passport to the Arts and was persuaded to purchase a subscription.
Passport to the Arts, which is presented by Lilly, was created to
address the dearth of young people (including yours truly) who attend fine arts
events. Apparently, we're all too busy browsing Internet memes and watching
YouTube videos about cats (both worthy activities!) to make it to the theater
every once in a while. Luckily for us, the Passport program provides a way to
make the Indianapolis performing arts community accessible, both financially and
otherwise, to young professionals. Don't worry: you don't have to give up your
cat video fixation.
Tessa Tillett Photography
IndyHub's 2013 Passport to the Arts holders kick off the season with a special participatory art project.
For just $100, Passport subscribers
receive tickets to four shows at four outstanding venues: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra,
Indiana Repertory Theatre, Dance Kaleidoscope and the Phoenix Theatre, plus a highly
anticipated exclusive event at the Indianapolis
Museum of Art. In case you never passed second-grade math, that's only $20
a ticket, and the ticket is only one part of what's included in a Passport
subscription. Subscribers are also invited to an exclusive behind-the-scenes
reception before or after each show. IndyHub brings
in the artists, directors and casts to discuss the process of creating the show
and their experiences as professional artists, giving subscribers the inside
The program gives us newbies to the
arts an opportunity to be exposed to them, enabling us to learn more about what
may or may not be unfamiliar art forms and encouraging us to -- hopefully -- one day
become enthusiastic arts patrons, creating a next generation of audiences.
IndyHub's director of marketing and programming,
explains, "This isn't intended to be a series that people live in for 10 years.
You might be a subscriber for one year or two years or five years, but this is
a step in somebody's progression of exploring the arts community. We see the Passport
sometimes as introductory; sometimes it's just exploratory."
explains, for example, that somebody might be completely new to Indianapolis or
just really new to the arts. So the passport is effective for audience
development. And she's all about wanting to showcase the energy, fun and
excitement of the arts community in town."
Tessa Tillett Photography
With sponsors including Ivy Tech, Sun King Brewing Company and Monarch Beverage, IndyHub provides both insider-only experiences at arts organizations and tasty refreshments at each Passport event.
a local nonprofit that works to connect 20- and 30-somethings to Indianapolis
and to one another, is the brains behind Passport to the Arts. Now entering its
seventh Passport season, the organization pretty much
has the formula for awesome down pat, but that doesn't mean IndyHub
is afraid to mix things up. Some changes this year include the aforementioned
brand new exclusive event and a free launch party.
In an intentional effort to
incorporate the visual arts into the Passport series, IndyHub
has added a new Passport exclusive event in collaboration with the beloved
Indianapolis Museum of Art. However, while the four returning passport
destinations are pretty straightforward (nosh, imbibe and then enjoy the show),
the IMA exclusive remains a bit of a mystery. Hulse
cryptically says that she can't yet disclose the details but promises only the
"It won't just be art on a wall in
a gallery," she says. "There will be a performance element even though it's
obviously not a performance venue like our other partners." It will also be a
truly exclusive event, not simply an early viewing of an already-planned
exhibit for the general public. "We're creating something new that no one else
will have access to," says Hulse. "We're incredibly
excited about it."
If you're on the fence about
becoming a Passport subscriber, or if you just want to see what all the fuss is
about, pop into the Indianapolis Artsgarden at 5:30
on Sept. 22 to attend IndyHub's official launch party
for Passport to the Arts. (It's free, by the way.) Each of the participating
arts organizations will be featured to give you a taste of what the Passport
has to offer, and complimentary snacks and a cash bar should be more than
enough to keep you preoccupied in the meantime. The launch party will
officially kick off ticket sales, and you'd be well advised to get yours early
because they're bound to go fast.
click to enlarge
This Passport won't get you past the TSA, but you'll get a tour of some of Indy's best fine art offerings.
"I do expect we'll sell out," Hulse says. "We do every year."
Having had the Passport experience
and having gone to all five events last season, I can now say with
authority that I'm not even a little surprised to hear that. Whether I was
knocking back a glass of Sun King's Wee Mac or inconspicuously sneaking extra
Ivy Tech-prepared hors d'oeuvres into my purse, I had a fantastic time. And
that's to say nothing of the opportunity to hear firsthand the thoughts of
prominent arts directors such as David Hochoy and Krzysztof
Urbański. I could try to describe the actual
performances, but I know well from experience that when it comes to the
elegance of a single leg extended, or chords so powerful they can literally be
felt, or the sharp pang of a truth that comes only from fiction, it's just
better to experience it for yourself.
says it best when she asks, "Food, drinks, art -- what else do you need?" She
laughingly answers her own question: "People, we need people."
Do yourself a favor and make sure
you're one of them.
Emily is happiest when she's knee-deep in the written word. She is wholeheartedly nursing her fledgling freelance writing career and is delighted to be on this side of the pen. Emily shares her living space with a bossy Dalmatian and many, many books.