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IU’s world-class artists and musicians enrich our cultural landscape


Editor’s note: This message has been updated to correct the date of Potpourri, which takes place Saturday, Nov. 11.

At Indiana University, the arts and music will always be center stage. 

Later this month, ballet students and faculty at our legendary Jacobs School of Music will present a completely new and updated version of “The Nutcracker.” This fresh take on a timeless classic confronts cultural stereotypes in a performance led by Jacobs professor Sasha Janes, who The Washington Post called “a choreographer to watch.”   

At the nation’s only college program specializing in Black music and dance, IU’s African American Arts Institute, students and faculty are putting the finishing touches on this Saturday’s Potpourri. It will feature three separate performances, including one by the African American Dance Company. The acclaimed company is directed by IU’s Stafford C. Berry Jr.,  a nationally renowned artist and professor of theater, drama, and contemporary dance. 

And in Indianapolis this week, the Herron School of Art & Design will debut a new National Sculpture Society Exhibition showcasing the work of 15 regional sculptors. The exhibition is curated by celebrated sculptor Jacob Dobson, who teaches at the IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. 

With more than 100 Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards to IU’s name, the artistic excellence of our students, faculty, and alumni is renowned—as is their impact on the communities we serve.  

Brenda Brenner is a pioneering music educator in the Jacobs School who is also the director of the Fairview Violin Project. Established in 2008 to bring violin instruction to underserved elementary school students, Fairview has received national attention and spurred related programs across the Midwest.  

Kimberly Carballo, coordinating opera coach for IU Opera and Ballet Theater, directs Reimagining Opera for Kids, a non-profit education program that brings music to rural schools. It is the state’s only community-based program that partners with the Metropolitan Opera to bring the Met’s performances and curriculum to P-12 students.

Please join me in giving these and other IU faculty artists and musicians a big round of applause. Their scholarship and creativity extend the university’s national and global leadership in the arts and enrich our state’s cultural landscape.  


Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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