City to get ‘extra art outlets’ with rural series


Indiana University is partnering with the City of Huntingburg to develop and present art series for the public.

IU’s Center for Rural Engagement is conducting the Rural Arts Series in three Indiana communities — Huntingburg, Nashville and Salem.

“All of the initiatives are done in collaboration with communities,” said Kyla Cox Deckard, IU Center for Rural Engagement’s director of communications. “IU works closely with community leaders and residents to determine what makes the most sense and what resources IU can bring to the community.”

So far, two movie screenings are planned in Huntingburg. The first is “Loving Vincent” a movie about Vincent van Gogh that is entirely hand-painted in the artist’s style. The movie will be shown at 7 p.m. Monday at the Art Factory, 403 E. Fourth St. The movie is free, but seating is limited; it will be first come, first served.

The second movie is “Bad Reputation,” which is about musician and entertainer Joan Jett. That will be shown at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Gaslight, 328 E. Fourth St., a venue that typically hosts bands and musical acts on its stage.

Future projects will include music, dance, theater, gallery exhibits, lectures and creative writing.

“There will be other programs and activities in Huntingburg in conjunction with this rural art series,” Deckard said. “It just so happens that the IU Cinema partnership is one of the first events that is scheduled.”

Emily Bartelt Meyer, owner of the The Art Factory and part of the local group working with IU, was instrumental in selecting the film that will be shown Monday. She leaned to “Loving Vincent” because of the “visual arts aspects,” she said.

Meyer is also part of the Huntingburg Entertainment Art Recreation Team, also known as HEART, the local arts committee that is under Destination Huntingburg. The group is encouraged to have this rural art series in the community, and hopes to have more art events in Huntingburg.

“All our kids really have are sports. And there is nothing wrong with sports, but not every kid likes sports, or is good at sports,” Meyer said. “If I would have had those outlets to expand on maybe more theatrical things or just extra art outlets, I would have definitely taken advantage of those as a high school kid.”

Other project ideas being considered include theatrical camps for students, musical events in Market Street Park and pop-up galleries.

“There are all kinds of ideas,” Meyer said.

Deckard said the current rural art series will be done this fall and spring, which is the school’s academic year, so more activities will be scheduled.

“We plan to be working in collaboration with Huntingburg and Dubois County going into the future on many activities,” she said, “beyond this academic year.”

That includes projects in conjunction with other art departments as well as the university’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

“There will be students in the master’s courses working in collaboration with the communities that are part of the rural art series,” she said. “They will work on some ongoing capacity building and some strategic planning for arts going forward in the future.”

Locally, HEART is also ramping up again to work on other projects. Members helped with the recent yarn-bombing project on Fourth Street, organized by local business Serendipity Fibers. And they will be involved in the rural art series as it progresses.

“We’ve had a couple shifts with the members, and other things took over, so we had to put it on the back burner,” Meyer said. “But now, we’re starting our meetings again. We’re thinking about our next activities and the fundraising for that.”

And she will be very involved with the rural series.

“It will help us with the resources and help us with what we’re really wanting to do here in the arts, whether that be music, theater, visual arts. It’s the perfect mashup. And I’m so glad they chose to work with us.”

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