“I think we’ve all realized how important art is this year. COVID has made people hungry for beauty and community. That’s what we do at Harrison Center, ”says Erika Blue, Administrative and Marketing Coordinator, Harrison Center.

Today, to discuss the Harrison Center Music and Art Festival, we were joined by Amira Vanest, IMAF Coordinator and Harrison Center Intern, as well as Yeabsera (Yeabi) Tabb, Artist and Creative Member of the Harrison Center . Yeabi’s work is on sale at the festival. Amira is 16, a student at Herron High School whose first year internship included IMAF. She has been attending IMAF with her family for 16 years !! Artists / The Harrison Center & COVID-19

“I think most of us had a fear and withdrawal response at the start of the pandemic. We wanted to be safe. This situation had never happened before. But, at Harrison Center, we quickly realized that we all needed art more than ever. We needed to keep making art to process our emotions and talk about that time. Our community needed art to help them cry, laugh and face new challenges, ”says Tabb.

IMAF is a free, one-day festival held in Indy’s Old Northside neighborhood, featuring top independent local and regional musicians, visual artists, food vendors and artisans. This takes place on June 19 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year, 12 musicians / groups are present on two stages in the outer courtyard of the Harrison Center.

This event is in conjunction with the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange, a contemporary DIY craft fair featuring handmade products. Founded in 2002, IMAF celebrates musicians who perform original live music and artists who create original works.

This is the 20th year of the IMAF. To honor Juneteenth, which falls on the same date as the IMAF this year, we will have a free roller skate on a pop-up ice rink and there will also be a participatory drum circle led by Josh Strodtman with appearances by Dr Djo-Bi .

About the Harrison Center:

The Harrison Center is a community-based, non-profit arts organization that seeks to be a catalyst for renewal in the city of Indianapolis. Founded in 2001, the work of the organization is twofold. The Harrison Center is for the arts and for the city. The Harrison Center is for the arts by housing 36 artist studios and eight galleries with programming designed to foster the creation of new arts, build a community among emerging artists and patrons, create new partnerships and provide a forum for them. public conversations between artists and the community. The Harrison Center is for the city by connecting people with culture, community and place to strengthen the central urban neighborhoods of Indianapolis.

The Harrison Center allowed artists to share their art with the community. We opened a new online gallery very quickly to offer new ways to shop. This has been very successful as sales continue to increase. For example, we have sold double in the last 12 months than what we sold the year before. The Harrison Center commissioned artists to create art on what we were all going through for social media and lots and lots of public art.

The Harrison Center also commissioned public art that could be viewed from a safe distance. We have restored our century-old fireplace; installed a fog machine in the base and LED lights at the top to create colorful plumes of smoke.

We ordered 10 hoop skirts made from irrigation tubes and the artists wore them on walks around the neighborhood to model social distancing. Kind of a public service announcement at the time, because social distancing was new to us.

We turned 24 exterior windows into art installations with revolving themes of COVID, racial justice and hope. We ordered a giant hamster wheel for our yard that dogs, kids, and adults can all run on.

We used COVID downtime to install a much needed elevator, but not just any elevator, it’s a karaoke elevator !! Come ride and sing! We made our building safer for artists and patrons by creating a fresh air gallery, a new porch and a roof terrace (with LED hitch ball).

For more information, visit the links below:

Address: Harrison Center 1505 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis

Telephone number: 317-396-3886

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