Culture & Recreation
The cultural environment provided to Bloomington residents by Indiana University is outstanding. The world-class School of Music is a major contributor to this rich environment. Hundreds of musical events take place annually in either the IU Auditorium, Recital Hall, or the Musical Arts Center. The Musical Arts Center is home to the IU Opera Department, which presents the longest regular opera season in the country. Six or seven operas, with four performances of each, are produced each year. Music faculty members regularly give recitals and perform in chamber groups such as the Beaux Arts Trio, the American Woodwind Quintet, and the Baroque Chamber Players. Faculty also perform in the Brass Ensemble. A day rarely passes without a recital or performance by the students and faculty. Three orchestras, the Philharmonic, Symphony, and University, present regular concerts on Wednesday nights, jazz ensembles perform on Mondays and various recitals take place almost every day. Over 700 faculty and student concerts and recitals are held each year without charge.
For theater enthusiasts, the IU Theater Department presents plays during the fall and spring in the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center. During the summer, the Theater Department also offers a number of productions at the Brown County Playhouse in nearby Nashville, Indiana. Additionally, the Bloomington community also has opportunities in amateur theatrical and musical groups for faculty and students with an interest in participating.
There are several nationally acclaimed museums on campus, most notably the Lilly Library and the IU Art Museum. Both feature temporary and permanent exhibits, and often feature national touring exhibitions. The Lilly Library is noted for its holdings of English and American literature and houses one of the country's finest rare book collections.
For watching or participating, Indiana University's athletic teams and facilities are among the best in the nation. Most people are probably familiar with the basketball and football teams, but IU also has top flight programs in soccer, swimming, tennis, and track. Women's tennis, men's basketball, soccer, and track have all received high national rankings in recent seasons. For faculty, staff, and students there are a vast array of opportunities to participate in a variety of sports, either individually or in intramurals. The new Student Recreational Sport Center and the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) provide swimming, racquet sports, indoor and outdoor running, weight training facilities, and also house a multitude of hardwood basketball courts. The Biology Department fields its own team in both Spring and Fall city league softball.
Bloomington’s mild climate and abundance of nearby state and national parks and forests provide beautiful and convenient hiking, camping, bird watching, mushroom hunting, and other nature activities. In addition, Lakes Griffy, Lemon, and Monroe provide swimming, sail and power boating, fishing opportunities. The IU sailing club is open to all in the IU community and maintains a variety of boats that are available for members’ use.
Local and regional television and radio stations are supplemented by the university owned and operated broadcast radio and television stations. In addition to the many stations accessible in Bloomington (major network affiliates operate from Indianapolis) Indiana University owns and operates a noncommercial FM radio station, WFIU, 103.7 FM, an NPR affiliate, and a public television station, WTIU, Channel 30. Both provide outstanding programming.
The campus also supports a large shopping community located within walking distance of campus, and well developed bicycle routes and inter-connecting campus and city bus lines help make getting around even easier. There are stores located in an enclosed mall that is a ten minute walk from campus, and smaller shops literally surround campus. A wide variety of ethnic restaurants and groceries reflect the liberal arts nature of the Bloomington campus and the influence of a large international student population.