Events

Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Community Altar
Tuesday, October 3 to Wednesday, November 1
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays; 1 to 4:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays

You're invited to add gifts to a community altar in honor of those who've passed, as it's customary to leave small offerings of items they would have enjoyed. The altar nurtures the memory of their lives, and each year it's built upon the foundation of the previous years offerings. The event will be free and open to the public.


"Dark Water" Artist's Talk and Reception
Tuesday, October 17; 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Jakkai Siributr, an internationally-recognized artist and IU alumnus, will discuss his work and his exploration of the lives of refugees from Myanmar working in Thailand. The talk will be free and open to the public, and will be sponsored by IU's School of Education.


Jennifer Miller Performs Her Signature Sideshow Acts!
Friday, October 20; 8 p.m.

Those stigmatized as "other" have a range of options for managing their stigma, and have historically been expected to try to cover and minimize their otherness. However, these demands--and categorization itself--can be resisted by choosing to present and perform publicly. Performing artist Jennifer Miller has used circus and sideshow platforms, and her own gender-bending bearded-ness, to challenge norms of self-presentation in society. As a bearded woman, Miller confronts gender confusion on a daily basis. As a skilled circus director and performer, she has used her personal experience of being "othered" to create performances that help audiences see into an experience of gender fluidity that can be liberating and joyous. This free public event will be co-sponsored by Themester: Diversity, Difference, Otherness.


Otherness and Identity: Connectedness in Diversity
Thursday, October 26; 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

In considering notions of 'diversity, difference, and otherness" visual identity is key, says Deb Christiansen, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design and Director of Undergraduate Studies in IU's School of Art and Design. She notes that we have much in common cross-culturally in both identity development and self-concept formation. Self-conception is influenced by our actions and interactions in the world, and appearance is one important outward manifestation and form of communication. This presentation by Christiansen will tie together thoughts about appearance and identity with visual details from the varied cultures being explored by the Mathers Museum of World Cultures this year. From Osage wedding traditions to the material culture of Syria, and from an urban arts colony in China to everyday objects from Pakistan, the elements that define us also connect us, and they tell us what is important, where we come from, and how we are more alike than different. The lecture will be free and open to the public.


Family Craft Day: Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead
Sunday, October 29; 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Come learn more about Día de los Muertos as we make sugar skulls, paper flowers, and more. The Latin American Music Center is sponsoring a musical performance as part of our free and fun celebration.


Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Altar Lighting and Reception
Wednesday, November 1; 5 to 8 p.m.

Join us to light the Día de los Muertos Community Altar during a closing ceremony and reception to celebrate and honor the memories of deceased loved ones. The event will be free and open to the public.


First Thursdays (at Showalter Arts Plaza)
Thursday, November 2; 5 to 7:30 p.m.

More games from around the world with the Mathers Museum. The event will be free and open to the public.


Chinese Calligraphy Club presents the Silk Road
Friday, November 3; 4 to 6 p.m.

IU's Chinese Calligraphy Club will present activities and crafts for exploring the Silk Road--an ancient network of trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction originally connecting the East and West. Try your hand at calligraphy, printmaking, or cross-stitching, or attend a Pipa or Chinese Traditional Dance performance. There's more to learn and more fun to have! The event will be free and open to the public.


Community Jam Session
Sunday, November 12; 3 to 5 p.m.

Bring your fiddle, banjo, flute, tabla, or other instrument out of the closet and play with other musicians in this informal setting. Participants will take turns picking songs and perhaps even teaching a few traditional melodies. The event will be free and open to the public.


Folk Art Residency: Katrina Mitten (Bead work)
Thursday, November 16
Demonstrations (10:30 to 11:30 a.m.); Talk Stage (11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.); Demonstrations (2:30 to 4 p.m.)

A member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, Katrina Mitten was born and raised in Indiana. Although most of the Miami were removed from their ancestral lands, Katrina's family remained in Huntington County. She learned traditional beadwork by studying family heirlooms and museum artifacts. Her work combines the geometric designs found in Miami ribbon work with the floral patterns of Great Lakes tribes' beadwork, as she incorporates personal experiences and family stories into her art. Taking inspiration from family and community narratives, Katrina's artwork continues a storytelling tradition that predates statehood. Through her work, Katrina demonstrates that Miami history and culture is "not something from the past, it is still going on today in the present." The events will be free and open to the public.


From Infrapolitical Expression to Gentrified Beautification: Graffiti in the Hip Hop Tradition
Thursday, November 16; 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Graffiti is an unauthorized inscription or drawing on a public surface, and it is meant to be confronted by a viewing public and elicit a reaction or perhaps a response, notes Fernando Orejuela. He also notes that graffiti born from the hip hop subculture of the 1970s can be understood as resistance through adornment. This talk, by Orejuela, aims to address a cultural phenomenon when the act of vandalism is transforms into a highly-stylized art form recognized and adopted all over the globe.

A Senior Lecturer and the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at IU, Orejuela teaches courses on hip hop culture, subcultures, and youth music scenes; critical race theory and music; children's folklore and service learning; and play, gaming, and sports. His is the author of Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture published with Oxford University Press and currently co-editing a volume with fellow ethnomusicologist, Stephanie Shonekan on Black Lives Matter Movement and Music to be published by Indiana University Press. He is also a music consultant for the National Music of African American Music in Nashville, Tennessee and a member of the advisory team for Carnegie Hall's A History of African American Music. The lecture will be free and open to the public.


La Gran Milonga: A Winter Tango Ball with live music by Tamango
Friday, December 1; 7 to 10 p.m.

Celebrate the season with dance and music! The event is free and open to all ages and all levels of experience.


Winterfest: Storytelling
Sunday, December 3; 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Winter is the perfect time to tell stories or listen to them. Come make puppets, storybooks, and other crafts that tell a story. Special guests from the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation will teach cranky making (storytelling scrolls) and the Bloomington Storytellers Guild will share some winter themed stories. Winterfest will be free and open to the public.


Museum Collections Research Symposium
Tuesday, December 5; 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.

This symposium, organized by the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, will feature brief research reports from students in the department's F497/Advanced Seminar. Students in the class, taught by Jason Baird Jackson, have been researching artifacts from the Mathers Museum's collection. The event will be free and open to the public.