A Cultural Paradise
IU’s world-famous Jacobs School of Music attracts the brightest young talents and most accomplished musical faculty, such as Grammy Award–winning violin virtuoso Joshua Bell, ArtD’89, who will become a senior lecturer here in 2008. The school offers more than 1,100 classical, jazz, and opera performances a year, many in our renowned Musical Arts Center.
Just down the Jordan Avenue, the IU Auditorium brings off-Broadway shows and big-name entertainers, musicians, and speakers to Bloomington. IU’s theatre and drama program stages several plays and musicals each year, and students and Bloomington residents take the stage in community productions at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, John Waldron Arts Center, and Bloomington Playwrights Project theatre.
The IU Art Museum—purposefully designed by celebrated architect I. M. Pei to include no right angles—is one of the foremost university art museums in the country. Next door, the SoFA Gallery displays contemporary works by regionally and national known artists, as well as by the School of Fine Arts’ talented students and faculty. The School of Fine Arts is also one of the hosts of the Ryder Film Series, which shows recent releases and foreign and arts films for a few bucks a ticket.
Each September, the Fourth Street Festival of Arts and Crafts and the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival showcase the craftsmanship and musical talents of artists through the state, country, and world. Nashville, Indiana, in neighboring Brown County, is another artistic community, with many arts and crafts shops.
For visitors who are 21 and older, check out Oliver Winery, Indiana’s oldest and largest winery, and Butler Winery—both of which have tasting rooms. Upland Brewing Company is the largest independent micro-brewery in Indiana, and Bloomington Brewing Company was the first brewpub in Southern Indiana; visit them in person and keep an eye out for their products.
Other unique attractions include the Lilly Library, which houses rare books and manuscripts, such as a collection of 16,000 miniature books; the WonderLab Museum of Health, Science, and Technology, a fun place to visit with kids; and the Tibetan Cultural Center.