INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — We may be wrapping up Black History Month, but the achievements and the ones to come by African Americans don’t stop–they happen 365 days a year.
IUPUI will play a more active role in the black community by launching a new program called the Africana Repertory Theater of IUPUI or ARTI for short.
Throughout history, African Americans have played a vital role in making the United States what it is today.
Recently the school put on a production called “The Price of Progress” highlighting the journey black people have been through in the Circle City.
The school wants to put on more productions like this through ARTI.
“ARTI is a multi disciplinary effort to combine culture, history, and politics of a people into art forms that provide both entertainment and education to the community,” said Vernon Williams, IUPUI’s community engagement strategist.
Williams knows Indianapolis already has a booming African American art and theater scene, but the school wants to play a more active role.
“Indiana is missing a lot or stronger art community, so to have them moving forward and progressing towards that is a really great thing you know it’s something we are missing,” Indy choreographer Syearra Liggins said.
They will call on the talents of students, community groups and locals in the art world to help.
The new program won’t only highlight the arts–it will open doors for students. The university wants the ARTI program to lead to scholarships and degrees based on African American studies.
This entire program is being made possible through the Margot L. Eccles Arts and Culture grant and the Central Indiana Community Foundation Fund.
“It is a very important avenue, I feel like, for young people like myself to be able to have a place or safe haven to just be able to exchange culture differences and expressions. Also, be able to identify with something universal,” said Indy dancer Vajaun Savage.
Williams is happy to be introducing the program during Black History Month, but people will see different productions put on throughout the year.
ARTI is partnering with Indy Fringe to sponsor Onyxfest. It’s Indy’s first and only theater festival dedicated to the African American culture.
Currently scripts from black playwrights are being accepted until midnight on Saturday.
If you’re one of the lucky four selected, you will be given money to put on the show you created. For more information, click here.