The Art of the Blog

December 7, 2007
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Welcome to the IBJ A&E corner of the blogosophere—a salon of sorts where arts and entertainment issues large and small, local and national, low-, medium- and high-brow, will be discussed, debated, argued about and wrestled with.

It’s a place I hope you’ll visit frequently to share your opinions and to see what others have to say.

It will be a spot for everyone from the occasional museum visitors to the academic, from the hardcore symphony subscriber to the bar-dwelling band fan, from the passionate student to the arts administrator, from the tortured artist to the generous philanthropist.

IBJ reporter Jennifer Whitson, whose beats include arts and tourism, will occasionally be joining me here. And we’ll solicit the opinions of arts professionals as well.

As for me, I’m exploring specific productions in my A&E review column in the print edition of the IBJ (see the latest HERE) and in my IBJ Daily A&E preview (to sign up for the latter, for free, click HERE).

But this is something different than those—more of a place for me to raise questions and hear from you.

For starters, let’s talk about what we’ve got … and what we are missing.

Specifically: What A&E have you experienced in 2007 around Indy that was truly outstanding?

And what do you think Indy is missing? What do you need to go out of state to find in sufficient quality?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

P.S. This blog also will be the place to find out information about IBJ A&E special events and offers. For instance, this week, how about joining me at an advance screening of the new Philip Seymour Hoffman/Laura Linney film The Savages? Geoff Berkshire of the Chicago Tribune says this R-rated drama features “…some of the best writing and acting on screen all year, The Savages shouldn’t be missed.”

I’m not going to miss it—in fact, I’m offering 25 of this blog’s readers a chance to join me and see it at Landmark’s Keystone Arts Cinema on Dec. 17. I’ll give pairs of passes to the first 25 e-mails HERE. If you hear back from me, that means you’re a winner and you can pick up your passes from IBJ’s downtown office.

To suggest a topic for Lou Harry’s A&E, send a note HERE.
  • Welcome to blogging. Looking forward to some lively conversation.
  • Outstanding work at Butler U with Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah. Really groundbreaking stuff. Not the easist thing for audiences but really thrilling.

    Other than that, well, the Phoenix gave a strong presentation to Stuff Happens, the political play.

    And Indy Jazz Fest was terrific.
  • Indy Jazz Fest for sure - I enjoyed that again. And it is always great to hear Tad Robinson play with his band or with Soul Bus.
  • How about the Indiana Ballet Company's production of Phantom of the Opera? It was amazing!

    Granted it was totally different than I was expecting, but it was mesmerizing!

    They are bringing it back in October '08'!

    You shouldn't miss it!
  • We are looking forward to your blog, Lou. Your column is always enjoyed.
  • Looking forward to reading more - love your Thursday e-mail!
  • Thanks for the good words. And the comments on the outstanding events.

    Still a few movie passes left. E-mail and I'll let you know if you got in on it in time.
  • Neil Hamburger's show at Local's Only (where he was neither a local, nor the
    only performer that evening) was incredible, and his status (cult? fringe?
    meanstream?) is something you don't often see here.

    The food at both the Theatre on the Square Fundraiser (texas trash theme) and
    the Phoenix's fundraiser (wine theme) were outstanding.

    The inertia that Hart (local theatre startup) is getting is amazing, in all sense of
    the word.
  • FYI: Tamara Jenkins just won Best Screenplay from the LA Film Critics Association for The Savages.
  • Heartland Actors' Repertory Theatre (HART) (referenced earlier) is gathering steam. We will be offering much more than just readings in 2008, although we will be continuing our popular Be Well Red series at Easley Winery too.
    Be on the lookout for a world premiere in the spring and an idea both old and new coming to downtown in the summer!
    Ben Tebbe
    Company Manager of HART
  • Hey there, mister. This is awesome. I'm excited to see how low any lowbrow discussions go. :-)

  • FOUL!

    Sorry readers, I should have caught this sooner.
    Leah Oblak, who posted above praising the Indiana Ballet Company is, surprise!, the marketing director of the Indiana Ballet Company.

    Bad form.

    I welcome arts professionals to join audiences and other interested parties in the conversation here. But if you are going to tout your own company, at least admit your connection.

    Better yet, just add something to the discussion and our readers will see that the folks from your company are wise about their art. Maybe then they will want to look into what your group is up to.

    Sound good?
  • Lou,

    I will ad my title on any further posts. I did give my correct contact information.

    I was not planning on commenting as Marketing Director of IBC but was/am here for my personal enjoyment. I read you regularly for the entertainment value, not work.

    As far as Phantom, the reviews speak for the quality of the show -- hence no need for a link to a site for an ad or review. I was just adding my two cents as a paying patron; IBC is not the only arts organization I frequent in the city.

    I will restrict my posts to a marketing stand point if necessary.

    I apologize if I offended.

    Thank you.

    Leah B. Oblak
    Marketing Director
    Indiana Ballet Company
    Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana
  • looking forward to many good reads! glad to see more coverage of the arts.
  • I went to sign up for your daily A&E preview, and found that it is only once a week, and that the other days I am going to get the daily whatever from IBJ. Is there a way to get just your post and not the non-arts transmissions?
  • The A&E e-mail is part of the IBJ Daily news package.
    If you want to check it out without subscribing, you can click on and see the most recent one posted.

    Of course, I encourage you to take advantage of the free IBJ Daily subscription. Good info. Solid reporting.

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.