A&E roundup: Artist-designed mini-libraries, tenants for Opera Center, more

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Emptying the notebook on this week's arts news:

—Don't have the time to get to the library? Now you can borrow a book from nine locations around the city (well, eight, actually, since two are at the Indianapolis Museum of Art) as part of The Public Collections project. Bonus: You also get to see the inventive work of the same number of local artists, who crafted the structures housing the volumes. Books will be replenished by the Indianapolis Public Library. Locations are a mix of high-visibility areas including Monument Circle and City Market and areas of high need including Horizon House and the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center. Details on all locations and artists can be found here


—In 2014, Spotlight Players lost its Beech Grove home. But the long-standing community theater now has new digs at the 200-seat Fort Benjamin Harrison Theater. Built in 1929 to entertain troops, it’s been closed since 1995 when the fort itself shut down. Since then, it has been used for storing National Guard Band equipment. Spotlight will reopen the theater in Dec. with “It’s a Wonderful Life; A Live Radio Play” followed by a full season that includes “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” “Charlotte’s Web,” and “Waiting for Godot.”

—The Arts Council of Indianapolis and Clear Channel Outdoor have picked ten more woks to be featured in its High Art billboard program. Artists this time around in Nhat Tran, Phil O’Malley, and Peggy Breidenbach. The new batch will begin appearing in September.

—The new Indianapolis Opera season doesn’t include any performances at the Basile Opera Center, which houses its offices. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be increased activity there. Two local arts groups, Encore Vocal Arts and dance company Motus have moved their operations there in deals that include office and rehearsal space.

—Cardinal Stage, the professional theater company in Bloomington, has launched the smartly titled Play It Forward program, offering a buy-on-and-bring-a-teen-for-free ticket deal for its upcoming production of “Of Mice and Men” starring Robert Neal.

—On Sept. 3, IU’s Lucas DeBard will join three past winners of the Great American Songbook High School Vocal Competition in a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of its Millennium Stage free series. The program will be streamed live.

For reviews, previews, ticket giveaways and more, visit www.ibj.com/arts

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