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Protect the Arts concert announces huge lineup for Feb. 19 show

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Cyrus Youngman and the Kingfishers will play at the Feb. 19 event - TIM MCLAUGHLIN
  • Tim McLaughlin
  • Cyrus Youngman and the Kingfishers will play at the Feb. 19 event

Here are two things you should know about NUVO:

1. We fiercely love the arts.

2. And we will always fiercely support them, cover them, prioritize them and protect them.

And we have lots of help in that mission here in good ol' Indy. That's why we're so excited about next Sunday's Protect The Arts concert, which aims to highlight the essential role the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities play in public life. The Feb. 19 show runs from noon to 8 p.m. on Feb. 19. and features a ton of musicians and visual artists. But we'll get to that: first, why do we need to have this concert?

The NEA and NEH are under threat. For more background on the possible defunding of those institutions by Donald Trump, read David Hoppe's column from earlier this week on what the NEH and NEA actually do, and how impactful the institutions are in Indiana:
Before the NEA and NEH, creative people throughout the country moved to New York City or tucked themselves away on college campuses. This was a classic American story.

The Endowments, which made federal money for cultural activity available to all 50 states, changed that scenario. Regional theaters, orchestras, dance companies and visual arts organizations gained traction in medium-size cities across the nation, enlivening communities and providing work for talented people who preferred staying put. ...

Cuts aimed at creativity and scholarship dovetail with recent attacks by the [Trump] on the intelligence community and news media. These attacks are designed to belittle rigorous thinking and personal expression — and to discount the worth of jobs associated with nonprofit fields.

Indiana needs these jobs. In many cases they are the only means of livelihood keeping talented professionals in our state. They also enhance our communities in ways that are no less important for their being hard to measure.
And now funding for those regional theaters, orchestra, dance companies and visual arts orgs we love so much here are under threat. Organizers of the Feb. 19 event say:
Over the next 10 years, the Trump administration is proposing a $10 trillion budget cut as a plan to curb spending. According to multiple news outlets, the first to be cut may be the National Endowment for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Humanities. The NEH and the NEA account for less than .002% of our federal spending, which comes out to about 46 cents a year for every American.

The arts and humanities are a crucial part of the nation’s cultural identity and help to enhance the quality of every American’s life. They provide insight into the past, define the present, and are our gift to the future. Not only do they promote philanthropic giving, but provide access to arts and humanities in underserved communities.

The NEA funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing Americans opportunities for participation in the arts. They provide grants for dance, music, drama, literature, outreach education, and much more. The NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. They provide grants to museums, archives, libraries, colleges, public television, radio stations, and individual scholars.

... Become active in this fight by signing the petition that will turn the heads of congress and show that arts and humanities are important not only to Indianapolis, but the entire nation.
 A bevy of local musicians will perform at this show at Fountain Square Brewery, including: Brandon Wadley Trio, Brittny Kasprzyk, Tommy Band, Chris Burch, Jem Holden, Danni Al Mar, The McDonalds, Jeff Byrd, Chris Wilson, Baby Ocho, Whoa!Tiger, Cyrus Youngman and the Kingfishers, Minute Details, Sk and Cole Woodruff, Katie Pederson, Maren Huelsman, Gregory DeBoor, Steve Boller* and a special surprise headliner that we can't quite tell you about yet. (Hold your horses, people.)

Visual artists will also be showcased — something that FSB always prioritizes. Expect work from Amanda Keller, Chelsey Penrod, Courtney Brooks, Matt Panfil, Erin Case, Alexa Adamson, Micheal Potempa, Corey Hodges, Mallory Hodgkin and Stephanie Renner.

If you cannot attend next Sunday's event, we here at the NUVO music desk encourage you to sign the petition linked above to continue to support and prioritize federal arts funding for our beloved community arts institutions.

*After publication, NUVO received confirmation Steve Boller will also perform.

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