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Tonic Ball XI, by the numbers



It's here. We say that, not ominously, horror movie-style. No, we're shouting from the rooftop -- the Murphy Art Center rooftop to be exact. That's where Tonic Ball 11 artists were announced this year way back in May. And, this week, after much planning, consternation, celebration and scheduling, Tonic Ball has arrived.

Here's the deal: Each year the Tonic committee selects three superstar groups (past choices include Prince, Madonna and The Clash); the night of Tonic Ball, dozens of local bands cover songs from those groups in a myriad of styles and instrumentations. (Editor's note: Click to view the entire Tonic Ball schedule, powered by DO317.) And every year for 11 years, Tonic takes over the, Square. The benefit for Southeastside nonprofit Second Helpings showcases what is best about Indianapolis: our huge hearts and our huge collection of musicians.

After sitting down with organizers, we nixed the idea of a traditional feature on about the event, opting instead for a breakdown of all of the different pieces of the event and the non-profit it supports. Did you know that Second Helpings has rescued over 17 million pounds of food since its founding? Second Helpings' mark on Indy is indelible from creating a greener city by recycling unused food, to providing meals for hungry kids and adults, to training unemployed or underemployed citizens to be highly skilled food industry employees and chefs.

Tonic Ball and Second Helpings are growing alongside one another. The kitchen renovation this spring more than doubled that amount of meals workers can turn out in one day. And, for the second year in a row, Tonic Ball will take over five venues Friday in Fountain Square.

(Editor's note: After the publication of this piece, Tonic Ball sold out! But please, check out the good work people are doing for Second Helpings, stop in the Tonic Gallery and take your kids to Tiny Tonic. Both Tiny Tonic and Tonic Gallery are free and open to the public.)

Tonic Ball
  • Mustachioed Man by Amy McAdams // Graphic by Will McCarty
  • Designer Amy McAdams creates art for every Tonic Ball.


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