This February, the Arts Council of Indianapolis is hosting the 23rd annual Art & Soul at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. The annual Black History Month celebration offers a series of free, daily performances that are all open to the public. Since all performances begin daily at 12:15 pm, it’s a great way for downtown workers and shoppers to spend lunch. This year’s theme, Black Migrations and Urban Realities, draws inspiration from the 2019 national Black History Month theme.

Festivities begin on Saturday, February 2 with a Kickoff Celebration in the Artsgarden, featuring performances by Kim Kenny, Men in the Fire, Sandy Lomax & Band, Kenyetta Dance Company, and more. Throughout the month, the Arts Council expects to showcase more than 100 artists. This year’s special Featured Artists are four emerging Indianapolis-based artists. Learn more about each of these artists and when you can catch their performances below.

1. Allison Victoria

First on the list is vocalist, Allison Victoria. Allison is a singer-songwriter and self-taught musician from Indianapolis. Her repertoire ranges from soul, hip-hop, R&B, folk, gospel, pop, and jazz. She’s performed in Chreece Music Festival, Indy Women in Hip Hop, and opened for R&B icon Tank. When not working on her own music, Allison helps organize and host Localmotion, an open mic for performing artists across all disciplines.

See Allison Victoria in Art & Soul 2019 at the Artsgarden: Saturday, February 2 for the Kickoff Celebration and Thursday, February 14 at 12:15 pm.

2. Joshua Thompson

Joshua Thompson is no stranger to the Indy music scene. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Joshua began taking piano lessons at the age of 5. Since that time, Joshua’s career as a classical pianist has blossomed. He has worked with legendary bassist John Clayton and world-renowned operatic soprano, Angela Brown. In 2018, Joshua debuted the dynamic performance series, Village Voices: Notes from the Griot, in celebration of the unsung voices of Black composers and musicians.

See Joshua Thompson in Art & Soul 2019 at the Artsgarden: Saturday, February 2 for the Kickoff Celebration and Friday, February 22 at 12:15 pm.

3. Lalah Hazelwood

Indy-Native Lalah Hazelwood began her dance training at a young age at Kenyetta Dance Studio & Iibada Dance Company. After performing professionally with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (Chicago, IL), Phildanco (Philadelphia, PA), and Elizabeth Shea Dance (Bloomington, IN), Lalah decided to head back to her alma mater, Indiana University, where she now teaches modern dance. In addition to teaching at IU, Lalah is also on the faculty for the Indiana Ballet Conservatory, as well as Associate Artistic Director at Kenyetta Dance Company. Lalah is a three-time, consecutive recipient of the National Society of Arts and Letters’ Chapter Career Award in Dance (Bloomington Chapter).

See Lalah Hazelwood in Art & Soul 2019 at the Artsgarden: Saturday, February 2 for the Kickoff Celebration and Saturday, February 9, at 12:15 pm.

4. Shamira Wilson

his year’s visual artist is Shamira Wilson. Shamira has studied Furniture Design at the Herron School of Art and Design, and has exhibited her works all over Indianapolis, from the Harrison Center for the Arts, Gallery 924, 10th West Gallery, to the Indiana State Museum. Shamira is interested in the symbolism that can be found in materials, processes, and images.

Shamira Wilson’s artworks will be on display throughout the month of February. Catch an intro and brief presentation by Shamira at the Art & Soul Kickoff Event on Saturday, February 2, and an artist talk with Shamira on Thursday, February 28 at 12:15 pm.

Learn more about Art & Soul at or pick up a calendar of events in the Indianapolis Artsgarden. Keep up with all Art & Soul happenings on social media with #ArtSoulIndy, and by following the Arts Council: or on Twitter and Instagram: @artscouncilindy

Art & Soul is made possible by generous funding from Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Photography courtesy of Andrea Smith at Studio 57 Photography.

Samantha Brickler

Samantha Brickler

Marketing & Communications Manager, Arts Council of Indianapolis