An update on arts and entertainment options and things to do and see across the region.
by John Cain
Michigan City's Lubeznik Center for the Arts is giving its annual outdoor festival, now in its 35th year, a new name (Lubeznik Art & Artisan Festival) and a refreshing new twist this year, giving visitors an immersive experience that interweaves visual art, performance, culinary arts and the work of artisans with an edgy, contemporary sensibility throughout the Lubeznik property. Groove to the sounds of funk, blue grass, jazz fusion, Americana and more! Local and regional bands will pepper the weekend with additional energy and soul. August 19-21. 219/874-4900 or www.lubeznikcenter.org
Frontline Foundations, a substance abuse treatment center for young adults, conducts the innovative Hooked on Art program exploring the 12-steps of recovery through artistic media. Working with local artists and certified substance abuse counselors, the program demonstrates the power of visual and performing arts to stimulate the mind, promote health and connect communities. Four years ago, Frontline expanded this successful program by creating the Hooked on Art festival, attracting chalk artists and others to fill the streets of downtown Chesterton with color and unique creations. Thomas Centennial Park, Saturday, September 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 219/728-1638 or www.hookedonartfestival.com
Dunes Blowout 2016: A Festival of Performance and Ecology: Save the Dunes celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, partnering with the National Park Service, on a weekend of free, family-oriented activities at West Beach, September 24-25, from noon to 7 p.m. The festival pays homage to the historic Dunes Pageant of 1917, the largest outdoor performance ever held in the dunes, which helped call attention to the need to preserve the dunes. 219/879-3564 or www.savethedunes.org
Greater South Bend
by Jack Walton
Now in its 14th year, Art Beat has become South Bend's signature arts and entertainment event. Art Beat usually garners around 10,000 participants, who come to see, primarily, arts and crafts on display on streets throughout downtown South Bend. The addition of plentiful food and live music options contributes to making the event feel more like a carnival than an arts and crafts show. This year's Art Beat is August 20, and there's more information at downtownsouthbend.com/art-beat.
The 2016 Community Foundation Performing Arts Series returns for another round of showcases of a variety of arts disciplines at the Chris Wilson Pavilion at Potawatomi Park in South Bend. The Southold Dance Theater presents an evening of ballet and contemporary dance on August 6. On August 13, the Twin Cities Jazz Orchestra plays a salute to Hoosier composers Hoagy Carmichael and Cole Porter. The South Bend Symphony Orchestra performs on August 20, a concert which includes the popular “community play-along” feature, which is Rossini's “William Tell” overture this year. The series concludes on August 27, with the South Bend Chamber Singers' program “Choral Creatures,” a collection of animal-themed vocal works. A world-class vocal ensemble shows its lighter side with songs like “I Bought Me a Cat.” Learn more about the series at cfsjc.org.
Hand-woven tapestries from the American Tapestry Alliance are on exhibit at the South Bend Museum of Art through September 25. October sees the opening of two photography shows at the SBMA. “Heritage Habitats,” a collaborative piece from Ginger Owen and Vicki VanAmeyden, opens October 1. Fascinating images from the art form's earliest days are on display in “Through the Looking Glass: Masterworks from the Dawn of Photography,” opening October 22. For more information, visit southbendart.org.
South Bend Civic Theatre has the dark humor of controversial Irish playwright Martin McDonagh's “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” running August 12-21. Then, from Mark Roberts, a spoof on married life called “Rantoul and Die,” September 9-17. The season's musical offering is “Legally Blonde: the Musical,” an adaptation of the 2001 hit Reese Witherspoon movie, from September 16 through October 2. SBCT's pre-Halloween feature is Conor McPherson's “The Weir,” running October 14-22. In “The Weir,” a group of friends get together to drink and swap tales of the uncanny. They prove to be haunted on multiple levels. Get more details at sbct.org.