The Jacobs School of Music consistently ranks as one of the three best music programs in the country and among the top ten in the world. It produces more than 1,200 musical events annually, ranging from operas to ensemble and solo performances. Many events are free or offered at a reduced price to IU students.
Mother Bear’s is a jazz and IU music school haunt. The all-ages venue, Rhino’s, and innumerable house concerts support a vibrant youth music scene. The Comedy Attic is ranked among the top ten venues nationwide preferred by stand-up comedians, drawing talent from all across the country and featuring popular open mic opportunities. Many of the local bars are also music venues.
The Bluebird, where John Mellencamp got his start, is a nationally known stop for tours of the Midwest.
Festivals + Theatres
The Lotus Music and Arts Festival in September brings extraordinary musical groups from every corner of the globe, with education and concert events throughout the year. The Buskirk-Chumley Theater, a 1920s renovated theatre, offers a great diversity of entertainment, with world class music, the BANFF Film Festival, and a popular annual PRIDE Festival.
The IU Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance offers exceptional programming throughout the year. The Bloomington Playwright’s Project supports emerging writers and stages their plays. Cardinal Stage Company offers diverse, high-quality theater productions in tandem with outreach and educational initiatives, including plays for children and youth. Two local high schools also offer remarkable musical theater and drama.
IU Cinema is a world-renowned venue and curatorial program dedicated to the highest standards of exhibition of film in both its traditional and modern forms. It presents dozens of repertory films on campus, including film prints from archives in the U.S. and abroad, with campus visits with many of the world’s greatest directors and actors. The Ryder film series shows independent and foreign films at several locations. First run movies can be seen at either of the two Kerasotes theatres on the east and west sides of town.