When I moved to Indianapolis, one of the things I loved most was the happiness I felt as winter ended. The milder temperatures and bursts of color everywhere seemed like a reward for making it through the cold Indiana winter. And one of my favorite parts of spring (besides all the flowers) is that it signals we will soon be enjoying art fairs, exhibits, and festivals. They provide a wonderful change of pace, and a source of inspiration for my next creative project.

Visual Arts

First Friday’s are fun all year round, but the monthly event is especially enjoyable on a warm spring evening. Created by the The Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Associations this monthly art tour now includes nearly 40 participating studios and galleries—plus a huge range of unofficial events.

Some of my favorite locations are the Harrison Center, Circle City Industrial Complex and Murphy Arts because these are working studios, not just galleries.

Once upon a time they built cars at The Stutz Building. The high ceilings and concrete floors haven’t changed much since those cars rolled down the assembly line. But these days there is another type of assembly going on. And every April they open their doors wide to welcome Indianapolis art lovers to wander the halls during the Stuz Artist’s Open House. There’s live music, some food, and lots and lots of art!

Broad Ripple Art Fair –  May 19 – 20. This show features the work of artists from around the country. Mixed with the professional artists are opportunities for kids of all ages to try their hand at making art, and sampe some of our best local food trucks.

A few weeks later, is the Talbot Street Art Fair ( June 16 -17).  Much smaller, with no admission fee there is more local art sandwiched into the booths along this narrow street.

Performing Arts

Theater festivals at the Fringe. The big festival is in August, but spring includes two celebrations of original works. Onyx Fest  March 22- 31 is A Celebration of African American Voices produced in partnership this year with The Kennedy King Initiative 50th Anniversary. The program includes musicals, drama, and storytelling.

And in April, Diva Fest features some of Indy’s most creative women playwrights.

 Culinary Arts

Farmer’s Markets The first hint of warm weather in May brings the farmers to market with early season crops. And it is time for the farmer’s markets. My favorite is definitely Broad Ripple on Saturday mornings.  Noisy, crowded, and very pet-friendly, there is an everyone is welcome feeling as you buy produce, local cheese, pasta, bread, and so much more. If you work downtown, be sure to swing by the Wednesday market outside the actual Old City Market. The contrast of the produce and the urban setting makes for a pleasant way to spend an hour or two.

Food and Wine – Celebrate local wineries and restaurants at the annual Vintage Wine and Food Festival, June 2 at Military Park. You’ll have a chance to sample some of the best tastes of Indiana.

If all this art, theater, food, and wine doesn’t inspire you to get out and enjoy the city, I don’t know what will.  Looking for more local events? Check out AroundIndy.Com The most comprehensive list of things to do all year long around the state of Indiana.

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