Central Indiana Things to Do - July August 2020

Enjoy the Transformative Benefits of Travel—Without Leaving Home
Crystal Hammon

Every next level of life calls for a new version of you, and travel has always been one of the ways to meet that challenge. Fortunately, you don’t have to let current restrictions keep you from growing, learning, achieving new goals and connecting with others. An impressive variety of Central Indiana organizations have expanded their reach with free and low-cost enrichment programs available to anyone with an internet connection. Here are just a few: 

Learn More About Classical Music 
Classical music is for everyone, and it should be shared in a down-to-earth way. At least that’s how the folks at Classical Music Indy (CMI) see things. This organization promotes Indy’s robust classical music scene with opportunities to hear local classical artists make music. Attend their Virtual Random Acts of Music, or listen to one of CMI’s classical music podcasts.  

Melanated Moments, hosted by local pianist Joshua Thompson and mega-watt opera star Angela Brown, spotlights classical music made by, for and/or about people of color. Aspiring gastronomes, give a listen to Classical Pairings. Podcast host and musicologist Nick Johnson invites a local chef or mixologist (and sometimes a classical musician) to choose the perfect classical music companion for each epicurean delight. www.classicalmusicindy.org  

Attend a Virtual Story Hour 
Public libraries have always been the great equalizer in a democratic society, and they now shine brighter than ever with online resources for people of all ages and needs. Librarians at the Greenwood Public Library offer virtual storytime. Hear lively read-alouds drawn from children’s classics such as Alice in Wonderland. Most public libraries have an exhaustive collection of digital books you can download at no cost, and many offer free Wi-Fi from their parking lots. www.greenwoodlibrary.us 

Plan a social distancing porch party. 
Salute the Harrison Center for the Arts for reigniting the old-fashioned art of front-porch neighboring, updated with a social distancing twist. Here’s how it works: set a time each week (or month) and ask neighbors to get outside on their front porches and balconies. Connect with each other from a safe distance between porches.  

Give yourself an uplifting treat when you walk, bike or drive past the Harrison Center to explore window art installations day or night. You’ll see art the Harrison Center commissioned from local artists who’ve been sequestered at home. Ride the Monon Trail and view artworks made by hundreds of neighbors who collaborated on group art projects. These works are installed on a fence along the trail. www.harrisoncenter.org 

Write that book. 
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice just beginning to hone your writing skills, the Indiana Writers Center (IWC) has virtual programs and classes that can transport you to the next level. The IWC helps writers connect with each other, refine writing and editing skills, and learn the essentials of publishing. If you’re serious about writing, these are your people. Most programs have a modest registration fee. www.indianawriters.org 

Exercise your mind and body. 
You don’t have to be Jewish to take advantage of the Jewish Community Center. The JCC serves the whole community—children and adults—with online programming in the arts, fitness, early childhood and school-age education, and virtual visits with authors. Some resources are free. Others are available for a modest fee. jccindy.org