Here's a roundup of events both virtual and socially-distanced to uplift your spirit. We've got, just for starters, events by the American Songbook Foundation, dishing on the delicious prose of Agatha Christie, and jazz! 

Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. on WFYI-TV, the annual Labor Day Indy Jazz Block Party is happening. 

The promo reads: “This special presentation is the product of two days of filming. Enjoy local favorites Rob Dixon & Trilogy, Bashiri Asad, The Phelps Connection led by Kenny & Valerie Phelps, Clint Breeze & The Groove, Jared Thompson & Premium Blend + Charlie Ballantine.”

Sept. 10-12: Peggy Lee Induction Week, starts with a private visit to the Peggy Lee Archives led by her granddaughter Holly Foster Wells, here

The Great American Songbook Foundation is honoring singer-songwriter Peggy Lee and The Music Man creator Meredith Willson as the 2020 inductees to its Great American Songbook Hall of Fame with two weeks of livestreamed tributes, discussions and other activities through its Facebook page  and YouTube channel.

Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.:The Porch at the Propylaeum is the setting for a live string quartet performance with musicians from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. “Guests spread out on our lawn to enjoy the free concert,” announces the news release. Register here.

“There will be a cash bar and packaged refreshments available for sale. Masks are required at the bar and when entering the building for restroom facilities. Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs. Outside food and beverage is permissible, however, outside alcohol is prohibited. Seating is general admission and self— assigned with required social distancing of a least 6 feet apart.”

Sept. 12, starting at 3:30 p.m., Indiana Landmarks is taking their 2020 annual meeting online,highlighting 60 years of preservation in Indiana.  No RSVP necessary. Simply watch and enjoy on Facebook or YouTube.

Sept. 14, Oct. 5 and Nov. 16: Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences faculty will take you deeper into the pages of Agatha Christie's novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.  The 7 p.m. virtual lectures are free and open to the public.  Learn more and register here. 

Agatha Christie's first novel was published in 1920 and launched the career of one of her most famous sleuths, Hercule Poirot. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of a novel that originated as a dare from the author's sister! 

Sept 15 offers an entry into honing storytelling skills at Storytelling Arts. Learn about it at the  next virtual meeting.     

Sept. 16: you can compete in the next virtual Indy Story Slam. The theme is "Stories of Social Justice.” Need to see what it's all about before you plunge in? Watch a slam session here:  Facebook page.  

Sept. 17-19: Meredith Willson Induction Week, includes a tour of the Songbook Archives' Meredith Willson Collection with Archivist Lisa Lobdell and Songbook Foundation Founder Michael Feinstein, and a presentation by British musicologist Dominic McHugh on Willson's life and legacy, here.

Willson (1902-1984) was a noted bandleader, broadcaster and songwriter ("It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas") before he cemented his legacy as the playwright and composer of the 1957 Tony Award-winning The Music Man. His family's The Music Man Foundation entrusted his personal papers —  including correspondence with presidents and other famous figures —  to the Great American Songbook Archives & Library, where they are being digitized for online research access.

Sept. 19: Susan O'Halloran’s  journey from her front porch on the southside of Chicago to the wider world of international refugee crises and big— city, racial politics via Zoom, centers on "Who Gets to Call this Home?" Buy tickets here.

Sept. 24: 6:30-7:45 p.m.: Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra offers a new concert style at Holliday Park.  Strings are playing the first half and woodwind and brass are playing the second half.  All event staff, volunteers, orchestra musicians and guests will be required to wear masks for the entire event.  The only exception will be given to wind and brass players within the orchestra while they are playing. The wind and brass musicians will be distanced with a 12’ radius from each other and at least 30: from any audience member.

Expect to enter through two entry points for check-in. The perimeter of the grassy area on the east side of the ruins will be roped to ensure that all guests check— in. Guests without a reservation will not be admitted. Bathroom facilities will be available for use in the park.  Learn more and register here.


Ongoing Events

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site unabashedly announced it is “leading the way, making the best use of its space during the global pandemic to get creative. 

“[We] saw a need for businesses and small groups to start meeting in person again, but in a safe and socially distanced outdoor space, so [we] decided to offer the Presidential Lawn as a gathering space,” reads the news release, with this explanation, “The lawn is situated next to President Benjamin Harrison’s home at 1230 North Delaware St. 

Organizations and businesses can rent the lawn for 90 minutes (or more if needed) and it will be set with 10 chairs socially distanced in a large circle (or however you prefer) and 10 water bottles. Cost is $50 and goes to support the educational mission of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site.” 

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Benjamin and Caroline Harrison built the home in 1874-1875. Harrison lived in the home until he died in 1901, except during his U.S. Senate and presidential years. His family continued to live in the home until 1913. 

Learn more at (317) 631-1888 or

Since 2015 the Spirit & Place Festival model has been to foster community engagement. Corona Dialogues, starting Sept. 10, is a virtual discussion series that will explore the impact and ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the news release. “Work from the ground— up to discover innovative solutions across silos and communities and begin building new frameworks for the future. Occurring in three phases, these conversations will be grounded in the Civic Reflection Dialogue method, which uses materials such as text, artwork, music, or video, as the starting point for conversation. To participate go here.

Indiana Historical Society’s current Bicentennial Minute features Knute Rockne.

“The 2020 college football season will kick off soon (maybe),” offers the promo, “but there’s one Indiana coaching legend who looms over every season. Knute Rockne’s Notre Dame teams were always contending for the national title, and his record (105-12-5) speaks for itself. Get ready for fall, wake up the ghosts, and learn about this amazing South Bend coach. Watch the video here.

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