The Art & Soul festival, now in its 19th year, has obviously become a staple during Black History Month. The festival celebrates African-American creatives and culture in the Hoosier State, and the Artsgarden will feature improv, dance, spoken word, and more art forms through this month. Indianapolis Artsgarden, 110 W. Washington St., 317-624-2563. Jan. 31–March 1. Free.
The public is invited to the view the 27th annual exhibition of “Meet the Artists,” currently on display at Central Library. This presentation showcases the work of 18 locally prominent African-American artists through March 28. On February 14, the library will host a Meet the Artists gala reception from 5 to 10 p.m. That gala will provide the opportunity to mingle with the artists—authors, singers, fashion designers, and more—and even participate in their respective crafts. On March 6, from 6 to 9 p.m., Central Library will hold an all-ages art showcase featuring artist demonstrations, music, and beverages. Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St., 317-275-4099. Free.
Per the Indiana State Museum website, “Sankofa symbolizes the importance of looking back and learning from the past.” This February 7 event takes place 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and will feature music, dance, African drumming, demonstrations, and other activities. ISM invites the public to celebrate both West African and African-American art, history, and culture from a Hoosier perspective. Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St., 317-232-1637. Free.
Guest conductor Chelsea Tipton II and the Voice of the Light Choir will perform at Hilbert Circle Theatre on February 10. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will honor Tipton as she leads the ISO and the choir in renditions of exuberant hits including Edwin Hawkins’s “Oh Happy Day” and Quincy Jones’s “Hallelujah,” based on “The Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. Hilbert Circle Theatre, 32 E. Washington St., 317-639-4300. Free.
On the final Friday of each month, Madame Walker Theatre presents Jazz on the Avenue. The headliner this Black History Month is Lonnie Lester, a Gary, Indiana, native who has sung professionally since opening for The Drifters in 1959. In his shimmering career, he has also opened for the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Madame Walker Theatre Center, 617 Indiana Ave., 317-236-2099. February 27. $10.