A local musician is the only Hoosier recipient of a national grant that champions cultural justice and formal innovation in the performing arts.
Saxophonist Jared Thompson received a $30,000 MAP Fund grant to present a project serving marginalized or underserved communities.
“This has honestly been the biggest grant I’ve ever received, and that alone gave me the autonomy to think as far outside the box as I could without having any financial constraints on it. Another thing I noticed here in this city is that we have such a lack of minors, artistic programming and accessibility,” Thompson said.
Thompson and his jazz band Premium Blend are working on the project with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation, From the 317 and Gang Gang culture. They will perform their upcoming album “Virtue” live inside the planetarium of the Indianapolis Children’s Museum on April 21st.
“We have subsidized the tickets so that if you are under 18, it is completely free. If you’re over 18, tickets are just $10, Thompson said. “It’s just another way to interact with professional musicians, it’s another way to interact and experience jazz music and music in general.”
The eight-track album will be accompanied by digital animated shorts – created by Ronald Craig Jr (Elsewhere Digital Media) and “Boogie Bang” (Boogie the Brand) – each featuring a “heavenly story” of some sort to enhance the audience’s experience .
Thompson said his goal with the grant projects is to get community partners to work together and discuss how to sustain and fund projects on a regular basis.
“While this is an amazing opportunity for Premium Blend, I get my sponsors to sit down at the table and say, ‘hey, we can budget X amount of dollars every year'”
Thompson said. “I can only imagine how many other great ideas our artistic community can use these spaces to be affordable to the community and accessible to the community at the same time.”
More information and tickets are available online at Premium Blend Indy.
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