IU Northwest to bring free pop-up arts events into local communities this fall

First School of the Arts’ Mobile Arts + Action Community Lab experience takes place this weekend

Indiana University Northwest is delivering the arts directly to residents across Northwest Indiana with a collection of objects and artworks that encourage people to experiment and play, engage with their community, and interact with the School of the Arts.

Serving as a resource and catalyst for cultural and community activity, the Mobile Arts + Action Community Lab is a traveling, pop-up modular exhibition system the School of the Arts will take on the road beginning this fall.

Designed in collaboration with Chicago-based social justice design practice firm Could Be Architecture, the lab is intended to stimulate community involvement, economic revitalization, and strengthen regional artistic and cultural connections.

Some areas where residents can see IU Northwest’s Mobile Arts + Action Community Lab:

September 19
Noon to 5 p.m.
Gary Housing Authority – Genesis Towers
578 Broadway Avenue, Gary

October 1
Noon to 5 p.m.
City of Hammond
5230 Hohman Avenue, Hammond

October 16
Noon to 5 p.m.
City of Hobart
3rd and Main Street, Hobart
(coinciding with the 3rd Street Bridge Ribbon Cutting)

According to the project team—Lauren Pacheco, director of Arts Programming and Engagement, and Kelly Knaga, professor of Fine Arts—the mobile lab will provide a curated range of hands-on experiences and activities, including visual, performance, moving image, historical, archival, and sound presentations intended to engage, educate and spur discussion.

“Perhaps most importantly,” Pacheco said, “The project is coming to fruition at the perfect time. It will help us support the creative sector globally impacted by COVID-19 by presenting their artworks, objects, and ideas with the public. It also will provide supplemental resources that stimulate discovery and curiosity for community members, K-12 educators and students; as well as recognize the power of diverse creative practices and civic discourse to transform communities and create meaningful projects.”

The Mobile Art and Action Community Lab consists of eight free-standing birchwood modular structures.  A combination of the system will travel or pop-up in surrounding Northwest Indiana communities in indoor or outdoor environments such as parking or vacant hard-surfaced lots, large gymnasiums, or theater stages, civic centers such as central downtown districts, municipal buildings, libraries, schools, or parks. 

To learn more, contact Pacheco at 219-981-5627 or lpachec@iun.edu.