In 1934, the Great Depression was creating a new brand of starving artist. Studios sat over garages filled with the smell of exhaust, and potbelly stoves kept models from having goose bumps. As a member of the Work Progress Administration, artist William Kaeser helped develop a network to solve problems found when trying to share art with the public. From this network, he and other local artists founded the Indianapolis Art Center, which has grown to a current faculty of 150 artists. The center continues Kaeser’s mission of engaging the community by creating opportunities for artists and teaching creative skills through classes and camps. Studios allow artists to design their own works using watercolor, bronze casting, woodworking, and metalsmithing, which they can submit for judgment in annual student shows and Supreme Court briefs. The Art Center building houses open spaces for studio work and exhibitions, along with a library and classrooms dedicated to different crafts. Renowned architect and Indianapolis-native Michael Graves designed both the facility and the attached ArtsPark. A 12-acre landscape dotted with more than 27 interactive sculptures, ArtsPark captivates visitors with its playful designs. ArtsPark also provides a natural setting for concerts, festivals, and the Broad Ripple Art Fair, which collects artwork from more than 225 North American artists.
Prana Yoga School of Yoga and Health takes its name from the Sanskrit word for "breath," a vital life force. As part of the studio's mission, its instructors aim to expose students to all the benefits of yoga and holistic health in a welcoming and nonjudgmental environment. With 60 classes available each week, Prana Yoga's two locations offer sessions designed for practitioners of every experience level. During all-levels courses, instructors invite all students to practice together while also modifying and adjusting poses for those who need it. Restorative sessions help practitioners relax, and prenatal courses bring relief to mothers-to-be.
In addition to group yoga, the facility hosts private one-on-one yoga, teacher-training programs, and a variety of workshops. Massage therapists are also available to perform Thai, hot-stone, and Swedish massages. As part of a commitment to giving back to the community, the founder of Prana Yoga also runs the Pranayoga Foundation, which brings yoga therapy to people with cancer and other chronic illnesses.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers?with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers?are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
The resident experts at Beads Amore impart the intricacies of beading in classes for all skill levels. From the fundamentals of stringing and design to wire working and project-specific lessons, classes cover a wide spectrum of jewelry-related topics. Each class takes place inside Beads Amore's shop, which practically overflows with exotic and semi-precious stone beads. The jewelry artists teach with beads made of everything from pewter to gems, and lessons cover silversmithing and using beads to accentuate lamps or your cat’s tail.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or cha-cha. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Armed with precise hand tools and knowledge of metal manipulation, the technicians at Indianapolis Dent Company perform paintless dent removals that erase unsightly dings while leaving the original factory finish untouched. They undo all manner of wear and damage, including windshield cracks, dings caused by errant hail, and phone numbers keyed into the hood by secret admirers with a lawless streak. In the spirit of keeping cars looking sharp, each repair also includes a free car wash.