More than 50 years old and 8,500 members strong, the Percussive Arts Society (PAS) strives to promote percussion through education, research, and performances across the world. To carry out this mission, the organization includes more than 50 chapters in the US and 28 chapters abroad, all of which communicate online via resources such as lessons, free practice exercises, and annual events. Each year PAS hosts the annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention—the largest of its kind in the world—in which exhibitors convene to showcase the newest developments in percussion technology, instruments, and publications. The convention also includes over 120 clinics and performances with lauded artists covering all genres and styles of music.
The staff at Art of the Soul encourages an inner examination of the self through artistic expression. Creative Spirit classes grant students three hours of freedom to delve into the process of creating art without the constraints of a specified media and models that refuse to pose in fruit baskets. During each course, artists adorn surfaces such as canvas, fiber, and metal work with eco-friendly materials to visually interpret the workings of the subconscious, and Picassos can take home their finished masterpiece after class. The program’s only goal is to inspire personal expression and build upon a love of art and a penchant for wearing smocks.
A short walk from Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, the Indianapolis Convention Center, and several world-class restaurants, the Hampton Inn Downtown is a welcoming home base for both businessy and pleasurable excursions. The Hampton Inn’s classily comfy guest rooms have 32-inch LCD televisions, complimentary high-speed WiFi, and plush new beds with feather and foam pillows. In the morning, tickle your taste buds with the free continental breakfast, a spread of more than 45 delectable delights. And, if hotel guests need to relieve the stress of a rough flight or to clear their minds before the tic-tac-toe national championships, they can head to the 24-hour fitness facility and work out on the elliptical machines and stationary bikes.
Urban Element assembles scrumptious café fare while surrounding guests in an inviting wine bar atmosphere replete with art-adorned walls and live music. The menu abounds with fairly healthy fare, including homade roasted red-pepper hummus ($8) and grilled-pineapple-and-shrimp salad ($10). Patrons can coordinate outfits to match the blue cheese pasta with chickpeas ($10+) or sample a curried chicken-salad sandwich or wrap ($7). The prevalence of paintings at Urban Element allows guests to appreciate local art without the need to pay admission or ship themselves inside cardboard boxes to fancy museums.
Crafted by a cognitive scientist and a design team from the University of Washington according to state academic standards, the A4L program includes five units that merge traditional literacy-education techniques with activities such as theater exercises to accommodate different learning styles. The program anchors lessons in familiar stories such as The Three Little Pigs, with the goal of raising student achievement in both reading and writing. After participating in the A4L lessons, students have shown increased enjoyment in reading, as well as improvement in reading ability, which teachers report appeals to students of various reading levels and backgrounds. Each student will receive a copy of the book from their particular A4L program and an accompanying workbook.
Located in the heart of downtown, the Indianapolis Zoo allows visitors to immerse themselves in the natural habitat of a myriad of wildlife. The Ocean exhibit features the country’s largest smooth dogfish shark touch pool and a 17-foot underwater dome for viewing dolphins. Nearby, the Desert exhibit raises the temperature to appease the meerkats, iguanas, cacti and poisonous snakes that inhabit the space. The Plains exhibit allows kids and adults alike to check out the lions through thick-gauge glass, explore a pavilion overlooking white rhinos as they play in the mud, watch staff feed giraffes or feed them yourself and test your legs against a simulation of the zoo’s own cheetahs. Elsewhere, guests can gawk at tigers and fawn over brown bears, then ride the zoo’s mini-train for a faraway look at animals and behind the scenes pavilions, before taking in the sprawling, butterfly-filled indoor garden.