Indianapolis is known for great sports with the Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis 500 and the Pacers. The city has a wide selection of dance clubs and restaurant for the growing 20 working something's to the mature 40 and 50 year old crowds. It has a Jazz fest for the jazz lovers and two art museums like the Indiana State Museum & Art Museum that will satisfy any artist’s eye. One thing that a person might not think about in regards to Indianapolis is the art of spoken word. Spoken word is a form of literary art or artistic performance in which lyrics, poetry, or stories are spoken rather than sung. Spoken word is usually connected to more urban cities such as Chicago, New York City, and Atlanta. In the last couple of years, the city of Indianapolis has been seeing a rise of businesses where they display spoken word and have open microphone or “mic” nights where anyone in the audience can sign up to go on stage and exhibit their talent through poetry or song.
Even though there is a large market for spoken word, some businesses have had to close down. It could be due to the economy or not enough marketing support. In 2009, two different businesses are turning those numbers around. Urban Element, a downtown lounge and café, has been allowing local spoken word artists, upcoming singers and small house bands have their moment to shine in front of audiences. Their location is 901 N Pennsylvania St. in front of the Central Library. Every Thursday, they feature a group of spoken word artists called Writer’s Bloc who are the café’s house poets between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Urban Element does not charge for listeners to enjoy but their menu is very persuading to a hungry stomach. During the hours before mentioned, they also encourage other poets to take the stage either with the accompanied DJ or with some of their personal music that they provide. Since August of 2009, Urban Element has featured widely know poets as well such as Mudd Jones and Kevin Sandbloom. For poetry lovers with performance expression, Urban Element is a great place to start.
The Ice Lounge, a sushi and wine bar, is located downtown as well with a long list of amenities from their lush white sofas to the three levels with bars and seating. They serve food and provide flat screens televisions to catch the Colts or the Pacers play. Also in 2009, they added spoken word to their roster. Once a month on Saturdays, they feature an open mic night on the 3rd level of the Ice Lounge. Eclectic Soul Entertainment holds a spoken word event that begins several different poets and then a featured poet who expresses themselves with five or six poems with a live band behind them. Some of their features have included Tasha Jones and Bashiri Asad. Their location is 235 S Meridian St across from the Hooters restaurant. With this event, there is a charge of $5 - $10, and after the spoken word show, there is a dance party for the grown and sexy.
For Indianapolis residents, they can enjoy art, sports, great food and now spoken word. They can find great poetry, live performances, and meet like-minded people. Urban Element and the Ice Lounge give more options to that busy 20 something or the settled 40/50 year old that enjoys the art of words.
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