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Femme-punk band Sleater-Kinney, journalist Carl Bernstein among 2024 Granfalloon events

For Immediate Release Apr 11, 2024

Carrie Brownstein, left, and Corin Tucker formed femme-punk band Sleater-Kinney in 1994. Photo courtesy of Sleater-Kinney Carrie Brownstein, left, and Corin Tucker formed femme-punk band Sleater-Kinney in 1994. Photo courtesy of Sleater-Kinney

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Performances by femme-fronted punk-rock bands Sleater-Kinney and The Linda Lindas, as well as a keynote address from Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author Carl Bernstein, will be part of this summer’s Granfalloon festival, an annual celebration of art, ideas and community inspired by Hoosier author Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Now in its fifth year, Granfalloon will kick off the Bloomington summer arts and culture season, attracting thousands of visitors and locals to the downtown area.

Presented by the Indiana University Arts and Humanities Council, Granfalloon takes place May 20 to June 9, with most programs occuring June 4 to 8. The festival will once again run concurrently with the Indiana University Writers’ Conference and the Bloomington Handmade Market. In addition to Sleater-Kinney and The Linda Lindas, the Kirkwood Avenue main-stage show on June 8 will feature brass-funk band My Son the Hurricane. On the same day, performances by Girls Rock Bloomington and its founder, Amy Oelsner, who performs as Amy O, will take place at the courthouse square.

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Carl Bernstein will serve as keynote speaker at Granfalloon 2024. Photo courtes... Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Carl Bernstein will serve as keynote speaker at Granfalloon 2024. Photo courtesy of Sam Levitan Photography

An extensive lineup of events will include music and theater performances, readings, exhibitions, film screenings, panel discussions, talks, interactive activities and more, taking place at numerous venues on the Indiana University campus and throughout Bloomington. Many of the events, including the main-stage concert, will be free and open to the public.

Event lineup and partner and supporter information for the festival can be found on the Granfalloon website. Tickets for ticketed events will be available April 15.

On June 6, Bernstein will appear at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater as the festival keynote speaker. Bernstein, along with journalist Bob Woodward, uncovered and reported on the Watergate scandal, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.

This year’s festival draws inspiration from “Jailbird,” Vonnegut’s novel based on the Watergate scandal. The festival will highlight themes of social economic justice, political crime, incarceration, homelessness and aging. Accordingly, the festival will partner with IU Theatre, IU Cinema, The Media School, Political and Civic Engagement, IU Libraries, IU Prison Arts Initiative and the Ray Bradbury Center to curate events and activities that bring the campus’s expertise and resources to the events in a fun and engaging way.

A series of public talks on the festival themes featuring nationally recognized experts, IU faculty and local leaders will take place during the primary festival week. The Gayle Karch Cook Center for Public Arts and Humanities will also host an art exhibition and talk by artist Nanette Vonnegut, daughter of Kurt Vonnegut.

Additional events that align with this year’s theme include:

  • A performance by the nationally renowned and beloved group Young@Heart, a chorus composed entirely of people 70 and older.
  • An AfterHours event at WonderLab Museum.
  • A film series hosted in partnership with IU Cinema, Cicada Cinema, Kan-Kan Cinema and the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
  • A Vonnegut-themed arts and literature program hosted at the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in Indianapolis.
  • Talks and activities in conjunction with the Cook Center’s Vonnegut Altar.

The festival will showcase local artists through several new initiatives and partnerships, including the Art Project Grant program, which is in its debut year. The program will provide local artists with grants up to $1,000 to create socially conscious works of public art affiliated with festival themes. Awardees include Jim Christie, Charles Culp, Huner Emin, Elizabeth Stelle, Emmie Tallman and Erin Tobey.

Additional festival events include:

  • Cosmic Songwriters, featuring festival-inspired songs written and performed by local songwriters.
  • The Bloomington Handmade Market, which features items made by dozens of makers and crafters.
  • A performance by IU Jacobs School of Music alums Anna Butterss and Ben Lumsdaine.
  • Performances hosted at The Bluebird, The Bishop Bar and The Back Door.
  • Public readings hosted by the IU Writers’ Conference
  • A series of book discussions in partnership with Indiana Humanities, the Monroe County Public Library and Morgenstern Books.

More guests, events and supporters will be announced in the coming weeks.

Granfalloon is supported in part by a number of community business and organizations, including Graduate Bloomington, Visit Bloomington, the City of Bloomington, Sweetgreen, Indiana Humanities, the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, WFHB and Downtown Bloomington Inc. Granfalloon is also supported in part by a number of IU offices, including the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, IU Research, IU Libraries, IU Cinema and the Jacobs School of Music.

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Julia Hodson

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