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The Center’s daytime speaker series, the Luminaries, meets at 2 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every other month to learn about the Center's programming and the performing arts in general. Tickets for the presentations are $15 and include light refreshments. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the Box Office at 317.843.3800.


2019-20 schedule
2 p.m. presentation followed by light refreshments


Great-Grandma Was a Fraudulent Spiritualist Medium

September 24, 2019


In 1917, Hettie Reilly was touring Australia as a vaudeville performer when she fell for a con from a fake psychic. She set up her own shop in New York City and spent the next two decades talking other people out of their money, using psychology and an arsenal of special effects.


In the 1970s, her great-grandson Kevin Burke took a boyhood interest in magic and showed her a trick. "That was very nice," she said. "May I show you something?" Thus began an informal apprenticeship that lasted until her death. Using her methods, Burke became a Las Vegas headliner, billed as “The World's Only Psychic Comedian.” Now he shares Hettie’s story, and some of her amazing secrets, with you.


About the presenter

Kevin Burke is an actor/playwright and former Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year. For 16 years, he has starred in the National Touring Company of the Broadway show Defending the Caveman, including the show's 11-year Las Vegas residency. He also starred in his own one-man show and now holds the Guinness World Record for Most Theatrical Performances in 50 days.


Stories & Songs of Hoagy Carmichael

November 26, 2019


Dynamic husband-wife duo Lara Lynn and Kevin MacDowell have been sharing the stories and songs of Hoagy Carmichael for 20 years. This Luminaries presentation will focus on Hoagy's lesser-known songs and stories of his early life in Bloomington, Indiana. What a great way to celebrate and honor Hoagy’s 120th birthday!


About the presenters

Kevin MacDowell, aka Kid Kazooey, is a graduate of IU’s School of Library and Information Sciences. Lara and Kevin travel the Midwest as Kid Kazooey & the BallRoom Roustabouts, singing silly original songs to children and families. Off stage, Lara and Kevin work at making their Bloomington community a better place through their jobs at the Monroe County Public Library and CASA.


Electric Violins, Jazz, and Community

January 28, 2020


Electric violinist/vocalist Cathy Morris enjoys sharing music with infectious enthusiasm and captivating presentations for audiences of all ages. She combines contemporary jazz melodies and chords with Latin rhythms, funk grooves, fusion, rock, blues, Celtic and even Cajun music, creating her own distinctive sound she calls “Party Jazz.” In this presentation of music and stories, Morris will explore the world of electric violins and the positive impact the arts have on the community.


About the presenter

As a performer, producer, composer, educator and recording artist, Cathy Morris has been a staple of the Midwest arts community for over 20 years. A frequent guest soloist with orchestras and jazz bands, and she has opened for such artists as Al Jarreau, Burt Bacharach, George Benson and Chuck Mangione, and has performed for dignitaries including Mikhail Gorbachev, President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, First Lady Laura Bush and Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae. She has five CDs of original music in addition to her holiday disc, A Cathy Morris Christmas.


Songs of Suffrage: Votes for Women!

March 24, 2020


Join singer, pianist and composer Adrienne Provenzano for this entertaining and educational story of the campaign for women's suffrage, complete with a few Ragtime numbers performed on the Steinway! Learn the role music played as women sought the vote, and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which made that right the law of the land.


About the presenter

Adrienne Provenzano is a versatile musician and educator, known and respected for her historical portrayals, including Gene Stratton-Porter and Amelia Earhart. She holds degrees from Indiana University, Arcadia University, and the University of Pennsylvania as well as graduate credits from Butler University.

Songbook Academy 101: Making the Magic happen!

May 26, 2020


 Go behind-the-scenes with the Songbook Foundation staff to learn about how your FAVORITE event of the year comes to fruition.  How do we narrow from hundreds of applications to our Top 40 finalists?  Who chooses the Celebrity Mentors?  Beyond the glamorous performances that happen onstage, what does a typical day look like for our staff and students at the Songbook Academy... and how has the Songbook Academy evolved into the nationally-renown program and format that you see today?  


From feeding sixty to seventy people a day to finalizing the 's marvelous choral numbers you see onstage in the final show, Songbook Academy is made up of a lot of moving parts.  Develop an understanding of how the magic happens by attending this lunch and learn with Executive Director Chris Lewis (past Director of Programs) and current Manager of Programs and Communications, Renée La Schiazza, an alum of the Songbook Academy, herself.   And don’t forget to come prepared to #SingtheSongbook!



For more information, contact Julia Shildmyer-Heighway at 317.819.3516 or