Butler in the Community

Arts and Culture

Every year, Butler University presents hundreds of events, many of which are free and open to the public. Former presidents (Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush), secretaries of state (Colin Powell and Madeline Albright), and some of the great writers and thinkers of our time have spoken on campus, and our performance halls have played host to some of the giants in music, theatre, and dance.

Art @ Clowes: Throughout the calendar year, Clowes Memorial Hall is home to exhibits showcasing the works of local artists, sculptors, writers, and others. Admission is free and open to the public during regular business hours.

Butler ArtsFest: Butler ArtsFest is a multi-day, multi-arts festival in April that was created to add to Indianapolis' and Butler's reputation in the arts and increase Butler's ties to the community-and the community's ties to Butler. Nearly all Jordan College of the Arts (JCA) students-and most JCA faculty-perform during ArtsFest.

Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series: Butler University's Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series was established in 1987 to provide Butler and the greater Indianapolis community with opportunities to hear from world-renowned scholars, dignitaries, and personalities. Since its inception, the lecture series has become one of the largest multicultural, collegiate observances in the Midwest. Nearly all events are free and open to the public.

Clowes Conversations: Clowes Conversations provide an opportunity to gain insight into the performing arts and beyond. Each event features an expert on the topic and relates to performances occurring at Clowes Memorial Hall. These experiences are designed for all ages, easy to understand, educational, entertaining, and free.

Clowes Memorial Hall: In addition to providing arts and cultural events for the Indianapolis community, Butler's 2,172-seat theatre offers school matinees, distance learning, teacher workshops, and other educational programming. That's everything from Seussical to Junie B. Jones to Scholastic awards programming.

Faculty and student recitals: Butler faculty and students present dozens of recitals each year that are free and open to the public, including a Tuesday night Faculty Recital Series and the Piano at Butler series. 

J. James Woods Lecture Series: The goal of the J. James Woods Lecture Series is to bring prominent mathematicians and scientists to Butler to speak on theories at the frontier of their disciplines, as well as on related technologies and other issues of public concern.  Lectures are free and open to the public. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and the winners of the Indianapolis Prize are among the many Woods lecturers.

Seminar on Religion and World Civilization: The Seminar on Religion and World Civilization is a program of Butler's Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and seeks to promote understanding of international and intercultural relations through the study of religion in the contemporary world. Lectures are free and open to the public. Each year, the series takes on a new issue, such as "Freedom of Expression and Religion."

Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series: The Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series at Butler University regularly hosts public readings and Q&A sessions with some of the most influential people in contemporary literature. Not only have authors like Toni Morrison, Billy Collins, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Gwendolyn Brooks, Nick Hornby, Margaret Atwood, Allen Ginsberg, and Amy Tan shared their work with the Indianapolis community, but they also have interacted directly with undergraduate students in Butler's English classes. Lectures are free and open to the public.