A Message from our Executive Director: 

What is a theatre without events?

That's a question I’ve had on my mind quite frequently over the past week. And it is a question that has spurred many thoughts and memories of my time here at Butler. I’ve always enjoyed walking through Clowes after a show: the load out is finished, the lights are off, and the crew can be heard making their post-show plans while the tour bus is rolling out of the lot. It’s the true music to my ears, and my favorite part of the day. A sense of accomplishment and pride always flows through me during this closing walkthrough and invigorates me for the next day ahead. We’ve accomplished our mission, thousands of patrons had a great experience, the day was a success, and we’re setup to do it all over again.

But the dark theatre of today is something different than a dark day in our weekly calendar, and not just for us here at Butler but for all venues across the country. If there is a ghost in Clowes, I imagine this is their heyday. We exist to bring people together: to laugh, to cry, to come together as a community, and to enjoy humanity together. But how do we accomplish this without patrons coming through our doors? It is trying times like what we’re facing now that emphasize the importance of coming together and there is great work happening both here in Indianapolis, and nationally that embraces that mindset.

Indy Keeps Creating is an initiative by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Community Funders that has raised $275,000 to support artists locally that have lost work because of these event cancellations.  

Nationally, the Actors Fund is raising money to help support everyone in the theatre industry across the country, from actors to stagehands to ushers. Just this past weekend they raised $500,000.

It's initiatives like these that give me hope, and give me a sense of community coming together again. And it is with that sense of community that I want to let you know that we here at the Butler Arts & Events Center are here for you:

  • We’re actively working on ways to provide engaging materials during this time,

  • We’re booking exciting and engaging productions for when events can start again,

  • We're finding the best educational programming for our Matinee Series,

  • And we’re ensuring that our venues are in top shape for when you come back.

So I ask again, what is theatre without events? Simple: we’re a community that supports each other. We don’t have to be in a specific room to accomplish this and there are little things we can all do to celebrate each other. From musicians playing for each other on Facebook live, to fund drives to support others in the industry. That’s the beauty of theatre and it is heartwarming to see it spreading outside of a traditional 4 wall room.

I look forward to seeing each of you experience a great event at the Butler Arts & Events Center again. And I can’t wait until my next post show walkthrough; but until that day, thank you for all you’re doing to help keep our community safe and together.

Aaron Hurt

Indianapolis – UPDATED MARCH 17 – In accordance with the most recent directives from Governor Holcomb and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning COVID 19, events at the Butler Arts and Events Center are cancelled the next eight (8) weeks through Monday, May 11, 2020. Additional events outside of that date range may also cancel so patrons are encouraged to check ButlerArtsCenter.org for the most up-to-date show information regarding cancellations and rescheduled/postponed events.

Click here for a full statement.

About the Butler Arts & Events Center

The Butler Arts & Events Center (BAEC) is home to Butler University’s event facilities including performance venues, conference and meeting rooms, outdoor spaces and housing. Its performance venues welcome more than 200,000 visitors annually, with 30,000 from the student matinee series.  The BAEC is comprised of five venues including its flagship 2100 seat venue Clowes Memorial Hall; the Schrott Center for the Arts with 475 seats; Shelton Auditorium with nearly 400 seats; Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall with 135 seats and Lilly Hall Studio Theatre. Programming includes the Butler Arts Presents series, BAEC’s Education Matinee Series, Jordan College of the Arts performances, Broadway In Indianapolis shows, various Butler lecture series, performances from local performing arts organizations and a variety of national touring shows. Additionally, the Butler Campus has dozens more meeting and event spaces suitable for functions from weddings and summer camps to seminars and conferences.

As a home for performance....

Our Vision
The Butler Arts & Events Center is Central Indiana’s premier home for diverse performing arts programming and education. Through professional presentation, artist collaborations, commissioning, public and school outreach and community engagement we encourage the creation, appreciation, and understanding of the arts. The BAEC brings people together for shared experiences that inspire and sustain our current and next generation of arts participants and patrons.

Our Mission
The Butler Arts & Events Center is dedicated to meaningful experiences in and through the arts. Our mission is to bring people together to celebrate community.

Who We Serve
The Butler Arts Center has a unique role amongst University managed Performing Arts Centers. The BAC serves the Butler University, Indianapolis and larger Central Indiana communities and hosts more than 250,000 patrons annually for a variety of presentations that provide shared experiences in the performing and visual arts.