Robbing the Bank: Bohemian Style Collaborative Art Fest Unites Mass Ave

Art is something that should be accessible to all people; it’s a medium that can translate complex personal issues into something you can touch, something you can hear, or something you can see. Anybody can create art, but lots of people don’t try because they don’t have the time or they don’t think they have the skill. But Indianapolis musician Luke Austin Daugherty and a team of Indianapolis arts benefactors want to show the Circle City that art can, in fact, be enjoyed by anyone and everyone: that’s where Robbing the Bank, an annual Indianapolis festival, comes in. Daugherty describes the event as “putting the cookie jar on the bottom shelf,” in full reach of every Indianapolis resident.

This Friday, June 4, the first chapter of the three part Indianapolis event will take place in front of the Art Bank Gallery along Mass Ave. Robbing the Bank coincides with the Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Association (IDADA) First Friday Art Tour, a tour that takes Indy art fans around some of the top Indianapolis art galleries in the area. Robbing the Bank is a “Bohemian style” event that encourages local artists – amateurs and professionals alike – to create original works and feed off of each other’s artistic energy.

A group of artists representing various mediums (painting, pottery, sculpture, chalk, dancing, and more), will all congregate in front of the Art Bank to create, create, create. Anchoring it all will be Luke Austin Daugherty and his jam band, a group that has been performing in the Indianapolis music scene for several years. The Indianapolis band will be experimenting and doing improv work alongside the artists during Robbing the Bank, bringing in spectators from the street and other music fans from around the Indianapolis cultural district.

Video of the Luke Austin Daugherty Jam Band performing at the Feast of Lanterns in 2009; the Luke Austin Daugherty Jam Band will be jamming at the Robbing the Bank event in Indianapolis this weekend


Robbing the Bank is separated into three different events that take place during the summer and into the fall. The first is this Friday, June 4, and will focus on painting the five guardrails that line the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which passes right in front of Art Bank. The second event will be on August 6th and is called “Dancing as Art.” Naturally, the Luke Austin Daugherty Band will be the main musical force behind this event, but performers from the Indianapolis performing arts scene will also draw inspiration from and perform with one another. The last Robbing the Bank event, to be held on October 1st, is called “Trash as Art,” and…well, you can guess what that involves.

This is the third straight year for Robbing the Bank, and it looks to be just as successful as the 2008 and 2009 iterations. The festival is sponsored by a number of different Indianapolis non-profit organizations, Indianapolis businesses, and Indianapolis media outlets. Sponsors and benefactors for this year’s event include Creation Cafe, Sun King Brewery, the Arthritis Foundation, Urban Times, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Loudermilk Studios, and more. Past sponsors for the event have included NUVO Newsweekly and Marsh stores.

Robbing the Bank is a completely free event that is family friendly; Indianapolis children are welcome to come and get their first taste of collaborative art. Everyone is encouraged to participate, as the more you put in to this event, the more you’ll get out of it. For more information on Robbing the Bank, head on over to the event’s homepage.

Art Bank Gallery
811 Massachusetts Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46202

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