Indiana University’s African American Arts Institute will present the 29th annual Potpourri: An African American Performance Showcase on Nov. 11, 2023, at the IU Auditorium.
Tickets are on sale now for this highly anticipated event. Students may purchase tickets for $15.
Throughout the evening, three unique student ensembles—the African American Dance Company, the African American Choral Ensemble and the IU Soul Revue—will perform a wide range of music and choreography in individual performances.
“The African American Arts Institute is much more than a creative experience at Indiana University. The institute provides a sense of belonging for students, support to be successful in college and an unparalleled learning opportunity in African American history and performance,” says James C. Wimbush, vice president for the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership.
The Potpourri represents a culmination of efforts from more than 100 people. It is the largest performance of the year for AAAI students.
The theme for this year’s event, “The Road to 50,” will incorporate memories of the past decades and glimpses into the future as the African American Arts Institute prepares for next year’s 50th anniversary celebration.
Those who attend this year’s Potpourri will witness the legendary African American Dance Company, directed by Baba Stafford C. Berry, Jr., and an eclectic and wide-ranging array of performance works from the African diaspora.
Performances will also celebrate the legacy of Black choral music—from spirituals to gospel to formally composed works—with the award-winning African American Choral Ensemble directed by Raymond Wise. The IU Soul Revue will also be on hand, with timeless R&B, soul, funk and contemporary Black popular styles directed by James Strong.
“The Potpourri is unique because it brings together all three groups on the same night instead of separate performances,” says Charles Sykes, executive director of the African American Arts Institute.
“The biggest challenge every year is developing the chemistry among students across the three ensembles and getting the students prepared for the actual performance in just a few months,” notes Sykes.
The 29th annual Potpourri is presented in conjunction with the Association for Black Culture Centers conference, which is hosted this year by the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center on the IU Bloomington campus.
Founded in 1974, the African American Arts Institute is the nation’s only college program specializing in Black music and dance.
As a program of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Indiana University Bloomington, the AAAI is made up of three performing ensembles. These ensembles and their credit-bearing courses are offered through IU’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.