WFYI to cover Butler ArtsFest


A major channel of exposure for the Butler ArtsFest is the coverage that WFYI Public Media does for the event. The Butler ArtsFest, held from April 7 to April 17, will feature more than 40 events in only 10 days, so WFYI will have plenty of moments to capture.

According to the WFYI website, the company focuses on television and radio coverage for Central Indiana. It is considered Indiana’s main PBS and NPR member station.

Over the past couple of years, the station has covered the Butler ArtsFest, and they plan to continue their coverage this year as well.

Although their schedule is not set in stone yet, Vice President of Television Production Clayton Taylor and Producer Kyle Travers said they have a good idea of what events they are going to cover this year.

Those events include Opening Night: Lawrence Brownlee with the Butler Symphony Orchestra, An Evening with Kurt Elling, Butler Ballet: Now You See Us, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra: Peacemakers.

According to the Butler ArtsFest website, Brownlee is one of “the world’s leading bel canto tenors”. Elling is a famous jazz vocalist that has won a Grammy in his career. The Butler Ballet’s performance will feature a number of new routines. The Los Angeles Percussion Quartet is a “world-class contemporary chamber music ensemble” and has been nominated for a Grammy in the past. The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra performance will portray famous speeches of well-known peacemakers.

All of those performances, except An Evening with Kurt Elling, will take place in the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. A place that WFYI enjoys working in according to Taylor.

“We love working at the Schrott Center,” Taylor said. “We are able to set up all of our equipment and leave it there for the whole week of performances.”

Taylor said that there are a few criteria that they look at when deciding what would be a good performance to film for television.

“We try to choose things that will pop out to a viewing audience,” Taylor said.

To elaborate on that, he said that jazz performances are usually enjoyed by their audience as well as good dance performances.

WFYI doesn’t just film the performances; they also interview many of the performers. Travers said that they also aim to capture moments of the workshops that take place between the visiting performers and current Butler students.

“Different acts will do different things with students before their performances,” Travers said. “In the past, we’ve been able to get performers working with Butler University theatre students.”

Taylor and Travers recalled a few notable performances from their coverage of the Butler ArtsFest in 2014. Opera star Angela Brown and the Butler Symphony Orchestra combined to perform a piece from Porgy and Bess and award-winning storyteller Deborah Asante performed with Cirque du Soleil aerialist Tavi Stutz.

Both of those performances can be found on either the WFYI website or YouTube channel. The Brown and Butler Symphony Orchestra performance has been viewed on YouTube just under 65,000 times.

WFYI has the ability to showcase the great performances of the Butler ArtsFest to thousands of people. They are channel 15.1 on Butler University’s cable package, so students can keep an eye out for Butler ArtsFest coverage on their television in April.