‘The Goldilocks of music venues’

Jazz bassist Christian McBride performs at the Schrott Center on the campus of Butler University. Photo courtesy Butler University.

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To find a variety of music options in one location, look no further than the Butler Arts Center. Butler offers a large variety of programming for music, from chamber music all the way to pop concerts. “I like to think we’re the Goldilocks of music venues,” said Meg Liffick, director of brand engagement for Butler University, who oversees audience development for the venues.

Liffick calls the Butler Arts Center—three music venues of various sizes and one performance art theater on the Butler University campus—the largest performing arts center in the region. The smallest venue, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, seats 138 people and offers a more traditional, chamber music experience. In this hall, the world-class faculty and talented students of the Butler School of Music provide rare opportunities for classical music fans to watch them perform.

The Schrott Center for the Arts hosts larger Butler School of Music events, as well as national contemporary artists who want a more intimate space to perform. While the venue has only 454 seats, it contains a full-size proscenium stage that allows for many creative uses. “With the venue itself being really small, you feel like you’re sitting on the giant stage,” Liffick said. “It creates a very intimate experience with contemporary acoustics.”

The largest venue on campus, Clowes Memorial Hall, seats more than 2,000 and is the anchor of the Butler Arts Center. “Clowes is in and of itself a really special place, and we hear that all the time from international artists who perform there,” Liffick said. “It’s an amazing venue acoustically and from an audience perspective.” Musical acts range from classical vocal ensembles such as the King’s Singers, to pop/jazz musician Seu Jorge, to R&B singer-songwriter Maxwell, to the “Rocket Man” himself, Sir Elton John.

Together, the three music venues, along with the Lilly Hall Studio Theatre for performance art, create a home for the more than 300 student, faculty, and professional performances each year that highlight all the talent and creativity the Butler Arts Center brings to Indianapolis. —Jennifer Uebelhack