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Culture Shock

WIUX's Music Market: A Day of Community, Art, and Music

Bloomington, IN - A year ago, President’s Hall’s main purpose was a COVID-19 testing site. Students would aimlessly shuffle in, spit in a vile, and go about their day. A grand hall, filled with paintings and great acoustics was silent except for the mundane music of the pandemic. But, if there is one thing to take away from the weirdest year on IU’s record, it is the resilience of the Bloomington art scene. 


Flash forward to March 26th, 2022, WIUX’s Music Market proved just that. It was a celebration of not just resilience, but local artists and students coming together. Concerts, whether it’s a stadium or a house show, are an unparalleled medium that connects a community. After a rough year of empty venues, Music Market celebrated an era of change and new beginnings.


“Music Market was created out of blood, sweat, and tears,” said Anya Heminger, WIUX’s outgoing Director of Special Events and the driving force behind Music Market. “But, mostly sweat and tears.”


With amazing sets by Bloomington’s own 6 Foot Blonde, Foredaze, and Westhead, the event emphasized the importance and magic of the Bloomington music scene.


“Bloomington is so rich in art and music and there is so much support in the community for others who wish to express their creative side,” Anya notes. “It was incredibly important to me, to allow smaller artists a chance to sink their teeth into the arts scene, outside their own town or city.” 


In addition to Bloomington artists, other voices across the Midwest like Post-Sex Nachos, Namen Namen, and Jackie Hayes headlined. 


“We are here to support our community, and allow our community to support us,” they say. “It has always been really important to me, as someone who has lived in Indiana my whole life, because local artists are what build our industry.”


As a testament to their vision, Music Market’s student-run production was made possible by the support of the WIUX community. 


“WIUX is made up of people that feel like family to me,” says Heminger. “If you know someone is a part of WIUX, you know they are someone you can talk to because they will have at least one similar interest to you- being part of a community that supports student media and the arts.”


Although IU’s student’s adoration for sports is often publicized, Music Market displayed student devotion to music and art is alive, well, and thriving. In addition to music, a variety of vendors deepened the involvement of the community, displaying just a piece of what Bloomington has to offer.


Vendors such as Carol Ahmann, a weaver and felter from Forsythia Farm in Bloomington, eagerly chatted with patrons. Her lush and soft fibers from her own Alpacas and French Angora rabbits were just as colorful as the music, exemplifying the diversity and eclecticism of the Bloomington art scene.


When asked what the Bloomington art scene meant to her, Ahmann smiles, “I have a daughter who is in the BFA program here. I think I might have rubbed off on her because she is in fiber arts specifically. It makes what I do fun, we can feed off of each other.”


A small nook in the Midwest to many, Bloomington is beloved for its rich culture by more. An event born out of frustration, hardship, and adverse events, WIUX’s Music Market 2022 proved that good things always come to those who wait.



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