Arts in Brief

A bronze cauldron “Protome of Winged Ibexes” from the Arthur M. Sackler Museum’s exhibit “Nomads and Networks” in Washington, D.C.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Museum of Art is preparing to host an exhibit of the arts in Islamic society.

“Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges with the Arts of Islamic Culture” will open Nov. 2 and include calligraphy, ceramics, paintings, woodcarvings and textiles. The exhibit will run through Jan. 13.

Museum officials say the exhibit will give visitors an opportunity to explore Islamic culture and explore artworks never seen in the U.S.

The exhibition was built from collections around the world. It includes a 13th-century bowl from Iran and a Syrian glass flask believed to date from as early as the seventh century.

MEXICO CITY — A Mexican cultural center says it is opening the country’s first school dedicated to mariachi music.

Mariachi performing has traditionally been something passed down through families. But school director Leticia Soto Flores says there is increasing demand for mariachi instruction.

The Ollin Yoliztli Cultural Center is opening the mariachi school Oct. 8 at the Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City. The plaza is a traditional site for strolling mariachi.

The school is accepting applications for 72 positions in the first class, which will graduate in three years. The school will cost about $190 a year. It will include classes in trumpet, violin and guitar, along with music theory and the history of mariachi music.

WASHINGTON — The first question might be, where is Kazakhstan? The second is, why go see an exhibit about it?

“Nomads and Networks” at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum in Washington, D.C., provides a snapshot of this vast country and its ancient history. Found to the south of Russia and the west of Mongolia and China, Kazakhstan is slightly less than four times the size of Texas.

The exhibit concentrates on Iron Age Kazakhstan from about eighth to third centuries B.C. There aren’t many written sources of that time outside of Greek historian Herodotus, who “refers a little bit of what is going on there,” says archaeologist and curator Alexander Nagel. Herodotus wrote in the fifth century.

“Nomads and Networks” starts with two large stones carved with petroglyphs. One glyph has two ibexes, a curly horned mountain goat, obviously an animal important in this ancient culture since it reoccurs often in the exhibit.

The Sackler has added extras such as landscape photographs of Kazakhstan to the original exhibit from New York. On the museum’s website, “Nomads and Networks” plans to link to a running blog to archaeologist Claudia Chang, who currently is excavating in Kazakhstan.

The exhibit runs through Nov. 12. Visit

LOS ANGELES — There will be more songs vying for Oscars at next year’s Academy Awards.

The motion picture academy said there will be a minimum of five nominees in the original song category next year.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says that the five nominated songs receiving the highest number of votes from music branch members will be up for the final award. The voting process previously allowed only songs that earned an average score to be nominated.

Only two songs were nominated for the trophy earlier this year for the first time in Oscar history, with “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” winning the prize.

The 85th annual Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Wire reports