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Reclaiming Summer: Thursdays At Boxcar Events Series

Boxcar Books presents musical performances, film screenings, and discussion forums as part of their "Thursdays at Boxcar" event series.

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    Photo: WFIU

    Many of the musicians played two or three instruments throughout the evening at this "Thursdays at Boxcar" event.

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    Photo: WFIU

    Musicians improvise on Irish tunes at Boxcar Books.

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    Photo: WFIU

    One competitor chows down on a chocolate ice cream sandwich at this "Thursdays at Boxcar" event.

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    Photo: WFIU

    The contest featured two competitors eating against one another in the hopes of eating enough ice cream sandwiches to make it to the final eat-off.

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    Photo: WFIU

    A crowd gathers at Boxcar Books to watch the Meltdown Throwdown Ice Cream Sandwich Eating Contest.

Event Information

Thursdays at Boxcar

Every Thursday evening, Boxcar Books presents a different community event, many of them free.

Boxcar Books

Thursdays 7:00pm

Boxcar Books website

Thursdays at Boxcar event series Facebook page

Bookstore With a Mission

This summer, Boxcar Books presents the Thursdays at Boxcar event series. It’s a project planned by members of the collective, and there’s something for everyone. It’s Boxcar’s way of reclaiming summer.

“We like to think of ourselves as a bookstore but with a mission,” said Steven Stothard, one of the events coordinators at Boxcar.  He referred to Boxcar Books as Bloomington’s only non-profit, volunteer-powered, collectively-run bookstore and community space.  Part of Boxcar’s mission, he continued, is being a dynamic, interactive space for people to come and discuss ideas, “whether it be a workshop, learn things, or whether it be something fun like a film screening.”

Something for Everyone

Thursdays at Boxcar includes all sorts of events, from a public discussion on homelessness led by the group The Bloomington Catholic Worker to an Irish music open jam session.

“That’s sort of the goal of these events is it can be something serious, or the Meltdown Throwdown – the ice cream eating contest.”  That eating contest is one of the most unique and seasonally-appropriate events of the series.

Later in the summer, Stothard is excited to see the Minneapolis-based theater group The Cat Fist on July 1. They’re touring the country with their play “Fanciness vs. The Void.”  He explained that instead of playing traditional performance spaces and theaters, “they’re doing it more DIY-style, by performing in houses and parks.”

Local Collaboration

The outdoor space at Boxcar Books includes a long, skinny porch, a patio area that seat 30-40 people, and a bike rack for visitors peddling their way to the shop.  Stothard pointed out the newest addition to the Boxcar patio, “a couple picnic tables from Laughing Planet, donated very graciously.”

Boxcar offers its space free-of-charge to community, activist, literary, and special interest groups. Stothard explained that this is one way they make connections between organizations, and part of their mission is to collaborate with other local businesses as much as possible.

“Whether that be co-sponsoring a movie with Plan 9. Or, we’re co-sponsoring a film showing at The Bishop in July with Landlocked Music,” he said.

“It’s important to support each other, because there’s strength in numbers.”

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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