The Beat Generation, that moody and soulful era typified by dark clothing, bongo drums and black berets, will come to life again at the Hancock County Arts’ “The Beat” at 8 p.m. March 13 at the council’s new space at 20A N. State St.

The Beat is the opening night event for Hancock County Art’s new exhibit called “Art Noir: Le Battement,” which translates to “the beat.” Committee chairperson Nancy Leslie defines the beat generation as “the time between the bobby-soxers of the ‘50s and the hippies of the ‘60s.”

“The Beatniks were an anti-establishment counter-culture that began speaking out about things that weren’t talked about before,” Leslie said. “Society wanted them to fit in a certain mold, and they didn’t like it.”

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An earmark of the Beat generation was live poetry reading, so attendees should expect to hear samples of poetry from Beat generation poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Although the poetry of the times was often offensive and “in your face,” Leslie assures that the poetry that will be read at The Beat is all relatively low-key.

Preselected snippets of Beat Generation Poetry will be placed in a basket for anyone wanting to read aloud. This event is probably not for young children, but the rebelliousness of the Beat Generation is something that teens can relate to, Leslie said.

Attendees are encouraged to dress for the event, so dig out your funky sunglasses and your black beret. Dress all in black. Come and read poetry and enjoy the music, play the bongo drums. Refreshments will be available, as well as a cash bar in the back.

The Beat will be the first in a series of annual events that will shine a light on a different artistic era each year. Future events will feature the Roaring 20s (2016) and Celtic and tribal style art (2017).

Admission to The Beat is $10. Contact, or visit Hancock County Arts on Facebook.

Can you dig it?

Christine Schaefer is arts editor and editorial assistant at the Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3222 or