Eileen Bluestone Sherman is a jack-of-all-trades. The instructor at Baker’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies is a playwright, lyricist, children’s author, television writer, and theatre producer. This fall, she’ll be able to add another line to her ever-expanding resume: Carnegie Hall veteran.
“I received some exciting news,” Sherman announced in an email to her colleagues. “My sister [Gail Bluestone] and I will have our work featured as part of a musical program at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on November 19, 2018! Gail and I are thrilled beyond words!”
Sherman has been an instructor at Baker for more than 20 years, teaching theatre courses such as Social Issues in Theatre and Film; Theatre: Playwright to Production; and Film, Theatre, and the American Dream. In 2012, she was named Outstanding Professor of the Year of the Graduate Division at Baker University.
Sherman’s theatre work began in 1982, when she wrote her first musical for young audiences for the Coterie Theatre in Crown Center, in Kansas City, Missouri. Since then, she’s received numerous honors, including two Emmy Awards, the National Jewish Book Award, the International Reading Association’s Teacher’s Choices Award, and a Thorpe Menn Honorable Mention Award.
The performance at Carnegie Hall will highlight the beginning of a music organization called the Indie Collaborative. According to Sherman, it started in 2015, when she and Americana Roots singer-songwriter Grant Maloy Smith had an idea.
“What if we brought professional independent artists from every style of music under the sun,” said Sherman. “And offered all an opportunity to share their work with other musicians in hopes that dynamic collaborations might emerge?”
The idea quickly grew into something big…Indie Collaborative.
Indie Collaborative is a formal mechanism for artists to get together and support one another. Sherman estimates their membership totals in the thousands. Collaborative events take place in major cities across the United States, and tickets sell fast. Audiences are treated to every style of live music: blues, R&B, flamenco, jazz, and classical.
“That first night in June at the Drama League in New York City, we started with 75 curious artists,” said Sherman. “In less than three years, we boast over 2,000 members worldwide.”
On Nov. 19 at Carnegie Hall, Sherman, Smith, and their friend, Grammy Award winner Wouter Kellerman, will be able to share their work and offer those in the audience a glimpse into the work of Indie Collaborative.
In all of her endeavors, both professional and personal, Sherman has relied on a collaborative community to bring her ideas to life. This concept is very much alive at Baker, and Sherman said it’s most prevalent when working with Baker students.
“Whether in the classroom or on ‘Discussion Boards,’ Baker students never cease to amaze when they are challenged to combine their creative skills,” said Sherman. “Baker students enter as strangers but, together, come away producing unique, clever, and memorable work.”