festivals & places
Projects and events designed to improve our relationship with Place, strengthen social ties, and meaningfully connect people to their city/neighborhood.
BIKE FEST is a 16 mile multi-stop art, nature and science cycle crawl featuring both the White River and Pleasant Run Greenway Trails. The goals: Increased awareness of trail connectivity, promotion of arts and culture along public greenways, waterway science and ecology awareness, and health and well being. Participants spent the afternoon biking to numerous free events ranging from BMX tricks to an outdoor public screening of “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.” People were invited to ride along on the daylong experience or choose to join in the festivities at any point in the day.
magic in the water: choose your own adventure
This project was a collaboration with community artist Brelyn Gerard. With story boxes placed at 6 separate locations in a Near East Side neighborhood, participants travel to various community destinations as they choose each next chapter of their very own fantasy story. This projects seeks to use fiction to create positive mythology as an alternative to other popularized neighborhood narratives which include more negative and racist elements.
The goals: Encourage walkability, Highlight community assets, Introduce a positive community narrative
WIND & WATER FEST
To celebrate springtime and the unveiling of the Pleasant Curve amphitheater, artists and community activists planned water and wind related interactive art projects. 6 community artists each transformed a storage pod into an interactive Mini Gallery representing one of the 6 waterways that run through Indy neighborhoods. Other activities included kite decorating, paper airplane flying, "slowest boat racing" (last place wins) and pinwheel making. Partners included the South East side neighborhood associations, and neighborhood schools.
DAY OF THE DEAD FESTIVAL
This experience was a partnership between local artists, Reconnecting to Our Waterways, Sense Charter School, the Bates Hendricks Neighborhood Association, and local churches. The Dia de los Muertos celebration highlighted the vibrant Mexican culture of residents on the Southeast Side of Indianapolis. It strengthened ties between cultural groups and celebrated the grand opening of the new Barth Street pedestrian bridge. The goal was to highlight the creative and communal potential of this new community asset. This event included invasive plant removal, bulb planting, face painting, games, art, music, and food.
LUNAR NEW YEAR LANTERN LAUNCH
In Celebration of the Lunar New Year, hundreds of eco-friendly paper lanterns were released by attendees to celebrate the past year and make wishes for the future. This partnership with the Confucius Institute celebrated the diverse community of the Near West Side while deliberately activating derelict public space along the White River.
PLEASANT RUN GAME COURT
Conceptualized in collaboration with artist Matt Helfrich and with neighborhood input, this endeavor transformed a derelict patch of asphalt into a community asset. Years ago, the basketball goals were tragically removed from this location due to "nuisance activity". We painted an activity-rich mural with a focus on imparting a sense of Place upon children and all community members engaging the artwork. To celebrate the grand opening, we partnered with Indiana Soccer Association, Indy Eleven Professional Soccer, People for Bikes, and a local ice cream parlor to host a community soccer party.
White River as a Movie Theater
By imagining the New York Street Bridge in downtown Indianapolis as a creative asset, nearby indy residents enjoy a moonlit films, see their city in a new way, engage a beautiful waterway, and see Kevin Costner standing in their own local waterway.
FALL CREEK LEAF JUMP
Is there any better way to celebrate fall than to jump into an enormous pile of leaves on the shore of the creek that shares the season’s name? This event was a partnership with Broadway Methodist church and their artists in residence. After raking the biggest leaf pile you’ve ever seen, we spent hours swan diving in. The Wagon of Wonders made an appearance and we made some leafy art projects. Families brought picnics, lounged in hammocks, and roasted marshmallows to go with their hot cider. The temporary activation of this location inspired residents and artists to understand the potential of their public space.
In collaboration with Sapphire Theatre Co. and Fall Creek Gardens, we developed a temporary outdoor community stage and a month of community programming for the neighborhood of Mapleton-Fall Creek. Programs included public speaking classes, yoga, self defense training, improv classes, community theater, children's exercise, and chess instructions. This pilot program helped us gather useful insights into how to adapt ideas and infrastructure for future plans.