Final Indy 5x5 at the Harrison Center Sept. 6!

If you have yet to make it to one of the Indy 5x5: Arts and Innovation Prize competitions, clear your schedule now for September 6, when the Harrison Center for the Arts hosts the final installment.  We as a city frequently have the opportunity to see a variety of national sporting events, our world-renowned symphony, thought-provoking theatre, and myriad other diversions, but rarely will we get the chance to watch a slate of five sparkling individuals talk for five minutes about “an idea:” one great, perfect idea that uses the arts to make Indianapolis an even better city.  The presenters are not politicians or business leaders, not wealthy or powerful citizens.  They are your neighbors, friends and co-workers -- people just like you -- who say, “You know what would be really great?”

At four different events this year, the Central Indiana Community Foundation, Efroymson Family Fund (a fund of CICF), and the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation are coming together to offer $10,000 to fund “a contest designed to foster community building and art-focused innovations in central Indiana.”  For each event, five outstanding creative projects are chosen to compete for the prize.  Judges and the audience vote for one winner who walks away with $10,000 to implement their idea.  Craig Mince, president of the Indianapolis International Film Festival, won the first 5x5 prize at Big Car’s February event (“Revolutionize Your City”) with his “Pop-Up Cinema” travelling film project.  Incidentally, the film festival is happening over the next two weeks and the roving big screen will be seen all over Indianapolis.


The Cool Bus

On April 12, I made my way to Indianapolis Fabrications for the “5x5: Make Your City”, hosted by People for Urban Progress (PUP).  I knew PUP from the T-shirts and messenger bags, the people who “believe in a city made by hand,” but I was excited to learn more about what else they did.  A great band was playing, food and wine were abundant, and packed into the warehouse were several hundred people who, like PUP, believe that “making is critical to how the arts, design, and innovation shape our urban environment.”  We listened to five presentations, and cheered for Word on the Street’s “The Cool Bus” when it won.  Energy at the event continues to propel some of the non-winning projects forward.


IndyHub 5x5

On June 28, Georgia Street came alive as IndyHub, Indianapolis’s prime connecting point for 20 and 30-somethings, hosted the third “5x5: Face Your City” . . . outside.  Even the impending storm didn’t dissuade audience or presenters from the joy of celebrating together and cheering on another round of great ideas.  The newly completed “Cool Bus” was on site, fitted out and already giving away free books. At the end of the night, the rain broke loose and we moved inside to hear the announcement of the prize-winner: Malina Jeffers’ project “I am an Artist” which will “showcase the talent of local artists while also challenging perceptions about what an artist should look like.”  Jeffers’ project will post large-scale photographs of local artists in venues around town, and will also produce a deck of 52 playing cards with artist’s pictures on them that will be available at Silver in the City.

On September 6, the Harrison Center will host “Connect Your City.”  We are accepting idea submissions here through July 31.  We are excited about the ideas that are already starting to come in and are looking for that next great idea that will use the arts to strengthen our beloved city.  This is your last chance, Indianapolis!  Give us your best!