A fresh look at Indy

The one absolute thing that Hoosiers can bond with all across Indiana and even the Midwest is the weather. For residents of our city, it's surprising how much we complain about cold weather and snow, but every winter, we do just that. As I drive to school every morning, I look out of the frosted window and I see the frozen and muddy snow, the freezing people, and the hopeless looks on their faces. In these moments of dreary, and cold weather, I forget about the beauty of Indianapolis. I forget about the creative people, the beautiful sunsets, the unique art found on the streets, and, just for a moment, I say those dreadful words: "I hate Indiana." Of course I don't mean it, and I immediately apologize afterwards, but in that moment, I forget what our city is about.


At the Harrison Center this week, we've had the pleasure of hosting a group of students from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. They've come to write music about our city, explore, and create. Very few of them are music majors, but they’ve come to write “place based” music, which is music about the people, history, and places of King Park. Yesterday, I briefly interviewed them, just asking them a few questions about their music and their feelings about Indy. Expecting answers like, "It's cold" or "It's a lot like Memphis", I was blown away by what they really said. We sat down with Andrew, a kid from Texas who happens to be a rapper. I asked him what inspired him in Indy to write music and his response was surprisingly positive. He said that it has a small town vibe, with a great community, while still being a big city. Student after student, I heard answers about how friendly and communal Indy is, how inspiring it is, and the level of creative people that reside here. The more students I talked to, the more I was reminded of how great our city is and how proud I am to be a part of it.

In times like these, with the bitter cold and bitter attitudes, it's nice to be reminded what our city is really like from an "outsider". These students provided me with a look on Indy that I haven't been exposed to since the summer, because I've been so caught up in the weather. I forget the beauty of our city, the captivating people, the inspiring ideas, and being reminded of that has lifted my spirits. As I drove home yesterday, I was happy. I looked out of the frosted windows at the freezing people, and I was happy, filled with a revived feeling of optimism for my city.

So, as we continue to fight through this dreadful winter, clinging to the hope of Spring, let's try and remember the beauty that the cold often hides. Let's remember each other, our passions and creativity, and let's be optimistic. We take our city for granted, especially when it's cold, so, most importantly, let's remember how blessed we really are.

If you want a taste of the inspiration these students have to offer, come out this Friday for free art, India Garden, friends, and music. They will all be performing the place-based music they’ve been working on this week. Incredible talent, diverse music, and a much-needed dose of inspiration.