Giving Thanks, Top 10-Style

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we thought we'd share just a few things we were grateful for from 2016. 1. Place-based music


This year, through internships and 48 hour songwriting residencies, we heard our city celebrated in song by John Isaac Waters, Ray Wyatt, Brandon Lott, Charlie Ballentine and Joel Tucker, Tucker Krajewski, and Kevin Krauter. Sweet sounds.

2. Hip Hoperetta Musical History Tours

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Okara Imani and Sammie Brown wrote and recorded our first two Hip Hoperetta Musical History Tours this summer.  Focused on the campus of Herron High School and the Harrison Center, they showed us a new way to learn about our neighborhoods as they sang us through the history of the buildings where we work and learn. New tours are in the works for 2017.

3. 500 Porch Party partnership

100th Running of the Indy 500 Porch Party Music Video from Harrison Center for the Arts on Vimeo.

We've been hosting city-wide porch parties for a few years now, but this year in partnership with the 500 Festival Committee, we invited the entire state to "porch" and to celebrate the Indiana bicentennial and the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

4. Inquiry Podcast

This summer, Adeleine Sinsabaugh and Tucker Krajewski set out to produce Inquiry, an 8-week podcast centered around the people and places of two Indy neighborhoods that are making a comeback: Maple Crossing and Monon 16. We loved the interviews of longtime residents, shop owners, tattoo artists and more and insight into some of the things that make these neighborhoods unique.

5. Maple Crossing

Maple Crossing from Harrison Center for the Arts on Vimeo.

In this Great Places 2020 neighborhood, we have been working to activate the streets with plein air painters, art gatherings and exhibits, and a pop-up pod where we served coffee to morning commuters, hula-hooped, knitted, listened to music and paraded giant puppets! We look forward to continued engagement with Maple Crossing!

6. 38th and Shine

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38th and Shine co-creators Stefan Eicher and Asa Gauen gave us one of the most moving experiences of the year when they challenged friends and neighbors in Maple Crossing to attempt to break the world record for most sparklers lit simultaneously. They didn't break the record, but they did inspire the hundreds of people who came out to light up the night sky together and create beauty where they live.

7. Place-based art

Untitled design (3)

Shown clockwise from top left: art by Barb Knuckles, Jessica Green, Laura Kivela Schroeder

At City Gallery, we love showing art that celebrates urban Indianapolis. This year, we broadened the scope for the state bicentennial. We are so thankful to the many artists whose work we were able to share.

8. Another year of billboard art!


Old Northside and Herron-Morton Place residents (and commuters driving north on Delaware Street) have enjoyed the billboard we reclaimed as a frame for art that celebrates our urban neighborhoods. Thankful for artists like Kyle Ragsdale (whose work is shown above) who have helped beautify our corner of the world.

9. Riverside High School

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When Herron High School started with 100 freshman in the Harrison Center basement just over a decade ago, we couldn't have imagined the success this new school would achieve, nor the impact on our neighborhood. Get ready, near westside because the school is replicating in the historic Heslar Naval Armory! Riverside High School will open in the fall of 2017.

10. Pre-Enactment at Monon 16

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This one is actually a preview of what we are sure will make our "favorites" list next year! In 2017, we will be partnering with a professional theatre group, local schools and businesses and others to imagine the streets in the Monon 16 area the way they ought to be. This Indianapolis theater and arts collaboration is the first of its kind and will serve as a national model for creative placemaking. Stay tuned!

Well, there it is—a few of our favorite things. And, hopefully yours, too! If you'd like to see more activities like these in 2017, click here. Your online donation supports City Gallery and Harrison Center programs. Thank you, and have a wonderful holiday!