Lift Indy, Inclusive Development for the Monon16 Neighborhood


Lift Indy from Harrison Center on Vimeo.

Sharing a Vision

How do you revitalize a neighborhood without displacement?  While the rest of the country is trying to figure that out, we want to start doing it in Monon16, a neighborhood on the verge of gentrifying.  Recent news accounts shows an influx of investment coming into the neighborhood over the next 3 years.  While change can be good and neighborhood stabilization is needed, longterm residents are afraid of being erased. We can help!  

Using creative placemaking strategies, artists will collaborate with neighborhood partners to ensure equitable development.  Artists will engage the community, celebrate neighborhood stories, elevate long-term businesses and residents and connect diverse residents through art. New residents will be invited into an existing story rather than seeing the neighborhood as a blank slate.

Lift Everyone Up

Lift Indy will build upon the success of PreEnactIndy ( and continue the relationship with the Monon16 neighbors to elevate the neighborhood story through art, place-branding/marketing and through neighborhood events:

Funds from this campaign will go toward:

1.Artist fees.  10-20 artists will engage the community, celebrate neighborhood stories, elevate longterm businesses and residents and connect diverse residents through visual art, commissioned songs, video, and public art.  For an example of what this would look like, check out the video we made for the Cheatham & Moore Barbershop (watch now).  This type of art is primarily shared with people online, but through Lift Indy, we will be able to share this art in the neighborhood.  Our art will sometimes leverage partnerships with IPL to power sound art, will also allow smart phone users to swipe a QR code to hear a song or pull up a video, or will utilize solar technology.  Technology makes all kinds of public art permanent.

You can also see examples of this type of work on the IPL light poles along 16th street (photos below). Artists Quincy Owens and Luke Crawley created "Visionaries."  The design and colors were chosen to pay homage to the stained glass you might see in one of the many churches located in Monon16, as a nod to lampposts of the past and how they were designed to identify particular districts. The sculptures were named to honor the visionary civil rights work of St. Rita Parish, New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, St. John Missionary Baptist Church and St. John African Methodist Episcopal.   This installation is designed to be permanent.   We will do more like it.

2.Place-branding and marketing:  We will share this art with the community through renting billboards and posting on social media. See below for our billboard for Pre-Enactment at the corner of Delaware and 16th Streets.

3.Monthly events.  We will hold art exhibits, porch parties, concerts, art events and other opportunities for people to share stories, connect with neighbors old and new, and to celebrate the community. We see these events as a way to teach people and businesses moving into Monon16 about the history, diversity and opportunity of the neighborhood.

Lift Indy is an initiative that will begin in January 2018 and continue through 2020.  Patronicity funds will cover 2018 arts programming.  Other funds are currently being raised for later years.

Why it Matters

Across the country, communities are trying to figure out how to revitalize a neighborhood without displacement.  We believe that the arts can provide a solution to this program.  People are displaced when they are not known or valued.  The arts will elevate the neighborhood story and the long term residents so that they are known and valued.

In the Monon16 neighborhood, this is not the current picture. Neighbors are afraid of being displaced and afraid their story will be erased. Arts led, inclusive redevelopment is needed to address the abandoned housing/vacant lot issue and provide equitable, history honoring reinvestment.

You can help by funding our campaign!  Big and small donations are valued and, BOTH will be matched!

Be a patron!

To make this project a reality, we need your support!  Every dollar that you contribute will be matched by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA).

You can make your gift online here. When you give to this campaign, your contribution will go farther with the match from IHCDA. If you want to support this important project, but prefer not to make a gift online, please contact Pam Allee at

You may mail checks -- made out to "Harrison Center for the Arts" with "Lift" in the note -- to Pam at:

Harrison Center for the Arts 1505 N. Delaware St. Indianapolis, IN 46202

Please note: checks must be received and processed prior to the end of the campaign on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

And don't forget to tell your friends and family to support the campaign!!