The Harrison Center . . . for the Arts and for the City

It's easy to support Harrison Center programs with an online donation here!We’ve changed our name . . . sort of. For 16 years, we have been the Harrison Center for the Arts. While we are still very much for the arts, our new logo declares that we are for the city as well! But, to keep things simple, you can just call us the Harrison Center.

We remain committed to serving artists, and with your support, our work in urban neighborhoods is growing, too. In 2017, we elevated stories of long term residents and businesses in areas where gentrification was a concern. One of our favorite projects was celebrating the 60-year-old Cheatham and Moore Barbershop in Butler-Tarkington, as part of the Maple Crossing Great Places 2020 initiative. Inspired by Leodis Moore and crew, hip hop/gospel artist Nabil Ince wrote and recorded “Barbershop a Blessing.” An accompanying music video by Asa Gauen has been seen by thousands who were captivated by the story of these neighborhood figures. We hope you are inspired to join our celebration of Maple Crossing and the people who have made it great.

PreEnactIndy: Monon16 from Harrison Center on Vimeo.

Using a three-block commercial corridor as our stage, we produced PreEnactIndy, the nation’s first PreEnactment Theater. We partnered with over 50 organizations, including professional theater troupes (Sapphire Theatre, IRT, Freetown Village, Asante Children’s Theater, NoExit, and more) to model Monon 16 as a revitalized, inclusive neighborhood. PreEnactment casts a vision of a neighborhood the way it ought to be – healthy, equitable, and economically vibrant. More at


Our artists are thriving, with opportunities that your support helps to provide. Here are some highlights:

  • Quincy Owens created the “Visionaries” light installation at Monon 16.  Along with artistic partner Luke Crawley, he has exhibited his public artworks across the country.
  • Alicia Zanoni, a former intern, now a hard-working full time artist, was awarded a Harrison Gallery solo show and honored with a Beckmann Emerging Artist Fellowship by the Arts Council of Indianapolis.
  • Justin Vining created his largest piece ever – the 20’ x 40’ mural, “Indy Skyline” at Clowes Hall.
  • Rick Cobb led the community chorus, Indianapolis Choral Artisans into their second year and performed on several First Fridays, including a music/visual art partnership in the exhibit, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.”
  • Songwriter residencies brought Joel Elliott (South Africa) and Nabil Ince (Baltimore/Chattanooga) to Indy. They joined local musicians Luke Crawley, Michael Williams, Emma Hall, Tom Prible and TeenWorks youth to write over 20 songs about urban Indy in 2017. Hear them all on our SoundCloud page.

Herron High School has launched a second campus, Riverside High School. Opening in a temporary location this fall, Riverside will move to its permanent location in the historic Heslar Naval Armory in 2018. Herron and Riverside now operate under the banner of Indianapolis Classical Schools.

Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation (AWCCF) and the Speck Fund generously helped bring the “Speck-tacular” descending table to the Harrison Gallery. The table helps us build community with our artists and guests, but is also available for private event rental. Come check it out.

Community partnerships are helping us sell more art. Look for work by Harrison Center artists at these locations: City of Indianapolis, Festiva, Tinker Street, The Switchboard, Concord Building, Deering Cleaners, Neidhammer Coffee Co., and the former Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce building.

Other key partners who have helped us find success in our work were the Arts Council of Indianapolis, City of Indianapolis, Indiana Arts Commission, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, CICF, the Indianapolis Foundation, Efroymson Family Fund, IHCDA, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Endowment for the Arts, Netherleigh Fund, Noyes Fund, Pittsburgh Foundation, Sun King Brewery, Lilly Endowment, Patronicity, TWG, Precision Abrasives, Circle City Apartments, Nottingham Realty, Tinker Street Restaurant and generous people like you. But we need your continued support to keep the momentum going. Will you help us?

This year, we seek to raise $150,000 for our annual fund and $10,000 for building renovations. Up to $50,000 of this will be matched. Your donation to the Harrison Center empowers us to build culture in Indianapolis – by hosting monthly gallery openings, offering studios to local artists, growing young entrepreneurs, and partnering with other organizations and neighborhoods to celebrate the arts and community. Please help by making a tax-deductible donation. For your convenience, donations can be made online here.

Thank you for partnering with us!

P.S. Big news! We were chosen as “creative placemakers” for the City’s LIFT equitable development program in Monon 16. Led by King Park Development Corporation, the City will invest $4.5 million over three years in homeownership, rental units, economic development and placemaking. Learn more about how you can support this work here.