The Year in Review, HCA Style

Support HCA with an online donation here. About this time every year, we reflect on the last twelve months and attempt to convey in writing a sense of the accomplishments, events and activities that have taken place at the Harrison Center for our annual letter. In recent years, we have commissioned an artist intern to design envelopes for this annual mailing and we haven't been disappointed with their creative designs. This year, thanks to artist Alicia Zanoni, the project came with a few extra layers! As you'll see in the video below, our band of interns (armed with paint-filled spray bottles and bubble-wrapped feet) danced designs onto thousands of envelopes. With original music from Brandon Lott and choreography by Leondre Burgess, this project exceeded all expectations! Enjoy the video, then get the details below.


HCA Year in Review from Harrison Center for the Arts on Vimeo.

This Indiana Bicentennial year has been one of innovation, partnership, and celebration. And, this year, we think our interns won the prize for innovation!

Innovative intern projects included:

- Hip Hoperetta. Inspired by Hamilton the Musical, our team of high school and college interns developed musical history tours about key sites in Herron Morton and Old Northside neighborhoods. They researched, wrote and recorded the songs, then led pilot tours for over 600 people using “silent disco” headphones. This project was featured in local media and nationally in Next City. Watch the video here. What Indy neighborhood or site do you want this program to celebrate next? - Inquiry podcast. Interns Tucker and Adeleine created an 8-part weekly series that explored Indy neighborhoods, Maple Crossing and Monon 16; introduced us to their residents; and highlighted the changes occurring there. You can listen to this series on iTunes or SoundCloud here. - Video, video, video and we have never enjoyed it more. High school intern Thulani soared as he created some of our favorite HCA videos and added drone videography to his growing skill set. See more here

With your help, we are equipping others to celebrate “place” through the arts. Here are some highlights:

  • Carl Leck had the winning design for the Indy 500 Festival building mural.
  • Allison Ford was commissioned by the Indiana State Museum to design a line of jewelry made from the Constitution Elm.
  • Nathan Foxton curated exquisite portrait, landscape, and Bicentennial shows.
  • Songwriter in Residence, Ray Wyatt, created an Indiana Bicentennial playlist of ten songs.
  • Neighborhood artists helped us celebrate community in the Great Places 2020 district of Maple Crossing.   Using a pop-up storefront, to serve coffee; paint en plein air; knit; and host gallery openings, concerts and poetry readings, we celebrated and built community. We are grateful for the leadership and support of Local Initiatives Support Corporation.
  • Urban neighbors promoted and participated in Stefan Eicher and Asa Gauen’s winning 5x5 $10,000 Idea #38thandShine, to light the most sparklers simultaneously, creating a community memory at Tarkington Park.

We couldn’t do anything without partnerships. Here are some favorites:

Our partnership with Herron High continues with Summer Academe and as we support the creation of their second campus, Riverside High School, at the Heslar Naval Armory. Can you believe Herron High started in our basement with 99 students and has grown to 840 today? You can see why they need a second campus!

Old friends and new partners gave us the honor of dedicating the Speck Gallery in memory of artist and musician Stephen Peck. In addition, these friends and family members of Stephen’s formed the Speck Fund to support our work with emerging artists. We are thankful for these relationships and resources that strengthen our community.

Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation (AWCCF) provided a generous grant that enabled us to complete the second phase of a major renovation in the Harrison Gallery. The gallery has never looked so good!

New sponsors, Basic Needs Simple Solutions and Circle City Apartments, enabled us to host our 6th annual Food Con and 15th annual Independent Music + Art Festival, respectively.

You have joined with us to celebrate Indiana’s Bicentennial -- by hosting over 700 Porch Parties in partnership with the 500 Festival and over 100 City Suppers in partnership with Spirit & Place, and enjoying over 50 visual art, music and public art exhibits featuring artists Kipp Normand, Amy Falstrom, Justin Vining, Kristin Divers, and more. We are grateful to the Noyes Fund, AWCCF, IAC, and the Arthur Jordan Foundation for their Bicentennial support.

Other key partners this year have included the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis, Indiana Arts Commission, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, CICF,  Efroymson Family Fund, Netherleigh Fund, Pittsburgh Foundation, Sun King Brewery, Lilly Endowment, Precision Abrasives, Nottingham Realty, Tinker Street Restaurant and generous people like you. We are seeing the vital role the arts plays in transforming a city. But we need your continued support to keep the momentum going. Will you help us? This year, we are seeking to raise $150,000 for our annual fund and $10,000 for building renovations. A donation to the Harrison Center empowers us to build culture in Indianapolis – by hosting our popular gallery openings, offering studio space to local artists, growing young entrepreneurs, and partnering with other local organizations and neighborhoods to celebrate the arts and community.

What is ahead?  What is our biggest challenge? We are honored to announce that we have received an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for a brand new program: Pre-Enactment Theater. In 2017, we will produce this 3-block long outdoor site specific/interactive performance to our east in Monon 16. This production will work with the community to cast a vision of a neighborhood the way it ought to be -- healthy, diverse, and vibrant. This will be a massive theatre and community collaboration with 16 local troops, three schools, and many local businesses. We are thrilled to announce that we have selected Sapphire Theatre as Director to complement our role as Producer.

Please help by making a tax-deductible donation today. For your convenience, donations can be made online here. Thank you for partnering with us.