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Sunny Side Up: Building Community Through Food and Friendly Fowls

Sunny Side Up: Building Community Through Food and Friendly Fowls

Here at Big Car Collaborative we’re preparing to expand our Garfield Park base of operations with a new crowdfunding campaign. Sunny Side Up: Building Community Through Food and Friendly Fowls is our second undertaking with with Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s CreatINg Places program (IHCDA). And we need your help!

“We know that one of the best ways to bring people together is with food,” says Big Car CEO and Lead Artist Jim Walker. “Our Garfield Park neighborhood currently offers little in the way of spaces with food and drink where people of all ages can gather. Still, our neighbors – including several of our staff artists – strongly support the weekly farmer’s market, and food trucks and art vendors at our monthly First Friday night market. So we’re very excited to expand the idea of an arts-based cafe culture that brings more people together informally.”

Our vision includes an artist-built “Chicken Chapel of Love” that will serve as a wedding and meditation space, and as a hangout for our growing flock of chickens. Inside the Tube, we’re making plans for a social kitchen and a serving space. Sunny Side Up will further enhance our calendar with free programs about food, nutrition, and urban agriculture.

“We’ll work with artists who working with food as part of their social practice, visiting chefs and other restaurant partners to prepare community meals together,” says Walker. “Plus we’ll build an iconic home for our chickens that doubles as a one-of-a-kind piece of functional public art.”

Our goal is to raise $50,000 via the crowdfunding platform Patronicity by October 19, 2018. Once we reach our goal, IHCDA will provide a matching grant bringing the total amount of funding for Sunny Side Up to $100,000. “This means that, if you donate $100, we receive $200,” says Walker. “And, in the end, we’ll have collected a transformational $100,000 to further build community through food and drink.”

Rewards – including original chicken art from Big Car staff artists, and invitations to special events and happenings – are available at every level of support. But if we don’t collect $50,000 by October 19, then we receive nothing. “With everyone’s help,” says Walker, “we know we can do this!”

To learn more and become a supporter of Sunny Side Up, visit patronicity.com/sunnysideup. We’re also accepting cash donations at Tube Factory or Listen Hear.  To make donations by check, make payable to Big Car Collaborative, include “Sunny Side Up Campaign” in the memo line, and mail to:

Tube Factory artspace
1125 Cruft St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203

For more information, contact email hidden; JavaScript is required or stop by the Tube Factory.

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Calls for Artists!!

Calls for Artists!!

Call for Artist-in-Residence and Artist-led projects at Indianapolis City Market


Spark City Market, a partnership between Indianapolis City Market and Big Car Collaborative’s Spark Placemaking program — with funding from a Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant — seeks an artist-in-residence to develop, facilitate, and engage in place-based programming. This will happen over five months in the remainder of 2018 at City Market with a start in August. The artist in-residence will work to bring engaging, interactive art experiences to people at this public place and further the partnership’s focus on social cohesion and community resiliency. Some of this work will happen in connection with social services partners such as Horizon House, the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP), and the YMCA at City Market.

Project Description
Spark City Market – Heart of the Community is a placemaking effort for public spaces in downtown Indianapolis, supported by Southwest Airlines and Project for Public Spaces in partnership with Indianapolis City Market. In 2016, Spark Placemaking partnered with City Market to plan and test ways to revitalize the market’s East Plaza into active public space. In 2017, they began implementing a plan that includes free games, various community and artist-led art activities, and multiple successful public events. This year, Big Car and City Market are continuing efforts to make Indianapolis City Market an even more active and inclusive space. The artist-in-residence will join in making this happen.

Project Goals & Criteria
The City Market Artist-in-residence will be expected to spend 10-15 hours per week (mostly on-site) for 20 weeks developing and facilitating ongoing programs or one-time events related to Indianapolis City Market. This work may focus on things like food, international cultural experiences, and community meals that bring diverse people together. Successful projects and programs should achieve some (if not all) of the following:

  • Connect people of all backgrounds and involve them in art and creativity
  • Add aspects of art and culture to existing events such as the weekly Farmer’s Market
  • Establish deeper social connections with and between the wide variety of citizens who
    utilize City Market and form its community
  • Strengthen relationships/develop programming with immigrants and refugees,
    underserved low-income residents, and the homeless population
  • Build and foster relationships with Downtown neighbors in the area

Indianapolis City Market (222 E Market St) interior and exterior spaces.

  • Artist Eligibility
  • An Indianapolis-based artist is preferred, but it is not required.
  • Open to artists of all mediums and practices.
  • Open to artist teams and solo artists.
  • Open to professional artists and students.
  • Artists who have experience interacting with diverse communities are encouraged to apply.
  • Artists with an interest in socially engaged approaches and social practice art are encouraged to apply.

$5,000 + materials/supplies budget and staff assistance/support

Proposal Requirements
Please submit (1) a statement of interest, (2) resume or short biography, (3) any audio or visual representations of your art practice, and (4) a description of a proposed project/activity to Elizabeth Nash at email hidden; JavaScript is required ​by 5 pm on Friday, Aug. 3​.

Project Timeline
Application Deadline: August 3 at 5 pm
Artist Selection/Notification: August 10, 2018
Project Start Date: August 2018
Project End Date: January 2018
Hours per Week: 10-15

Spark Placemaking 2018 Call for Artists


COMPENSATION:  $100-$200 for a 1-2 hour engagement.  Materials and supplies plus staff support are also provided.

DEADLINE:  Applications will be taken on a rolling basis from July through November 2018 with engagements scheduled for a date shortly after application.

Project Description
The Spark team collaborates with communities who invite Spark in to work with them to test and implement approaches for people-focused public places and streets. Led by artists, planners, and active citizens, Spark works to foster connectivity, community, culture, and creativity through engagement-based arts activities. This year, Spark continues its efforts to make Indianapolis public places more active and inclusive.

Activity Goals & Criteria
A successful arts-based activity/performance — which can be one-time or a series — does not need to include all of these goals, but should include some.

  • Connect people of all backgrounds and involve them in art and creativity
  • Add aspects of art and culture to existing events
  • Involve learning and story/knowledge sharing and gathering
  • Be family friendly/all ages, but not watered down or for kids only
  • Establish deeper social connections with and between the wide variety of citizens who utilize these public spaces
  • Strengthen relationships/develop programming with immigrants and refugees, underserved orlow-income residents, and the homeless population
  • Build and foster relationships with Downtown neighbors in the area
  • Be inexpensive to produce

These artist-led activities are focused on, but not limited to, Indianapolis City Market (222 E Market St), Garfield Park (2432 Conservatory Dr), and/or Lockerbie Marketplace (333 N Alabama St).

Artist Eligibility

  • Artists can be from all genres including performance, craft, etc.
  • Indianapolis-based artists are preferred, but it is not required.
  • Open to professional artists and students.
  • Open to artist teams, bands, solo performers, and solo artists. (teams will be paid at the higher rate for the team)
  • Artists who have experience interacting with community are encouraged to apply.
  • Open to all art mediums and practices.
  • 18 years or older, or with permission of a parent or guardian.

Proposal Requirements
Please submit (1) a statement of interest, (2) resume or short biography, (3) any audio or visual representations of your art practice, (4) a description of your proposed project/activity, and (5) a simple project budget to Elizabeth Nash at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis (July through November of 2018). Spark staff will work with you to identify a specific time and space for your project, if accepted. Expect to receive a reply from Spark staff within five days. Communication will be via email.

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How To Get To Us During Construction

How To Get To Us During Construction

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Let’s celebrate transit

Let’s celebrate transit

IndyGo’s Red Line will run from UIndy north through downtown to Broad Ripple, connecting several neighborhoods, major employers and cultural institutions with frequent, comfortable rapid transit service. Throughout most of the day, buses will arrive every 10 minutes, and the Red Line will operate for 20 hours each day, seven days a week. Construction of stations and other improvements to streets, crosswalks, and sidewalks near the stations begins this summer. Check out the plans here.

As artists working with Transit Drives Indy and the Arts Council of Indianapolis — recipients of a Cultural Corridor Consortium grant through Transportation for America — our goals are to gather input, share information, test creative ideas, and bring people together at future Red Line stops in our southside neighborhoods.

We’re also hosting pop-up events at stops in our South Indianapolis neighborhoods. One happened on First Friday on May 4 at Southern and Shelby in partnership with the University of Indianapolis Social Practice Art graduate program. Details here. The second is an outdoor movie screening in partnership with Public House Cinema at Safeway at the Raymond stop area. We’ll be showing the transit-related animation “My Neighbor Totoro” after a short film of Evel Knievel jumping buses on his motorcycle. Two more pop-up events will follow at La Luz Del Mundo at Carson and Shelby just north of Troy on May 19 from 12-2 p.m. and June 23 at the University of Indianapolis near the Hanna stop.

Would you like to help us gather input? Please email email hidden; JavaScript is required your answers to these three questions below.

1. What do you know or believe about The Red Line?

2. What do you want to know, or what information should be shared more with people (maybe out in a public place) about The Red Line project — maybe even during construction?

3. What places should be highlighted within walking distance of station locations for neighbors and visitors? (In South Indianapolis, stations will be located along Shelby Street at Pleasant Run, Raymond, Southern, Troy and Hanna.

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From the Middle West to the Middle East

From the Middle West to the Middle East

It’s 11 p.m. and I’m walking on a palm-tree lined, landscaped path along the water. The air smells of jasmine and the ocean, one sometimes overpowering the other. Numerous boats made of wood and lined with lights, each one different playing club music, over ten skyscrapers lit with various colors, brighten and dim, seemingly moving with the music and waves of the sea.

People are picnicking and exercising. Children are playing at state of the art playground, bushes are pruned into green castle like shapes throughout the park. Workers are setting up temporary structures for an upcoming food festival. Couples, friends, families sit at cafes. And I overhear laughter, conversations full of words I don’t understand. I hold up my iPhone and snap a selfie, not sure if it should focus on the beauty of the city or the sea. And I am also struck by the fact that I’m standing by myself, a woman, alone in Doha, Qatar on the Persian Gulf walking the 4.29 mile long Corniche.

I was in 7th grade when the Persian Gulf War started. I didn’t understand it. I had two uncles going to serve. When they came back, they met my questions with silence and a long stare making it clear, there are some things you don’t ask or speak about.

And being a woman, watching and reading all the various news sources over the years, I was sure I’d be uncomfortable and feel judged by the public being a western woman. I thought of the entire region as a dangerous. I came to Doha with certain ideas, certain expectations. None were true. Except for the one that led me to go in the first place. This is, that despite our differences, people are — overall — innately good and we all want the same things.

Over the next several days I worked with Isabelle St. Louis and her team on the Mari Evans: Carl Pope exhibition. I met and talked with Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar students, alumni, faculty, artists, expats, my driver who took me every morning from the hotel to the university, and an Egyptian vendor at the Souq Waqif.

I didn’t do much sightseeing in other places because I wanted to know the city as much as I could. There are over 2.69 million versions of Doha, all known by the people living there. Over the next few days, I’ll write bits about the people I met.

Shauta Marsh

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Tube exports exhibit to Qatar

Tube exports exhibit to Qatar

Big Car-commissioned collaboration Carl Pope: Mari Evans opens this week in Qatar

Indianapolis — Big Car Collaborative is sharing the work of Indianapolis artists on the world stage as an exhibit commissioned and co-curated by the nonprofit arts organization travels to Qatar this week. The exhibit — inspired by and co-created with Indianapolis poet Mari Evans — will be on display at the Virginia Commonwealth University campus in Doha starting March 16.

Carl Pope: Mari Evans, which opened at Tube Factory artspace in 2016, honors the life and legacy of Evans — an Indianapolis-based poet, writer, and artist. She died just over a year ago at age 97. Shauta Marsh, director of programs and exhibitions at Tube Factory, worked with Indianapolis-based artist Carl Pope and Evans herself to curate the multifaceted exhibit.

Virginia Commonwealth University brought Marsh to Qatar to attend the opening, share with students and others about the work and tour Doha, a city known for its focus on art. “I’m excited that Mari’s legacy continues,” says Tube Factory artspace Director of Programming and exhibitons. “I am especially thankful to Carl Pope whose work and application of Mari’s ideas in his work, and that of Carl’s twin sister, Karen Pope‘s writing, translates so well to an international audience. Few artists can do that.”

Big Car Collaborative designer Andy Fry collaborated with Pope on the wall-sized text pieces related to Evans’s book of essays, Clarity as Concept: A Poet’s Perspective. The exhibit also features photographs highlighting the history of black culture in Indianapolis, portraits of Evans, and video from The Black Experience television program produced by Evans in the 1970s. 

Evans, one of the founders of the Black Arts Movement and longtime Indianapolis resident, published her first work “Where Is All the Music” in 1968 followed by “I Am a Black Woman” in 1970. During this time, Evans also worked as a producer, writer, and director of “The Black Experience” (1968-1973) — a history documentary that aired on prime time in Indianapolis.
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Thanks for helping us meet our CreatINg Places match!

Thanks for helping us meet our CreatINg Places match!

We want to thank our individual donors who helped us with a successful campaign this fall to raise funds matched by the IHCDA CreatINg Places program with the State of Indiana. This campaign — which brought in $50,000 from donors matched by $50,000 from IHCDA — is supporting improvements underway to Tube, Listen Hear, and our artist residency house and grounds. Many donated anonymously and we aren’t listing their names.

The Netherliegh Fund, Diana Mutz and Howard Schrott, Impact 100 Justin Stuehrenberg, Emily Scott, Dan Elliott and Stef Krevda, Jacquelyn Nolen, Thomas Battista, Sheri Hacker, Kipp Normand, Edmund Mahern, Robin Hedge, Mary Sauer, Alex Toumey, Jeb Banner, Emily Watson, Lynn Hammond, Andrew Quinn, Jole Kelley, Amber Ross, Ann W. King, Taylor Martin, Brenda Barker, Connie Christofanelli, Joel Hammond, Jill Willey, Becky and Ken Honeywell, Mark Nagle, Gloria Mallah, Stephen Williams, Laura Dahlem, Andrea Liebross, Ashley Brooks, Lynné Colbert, Gina Rakers, Lauren Ditchley, Frank Sauer, Julia Whitehead, Russell Clemens, Susan Haber, Sarah Powers, Neil Ahrendt, Perry and Michelle Griffith, Andrew Howard, Marilyn Gatin, Geoffrey Lapin, Holly and Matt Sommers, Stanley Kiwor, David Yosha, JD Schuyler, Murphy Mahaffey, Tracy Wolfe, Anne Laker, Eric and Katie Williams, Ben and Connie Berg, Kelly Brown, Matt Krack, Katie Carlson, Ursula David, Aryn & Nick Schounce/Zuckerman, Mary Jane Mahern, The RoundUps, Megan Briscoe Fernandez, Jane Alexander, neighbors and friends from our fundraiser (85 patrons), Anthony Mahern, Rok Cerne, Robert Peoni, Amy Peddycord, Sun King, Katie Robinson, Sharon Adams, Donna Jacobsen, Jon Rangel, Marc Allan, Rose Shingledecker, Peggy Herrod, Scott Hall, Abraham Martinez, Jen Peden, Chad Duran, Jim & Linda Simmons, Jordan Updike, Jeremy Shubrook, Shauta Marsh and Jim Walker.

Learn more about this ongoing work here:

Garfield Park Creative Community — an overview 2017 from Big Car Collaborative on Vimeo.

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Internship Reflection-Anna Hopkins

Internship Reflection-Anna Hopkins

Pictured after deinstall of Carlos Rolón/Dzine:50 GRAND, left to right: Jim Bayse, Anna Hopkins and Brose Partington.

Driving home from my first interview at The Tube Factory last fall I remember that the sky was spectacular. It had been pouring all day but for some reason the storm decided to take a break just at sunset. Fading rays of light brilliantly outlined the inky black storm clouds in bright orange and both the slick highway and glassy windows of downtown reflected the golden hues from above, washing everything in an amber haze. I spent countless nights in high school watching storms roll by from my porch and I’d stare into them for hours, wondering what on earth I was going to do with my life. I knew that I had passions- for art and creativity, for helping those around me, for building better communities. But I had no idea how to translate that into a career path. Most nights my muddled thoughts would fade into the darkness of the passing storm and I’d convince myself that surely someday I would end up somewhere that I loved, where my passions could be put into practice, where I could envision a future of opportunity and growth. Looking into the clouds from my car that evening, it suddenly struck me that maybe this internship was going to be one of those somewheres.

Over the course of my (nearly) 3 ½ month experience, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work on multiple projects. Some of these included helping with kids art classes, photographing events, editing some video footage, documenting books that were to be sent oversees as part of an exhibition, planning my own fiber event at the Tube Factory, working on getting the tool library project started again, painting tabletops for a new playground at Emma Donnan Middle School, assisting with the de-install of a gallery show, running the Wagon of Wonders at the Indiana State Fair, and even lending my hand in the garden out back or the shop downstairs to paint bocce ball courts for a day. Each of these experiences taught me not only practical knowledge, such as the basics of video editing software or how to advertise an event, but also strengthened my interpersonal skills as I learned to work and communicate with my fellow interns, the Big Car staff, members of the community, and children who came for classes.

Out of all those things the two which I did most consistently were photograph events at the Tube Factory or elsewhere and assist with art classes for students from the Boys and Girls Club. Since I am minoring in Studio Art at Indiana University (my major is Nonprofit Management) I really loved getting to do hands on art projects. One of the classes I even had the chance to lead independently, a class on making nonrepresentational self-portraits (all credit for the lesson plan goes to Jordan, however!). As the kids worked I walked around to help them with their projects or listen as they explained to me why they chose the images they did to represent themselves. On other days I got to make up examples of the project we would be doing that week like crayon melting on canvas or drawing zentangles and mandalas. I also spent a lot of time with my camera. Some of the events I got to take pictures of were First Fridays, a podcast listening party, the 50 GRAND exhibition, the building of a rain garden at City Market, and a painting class with Innocente, a visiting artist. Afterwards I would edit my images and put them on the Big Car Flickr page for the public to see. Most events were also photographed by Big Car’s wonderful professional photographer which gave me the opportunity to experiment with my shooting and try new things without having to worry about getting the perfect shot.

I think one of the most valuable aspects of being involved with Big Car that I noticed this summer was being able to witness firsthand how a nonprofit functions. Everyone on the staff very much had their own role, their little niche within the organization. The weekly staff meetings brought everyone together so that information from the past seven days could be shared and analyzed, while upcoming events could be planned for and tasks could be delegated. Despite the fact that I rarely had anything to contribute, sitting in on these meetings was a fascinating experience, as I learned communication, hard work, and passion were really the propelling forces at the heart of Big Car- and probably most other nonprofits for that matter. It never ceased to amaze me how much a single group of people could get done week after week or how big of an impact this little arts nonprofit could have on the community. Now granted maybe my perspective as an intern was unique because I wasn’t subject to the same stresses that many of the “real” staff members were, but I always felt very honored and inspired to be working with such motivated and creative individuals every day.

If you are someone who happened upon this post because you are thinking of getting involved at the Tube Factory or with Big Car in general, I would whole heartedly encourage you to do so. In times like today when technology seems to be diminishing our need for genuine human connectedness, community building organizations like this one are invaluable. I saw this many times over this summer- in the brilliant eyes of kids as they sprinkled sparkles over their Wednesday art class masterpieces, in the smile of a wizened, gentle grandmother who helped her granddaughters address postcards at the Wagon of Wonders, on the rapt faces of a captivated audience watching a First Friday boxing match. I could go on, but I don’t want you to take my word for it- go see for yourself. Interning with Big Car has opened my eyes to so many opportunities and has offered me so much clarity in what I want to do with my future endeavors. Though I’m sure this will only be the first of many internships in my college career, it is one that I will not soon forget.

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Help us make art happen!

Help us make art happen!

Update: Thanks to the generosity of our friends and supporters, including many neighbors, we met our goal for a $50,000 match by the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority for Big Car Collaborative’s cultural community work on the southside on Indianapolis. Stay tuned for updates on what’s next! And thank you again to all who gave!

You can support an exciting lineup of connected projects in Garfield Park knowing that every dollar you give is matched 100 percent! We’re raising funds for opening a community audio studio for WQRT at Listen Hear, expanding our Tube Factory artspace tool shop to lend tools to the community, furthering our community garden efforts with Solful Gardens, and getting the house next to Tube on Cruft Street ready for exhibits by local artists and short-term artist visits and residencies. Click here to go to the campaign and donate. We offer great thank you gifts than range from a supporter party at Tube, to T-shirts, to a custom portrait or poem from one of our artists!

Every dollar you give is matched by IHCDA (Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority). So that means, when we raise $50,000 through Patronicity, we’ll have $100,000 to help us get rolling on all of this work in the Garfield Park Neighbors Association and Bean Creek Neighborhood Association area south of downtown Indianapolis. These funds will be a big start in a larger campaign to launch all of these projects in our home-base neighborhood. Donate today!


Scale it up at TEDxIndianapolis

On April 25, 2017 movers, shakers and placemakers from all over Indiana and the world will speak at TEDxIndianapolis, a locally organized conference that aims to celebrate and share Big Ideas. The theme of TEDxIND 2017 is Scale it Up, and will focus on how ideas can expand, replicate, multiply, and drive positive change. The day will be divided into four sessions, as follows:

Session 1: Starting Points

  • Cara Courage on Placemaking and Community
  • Natalie Schneider on Innovation Going from Zero to One
  • Dr. Zaneta Thayer follows on Epigenetics and Cultural Anthropology, and Stress
  • James Veitch (prerecorded)
  • an interactive performance by Justin Wade of Young Actors Theater
  • Carlos Gutierez on how Latin America became an International Epicenter of Cinema.

Session 2: Representation

  • Performance by Oreo Jones
  • Rodney Foxworth on Why We Need to Combat the Growing Racial Wealth Chasm
  • Jamila Raquib on The Secret to Effective Nonviolent Resistance (prerecorded)
  • Joyce and John Moore of the Urban Patch on Informal Scalability of Organic Farming in an Urban Context
  • Maryori Duarte-Sheffield of the Immigrant Welcome Center
  • Naomi Tsu of the Southern Poverty Law Center who asks the key question of "Did I Get Here Legally?
  • TED Fellow Keolu Fox on the need for More Diversity in Genetic Research (prerecorded)

Session 3: Young and Old, Public and Private

  • performance from Caldwell/Tester
  • Kristin Van Busum on Why Allyship is the New Leadership
  • Justin Wade on Youth Empowerment Through Art
  • Jean Makesh on Disrupting Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care
  • David Harris of the Mind Trust on Urban Education Reform
  • Wanda Legrand on the role of Interpreters Bridging Art and Public Education

Session 4: The Data of Power and the Power of Data

  • Jay Hermacinski of MISO on The Power Grid – Innovation Driving an Electrical Revolution
  • Santosh Mathan on scaling artificial intelligence to be more adaptable
  • Rob Knight on How Microbes Make Us Who We Are (prerecorded)
  • Kevin Desouza on Simple Solutions to Scale Intrapreneurship
  • William Mougayar on What You Need To Know about the Blockchain Economy
  • performance by Derek Johnson

Find more information about this event at TEDxIndianapolis’ offical website, and get tickets here.