Big Car Collaborative’s resident researcher and placemaker, Adam Rakestraw, is working on two community projects that needs your attention and support!
The first arts project, The Lockerbie Story Project, is a continuous fictional story made from the imagination of individuals and a typewriter in public space. The project seeks to reanimate the art of storytelling by asking participants to imagine, world-build, and write! The project is an intimate way to reconnect to the long tradition of storytelling and myth by writing on a Royal Epoch typewriter in the middle of Lockerbie Square in Indianapolis, Indiana. Rather it is only a line or a paragraph, each participant sets the next scenario, describes the situations, or just rambles on by reading the previous lines of a total stranger. Yet the fundamental of storytelling are ever present. It’s a form of social engagement and interaction typically with no conclusion, as it’s the journey that matters.
The Lockerbie Story project takes place every Thursday 11-1:00pm in Lockerbie Square next to Needlers Fresh Market,320 N New Jersey St. It runs from late August to November. You can also take part at Tube Factory artspace on Mondays. Once the story reaches an end-point, it will be translated to become a graphic zine emailed to all participants. Come be apart of the project!
The second community project is the Garfield Park Porch Project, which highlights stories and memories about neighborhood change from the perspective of Garfield Park residents, -especially long term residents. And all from the comfort of their front porch!
To continue on the dialogue emerging from the film, The Florida Project, the porch project attempts to play on various underlying themes present from the film, -disenfranchisement, wonder, utopianism, joy, underrepresentation, marginalization, and facade. Like in The Florida Project, The Porch Project ultimately seeks to be a continuous challenge to the modern, “American Dream” national narrative present in the U.S. As The Porch Project is set to capture an ethos of the neighborhood from the perspective of residents currently facing a demographic shift in the area.
The Porch Project discussions will run from August until November, with a exhibition date for February. Any willing resident of the Garfield Park neighborhood is encouraged to reach out!
Adam obtained his Master of Arts degree in the Netherlands from Universiteit Utrecht in Art and Society. He is also holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Fine Art, Anthropology, and Art History from University of Southern Indiana. Located in his hometown, Evansville, Indiana.
The research topics Adam focuses on include creative cities, creative economies, and arts activism. Six years experience as a creative producer and researcher in the Arts & Culture and Urban Development sectors. He researches on European Arts policies with think-tank EUrArt, alongside being an artist, writer, academic, and creative cities developer. As of Spring 2018 he was accepted into Winchester School of Art, U.K. for his Ph.D research into creative city development and will join the school in Fall 2019.
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
Call for Artist-in-Residence and Artist-led projects at Indianapolis City Market
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
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.
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).
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.