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Our Work on the Far Eastside

Our Work on the Far Eastside

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Published by Big Car
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Published by: Big Car on Apr 21, 2014
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04/21/2014

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 While we work as embedded artists at the table for citywide initiatives, we most often focus hyper-locally as active collaborators in these neighborhoods:
LAFAYETTE SQUARE
 (where Service Center, our demonstration space and  workshop is located)
DOWNTOWN
 (where we are part of teams working to better utilize public spaces)
FAR EASTSIDE
 (a neglected suburban area on the eastern edge of the city where our project leader for that neighborhood lives)
NEAR SOUTHSIDE
 (an asset-rich area  where four of our staff artists live and  where Big Car started in 2004) We’re focusing this document on the Far Eastside – copy here about it. We begin  working on the Far Eastside in 2013. (insert a bit more history) … Location information about it (south of Lawrence, north of I-70 between Post Road and the county line.
B
IG CAR COLLABORATIVE
 is an artist-led nonprofit organization based in Indianapolis that brings art to people and people to art. We use creative placemaking, design, social practice art, and public programming to help invigorate shared places, encourage creativity and social interaction, and strengthen communities.
OUR WORK ON THE FAR EASTSIDE
615 N. Alabama #119 | Indianapolis, IN 46204 |  www.bigcar.org
Fun Fleet at Spanish Oaks apartments, summer 2013
 
PHASE 1 EXPLORING AND LEARNING
Get to know the place:
 Best case is the artists leading the work live in the area. Even if we do — before projects start — we repeatedly drive, bike, and walk the area; photograph and map it; attend existing meetings and events; research history, demographics, and other data.
Connect and communicate:
 We meet  with and survey residents, stakeholders and other potential collaborators; listen to and note their larger, abstract wishes.
PHASE 2 GIVING AND DEMONSTRATING
Offering the gift of good design:
  As a way to begin our relationship in a positive way, we start to give the neighborhood gifts of graphic design, marketing support, documentation, and other skills we have to offer.
Participate in planning, visioning, and organizing:
 Once we’re part of the neighborhood’s leadership team,  we contribute to the planning process  with input and ideas and as project managers, grant writers, fundraisers, communicators, community organizers, and artists skilled at public engagement.
Intervention and demonstration:
 Using tools of tactical urbanism, we help the neighborhood see (and show others) how their ideas have moved from abstract to concrete. And how future, long-term projects may or may not work.  An important aspect of the demonstration phase is creating bonds between people by doing physical work together. This builds trust and connections that simply meeting and talking can never build.
PHASE 3 — MAKING AND SUSTAINING
Doing the work:
 We collaborate with residents, stakeholders, local and out-of-town artists, and other cultural partners to maintain and develop successful projects and programs — all dedicated to the goal of using art and culture to help build a stronger community from within.
Evaluation and revision:
 Part of all three phases, we work with our collaborators (neighbors and partners) and examine  what’s working and what’s not — and revise the approach along the way. All projects and programs remain flexible and organic.
OUR MULTI-PHASE APPROACH
(We are currently in
Phase 2
 in the Far Eastside)
615 N. Alabama #119 | Indianapolis, IN 46204 |  www.bigcar.org
Galeria Magnica in Superior Market 
 
PAST
Hosted — with the neighborhood’s leadership group — an area bus tour of assets and challenges for stakeholders and potential partners and funders
Completed a weekly summer mobile art program that took teaching artists to apartment complexes for pop-up art making in tandem with the public library’s bookmobile
Designed posters and T-shirts (and sponsored shirt printing) for the neighborhood’s 2013 Family Fun Day
Created outdoor games and hosted a creativity station at Family Fun Day 
Installed temporary crosswalks, landscaped desire paths through vacant lots and installed temporary seating as part of a walkability demonstration connecting a commercial area to a nearby apartment complex and high school
Launched an after school art program for youth that travelled between two apartment complexes in the area
Established the neighborhood’s first art gallery (Galeria Magnifica) inside a Hispanic grocery. This is also the city’s first ongoing bilingual gallery. It focuses on art connected to the neighborhood (about it, created by residents there, etc.)
PRESENT
Reaching out to the City to advocate for safer streets for  walking and biking — including requests for crosswalks, signals, and protected bike lanes
Planning a walking program to using the Walk Your City signage platform to encourage neighbors to walk and bike more
Exploring ways to work directly with schools in the neighborhood on socially engaged art projects, including “Day Book” a way to share student narratives and creativity as a method for empowerment
Hosting regular after-school arts classes and rotating exhibits at Galeria Magnifica
Participating in the planning process for the Purple Line bus rapid transit on 38th Street 
Planning for weekly summer mobile art program that takes teaching artists in a dedicated vehicle to apartment complexes in tandem with the public library’s bookmobile
 Working with the neighborhood to creatively improve bus stops for riders
FUTURE
Bring in Montreal street artist Peter Gibson to complete and facilitate intersection and street paintings, including working  with neighborhood volunteers
Create an artist-in-residence program for the area, focusing on work with our mobile program and Galeria Magnifica
Help bring better bus stop seating, engaging art experiences, and other creative placemaking projects to outdoor areas
Travel our mobile DoSeum around the neighborhood on a regular basis, making stops outside of schools, grocery stores and other busy areas, providing creative fun for people who speak English and Spanish
Create a neighborhood publication that is shared broadly  with residents
Commission and facilitate volunteer involvement in site-specific murals
OUR WORK ON THE FAR EASTSIDE
Past, present and future
615 N. Alabama #119 | Indianapolis, IN 46204 |  www.bigcar.org
A walkability intervention for Far Eastside Family Fun Day 

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