Artist collaborative looking to establish ‘creative community’ in Garfield Park

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –  A group of artists and neighbors are hoping to establish a Garfield Park community as a haven for artistry.

The Big Car Collaborative is hoping to establish what they call a “creative community.” Earlier this week, they launched a crowd funding campaign sponsored by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Association.

If the campaign reaches a goal of $50,000 by September 15, the project will receive a matching grant from IHCDA’s CreatINg Places program, which helps to fund community development projects.

“Ultimately when I think about it, it’s a possibility for something different, something unique,” Big Car staff artist Sean “Oreo” Jones said.

The funding would then allow Big Car to install four projects, including a tool library, a radio station, a community garden and a visiting artist home.

“The whole thing is a vehicle for artists to get out and do their thing,” Big Car artistic foreman Brent Lehker said.

The artists say like them, many other artists used to have their arts community based in Fountain square. However, after housing prices increased Garfield Park became their refuge. Now, they want to make sure all other artists can feel at home in Garfield Park as well.

“The goal of the program is to bring community together in order to do this, so that’s the great thing about what Big Car is doing. They’re utilizing the program for a bigger purpose not just one public space,” IHCDA’s Placemaking Manager Carmen Lethig said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the crowdfunding campaign had raised $10,000. Sean “Oreo” Jones says they’re confident they’ll reach their goal.

“I think it’s kind of cool an unique that in Garfield park were trying to blaze an unfamiliar terrain in the neighborhood and trying to ignite and encourage people to come and be a part of it, not just be overbearing but involve everyone with it,”  he said.

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