Brick Street Park to run literary art park


Residents of Indianapolis’ northwest side will soon be able to enjoy a neighborhood literary art park, thanks to a recently launched crowdfunding campaign.

Sponsored by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and offered through the crowdfunding platform developed by Patronicity, the campaign is being run by Brick Street Poetry, Inc., a nonprofit based in Zionsville.

“Developing a long-term passion for the arts begins at a young age,” Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch stated in a news release. “By taking a vacant, underutilized space and giving students the knowledge and support to create literary art is truly innovative. We look forward to working with Brick Street Poetry and IPS school No. 87 on this exciting crowdfunding campaign.”

If the campaign reaches its $5,000 goal by Dec. 8, the “Neighborhood Literary Art Park” will receive a matching grant of $5,000 from the IHCDA’s CreatINg Places program. As of Oct. 17, more than $2,600 had been raised.

“We’ve worked in virtually every type of venue in central Indiana and far beyond over the years, and we have shared poetry with about every demographic,” Brick Street board member Dan Carpenter said. “But owning a piece of land and building a sanctuary and launch pad for literary and related art is a new adventure for Brick Street and a real stretch for our imagination and fund-raising ability. We’re confident the community around Paris Avenue, the children and youth and their mentors will drive this partnership to success if our hands and ears are open.”

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Funds raised during the campaign will allow Brick Street Poetry to turn a vacant lot in a residential neighborhood into a destination for the literary arts. A stage will be installed along with tables and chairs, landscaping and a shed to hold supplies for events and workshops. In the summer of 2019, Brick Street Poetry plans to host a series of workshops in the literary art park, through which professionals will teach local kids about writing short stories, poetry, lettering and painting. At the end of the series, workshop participants will create a piece of art to be displayed within the park.

“Our entire school community is very excited that this opportunity has the potential to fund and develop a Neighborhood Literary Art Park and engage local residents in literary art activities by embedding summer workshops, student gallery shows, readings and other cultural exchanges right into the neighborhood,” stated Mark J. Nardo, principal of IPS George Washington Carver.

The CreatINg Places program is available to projects in Indiana communities. Nonprofit entities (with 501c3 or 501c4 status) and Local Units of Government are eligible to apply.

Eligible projects must have a minimum development cost of $10,000, where the recipient receives $5,000 in IHCDA matching funds should they successfully raise $5,000 through Patronicity. IHCDA will provide matching grant funds up to $50,000 per project.

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