West of Downtown is an area that showcases Indianapolis’ rich African-American heritage. Indiana Avenue anchors the district that stretches from the Central Canal to the White River. This diagonal gateway to Downtown is home to the IUPUI campus, the city’s life sciences initiative and a collection of major medical campuses.
All that jazz
In the 1920s and ‘30s, Indiana Avenue was the place for jazz. Keeping that tradition alive, the community hosts festivals and performances throughout the year and showcases jazz-themed outdoor art. Click here for public art in the Indiana Avenue Cultural District and throughout Indianapolis.
Jazz on the Avenue is a monthly family night out with jazz and southern cooking in the Grand Casino Ballroom.
Main Stage Series events are diverse and top-notch. Past headliners include Nilaja Sun in her off-Broadway, one-woman show, No Child, Patti LaBelle, the Monterey Jazz Festival and Oprah Winfrey’s financial coach,Glinda Bridgforth. The series runs October through May.
On-going film festival series.
The summer Youth in Arts program is for children ages 6 to 18 who otherwise might not have the opportunity to explore creative outlets such as music, writing, art, photography and dance.
Freetown Village: A living history museum
625 Indiana Ave.
Experience Indiana’s African-American history and culture through the actors and singers of Freetown Village. History comes to life for you as you transcend time and space through any of the interpretive theatre, storytelling programs, folk-art crafts or heritage-building workshops. Freetown Village is located in the historic Madame C.J .Walker Building.
Indianapolis Urban League
777 Indiana Ave.
The Indianapolis Urban League, founded in 1965, helps African Americans and other minorities achieve social and economic self-sufficiency through education, empowerment, quality of life, civic engagement and civil rights. The organization moved to Indiana Avenue in 2001.
Stutz Artists Association
Housed in the historic Stutz Business Center, the myriad artists who make up the Stutz Artists Association all share the common love of art but widely diverge from there. They are photographers, painters, sculptors, silversmiths and illustrators. They vary in age, ethnicities and backgrounds. Some have advanced degrees in art, and others advance their art in degrees. Some teach classes and hold workshops, and others mentor one-to-one. Some produce work that's accessible to a broad audience and sell a large amount of work, while others focus on work that's purely for their own enjoyment. Many of the Stutz artists have artwork in permanent collections at museums, schools and hospitals. Some are regional and even national award winners.
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