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Creating Culture


My first Pecha Kucha night, enjoyed from the squishy goodness of a giant red comfy sack in The Toby, was  like no other PowerPoint presentation I’ve been to. I left feeling inspired and liberated (since profanities could be shouted or whispered freely at any point). I’m definitely experiencing culture these days, maybe due to a motivating post by Meg. It’s true–as a marketer, and as a resident of Indy–we should all be experiencing the amazing galleries, games, plays, concerts, trails, architecture and exhibits offered by our friends. But why not also ask ourselves how as individuals we can create culture?

Matthew Hale, life-long resident of Indianapolis and graduate of Herron School of Art & Design, pitched his idea to make Indy a cultural landmark at the recent Pecha Kucha Night. “Letteracks: A 3D map for Indianapolis” is a coordinated system of 26 giant letter bikeracks, one for each letter of the alphabet, designed for the regional center of Indianapolis. The options for the use of these letteracks are endless–from field trip and jogging destinations to wayfinding and photo ops. Letteracks would add a unique system of nationally recognized landmarks to our city and increase the cultural language so-to-speak of the people in our city.


"Letteracks: A 3D map for Indianapolis"

While Matt didn’t win the $10k PK prize (in my opinion, he should have), his idea speaks to the idea of creating culture on a large scale. On a much smaller scale, as a child, I was a ballet dancer, I painted Tiger Lillies by the mailbox, I played the piano, I wrote poems and stories, I sang “Billy Boy” on the swing set, I planted mounds of pumpkin seeds and sunflowers in my garden, I took portfolios of pictures after a heavy snowfall, I read. Today, I rarely make time for these renewing acts or share them. What would Indy be like, if we each brought our own light and talents to our family, neighbors and city? What if we didn’t passively absorb culture, but actively created and shared it?

I heard an artist speak on the topic about a year ago in a sun-drenched gym on the Old Northside. “Do you have a picture to paint? A book to write? A dance class to take? Are you needed by someone?”

We should all have our day in the comfy sack, but I’m going try to make more time to create, converse and inspire.


Wilber in his comfy sack

Filed under: Local, Musings, The Toby

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