CICF News / 2013 / March / News Post
March 26, 2013
Go Ahead…Make My City

The 5x5: Indianapolis Arts and Innovation prize is a contest designed to foster community building and art-focused innovations in central Indiana. The process is simple: Four events, staggered throughout the calendar year and hosted by four different community-focused organizations with a high value for art and creativity. Five speakers, culled from multiple applications, are chosen to present an innovative, art-focused idea at each event. After their presentations, one winner is selected by the audience. The winner walks away with $10,000 to make their idea happen – and to help make life in Indianapolis a bit more exciting.

5x5 Logo
The 5x5: Indianapolis Arts and Innovation prize will be distributed throughout 2013 at four different events.
Bush Stadium Seat Removal
People for Urban Progress partners with several organizations in their Bush Stadium seat removal and refurbishment process, including RecycleForce. (Photo courtesy of RecycleForce.)
Mass Ave PUP Stop
After being refurbished, many former Bush Stadium seats have become PUPstops at IndyGo locations, a project that exemplifies People for Urban Progress's creative re-use process. (Photo courtesy of PUP.)
Craig Mince wins first 5x5 prize
Craig Mince, pictured with Big Car's Anne Laker, won the first 5x5 prize for a "Pop-Up Cinema" series. (Photo courtesy of Big Car.)

Hosted by People for Urban Progress (PUP), the second of the four 5x5 events will take place April 12 at Indianapolis Fabrications. Big Car hosted the first 5x5, in which Craig Mince’s pop-up independent film screenings received the $10,000 prize. The final two events will be hosted by IndyHub and the Harrison Center for the Arts. 5x5 is supported by Central Indiana Community Foundation, Efroymson Family Fund (a fund of CICF), and the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation.

Innovative Ideas, Creative Themes

Like each of the four hosting organizations, PUP selected a 5x5 theme that matches its mission and organizational expertise – “Make Your City: Make It Happen.” Presenter applications, which are currently being reviewed, focus on creating a product that solves a community project. That focus reflects PUP’s way of life.

“We’re an urban innovation center, and a lot of our work really comes down to identifying issues or problems or things that are unique to Indianapolis, as a city, and mobilizing people to work on those,” says Michael Bricker, Chief Innovator and PUP Co-Founder. “We’re using 5x5 to challenge central Indiana to operate how we operate.”

PUP’s way of operating has led to several creative re-use projects. PUP transforms fabric from the former RCA Dome and Super Bowl signs into wallets, bags and shower curtains. They also use reclaimed seats from the former Bush Stadium, installing them at IndyGo stops and now offering them up for public purchase, too. CICF sponsored one of the “PUPstop” transit stop seat installations. (See more about PUPstops in this video.)

PUP is partnering with a number of local organizations to produce their 5x5 event. The event will be at Indianapolis Fabrications, a partner PUP utilizes to process many of their salvaged materials. Additionally, We Are City, URBN DSGN, Indianapolis Intercultural Network, Centric Indy, New Orleans-based Civic Center, Broken City Lab from Windsor, Ontario, and Bayonet Media are all contributing to the event.

“We’re having the event in a space that is about making, and inviting doers and makers from central Indiana and other places to speak, because we want the event to help everyone think about that link between idea and impact,” says Bricker.

First Project Popping Up Soon

Craig Mince, the Chief Operating Officer and President of the Indianapolis International Film Festival, won the first 5x5 prize at Big Car’s February event. His idea, to create a “Pop-Up Cinema” series featuring independent films, received the most audience votes and won approval from the judging panel.

Mince will use the $10,000 grant to purchase a “very large” screen, as well as a projection system and a sound system that “really will go to 11.” (That sound system will be used at the PUP 5x5 event, as well.) The goal of the project is not only to use technology (the key theme of Big Car’s event), but also to promote social interaction through film screenings. The grant will make it possible for Mince to offer screenings to the public for free. Watch Mince's prize-winning presentation online.

While Big Car’s event included white boards for audience comments and questions -- one for each presenter -- each of the 5x5 events will have its own forms of audience interaction. The four hosting organizations have different cultures, different audiences and different approaches to the central goal – to use arts innovation to improve life in central Indiana.

“Someone could go to all four of these throughout the year and have a very different experience, totally different themed events and different ideas that are coming through,” says Bricker of PUP. “We’re all inspired to do our own thing. For us, the focus is on making, on a doing-ness, and we’re excited to see what people come up with.”

Read more about CICF's Inspiring Places Initiative, as well as several other grants that help make central Indiana a more inspiring place to live.