About Indy Convergence
We search for the hidden point of convergence in artistic and local communities to collaboratively work toward a more equitable and creative world.
Indy Convergence connects artists, communities, and their environment to cultivate new ideas by fostering collaborative experiences that inspire solutions and develop lasting changes.
- We believe that artists are an essential part of every thriving community.
- We believe in being teachable and learning through thoughtful peer to peer engagement with artists, our partners, and our neighbors.
- We believe that artists have the ability and power to see problems from unique viewpoints and that they can work with diverse communities to develop lasting, meaningful change.
- We believe that it is worth the time to listen and collaborate in order to create new artistic and community-minded work.
- We believe that failing is one important piece of creating new work in the arts and with our community.
Our Pledge to You
- We at Indy Convergence are not gatekeepers but rather a river connecting assets and talents to resources.
- We come alongside our neighbors and art partners through people-centered programming.
- We are intentional and believe in digging deep.
- We agree to meet one another in transparent and honest conversations.
- We center our creative community with imagery and language that honors their experience.
- We celebrate our work together with our partners and community.
The Indy Convergence started between three artists while working at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2007. At the close of the season, the trio wanted to provide a safe place to create and experiment without fear of failure, to develop their teaching skills for a broader audience, and to collaborate more successfully across disciplines. They decided to meet once a year to work on interdisciplinary projects. The idea was simple, half local, half out of town artists would “converge” on Indianapolis for two weeks. The Indy Convergence developed a special way of taking artistic projects to their next step by fostering an immersive, collaborative, process-driven environment that allows artists to experiment freely with no pressure to produce polished projects.
Today, the Indy Convergence is an arts and community based nonprofit that serves the Near West neighborhoods of Indianapolis and maintains programs internationally in Jacmel, Haiti and London, Ontario. Cultivating the talent that already exists on a local level and facilitating residency programs to bring in new perspectives, Indy Convergence works to both stimulate and amplify community voices.
We work closely with all four Near West neighborhoods, the Reconnecting to Our Waterways White River committee, Near West Livability task force, and other local initiatives to utilize artists in asset-based community development work.
In 2018, we hosted the first successful Near West Rara with participation from all four Near West neighborhoods. This celebration is an event borrowed from Haitian culture that celebrates life with community, music, food, and dancing. The Near West Rara features a localized celebration in each neighborhood and grows as a participatory parade progresses from one event to the next. Each year, the NW Rara ends with all four neighborhoods sharing their hopes for the upcoming year and celebrating the past year’s successes. In 2019, guest artists from our partners at Jacmel Arts Center (Jacmel, Haiti) joined us for the event and taught free workshops in the community leading up to the Rara.
In 2019, we debuted A Rising Tide initiative with two stages and five performances on the White River. In June 2019, we partnered with the Eiteljorg Museum to host nationally recognized Hoop Dancer, Tony Duncan for our opening show. In July 2019 we hosted the first performance on the White River using a floating stage with the rock-meets-soul band, The Palace and Indianapolis favorites Sweet Poison Victim. Other events included a collaborative show with classical ensemble Forward Motion, Kenyetta Dance Company, and Fonseca Theatre. The series also clears riverside spaces of invasive plant species creating our performance venues that double as community gathering spaces for picnics, fishing, and hiking once the events conclude. 2020 collaborations included a partnership with WFYI and the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation to film an educational program on historic Belmont Beach and a variety night hosted by Haughville resident and promoter, Tedd Hardy.