This upcoming 5×5 Indy is the first 5×5 that will be held in Fountain Square. And the hosts are beyond excited to show off a few stops in this neighborhood, including the Fountain Square Theatre for the presentations and New Day Craft for the after party. All 5×5 programs are free and everyone is invited and encouraged to attend!
THE 5X5 HOSTS: INDY READS + INDIANA HUMANITIES
ABOUT INDY READS: While the main program of Indy Reads is tutoring adults who struggle with reading and writing, the mission is to promote and improve literacy of the entire community. (Indy Reads Books helps support our work.)
ABOUT INDIANA HUMANITIES: In short, Indiana Humanities encourages Hoosiers to think, read and talk. How? By creating its own programs, such as ALL-IN, INconversation and Novel Conversations; by providing grants for humanities programs throughout the state; and by providing a space—physically and digitally—for people to connect and converse.
THE THEME: READ INDY
Both host organizations are focused on getting Hoosiers to read and share a belief that powerful experiences with the written word can transform lives—the theme READ INDY fit perfectly.
Both groups have had their eyes on projects around the country that creatively incorporate literature and reading into unexpected places, like sidewalk poetry in St. Paul, Minnesota and Chipotle’s “Cultivating Thought,” which prints original short stories and essays on their bags and cups. And they’ve seen examples of times when shared reading can be a solution to real problems, like how to sustain the bonds between incarcerated parents and their kids or a way to bring vets together to reflect on their military service.
So, together they decided they wanted to see what wacky but meaningful ideas Indianapolis could generate in this vein. If you ask them, they’ll tell you that they were a little concerned at first, so you can imagine how excited they were to get 43 proposals!
They’ll also tell you how fun and inspiring it was to read through those 43 proposals—and how hard it was to narrow the list down to five presenters for READ INDY!
THE FINALISTS (AS SEEN ON 5X5INDY.ORG)
The House Poem Project – Phyllis Viola Boyd and LaShawnda Crowe Storm
Boyd, an artist and urban designer, and Crowe Storm, a mixed media artist, activist and community builder, propose a project to cover blighted houses with murals of poems written by area residents.
Pedals, Prose & Places – Ashlee Wilson Fujawa
Fujawa, the director of public relations at Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, intends to use the award to create an interactive “choose-your-own adventure” bike ride, where participants bike to different parts of the city and encounter an author or “character” along the way.
Pop-Up Health Poetry – Emily Baughman
Baughman, a published poet and certified health education specialist, suggests the use of poetry stands at farmers markets and other summer events to allow visitors to solicit and read health related poems written by Indiana poets.
Read & Be Heard – Gordon Strain and Dianne Moneypenny
Strain and Moneypenny plan to ask Indianapolis residents to read aloud their favorite sentence from their favorite book and then compile recordings into an audio piece that will play from speakers installed around the city. They have published bilingual short stories, traveled the globe and created sculptures, paintings and installations around the U.S.
Voices from Central State – Elizabeth Nelson
Nelson, the director of public programs at the Indiana Medical History Museum, recommends a series of readings, performances and displays of literature and art by and about patients at Central State Hospital. This series would also include the launch of a historic tour on the former grounds of the hospital.