On any given day, you’ll find Brett Kramer coordinating PR and media relations for Hoosier powerhouse Indiana Sports Corp. You might also recognize this Indy transplant as an alum of the IndyHub 1828 Project, Class 8. But as is often the case with Indy’s doers and change makers, Brett has an extraordinary and inspiring passion project, and we couldn’t help but share. It’s called Love Letters to Indy. We sat down with Brett to get the low-down on exactly what it is, why she’s doing and how you can be a part of it.
Okay, so we are obsessed with your 9-5. What a cool job working for a place that has helped put Indy on the map for hosting world class sporting events. But we want to know more about Love Letters to Indy – NOT your 9 to 5. So, what is “Love Letters to Indy”?
Love Letters to Indy is a website that celebrates Indy in the form of love letters written by its most valuable assets, its people. The site was created as a place where anyone and everyone can express their love for Indy and there are no rules on how to do it. The letter can tell a love story, talk about your struggles, defining moments in your life or be a fun poem. In fact, it doesn’t have to be a formal letter at all – videos, memes and song lyrics are all possibilities. The platform has one goal in mind – to tell the story of Indy through the eyes of its beloved citizens.
Many of us could write love letters to the places where we grew up, but you chose your adopted hometown. Some people might not know that you’re originally from Cincinnati. What’s made Indy home for you?
I moved around quite a bit growing up and spent a majority of my childhood in Ohio. I landed in Fishers in 8th grade and struggled for a long time answering the question – “where are you from?”. It wasn’t until I went to college at Michigan State (which was amazing) that I started to realize how special Indianapolis is and how it’s not your typical city and community. The people who live in Indy are what made it home for me. I am continually amazed how everyone embraces our community and works as allies to make it the best place to live, work, and play. There is a lot of pride in people’s voices when they say they’re from Indy – and that alone makes it so special.
In the time of Brené Brown and “finding our zen,” we’re often encouraged to show vulnerability. Love letters are a very personal thing. What made you decide to share Love Letters to Indy publicly?
I was incredibly nervous launching the site this past year, because – like a love letter – introducing any passion project to the world puts someone in a very vulnerable place. At the same time, I was so inspired by similar sites in Toledo, OH and Tucson, AZ that it was an initiative that I felt compelled to start in Indy. Although it’s not always easy to be vulnerable and is something I struggle with at times, our stories deserve to be told in the most authentic way possible. We rarely learn anything when situations go exactly as planned or when we pretend everything is perfect. I want this site to be one where we can learn from each other: share our struggles, successes, defining moments and most importantly why Indy has played a significant role in our journeys.
Side projects are time consuming. Was there a moment you felt like it wasn’t worth it? What got you through it?
I had second guesses a few weeks after I launched the site. I didn’t know if it would work. I didn’t know if people would care, and I didn’t know how I could bribe enough people to write letters for me to make the site sustainable. Then a few weeks after that, I decided that I didn’t care. If the website ends up with five love letters or 105 letters – each letter is an opportunity for someone to share their story and love for Indy – and that means I accomplished my goal.
We’re fans. We’re all in – Our very own Ashley Miser already wrote and submitted her letter so how can other people participate or support Love Letters to Indy?
First off, Ashley’s letter was amazing! I am forever grateful for her contribution to the website. I would love to have 50 love letters by the end of 2020 – which is a very lofty goal! There are a couple ways to participate – easiest would be to visit www.LoveLettersToIndy.com and check out the ‘Write a Letter’ tab that details the steps to get the letter featured on the site. It’s not for everyone, but from my own experience, putting words on paper (or a computer screen) can be very gratifying. Anyone can also reach out to me personally if they have any questions or are feeling inspired and don’t know where to start.