This past year, Indianapolis and her people have experienced our world and city under staggering and uncertain circumstances. And yet, we’ve rallied together like never before. But there is more to be done.
On December 10, The 1828 Leadership Project presented by Citizens Energy Group connected virtually for the 5th session of their leadership program. The session started with each leader sharing their ideal Indy day, outlining their go-to for local eateries, activities, and places. Each agenda showcased the unique characteristics of Indy, as well as city and cultural amenities. (Check out some of their custom agendas below!)
Class X was joined by a star-studded line-up of community leaders including: Vincent Ash, Director Indianapolis Economic Development at the Indy Chamber – Develop Indy; Morgan Snyder, Director of Public Relations and Film at Visit Indy; and Courtney Howell Rissman, Events Director at Downtown Indy. The speakers highlighted the pivots of the past 10 months and how 1828 leaders can help infuse energy and support to the Mile Square during such a difficult time. Despite the uncertain times, the teams at the Indy Chamber, Visit Indy, and Downtown Indy, Inc. are resilient and continue to curate creative initiatives that are leading to foster vibrancy, inclusion, and continued development in Downtown.
Wondering how you can advocate and support for the vibrancy of Downtown? Here are some takeaways from Class X:
- Continue to shop and support local restaurants, businesses, and organizations. There are great community guides like Visit Indy’s Indy Eats, Eat Here Indy, Shop Black Indy, and Yelp that make it easy to #BuyIndy.
- Advocate for the city: Get loud and talk about Indy with your friends and family. Invite them to experience why Indianapolis was featured on Conde Nast Traveler’s destinations for 2021. Use your sphere of influence and share with your network that it is time to come Back Downtown Indy. Check out Downtown Indy’s video series to learn more about the people behind the places we love.
Breakfast: Lincoln Square Pancake House
Activity: Attending Creative Mornings Downtown
Lunch: Tea’s Me Cafe
Activity: Walking the pup on the Monon
Dinner: R & R Extreme Wings
Activity: Networking Happy Hour
“Our city needs to prioritize the needs, wants, & desires of our residents just as much as those who we want to visit. This means taking an intentional approach to shopping local, getting to know your neighbors, and sharing your time, talent, or treasure when you can. As a transplant, I am thankful for those native to Indy who gave their time and stories to help me understand that I could find my place here, my home. I think about our youth especially in this context, we can play a larger role in helping to establish meaningful connections with the city if we provide the opportunity.”
Breakfast: Lincoln Square Pancake House and coffee from Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee
Activity: Shopping at Silver in the City and Global Gifts
Dinner: The Eagle or Vida
Activity: Walk on the Cultural Trail
This monthly session really highlighted the importance of taking care of our city and investing in it by buying, eating and supporting local businesses, and I couldn’t agree more. That is something I have been intentionally doing more of during this pandemic, and I will continue to do so in the future.
During the session, Morgan said,”If you have an idea, you can get it done in Indy.” As a young professional, I really loved hearing that, and I made that tie right back to local businesses. Every local business was started because someone had an idea. So we have to be here for our community and support people because we might have an idea someday, and we will need other people’s support to make it happen.
Breakfast/ Coffee: Leviathan Bakehouse
Activity: Get my coffee to go and walk to see the old homes of the neighborhoods surrounding downtown.
Lunch: Chatham Tap’s nachos
Activity: Ride the Indianapolis Cultural Trail to see what conference or sporting event is in town
Dinner: Goodfella’s pizza and a growler of Dare Devil’s Indy Lager
Activity: Take my to go meal and eat it on the art bridge over the river by the zoo.
“I appreciated hearing how the presenters view successful events and how they decide to compete with other cities.”
Breakfast/ Coffee: Tinker Coffee to sip on the new WDRFA Blend!
Activity: Read x Write at Tea’s Me Cafe
Lunch: Sandwich x smoothie at Cleo’s Bodega & Cafe
Activity: Walk the Canal
Dinner: Exotic on the Run
Activity: Gordon’s Milkshake
“I thoroughly appreciated Vincent Ash’s note about their needing to be both individual AND systemic changes made to ensure the development of Downtown Indy post-COVID does not perpetuate displacement. Gentrification and white flight are not foreign to our City, these instances of racism and white supremacy are quite familiar. We have an opportunity to show the country how to develop with an equity mindset, shoutout to #ReclaimIndianaAvenue. And it’s when leaders like Vincent believe in the need to develop with an equitable lens that our City sees progress, faster.”
Breakfast/ Coffee: Breakfast would definitely be at First Watch
Activity: A workout at the Irsay YMCA
Lunch: Goose Market or City Market. They both have amazing food.
Activity: Sports event or walking the canal by White River State Park
Dinner: Livery, 45 degrees, or Goodfellas Pizza!
Activity: Either watch a movie, walking Mass Ave. while eating some ice-cream from Kilwins, or meeting up some friends at Bakersfield.
“My take away from our last session was a deeper appreciation for my cohort. Everyone shared very valuable insight and touched on important topics.”