Those who plan on making moves in the local music scene should know there is a place where Indianapolis’ musicians can connect, collaborate and grow. On the third Thursday of every month, the Kheprw Institute opens its doors to all who want to examine the state of Indy’s music community and learn from the experiences of other artists. Local hip-hop artist Diop Adisa collaborated with Stacia Murphy and Sean Stuart to create The Build at the Kheprw last summer, and the enterprise has grown. We recently spoke with Adisa to learn more about The Build.
Recorder: How did The Build get its start?
Adisa: The Build had its first session in April of 2017, and it came about between two collaborators and me. We felt what Indianapolis needed was more infrastructure for the arts and music community. We organized a monthly meeting that people could come to and exchange experiences, resources and knowledge. We want to build social capital that could lead to creating some of the infrastructure we felt was missing. There is no classroom for an artist to learn about publishing or running an event, or networking with venue owners, so you learn through trial and error, but what if we could compare notes? There are young people coming up, and the goal is to create an environment, a space, for people to develop relationships through shared knowledge and experiences.
What dose a typical meeting look like?
We open the space up at 6 p.m. and start at 6:30. It lasts two hours until 8:30. We invite artist to be speakers and talk about what they have learned, how they market themselves and what works well. We allow people to ask questions and share their experiences, but we also allow the conversation to go other places. We are trying to be an information hub. We also invite a visual artist, and we occasionally set up some music so it’s a nice, relaxed vibe, not a traditional community meeting. Going forward, we plan to provide food from a social enterprise to help them get their name out there, and food is a great tool for building community.
Are people ever surprised to see the drive of Indy’s local artist?
I do think people are surprised, but the people who are surprised are not artists. They may be new artists who are just coming out into the artistic community. For most of the artists, we know each other, and we feel each other’s energy. That’s what we thrive off of. We have had IUPUI students come who are not artists, but they are surprised to see it. There is a disconnect we are trying to bridge, because the arts community of Indianapolis has some of the best art period, but we have to find a better way to engage and connect it to those who live here, because they have no idea it exists. We have grown over the past few years in terms of engaging those who are just supporters. The more we do that, the more they will see how great these artistic skills are, and it will increase our economic opportunities.
Learn more at facebook.com/TheBuildIndy
Connect with Kheprw:
Kheprw Institute (KI) is a community organization that works to create a more just, equitable, human-centered world by nurturing community members to be leaders, critical thinkers and doers.
Check out these other innovative events:
Afrofuturism Fridays: On the Second Friday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m., the Kheprw Insititute hosts an Afrofuturism discussion group. Afrofuturism will be the framework to re-examine events of the past, critique the present day dilemmas of the African Diaspora and create a space to imagine and dream of possible futures.
FilmHack: FilmHack, which takes place every first Thursday, is for community makers and creative individuals to develop media skills and connections, as well as grow a stronger arts scene together. There will also be time for building relationships, sharing snacks and board games.
Food Assembly: The Food Assembly is an initiative launched by Kheprw Institute to provide a space and process where community members are the primary decision makers in addressing the food challenges in their communities with a non-hierarchical democratic approach. Meetings take place every first and third Friday.