The Indy Arts Council announced their 2023 ARTI Awards winners, honoring people and organizations who are advancing equity and innovation in Indy arts and culture.
Honorees include Kaila Austin, PATTERN Magazine, IndyGo, Fonseca Theater Company and Global Village Welcome Center & International Marketplace Coalition.
“I had been bringing people to my studio and just painting their portraits and just letting them tell me about their lives. It ended up being called the Memory Keeper’s Project,” said Austin, an activist and artist.
She started interviewing grassroots community leaders and found a woman named Lenora Frazier whose grandfather escaped slavery and joined the 28th Regiment U.S. Colored Troops.
When he came home from war, he founded a church in Indianapolis’ Norwood neighborhood.
From that one story, Austin uncovered multiple stories similar to Frazier’s.
“Music and Transit is a series of events that we put on with our buses that features local artists and different genres of music. We actually let them take over the buses,” said Inez Evans, the first Black woman to serve as president and CEO of IndyGo.
“It’s just a full-blown out jam session, having the ability to show individuals who may not have that opportunity, who can’t afford that ticket to that concert, who just simply has not been exposed to certain types of diverse sounds.”
Evans said this gives people an opportunity to see all the awesome talent within Indianapolis.
The Arts Council celebrates the interesting artistic stories, including Austin’s and Evan’s, that come from work completed by an individual or organization within their community.
The Indy Arts Council presented these awards at Start with Art Aug. 24, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom.
For more news similar to the ARTI award winners, check out local news from the Indianapolis Recorder here.