Archive for May 8, 2013

NUVO Announces 2013 Cultural Vision Award Winners

Indianapolis Cultural Trail

Indianapolis Cultural Trail. staff photo, (c) 2010, all rights reserved.

By Jim Poyser, Editor
NUVO Newsweekly

NUVO announces this year’s CVA winners.

Now in its 15th year, NUVO’s Cultural Vision Awards were created to celebrate individuals and organizations that are pathfinders — folks bringing new perspectives and innovative ideas to Indianapolis’ understanding of itself. NUVO defines cultural vision in its most inclusive sense. We look for people and programs whose creativity enlarges our city’s self-image and enhances our quality of life. Every year that the NUVO editorial team combs through nominations that come to us through readers, community contacts and past honorees, we are reminded of the many compelling ways people in Indianapolis havåe found to make life better.

We will celebrate the winners on Friday, June 7 at Indiana Landmarks Center (1201 Central Ave). Join us between 6 and 7 p.m. for a reception including drinks, light appetizers, conversation and a performance from previous CVA winners, Time for Three. The ceremony will begin at 7:15 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Augustino’s Italian Restaurant will be providing complimentary appetizers and desserts along with wine for sale. Sun King will be on tap with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Indiana Landmarks.

This year’s winners:

Eskenazi Health

This hospital, also called the New Wishard, will open in December of 2013, but we’re already excited to honor what may be the boldest hospital in the entire country. The new hospital will not only be LEED certified for its green design features, it will also feature a sky farm: a 5,000-square-foot rooftop garden, where fresh produce will help feed patients and staff. Specially commissioned works of art will create a significant new public space throughout the hospital, and the Eskenazi Commons, out front the building, will be a public place where human connections and relationships are encouraged and nurtured.

Joyful Noise Recordings

This independent record label celebrates ten years of unconventional formats and fascinating local and national artists this year. And there’s plenty of achievements to celebrate in 2012 alone: new acquisition Kishi Bashi was named NPR’s best new artist of the year. The label achieved worldwide distribution and released a celebrated flexi-disc series featuring artists like The Melvins and Sufjan Stevens. But most exciting for Indy residents is the permanent show space-cum-office-cum-record store in Fountain Square’s Murphy Arts Center. Joyful Noise has received acclaim for their dedication to analog formats and high-quality, extremely limited releases. Their support of talented local artists (including Sleeping Bag, Marmoset and Memory Map, among others) is just the cherry on top.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick
Years in the making, this visionary, eight-mile path through Indianapolis (see photo above) highlights various icons and landmarks, while giving users a good reason to explore the city. It’s an urban bike and pedestrian path that connects Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Mass Ave, the Canal and White River State Park and the Wholesale District, while providing links to the entire Central Indiana greenway system. Led by Central Indiana Community Foundation, among others, the Cultural Trail is a true collaboration, highlighting health, along with appreciation for our ever-growing Downtown. Their May grand opening will invite users to “get down on it,” and will elevate the already-known Cultural Trail to legendary status.

Indy Reads Books

Indy Reads is a laudable, long-standing nonprofit organization dedicated to solving the problem of adult illiteracy in Central Indiana. Indy Reads trains volunteers to tutor adults who come forward to improve their literacy skills. Over the years, Indy Reads has produced a number of programs, from spelling bees to scavenger hunts, in an effort to help people better understand the dimensions of adult illiteracy and to raise the funds needed to address the issue. But they took it up a notch or two with an ambitious venture that literally places Indy Reads on the city’s map: a bookstore called Indy Reads Books. Not only is it a constant, on-going fundraiser for Indy Reads, it’s also the city’s only Downtown bookstore, and a destination for all things written and spoken word.

Indy Urban Acres

The locally grown food movement in Indianapolis continues to flourish, and Indy Urban Acres is an exemplary addition. This eight-acre organic farm donates 100 percent of its harvest to families in need. In 2012, over 35,000 lbs. of fresh organic produce was grown; each one of those pounds represents a main course or a side dish, but also security in a food-insecure world. In addition, over 1,000 kids visited Indy Urban Acres in 2012, seeing for themselves how food is grown — and how to grow their own. Add in the 500 or more volunteers and you can see how this establishment is a true community effort to provide nourishment to those who might not otherwise have access.

People for Urban Progress

Indy’s ultimate re-purposers, PUP’s work can be seen throughout the city. On a grand scale, they take what others would throw away, and turn into useful and meaningful items. Their first project was salvaging the RCA Dome roof, which gave birth to many items – bags, wallets and other accessories made out of roof material, along with shade canopies. Most recently, they salvaged Bush Stadium’s seats and have begun installing them in IndyGo bus stops. But their projects extend beyond that to such endeavors as car sharing, yellow grease recycling, solar panel installation on brownfields, plus infographics that show the common person how they might negotiate our city’s government.

Lifetime Achievement Award winner: Judy O’Bannon

Mrs. O’Bannon is perhaps best known for her role as First Lady of Indiana (1997-2003), but much of her life has been dedicated to community engagement. A graduate of IU with a degree in social work, she was selected as a Rockefeller Theological Scholar, and was the first woman to attend the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Society. In addition, she holds nine honorary degrees. Mrs. O’Bannon is actively involved in media entities, as Chairman of The O’Bannon Publishing Company (Corydon Democrat and Clarion newspapers) and as host and producer of the WFYI TV public television series Communities Building Community as well as her television series, Judy O’Bannon’s Foreign Exchange. We are honored to shine a light on this extraordinary life lived in service to others.

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