January 25th, 2014

48 hours in Indy

by cgindy

emmett jason

48-hour interns Jason Moore and Emmett Gienapp

The newest venture of the City Gallery is a 48-hour residency for singer-songwriters, videographers, and bloggers who want to create place-based work about Indianapolis urban neighborhoods.  To that end, we’ve created a 57 square foot “Sound Cave” out of a former organ pipe loft and are piloting the program before we launch it later this year.  To help us work the bugs out of the program, we invited our two Chattanoogans to come explore our city.  We welcomed Emmett and Jason to Indy with below zero temperatures and the first wave of the “snowpocalypse.”

It’s great to see your city from an outsiders’ perspective.  Last week, the New York Times named Indianapolis one of the top 52 places to visit in 2014.  I think Emmett would rank us pretty high as well.  Here are excerpts from what he had to say about his time here:

After 841 miles on the road, 48 hours in the city, a couple dozen cups of coffee from the Foundry, three car repairs, two videos, and a blizzard, the first 48 Hour Internship at the Harrison Center for the Arts is finished, and boy, was it a wild ride.

I was introduced to the Harrison Center by friends and Indianapolis natives. Fortunately, this led to an opportunity to explore the city in the form of a 48 Hour Internship. The 48 Hour Internship is a new program with the Harrison Center designed to afford visitors, artists, and a whole host of others the chance to get their hands in the work being done there. Through the program, interns can come in, experience Indy, and flex their creativity with a project they design and carry out during their stay. Intense? A little. Fun? Absolutely.

First, some context. My name is Emmett Gienapp and I am currently a sophomore in college.  A friend, Jason Moore, and I organized our very own video project around exactly what we were doing in the city—“Meeting Indy.” The goal was to produce two separate videos under this umbrella project. The focus of Jason’s video would be on the places that Indianapolis treasures, while mine would be on the culture of the city and the people who developed it. We wanted to work within our time constraints while receiving the fullest experience of the city possible. The solution was to let the city speak for itself.

The first part of the 48 Hour Internship itself was organized in such a way that we could present and work on it during the first First Friday of the year. What better time could there be to “Meet Indy?” We set up outside our living/work space at the Sound Cave, a renovation in process,  57 square foot room in the Harrison Center, and invited visitors to simply tell us about their city.  During that time I shot footage of the First Friday and Jason recorded testimonies about particular places in and around Indianapolis, all while we gathered the city’s statements about itself. Thankfully people were eager to tell us what they thought and I think we got fair taste of what Indy is and does.

What’s crazy is that Indianapolis has a disproportionately large number of creative artists, thinkers, and workers ready to do something big. I’m coming to realize that it’s not money, bricks, or cement that make a city—it’s the people that develop the vision and put in the work. A city can only be as great as the people that make it go and Indy seems to have plenty of people willing to get into the mix.

And that’s what I’ve learned to love about Indianapolis. It’s a big city with big things going on, but the community’s arms are open to anyone willing to get involved–welcoming them to participate and see what can be done.

So, thank you Indy. Thank you for not only telling us what there is to love about this city, but for showing us firsthand. Thank you for coming alongside a couple of college kids and allowing them to be a part of what’s going on. And thank you for creating and building in a way that challenges the next generation to do likewise.

The first 48 Hour Internship with the Harrison Center is officially over, but be on the lookout for other projects that come out this year. There are plenty of people standing in line to come see this city and be a part of it.  I know I’m already eager to get back.

Click here to see Emmett’s video, “48 Hours in Indy.”