January 10th, 2017

Dramatic Indy: A Family of Performing Artists in the Old Northside

by Amy Sheldrake Eddy

Almost five years ago, Kris and Amy Owens moved into their house on College Avenue in the Old Northside.  Amy is a professional dancer, singer, ballet instructor, and model with the locally-based Helen Wells Agency.  Kris teaches performing arts and serves as the theater director of Ben Davis High School on the west side of Indy.  Amy’s work takes her all over the city, including Premier Academy of Performing Arts in Avon, Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre on the north side, Hoosier Park in Anderson, and the Hilbert Circle Theatre downtown for the symphony’s annual Yuletide Celebration, which just recently completed its 31st year.  

So how did the couple decide to settle down in an urban neighborhood like the ONS?  Amy originally comes from Canada, but moved to Camby with her family just before high school, while Kris grew up in Indianapolis on the east side.  

“I just knew the suburbs weren’t really our thing,” says Amy, who is a former Radio City Rockette.  “Before buying in the ONS, we were renting a town home in Chatham Arch.  We knew we wanted to be in the area after spending two years downtown as renters.  My favorite thing about our neighborhood would have to be location,” Amy adds.  “We are within walking distance of fantastic dining and entertainment, with Mass Ave being so close and 16th street quickly blossoming into a great destination for an evening out.  Weather permitting, walking right into downtown and the Circle makes for a great afternoon activity.”  Kris and Amy are involved in their community; Kris also serves on the board of directors for the Old Northside Neighborhood Association and manages its social media accounts.

The Owens family grew when their little boy was born in 2015.  Amy enjoys taking walks or riding bikes on the Cultural Trail, through the neighborhood and visiting city parks with her toddler-aged son.  Their favorite stops are two nearby parks on Alabama Street, Shawn Grove and Herron-Morton, where they frequently meet up with friends and neighbors.  Amy says, “I recently joined MOPS, and my son and I have made new friends in the area.  Before joining the group, I didn’t realize how many young children there are in our neighborhood.  It has been great meeting other moms and learning about all of the fun things they do with their little ones in and around the city.”  

Kris and Amy also appreciate the diversity that surrounds them in an urban neighborhood.  “Another great benefit of living downtown with a toddler is knowing that he will be exposed to a wide array of people and lifestyles,” says Amy.  “From age, race, socioeconomic status and religion, we have a bit of everything, and I feel it is important for my son to experience it all.  I have always preferred the diversity that city living provides and am happy to be raising our son in downtown Indianapolis.”