We received a lot of helpful feedback in response to the survey about our newsletter. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete it. We’ve compiled a spreadsheet containing all responses and we’re working to incorporate these ideas in future editions of the newsletter. Here are some of the survey results.
Which of the items below would you like to see more of in the newsletter?
- 38% New business updates
- 20% Neighbor spotlights
- 18% Local business events
- 14% IDO updates
- 10% Construction updates
Do you have a story, group, or event you want us to include in our newsletter?
- Focus on sustainability issues
- Benton House
- Downey Avenue Food Pantry
- New Irvington welcome sign
- Irvington green space and restoration
- Exodus Refugee Center
- Irvington CSA
Do you have someone you would like to suggest for our neighbor spotlight?
- Steve Barnett
- Sue Beecher
- Dave from World of Vapor
- JauNae Hanger
- Sue Kennedy
- Ed Myers
- Jenny Skehan
- The Sponsel Family
- Heidi Unger
- Sara Zollner
If you consider yourself a vinyl aficionado, you have likely met Rick Wilkerson. He owns and operates Irvington Vinyl, which shares a storefront with Bookmamas at 9 Johnson Ave. (See a message from Rick on YouTube.)
Along with two partners, Rick started his first record store, Missing Link Records, in 1994 in Broad Ripple, but it closed in 2008. He ventured into the antique business with another partner in 2012 with Irvington Vintage, at the corner of Audubon Road and Bonna Avenue. That changed focus, names, and location to become Irvington Vinyl, in 2014, where he offers both used records and new releases. Rick says, “Business is still growing, and people are still finding us.” He sees his customer base drawing primarily from the east and southeast sectors of the city, with some sales generated online.
Rick also owns TimeChange Records. He archives older Indiana music on vinyl and CD. Through TimeChange, he either reissues the music or releases it for the first time. He’s currently working with a friend from Last Four Digits to release their music.
As if he has nothing else to keep him busy, Rick is also heavily involved in the Indiana Music and Entertainment Museum. The IMEM displays Indiana music, broadcasting and film artifacts and is looking for funding so they can open a public bricks-and-mortar space. He keeps an eye open for valuable Hoosier gems to put on display in the museum.
“STREAMING IS KILLING DOWNLOADING”
CD sales used to dominate the market, but their share is plummeting and is now less than 20% of music sales. Vinyl has reached about 6% of sales, up from less than 1%, but people largely pay for streaming now rather than downloading digital files. Rick says most young consumers don’t care to own their music like generations past, mostly because they can listen to anything they want through streaming. A small percentage of people, though, still want to own their physical music, and this keeps both vinyl and CDs alive.
INDUSTRY INSIDER INFO
Currently only a handful of record pressing plants remain in the U.S., with old equipment “being held together with chewing gum and shoe strings.” The industry is slowly starting to see new production of equipment, according to Rick.
SOME “DID YOU KNOW?” POINTS
- The cost of releasing a vinyl LP is three to four times higher than the cost of releasing a CD.
- In 2007, 1.3 million records sold.
- In 2015, record sales soared to 11.9 million.
- Vinyl LPs from the late 1980s to early 1990s (including original Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam LPs) are valuable due to their scarcity and demand.
RECORD STORE DAY
In 2008, a few record store owners introduced Record Store Day (RSD) in an effort to reverse the downward record sales trend. The response was minimal for the first year. There were 15 to 20 special releases.
This year, on Saturday, April 22, Irvington Vinyl will open at 8 a.m. and offer 400 to 500 special releases just for this day. Many will be limited editions from artists in high demand and will sell quickly and then go out of print. The line stretches around the block, and Rick has to bring in extra staff for that day.
In conjunction with RSD, State Street Pub will provide live music, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., outside at 10 Johnson Avenue, as well as their Electric Breakfast. Affordable Hi-Fi will offer special deals on their Music Hall turntables at both Irvington Vinyl and across the street at Guitar Town.
Sales on all special releases are first come-first served, in keeping with the RSD contract. The contract also requires that no record sell for more than 20% over list price.
Over the years and with the internet changing how consumers get their information, Rick has learned, “Customers know more than you do about what they love.” He stands ready to serve as a facilitator in getting those things into your hands!
How long have you lived and/or worked here in Irvington?
I moved to the Irvington area in 2010 and now live in Community Heights. Previously, I lived in Bosart Brown.
What do you do for fun?
I work a lot. I play the bass and guitar. I watch TV. I ride my bike to work.
What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, block, or view in the neighborhood?
Irvington is beautiful everywhere you go. My bike ride is basically to and from the shop. I love Ellenberger and ride through it a lot.
If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what would you do first?
Fix the Coal Yard. It’s not for me to say that I would do something that somebody else hasn’t tried, but I know that’s a concern in the neighborhood.
What’s your connection to IDO?
I’m a member of the Irvington Business Association, which is in partnership with Irvington Development Organization.
Irvington is known for its engaged and active neighbors. If you’ve ever wondered how you too can have all that fun you hear about on Facebook and give back to this community we love so dearly, now’s your chance.
All the Irvington organizations are hosting a “job fair” for volunteer positions with our respective groups. At this one-day event, you can talk with representatives from neighborhood groups and choose the opportunities that best suit your interests, talents, and availability. And there will be snacks. Volunteer opportunities will include everything from neighborhood cleanups to planning gala events, simple one-time tasks to board memberships. Need some community service hours before graduating? Come on down. Want extracurricular responsibilities to polish up that resume? We’ve got you covered. Want to meet new neighbors? No better way. Feel the need to contribute in a meaningful way to a cause you hold dear? There will be plenty to choose from.
On Sunday, April 23, you’re invited to attend Volunteer Irv at the Bona Thompson Memorial Center, 5350 University Avenue, from 2-6 p.m. You can meet representatives of the various committees and learn about the different volunteer activities each has to offer.
This is an opportunity to get involved and have an impact on your community!
If you’ve ever walked along Washington Street between Emerson and Ritter Avenues on a hot, sunny day, you know there aren’t many trees to shade the sidewalks in that stretch of Irvington. On either side of Washington, we’re known for our leafy canopy. Not so much along our main corridor.
That won’t be the case a few years from now, as Phase II of the Washington Corridor Streetscape project is implemented. Almost 50 volunteers showed up on a Saturday morning this March, with staff from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) to plant 40 trees along two Irvington streets. The tree planting on Washington Street started near Hawthorne Lane and extended west to East Pleasant Run Parkway North Drive, and the Spencer Avenue ran south from East Washington Street into the residential area. KIB’s Youth Tree Team will keep them watered for the next few years to allow them to get established.
We’d like to extend a Great Big Thank You to the organizations and individuals who contributed time, labor, and resources to this project. Thank you, KIB, for donating the trees, coordinating the planting, and training the volunteers on the finer points of tree planting. (There’s really more to it than just digging a hole! Check out this informative video.) Thank you, Hart Bakery, for donating the yumdillyicious donuts that kept everybody going. And thank you to the good people from both within and outside of the neighborhood who spent their Saturday morning helping beautify our neighborhood.
Posted by IDO on Apr 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments
Each day, thousands of people drive, walk, and ride East Washington Street (the Historic National Road) and along the way see historic buildings and houses, a revitalized streetscape — with plants, trees, and new lamp posts — and a smattering of public art in the mix. Irvington Development Organization would like to hire an artist who will paint the traffic signal box at the corner of East Washington Street and Emerson Avenue, next to a green space called Brown’s Corner Park. The ideal candidate will create an original piece of art that contributes to the character of the neighborhood and quality of life for those who live, work, and pass through here.
Some background info
For those who don’t know, a traffic signal box is the large metal box, mounted on concrete, that contains a traffic signal’s controls. In 2012, nonprofit arts organization Foundation East commissioned the first round of traffic signal box murals in Irvington along East Washington Street. In 2013, the remainder of the traffic boxes throughout Irvington were painted through a second commission by Foundation East.
Since then, neighborhoods throughout Indianapolis have painted traffic signal boxes.
The signal box at Washington Street and Emerson Avenue was damaged and replaced in 2015. Irvington Development Organization (IDO) is making this blank replacement box available for repainting.
Submission details and timeline
Designs must be submitted by May 1, 2017 for consideration in the competition. The winning design will be announced by May 12. The artist will have until June 30 , 2017 to complete the painting and clear coating of the traffic box.
The selected artist will receive:
- $1,200 cash stipend, from which the artist will be responsible for purchasing all materials, including high-quality outdoor paint and clear coat protectant.
- An opportunity to display original works in an exhibition at the Bona Thompson Memorial Center, which houses Irvington Historical Society exhibits and a rotating schedule of art.
Artists should consider the following criteria for selection.
- The design should reflect the character of the neighborhood.
- The design must wrap all five sides of the traffic signal box.
- One or a combination of Irvington’s branding color scheme should be included. Pantone colors: PMS 582, 228, 1595, and 130; Cool Gray 11; and Cool Gray 8.
- The selected artist must be available to lay out and paint the design on site by June 30, 2017.
- Preference will be given to eastside artists.
- Preference will be given to artists who have competed in a juried art show.
Dimensions of the traffic signal box panels:
- Roof: 44″ x 28″
- Street-facing panel: 44″ x 56″
- Sidewalk-facing panel: 44″ x 56″
- Sides (2): 22″ x 55-56″ (The roof is slanted.)
We also ask that the artist include on the box a credit to the project’s generous sponsor, the Frank N. Owings Family Foundation.
Submissions and questions should be directed to IDO at firstname.lastname@example.org.