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IDO Survey Yields Great Feedback

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, IDO News, Neighborhoods | 0 comments

IDO Survey Yields Great Feedback

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...

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April Neighbor Spotlight: Rick Wilkerson

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Blog, Business, East Side Indy, Irvington News | 0 comments

April Neighbor Spotlight: Rick Wilkerson

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.) BUSINESS OWNER 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...

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Calling All Civic-Minded Irvingtonians

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, Irvington News, Neighborhoods | 0 comments

Calling All Civic-Minded Irvingtonians

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...

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Trees Do Grow in Irvington

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, IDO News, Irvington News | 0 comments

Trees Do Grow in Irvington

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...

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Public Art Commission Work for Local Artists

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Public Art Commission Work for Local Artists

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...

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Irvington CSA: Get in on the Local Dirt!

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in Blog, Business, East Side Indy, Irvington News | 0 comments

Irvington CSA: Get in on the Local Dirt!

Irvington CSA members benefit from fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruit—and community fellowship too. You can be part of it. Here’s how! Irvington Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is getting ready to kick off its 12th season! A CSA is a partnership between farmers and a local community. The farmers supply the community with fresh, local produce throughout the summer growing season, and the community supports the farmer by pre-paying.  Farmers gain economic security for environmentally friendly farming, while CSA shareholders know where their food comes from and how it was grown. Our 35+ annual crops are farmed by Levi Fisher and family in Montezuma, Indiana. The Fisher family does not use synthetic chemicals on the soil or plants. They practice good land stewardship, sustainable farming methods and respect for biodiversity on the farm. Their produce is delivered to Irvington for families to pick up every week for 25 weeks beginning in May. Each share is designed for a family that likes to cook or couples or individuals who eat a lot of vegetables. A full share’s value is about $25 per week. (A typical share is shown in two of the photos above.) Our produce includes vegetables (asparagus, carrots, kale, salad mix, potatoes, sweet potatoes, red peppers, broccoli, and zucchini, to name a few). We also get fruits like strawberries, blackberries, watermelon and cantaloupe. At first, shares are smaller—mostly lettuce, asparagus and berries. But as the weather warms, your share basket will overflow with corn, tomatoes, peppers and other veggies. Each week’s share gives you a chance to sample Indiana-grown vegetables. The CSA is run entirely by volunteers, none of whom receive compensation for their services. Only our farmer and driver are compensated. This means our shareholders get great value at a reasonable price, while supporting sustainable agriculture. Want to learn more? Join us at this year’s meet-and-greet with our CSA farmer, Levi Fisher, on Monday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Irvington Branch Indianapolis Public Library (5625 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46219).  Learn about Levi’s farm practices, the produce he’s growing and his predictions for the season.  We’ll also share information about Irvington CSA and answer questions. Come meet Levi, your fellow CSA members and the CSA Coordinating Committee.  Feel free to invite family, friends or co-workers who might be interested in being a part of Irvington CSA this year. This year’s share price is $550 for 25 weeks. Members who pay by April 15 get a $20 discount, for a total share price of $530. Transportation is an additional fee, estimated at $100 (to be finalized in May and due in June). Deliveries are expected to begin mid-May and continue for 25 weeks. Want more info? Contact us at irvingtonagriculture@gmail.com and check us out at www.irvingtoncsa.com. And don’t forget to like Irvington CSA on...

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Kroger Store Nourishes Your Family and IDO

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Kroger Store Nourishes Your Family and IDO

If you’re a Kroger shopper, you can prompt — at no cost to you — donations to IDO every time you shop.  All you have to do is register your Kroger Plus card on Kroger’s website and choose IDO as your Community Rewards recipient.  At the end of each quarter, Kroger sends us a portion of its total charitable donation, based on how many of those points IDO supporters have racked up. The more supporters who register their cards for our cause, the more groceries purchased, the bigger share of the $500,000 pie for IDO. You do need to renew your registration every year or your purchases no longer count toward IDO’s portion of the donation. Right now, 15 families are signed up. We know there are more than 15 Irvington supporters who shop at Kroger, so please take these few simple steps to support IDO. Have your Kroger Plus card handy (you’ll need the long number under the barcode on the back), go to www.krogercommunityrewards.com, and follow the directions for a new account.  Once you’ve registered, choose Irvington Development Organization as your Community Rewards recipient.  Our Non Profit Organization Number is 11523. Then go stock up like an ice storm’s coming!  Remember to use your Kroger Plus card every time you shop and renew your registration a year from...

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IDO Facilitates Face-lifts and Better Access to Irvington Businesses

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

IDO Facilitates Face-lifts and Better Access to Irvington Businesses

IDO helped Simply Divine Cupcakes and Indy Cycle Specialist (ICS) obtain façade grants from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), an organization that works with local leaders to invest in housing, health, education, public safety, and employment. The façade grants program helped Simply Divine Cupcakes put a fresh new look on its new bakery and brought funds to ICS for purchase and installation of a new door that allows customers and staff to more easily manage bikes coming and going at ICS. “It was rewarding to help a new business with their first bricks-and-mortar location (see previous profile) and to support a long-time regional destination business in Irvington,” said IDO Executive Director Margaret Banning. IDO also helped Antique Mall of Irvington by Jack and Jill obtain a facade grant to repair and rehabilitate their building at 5501 East Washington Street. The 103-year-old building experienced a partial collapse in September 2016. IDO is working with Paul Diebold, Irvington Historical Society (IHS) in also applying for an Indiana Landmarks grant for the building. LISC offers a 50% matching grant to eligible businesses that invest in exterior improvements.  Over the last eight years, IDO has helped bring over $180,000 to the community, leveraging an additional $425,000 in private investment, to assist local businesses and improve the visual appeal of our commercial district. The city-wide grants are very competitive. IDO endorses the projects and helps business owners complete the applications. When façade grants are approved, IDO facilitates business owners working with the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) for their permits (for those businesses that operate in the historic district) and serves as the fiscal agent for the funds. The next round of grants are now available through September. You can find information and the grant  application at LISC Indianapolis. If you’re an Irvington bricks-and-mortar business owner considering a facade upgrade, contact Margaret (317-260-0669 or margaret@irvingtondevelopment.org) about this...

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Irvington Summer Music Series Debuts in 2017

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Irvington Summer Music Series Debuts in 2017

2017 is shaping up to be a terrific year for music right here in Irvington. In addition to open stages at 10 Johnson Avenue, Sweet Thursday Jazz at Coal Yard Coffee, First Fridays, and more, Irvington Summer Music Series will run from May through September 2017. Featuring two events each month, the series schedule offers an eclectic array of styles and genres. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s coming. THE LINEUP Irish & Celtic Music: Friday, May 5, 7 p.m., $10, Bona Thompson Center Tibetan Crystal Bowls: Sunday, May 21, 4 p.m., $10, Bona Thompson Center Irvington Children’s Festival: Saturday, June 3, 1 p.m., free, Irvington Branch Public Library Third Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Friday, June 16, time TBD, free, Downey Avenue Christian Church. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Blue Alchemy: Saturday, July 8, time TBD, free, Irving Circle Park An additional free July event will be announced soon. The Roundups: Saturday, August 5, time TBD, free, Irving Circle Park An additional free August event will be announced soon. Carmel Conservatory Quartet: Sunday, September 10, 3 p.m., $10, Bona Thompson Center. The quartet will perform selections by Russian classical composers. Blue Collar Bluegrass and Flatland Harmony Experiment: Saturday, September 23, 7 p.m., TBD, Irvington Ice and Coal IRVINGTON SUMMER MUSIC SERIES NEEDS YOUR HELP! Communications/marketing volunteers Most importantly, organizers need a few people with skills in marketing and promotion to take over the social media and advertising needs for the series. If you have skills in any of these areas and would like to help make this series successful (and earn the dying gratitude of your neighbors), please let us know as soon as possible. Contact Stan Denski at standenski@gmail.com. Event volunteers Volunteers are needed to help set up and tear down equipment for each show, as well as answer questions, help with directions, tickets, parking, and so on. If you’d like to help out, contact Stan Denski at standenski@gmail.com. Sponsorship Irvington Summer Music Series is made possible with funding provided by Historic Irvington Community Council. Individual and business sponsorships are also available. Please contact Stan Denski at standenski@gmail.com for sponsorship...

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March Neighbor Spotlight: Tyler Sheller

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

March Neighbor Spotlight: Tyler Sheller

Some members of our neighborhood have all types of exotic and rustic animals; you’ll find chickens, donkeys, and, with Tyler Sheller, even a horse! Well, not exactly a horse, more like a Great Dane. (But he’s as big as a horse!) Tyler is actively involved with a local group, Forever Friends Great Dane Rescue, and his dog Bruno plays a big part. Acting as both the Marketing and Fundraising Coordinators for the nonprofit rescue — which serves Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Southern Michigan, and parts of Wisconsin — Tyler utilizes his background in marketing and advertising to spread awareness of and raise money for Forever Friends. But Tyler has more than just a background in branding; having grown up with these gentle giants (Tyler’s parents have owned and raised Great Danes for almost 40 years), he has a background in the breed itself. The goals of Forever Friends Great Dane Rescue are to educate the public about the breed, promote adopting a companion vs. shopping for a dog, and to help deserving Great Danes find their loving forever homes. As a completely volunteer-run organization, the rescue relies on donations, promotions, and partnerships with local businesses to cover the medical costs of the dogs in their foster care. Tyler and Bruno have made numerous appearances on TV promoting the rescue through such programs as Indy Style, the News at Noon on WISH-TV 8, and Pet Pals TV with the delightful Patty Spitler. Bruno’s larger-than-life appearance and personality always steal the show, while Tyler tries to get a word in about Forever Friends and educating the public about Great Danes. Tyler’s happy to see many Great Danes in Irvington and encourages dog lovers of all types to get involved in rescue. You can learn more about Forever Friends Great Dane Rescue at their website, and like them on Facebook for the latest updates on available dogs, events, and fundraisers. How long have you lived and/or worked in Irvington? In Irvington-terms, Tyler has been a resident of our community for a very short time:  2 years this summer. What do you do for fun? Besides working with Forever Friends Great Dane Rescue, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and horseback riding. He also has a branding and design business, which keeps him busy when he’s not horsing around with Bruno. What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, or view in the neighborhood? Living near Ellenberger Park, Tyler enjoys biking along the Pleasant Run Trail and joining that with the Pennsy. Along that route, you’ll see everything from bustling business corridors to adorable donkeys! If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what would you do first? The first thing Tyler would accomplish, as Mayor of Irvington, would be to put in speed bumps all along Washington.  Apparently, per Tyler, people think they’re at the Speedrome while going up and down that street! What’s your connection to IDO? First getting involved with IDO through the Real Estate Committee, Tyler has also joined the Communications committee and created the branding for last year’s IDO Harvest Gala with Tyner Pond...

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