Storage unit turned pop-up art center unites neighbors

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A storage unit turned pop-up art center is uniting neighbors on the near north side of Indianapolis.

The Harrison Center for the Arts wanted to open a location in a vacant storefront, but were unable to do so, so they created one of their own at 39th Street and North Illinois Street. Known as Maple Crossing, the storage unit is full of photos of people and buildings in the neighborhood.

“We are doing creative place making here at Maple Crossing,” Joanna Taft, Executive Director of the Harrison Center for the Arts said, “Maple Crossing is where four neighborhoods come together, Butler-Tarkington, Meridian-Kessler, Crown Hill and Mapleton Fall Creek. And those neighborhoods want to bring livability and opportunity and vitality and education to their neighborhood and so we volunteered to help with creative place making.”

Artists are often painting outside of the storage unit. And every morning, free coffee is handed out to those passing by.

“It’s been amazing. People stop by and they ask what’s going on and we invite them to participate in community events, attend neighborhood association meetings,” Taft said.

The location has been open for a month.

“This is a movement about celebrating place, where neighbors say, ‘I love my neighborhood. I know my neighborhood and I’m being a champion for my neighborhood.’ We want them to have their own ideas, we want them to bring their ideas to the pod, we want them to bring their ideas to the other businesses, and we want to celebrate together,” Taft said.

This Saturday, they will try to break the world record for most sparklers lit at the same time.

If you would like to participate, click here for more information.

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