It all comes down to five minutes; at least for five Indianapolis artists who are getting ready to compete for $10,000.

The last round of Big Car's 2015 5x5 competition is upon us, and this time it's all about making a dream city. Five Indianapolis artists have been chosen to present five ideas, in five minutes, using five slides. Their pitches will be heard by a panel of judges in the hopes of going home with $10,000 to make their concepts a reality.

One of the beautiful things about the 5x5 is that a good handful of the projects end up being made with or without the check; or some form of them at least. Big Car also helps by giving the other runners-up $500 for making it as far as they did. For this month's theme, Dream Indy, there were 27 submissions all competing for the funds (courtesy of Central Indiana Community Foundation the Efroymson Family Fund, the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and Lilly Endowment Inc. Thanks y'all). The 5x5 competition has quite a bit of experience under its belt, going three years strong and a tab of over $110,000 thrown behind 11 projects.

We decided to give you a preview of the five finalists before the big night.


presented by Danicia Malone and Tomm Roesch

Danicia Malone is a visual artist and community developer with an idea to fight back against Indiana's lack of protection against hate crimes. (In fact, we are one of five states without a hate crime law on the books.) Malone's individual artwork revolves around found objects and nature-based abstracts, but for the last three years she has been the driving force behind the performance collaboration called UPRSNG. Her co-presenter, Tomm Roesch, is a performance and visual artist as well.

Their idea is to have eight public art installations throughout the city that will combat microaggressions with microaffections, as Malone likes to say.

"The base portion of [hate crimes] always starts with microaggressions and passes negativity," says Malone. "What if there were ways to confront each microagressions with a microaffection."

She hopes to have gramophones installed that will act as a two way mic. When you walk by the installation, a recording will play someone's "micraffection" statement, basically just some positive words. You will then be able to walk up to the installation to record your own phrase. A quote will also be projected on the ground that will be similar language to the morality and character statement that a lot of lawyers make after passing the bar.

Open Music Indy: A Collaborative Concert Series

presented by Rob Funkhouser and Austin Senior

This one sounds like the concert collaboration that you always wanted. Musician Rob Funkhouser hopes to get a series of annual or bi-annual shows that feature different musicians and groups around town. For example, he hopes the first event will be with a local singer-songwriter, a local composer and a string ensemble.

"I would like to see it foster work across genres," says Funkhouser. "And also across social groups."

Funkhouser plans to hold the concerts in public places with no age restriction. He will use the finances to start an endowment for Musical Family Tree and pay the artists.

Right now his dream lineup involves singer-songwriters like Caleb McCoach or Christian Taylor, Butler's music program and groups like the symphony or the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.

Neighborhood Stories

presented by Bob Sander and Alysah Rice

Arts for Learning approached Art Prize winner Emily Kennerk about creating the biggest storytelling-stage-chair contraption you have ever seen. Essentially, the public art will be an oversized chair with a stage built into the back. Kennerk is calling it the "Reader's Chair."

One of the key elements with the program is programing that Arts for Learning would provide to local schools. They would send in a "teaching artist" to help students write and create books about neighborhood stories. Those books would be available for purchase to the public. They also hope for the chair to be mobile, so that events can be site-specific.

A Place to Call Home: Saint Clair Place and Neighborhood Identity

presented by Lukas Schooler and Beverly Roche

NoExit, the beloved theater company, is spending the next year showing Indy how to see performance differently. The first step of that is through a partnership with the House Life Project — a group of artists who are trying to give a new light to some of the blighted homes in Saint Clair Place. Though the House Life Project is stopping their programing for the winter (empty buildings and no heat seem to go hand-in-hand), they are making plans for spring.

NoExit hopes to develop performance programing based on what changes neighbors want to see in the area. The House Life Project had a lot of success this fall connecting with children in the near Eastside residential area. NoExit hopes to do the same. They plan to have kids conduct surveys to reveal issues in the neighborhood. NoExit will host workshops where neighbors can create performance artwork based on those concerns. For example if neighbors wanted to see more gardens and better lawns, NoExit might help them put together a "parade of flowers" to debut at the annual Saint Clair Place Parade. This is just an example; they want to make sure and only create performances based on what they hear from the surveys.

"There is something to our idea that will make a long and lasting influence for generations to come if done correctly," says Lukas Schooler. "We are tackling a systemic issue ... It's the difference between a topical ointment and going at it from the root."

The Secret of Life Society

presented by Christopher M. Dance and Chad Hankins

Chris Dance and Chad Hankins are two local artists with an idea to make memorial statues into a voice for Indianapolis communities.

"It's a project to honor an unsung hero of our neighborhood with a sculpture that celebrates this person's positive impact," says Dance. "It's kind of like a flip on the role of monumental sculptures. Typically it's to celebrate war heroes, politicians or somebody with a lot of money. I just wanted to flip the script on figurative sculpture and monuments, and make it about everyday people."

Dance and Hankins are building an online forum where people can discuss who in their neighborhood deserves to be honored and share stories about them. Dance compared the forum to photography project Humans of New York. After a person is chosen, they will use a 3D scan and model to create a 10-by-10-foot sculpture of that person's face. Next to it there will also be a hand that functions as a bench.

5 x 5: Dream Indy

When: Nov. 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Where: Tube Factory artspace, Garfield Park, 1125 Cruft St.

Tickets: FREE with RSVP, part of the Spirit and Place Festival


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