2011 CVAs: Katz & Korin

Ronald Katz, Sally Franklin Zweig and Offer Korin of Katz & Korin's law firm. Photo by Mark Lee

Envisioning opportunities for our clients and our community, says the mission statement of law firm Katz & Korin (K & K). Since moving eight years ago into the historic Emelie Building on Senate Avenue along the downtown canal, K & K has backed up the community part of this equation by taking an active and singularly creative approach to arts patronage.

Like most law firms, the attorneys at K & K serve on the boards of many cultural and nonprofit organizations throughout the city. The firm has also gotten public attention through savvy media sponsorships, including Wait, Wait, Dont Tell Me on public radio and Charlie Rose on public television.

But what really sets K & K apart is its willingness to actually help grow Indianapolis cultural scene.

When K & K moved into the Emelie Building, it not only renovated a small architectural gem, it used the works of local visual artists to decorate its walls. The firm went a step further by donating its ground floor space to the then fledgling Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA).

Eventually iMOCA outgrew this space and moved to the Murphy Building in Fountain Square. Since then, the new Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library has moved in, signing a three-year lease. Again, the space is donated, making it possible for this new organization to have a visible identity and a base from which to raise funds.

We call ourselves a museum incubator, laughs Sally Franklin Zweig, a partner at the firm and one of the curators of the K & K art collection, which includes work by Larry Endicott, Judith Levy, Greg Hull and Cheryl Paswater.

For Zweig, K & Ks involvement with the arts makes sense. Artists and lawyers are both in the concept business. Were hired to think. Were hired to be creative. So the sense that you surround yourselves with things that make you think, make you experience new things — thats a vibrant part of what we are as lawyers.

Zweig says that being involved in the arts doesnt necessarily mean that everyone in the firm likes every piece on the walls. I would tell you, she says, I do not love every piece thats hanging. Our point was not to pick things we liked. Theres something for everybody. Theres stuff to talk about.

Zweig gestures to a sequence of paintings by Artur Silva hanging in the firms conference room. We get a lot of lawyers here from across the country and they always comment. Theyre always interested, she says. Anybody who sits in this conference room looks around and says, Tell me about this.

Its been gratifying, says Zweig, to see the citys arts scene keep pace with K & Ks ongoing investments. Giving these little boosts of energy where we can, we can see the real impact of it, she says. Its nice to have an identification of the firm that way but really, it adds to the quality of our kids lives and our lives in the city thats our home and where we make our living.

-David Hoppe

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