Tanjerine Event Makes Oranje Ripe for Expansion

From the latter’s founder, a new event with a similar flavor.

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Ryan Hickey has nothing against the letter G. The co-founder/director of Oranje, Indy’s annual multisensory showcase of what’s hip in art and music, explains that the spelling is Dutch. It’s both an homage to the time he spent in the Netherlands as a student and a memorable way to brand his idea. So when he decided to create a spinoff, the only appropriate name—and spelling—was Tanjerine. The new event, which runs April 16–19 at the Sanctuary on Penn (701 N. Pennsylvania St.), will celebrate three F’s: fashion, film, and food. “What people have experienced at Oranje is a mix of fine art and live music in a nontraditional venue,” Hickey says. “That’s what we’re going for with this, too—blending different art forms together in a unique space.” So in lieu of runway shows and concession stands, at Tanjerine you might experience models serving hors d’oeuvres. Rather than just an array of snack vendors, you’re likely to see competitions between chefs who present food as art. Instead of a film screening, there’s likely to be filmmaking going on.

All three F’s have been represented in some way at Oranje, but the founder feels they were shortchanged there. “For example, we were never able to give the food culture the attention it deserves,” Hickey says. “So we thought the two events needed to be separated.” Unlike its older sibling, a one-night-only affair, Tanjerine will feature multiple events, each with its own theme. Fashion with craft cocktails, for example. (See the schedule at tanjerineindy.com.)

One challenge that faces both the new happening and the old one is relevance. Hickey started Oranje at age 24 in 2002. He’s now 36. There’s no question that it’s more difficult to stay edgy. So he has surrounded himself with a group of five young advisers, with him and his colleague Laurel Pitt at the helm. Oh, and then there’s financing. When he’s not running one of the fruit-flavored affairs, Hickey DJs and does event-planning (he worked with the Super Bowl host committee in 2012). “It’s really tough to make money in the arts and grow an organization like this in Indianapolis,” he says. “But by adding this event, we believe we have something that will get us more recognition. Tanjerine is a product of our faith in risk.” 

This article appeared in the April 2014 issue.

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