A Festival Presents An Optimistic Vision For 16th And The Monon

On October 7, the PreEnact Indy Festival will stage seven hours of street theater, hoping to transform Indy’s embattled Monon 16 neighborhood.

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You can’t wipe out poverty with the flick of a pen. Nor can you replace thousands of peeling shingles with seven hours of theater. But a temporary transformation that might lead to a more permanent one? A neighborhood can tackle that.

A tenacious group of community leaders, performing arts professionals, and residents will come together on October 7 to present the PreEnact Indy Festival, an optimistic vision for Monon 16 (short for the intersection of the Monon Trail and 16th Street). From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., street theater will take over the surrounding blocks.

Make no mistake, Monon 16 is no cultural corridor right now. Abandoned businesses, vacant lots, and cracked asphalt dot the derelict downtown landscape. More than 30 percent of homes sit empty, and almost every commercial property is deserted. But the event, organized by the Harrison Center, isn’t focused on the present. Leaders there say the festival is a forecast of what could be.

PreEnact will mix street theater shows with work by local artists, a farmers market, dancers, drumming, poetry, and jazz concerts. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett will speak at 1:30 p.m. Organizers hope to show that a cultural hub in the area isn’t a pipe dream. Find the schedule and a map of the neighborhood here.

 

 

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