Like many urban areas, the Monon16 in Downtown Indy is thriving and growing. As new neighbors and businesses put down roots, it is imperative that they understand the neighborhood is not a blank slate, but a place to sew new threads in an already rich tapestry.

For the third consecutive year, the Harrison Center, in partnership with Sapphire Theatre Company, invites the community to join in PreEnactIndy, a free, one-day event which provides a tangible way to use the performing arts to reimagine an entire three-block stretch of the neighborhood as it OUGHT to be—just, equitable and vibrant.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., professional performers from local theater companies and numerous neighborhood groups and businesses will preenact, through a fully-immersive experience, the active, healthy and well-designed neighborhood the area deserves.

During PreEnactIndy, everyone is an actor. The entire three blocks is the stage and the day’s events are the script. Activities will feature, but are not limited to:

  • ImageNation Cinema Foundation Film Festival– Harlem-based media arts group screening independent films and music that depict the global Black experience.
  • Rough Riders’ Trophy Hall of Fame – For 40 years, the Rough Riders’ Motorcycle Club has enriched this neighborhood by hosting dances and gatherings, offering community support and promoting fellowship through the sport of motorcycling. Their legacy will be celebrated by sharing their extraordinary collection of trophies and amazing motorcycles.
  • The DREAM: Indianapolis Jazz Foundation’s Cultural Center (newly added!) – Programs and performances that celebrate Indy’s jazz culture and community, and the world renowned musicians from this area, such as Freddie Hubbard and Wes Montgomery.
  • Tiny Living – Beyond the benefits of mobility, downsizing and affordability, tiny homes can be beneficial on a larger scale for the community. As part of the PreEnactIndy Housing Fair, attendees can experience different tiny homes and how they can be used in a variety of ways. 
  • 16th Street Garage –The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is partnering with NXG Youth Motorsports to bring 16th Street’s rich automotive and racing history to life! Attendees can check out NXG racing carts, view vintage cars with ties to the neighborhood and meet a character playing the role of Charlie Wiggins niece, a famous African American race driver from Indianapolis.
  • Association of Black Cowboys – Several cowboys will be on hand to help raise awareness of the legacy of black cowboys and their culture.
  • Beckwith Commons– A community park honoring neighborhood resident Frank Beckwith, the first African American to run in an American Presidential Primary in 1960. Join the Asante Children’s Theatre’s all-day Porch Party (#porchpartyindy) on the Beckwith Stage, where community members, political leaders and spoken word artists will gather to share stories and lead the community in conversations about equity.
  • Brother Nature Market– Locally-focused, farmers-style market featuring fresh produce, artisan goods and services such as landscape & garden design, sewing services and grocery delivery.
  • Gospel Fest – Choirs, bands and praise dancers from various churches will share their talents in an all-day celebration of the local churches and the vital role they play in the community they serve.
  • Greatriarchs – A series of 12 portraits by Abi Ogle which serve as a tribute to the strength and resilience of the African American individuals who reside in the community and are a reminder of the strong heritage that makes a resilient and inclusive neighborhood.
  • Middle of the Road Café– Seating and socializing in the streets, creating a slower and kinder community.
  • Neighborhood Characters– The actors of Freetown Village are filling the street with characters from the neighborhood. Learn first-hand about the people who lived, worked and played here from performers who embody their wonderful stories.
  • Pop-Up Roller Rink – Attendees are invited to get back on four wheels at a pop-up roller rink. Skating rinks once united generations throughout neighborhoods and this beloved pastime will enjoy a one-day revival. Rental skates will be available, and skating is free of charge

The neighborhood is changing, and we want the change to be a good thing. Join us as we model how to be inclusive when growing our community and create a new normal for all. Visit or follow the hashtag #PreEnactIndy to learn more.

Joanna Taft

Joanna Taft

Executive Director of the Harrison Center, Producer of PreEnact Indy 2019