ABCD Initiative Spurs Improvements on East 10th St.

INDIANAPOLIS — The East 10th Street Civic Association has worked steadily over the last nine months in partnership with The Rivoli Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., IFF Real Estate Services, Arts Council of Indianapolis, and more than 20 community stakeholders to determine an economically viable reuse plan for two significant structures on the East 10th Street commercial corridor. And, while the reuse planning process continues to evolve, so does a larger, more comprehensive approach to address more impactful development.
This strategy, known among community and economic development professionals as an “Arts-based Community Development” (ABCD) initiative, could strategically target several neighborhood-centered commercial redevelopment nodes along East 10th Street to inspire economic development. Aligning entrepreneurship, arts incubators, arts education, artists’ housing, performance space, creative programming and recruitment of retail arts venues are a few of the implementation strategies most commonly found in successful ABCD initiatives.
Tammi Hughes, Executive Director of the E10SCA, says that while the reuse strategy for the historic Rivoli Theatre and Dearborn Building is nearing completion, perhaps what has been just as critical is the opportunity to understand how a purposeful approach such as an Arts-based Community Development initiative could have on sustainable, community-driven economic development efforts.
“The early success of the East 10th Street Civic Association’s creative programming space, Urban Box, aligned with the developing outdoor performance space, Legacy Plaza and supported through IDADA First Friday events, speaks very well of how a more formalized and purposeful initiative can continue to positively influence a shift in the economic environment of strategic redevelopment nodes. We look forward to making room for strong, local community support as we define what an ABCD Initiative looks like for East 10th Street and the Near Eastside,” says Hughes
The East 10th Street Civic Association plans to host several community conversations in early 2015 to allow for community participation and leadership in this endeavor.