Artists Selected for Red and Purple Line Creative Placemaking Initiatives

Artists Selected for Red and Purple Line Creative Placemaking Initiatives
$50,000 grant secured from Transportation for America for community engagement projects along Red and Purple Bus Rapid Transit Lines

Transit Drives Indy and the Arts Council of Indianapolis are pleased to announce that five artists have been selected to engage community members and each other on temporary projects for IndyGo’s new Red Line Rapid Transit project. Additionally, one artist was selected to join the IndyGo team as an Artist in Residence during the planning phase of the Purple Line Rapid Transit project.

The initiative was made possible by a $50,000 grant secured from Transportation for America through their Cultural Corridor Consortium program. (
READ Press Release here.) The grant also led Transit Drives Indy and the Arts Council to form a long-term initiative called the Cultural Corridor Consortium:  Indianapolis, or 3C Indy.

The mission of 3C Indy is to create a new culture of public transit in Indianapolis by activating artists and arts partners through a multi-year creative placemaking program. 3C Indy is designed to educate and engage communities, and promote and monitor progress throughout the implementation of the Marion County Transit Plan.  

“3C Indy is excited to announce the selected artists and eager to work with this talented group as their creative process and implementation gets underway,” said Transit Drives Indy’s Kelli Mirgeaux. “Working closely with neighborhoods and businesses along the corridors, the artists will play an active role in education and promotion of the system and its benefits.”

The projects and their associated artists are:

Red Line Creative Placemaking
Through this project, the participating artists will use arts-based strategies to embrace and include neighbors and businesses in imagining and creating the social interaction that will be possible after the implementation of the Red Line.  In addition, the artists will consider how to creatively mitigate Red Line construction impacts on communities and businesses:  these could range from educating on new traffic patterns to inspiring continued customer traffic to highlighting community assets that are newly accessible.

Big Car Collaborative:  Big Car is an artist collective and a 501C3 nonprofit organization whose goal is to use art in various genres, focusing on social practice art, as a democratic tool for nurturing a more vibrant city and to boost quality of life for every person.  They bring art to people and people to art, sparking creativity in lives to transform communities. 

Jamie Pawlus:  Jamie Pawlus is a freelance conceptual artist working in the public domain, with experience in both authorized and unauthorized public art. Her work often mimics non-art elements of the public realm, such as street furniture, signs, and commercial advertising.

Sapphire Theatre Company:  The Sapphire (STC) offers innovative, audience-driven, theatrically-motivated performances and events designed for the common good.  Presenting “performing arts with a purpose,” STC looks to directly meet essential civic and community needs, bringing theatre to people in order to address Indiana’s biggest challenges in its underrepresented audiences.

Andrea Smith:  Andrea D. Smith is a self-employed portrait and lifestyle photographer with an eye to improving her community.  Her current billboard series “Be Worth Imitating” combines photography, graphic design, and public art, inspiring adults to become role models for youth.  

Carlos Sosa:  Carlos Sosa is a professional graphic designer and the principal of The Sosa Group.  As a designer he has been involved with strategic communications for arts, culture, and public transit clients; as an artist, he is interested in empowering communities to express their culture and individuals to reach their potential.

Purple Line Artist in Residence
The selected artist will be embedded within IndyGo and will work with the transit agency to foster the engagement of Purple Line communities through the planning and design phases this spring and summer.

The artist will use arts-based strategies to embrace and include neighbors and businesses in the design process, inspire meaningful community dialogue, and connect people to each other. Through creative interventions, the artist will help Purple Line communities imagine and communicate a future where their needs and preferences are met through transit connectivity:  a strategy that is proven to improve the quality of life for all.

w/purpose, Wil D. Marquez:  Founded in 2010, w/purpose is a creative design studio curious about the built environment and its future—neighborhoods, buildings, streetscapes, and the spaces where people shop or spend their time.  Their strategy involves both creative thinking and the process of making, as they bring people together in service of equity and represent the very communities the studio promises to protect.

IndyGo has also just released Transit Talks public meetings to be held in January and February, focused on Red Line construction and February service improvements. Nine meetings will be held at locations along the Red Line corridor where IndyGo staff will be available to give updates and answer questions about transit projects in the city. Visit for details.

Transit Drives Indy
The Transit Drives Indy (TDI) Coalition is comprised of organizations across Marion County that are dedicated to supporting transit development in the city of Indianapolis and monitoring the implementation of the Marion County Transit Plan.

Connect with Transit Drives Indy on Facebook and Twitter @Transit4Indy and online at #transitdrivesindy 

Press Contact:   Lacey Everett,, 317-525-2234

The Arts Council of Indianapolis
The Arts Council is an organization that advocates for the need and importance of broad community funding and support for a thriving arts scene; connects artists, audiences, businesses, foundations, and arts and cultural organizations with opportunities to expand central Indiana’s creative vitality; and innovates by constantly pursuing and promoting programs that catalyze creative growth in central Indiana.

The Arts Council owns and operates two performance and exhibition spaces, the Indianapolis Artsgarden (attached to Circle Centre Mall) and Gallery 924 (at 924 N. Pennsylvania Street). The Arts Council allocates public funding to arts and cultural organizations through a competitive grant program; offers fellowship opportunities including the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship, the Transformational Impact Fellowship, the DaHaan Artist of Distinction Award and the Robert D. Beckmann, Jr. Emerging Artist Fellowship; provides programs, services, and technical assistance for artists and arts organizations; and manages the city’s public art program including the new Public Art for Neighborhoods initiative. The Indy Arts Guide provides a comprehensive arts calendar featuring thousands of events, performances, and exhibitions throughout central Indiana. For more information on the Arts Council, call (317) 631-3301 or visit online at

Connect with the Arts Council of Indianapolis on Facebook/indyarts, Twitter and Instagram @artscouncilindy, and online at