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Embracing everything Indy has to offer

Program Associate Anna Buchholz reflects on a recent site visit to Indianapolis

Most of our staff and this year’s Conference co-chairs were in Indy when the Arts Midwest Conference was there in 2010 or 2005, but this was my first trip to Indiana’s capitol city – and I have to say, I’m already looking forward to heading back in September.

Exploring the surrounding area

A morning run around the JW Marriott, yielding the sunrise below, gave me a chance to explore more of the surrounding area, especially for our attendees who keep up their own running during Conference season. I was pleased to run in the White River State Park, along the river, past the Indianapolis Zoo, IUPUI’s (Indiana University and Purdue University) baseball stadium, the NCAA Hall of Champions, and the Indiana State Museum, a few venues we would tour later in the day.


Sunrise over the Indianapolis skyline from the White River. Photo by Anna Buchholz.

Planning the 2018 Conference

We spent three days exploring the city, taking photos, and talking with our local colleagues to learn about what is going on in Indianapolis and around Indiana. We toured the Conference hotel, the Indiana Convention Center, and a number of potential venues for our Opening and Closing Parties – all the while imagining how our attendees would get from point A to point B and how they would use each of the spaces, plus experience Indianapolis.


While touring a number of venues nearby, we snapped this shot of the Conference hotel. Photo by Anna Buchholz.

A jam-packed site visit

In preparation for our trip, I also scoped out the neighborhoods downtown to get a sense of where the new restaurants were popping up and where attendees might want to explore. Massachusetts Avenue was home to a number of up and coming restaurants, many of which were recommended to us by some of our local colleagues. One of those was The Garden Table, a locally sourced eatery and juicery that I hope to visit again.

We filled our time with visits to:

  • Indiana State Museum
  • NCAA Hall of Champions
  • Indianapolis Zoo’s Bicentennial Pavilion
  • Punch Bowl Social
  • Dallara IndyCar Factory
  • The Tube Factory
  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

From our arrival until our departure, I was struck by the amount of art displayed around the city, mainly in the form of sculptures and murals. This vibrancy was indicative of the conversations we had with our colleagues in Indiana – there is a lot going on here, and we can’t wait to share it with you.


Before heading home to Minneapolis, Anna completes the “Indy” sculpture at the airport. Photo by Brian Halaas.