Nora 2021: Placemaking

At the October Nora 2021 meeting, we were joined by special guest speaker Scott Stulen. Scott is the Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and a resident of Nora.

Scott presented an exciting array of projects from Indianapolis and around the country, with particular attention to places that are similar in character to Nora’s suburban location. Some key takeaways from Scott’s presentation: start small, keep it fun, (art isn’t for everyone), just do it.

About Scott

Scott Stulen is a curator, artist, writer and dj whose work explores new forms of audience engagement, immersive experiences and collaborative platforms. He is the Curator of Audience Experiences and Performance at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, former Project Director of mnartists.org at the Walker Art Center and Associate Curator at the Rochester Art Center. He is currently leading a new division at the IMA (ARTx) to engage new audiences with immersive experiences throughout the museum and grounds along with curating all performing art programs.

Nora 2021: Where Are We Going?

We kicked off the first NORA 2021 event with special guest acting Director of Metropolitan Development Department, City of Indianapolis, Brad Beaubien. Brad is an award-winning certified urban planner with a commitment to community service, a passion for vibrant communities, and a focus on community empowerment, planning and design policy, and plan integration.

Brad’s presentation (provided below) was the perfect set-up to the larger conversation of how we as a collective community can influence and shape the future of Nora.

Brad offered lots of insights into the management of this vast city of ours from a planning and physical space perspective, also providing a razor-sharp look at where shifts are taking place in demographics and market demand and how that relates to the physical characteristics of suburban communities like ours. He wrapped up by discussing some of the tools available for communities, showing us exactly who our competition is, and giving us a parting charge.

So What Do We Do?

Brad left us with the following food for thought as he described the challenges and tools available to preserve and enhance our community:

  • City Government has very little funding for anything except maintenance. Our direct investment dollars are mostly limited to low and moderate income areas.
  • Sidewalks are absolutely critical, but destinations to walk to are what make walkable communities.
  • Private development is what builds neighborhoods and builds cities. Embrace it. Guide it. Leverage it.
  • The only significant way City Government has to invest in neighborhood transformation is through value capture mechanisms like TIF.
  • Put creative placemaking in everything you do. Suburbs were built to be the same. The future wants authentic.
  • Economic Improvement Districts are the way to regain the local focus erased by Unigov.
Parting Charge

Lastly, Brad left us with a parting charge as we consider the future for NORA 2021 and beyond:

  • Value is created by demand, not supply.
  • What the current and future market is demanding is changing.
  • How can Nora evolve to respond to this change and grow its value?
Next Up: Placemaking

Your invited to join us at the next NORA 2021 Event, October 24, where we’ll focus on… placemaking!