Woodruff EID initiative recognized for Livability Award
The Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis celebrated its 25th Anniversary on April 27th by awarding $25,000 to five community game changers in the Indy region that have made outstanding progress in developing their neighborhoods as desirable places to live, work, learn and play. The awards gala took place at the Indiana War Memorial with more than 400 people in attendance. The awards were divided into four categories: Livability, Opportunity, Vitality and Education (LOVE) as well as a people’s choice award decided that evening. A $5,000 award was made in each category and the Woodruff Place Economic Improvement District (EID) was selected as the Livability award recipient as the only successful initiative of its kind in our region.
LISC solicited applications for LOVE awards beginning late 2016. The over 30 applicants were narrowed down to a group of three finalists for each category for which each had a short promotional video made. In addition to vying for a cash award, each finalist had the benefit of having access to these videos which will serve as great tools for spreading the word about their organizations in the future. The Woodruff EID was up against two great Livability finalists, each having their merits. Finalist projects were encouraged to rally supporters to attend the event on the 27th and Woodruff had a robust crew in attendance when the award was announced. The $5,000 will be added to the balance of the EID funds to support additional renovations and preservation of the historic Woodruff Place features.
Left to Right:
First Row: Jennifer Vines, Missy Ellis, Sally Cook, Tom Abeel, Linda Gilkerson, Tessie Lloyd-Jones, Jim Leich, Suzanne Pritchard, Greg Staab
Will Pritchard, Kimball Lloyd-Jones, Jason Eberl, Emily Scott
Residents Darala White Barnett, Charles Neil, and James Ryan also attended (not pictured).
Creative Mornings crowd brings energy to Town Hall
The Woodruff Place Town Hall saw a packed house on the morning of April 21st as part of a worldwide Creative Mornings event series. Creative Mornings organizers designate a monthly theme that is explored in 170 cities throughout the world. Participants enjoy fresh coffee and friendly people while highlighting a city’s creative talent, but also promoting an open space to connect with like-minded individuals.
Mat Davis and Woodruff Place resident, Meredith Brickell, were the featured speakers of the April 21st gathering. Having worked together through the House Life Project, a grassroots, arts-focused initiative based in an abandoned house on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis, Davis and Brickell explored ideas around suburban and urban living, artists’ role in community revitalization and the concept of ‘place’. “Artists act as a monitor to test the temperature of the housing market” said Davis, who has been a leader of several community-based arts initiative in Indianapolis. As these initiatives grew and attracted new types of people to the neighborhood, changes in the desirability of the real estate followed.
Davis and Brickell skillfully and humorously wove their diverse personal experiences living and working in different environments into an evolving story about preferred lifestyle environments throughout recent history in the United States that have shifted from urban, to suburban and circling back again. “Gentrification and displacement get lumped together but they’re not exactly the same thing” said Davis. The exploration of this topic at an event in Woodruff Place was especially interesting given the housing revitalization that is quickly taking hold in many of the surrounding neighborhoods. To learn more about the Creative Mornings series, visit https://creativemornings.com/cities/ind
Get your tickets in advance here.
Sat, Jun 24, 2017, 12:00 PM – Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 5:00 PM
Historic Woodruff Place welcomes you to stroll the esplanades through the shade trees while stopping to enjoy the amazing homes and gardens. Seven homes, four gardens, three chicken coops, one art studio. The tour is noon-5 each day. Saturday, June 24, Sunday, June 25. Check in at the Town Hall located at 735 Woodruff Pl East Dr.
40th Annual Flea Market Opportunities Approaching
The 40th annual Woodruff Place Flea Market is June 3 and 4, 2017. Now is the time for yard space to be donated to allow outside vendors to take advantage of the high-traffic opportunity to sell their goods. Property owners are encouraged to volunteer their yards for the weekend to be made available to outside vendors for a fee of $100. Outside vendors are a crucial part of the annual Flea Market’s fundraising efforts through the collection of these fees, so please consider this an important opportunity to support the fundraising goals of the neighborhood. If you are in contact with outside vendors who would like the opportunity to sell during this event, or you are interested in making your yard or a portion of your yard available for the betterment of your neighborhood, please contact Aimee Zoeller at email@example.com.
Volunteer Spotlight will be a recurring feature in the Woodruff Place Post section of the Urban Times and will shine a spotlight on Woodruffians who endeavor to make the neighborhood better in countless ways.
How long have you lived in Woodruff Place & what made you choose to buy a home in this neighborhood?
My husband, Greg Staab, and I were married in 1983. A tip from a friend led us to our first apartment in a rambling three story place on West Drive. Our first house was in Broad Ripple, then in 1994 we returned to Woodruff to buy our own “forever” Victorian, the renovation/remodel we had long dreamed to undertake. The current total is roughly twenty-four and a half years.
What is your favorite neighborhood event and why?
I love the progressive dinner. It’s a chance to see lovely homes, usually decked out for the winter holidays, at their finest. Sharing excellent cuisine and conversations with numerous neighbors is a warm and celebratory experience.
Favorite locally-owned Eastside business(es):
We find ourselves at La Parada frequently, and the east end of Mass Ave is a go-to for many reasons. I’m thankful for the FACE clinic which is so often a solution to the needs of hurting animals found in the area.
Which fellow Woodruffian inspires you and why?
So many! I’m not sure where the neighborhood would be without the Lloyd-Joneses and the Tatnalls and the Neills. Tom Abeel has been my role model for leadership. Not only has he participated in virtually everything that happens in Woodruff, he is always highly educated about every operation that goes into making a project work. I always learn from him, and he and wife Linda Gilkerson are great friends.
Blood runs cream and crimson in the Ellis and Staab families; my bachelor’s and master’s degrees are both from Indiana University. I’m a retired English (and journalism and film studies and creative writing) teacher. I taught at Bishop Chatard High School for twenty-seven years.
Running and reading and gardening vie for equal rank at the top of my list; yoga is my newest near-obsession. Also, Greg and I love to travel as much as possible.
Volunteerism (both in WP and beyond):
I was able to retire earlier than most, largely for the purpose of turning my attention to volunteer work. Outside of Woodruff, I volunteer at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, on the House Corporation Board of the Alpha Phi chapter at Indiana University, and at Indy Reads Bookstore. Currently within Woodruff, I am the vice-president of the Foundation board, a member of the Town Hall committee, the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Adopt-a-Block chair for my block, and the co-chair (with Greg) of the Flea Market Trash Troopers. Our garden will be on the 2017 home and garden tour. Past WP volunteerism includes a stint on the Civic League board, two years as its president, organizing and participating in about half a dozen homes tours, hosting the progressive dinner, participating in every clean-up possible, and more I can’t recall. I’d do almost anything for Woodruff. Almost.
What do you hope the future holds for WP?
I deeply hope that the new influxes of money from the EID designation and matching grants will serve to stabilize our historic infrastructure. Once it is solid and needs only routine maintenance, our generation of homeowners will have made a wonderful gift to the future. I also hope our renowned joie de vivre and community spirit continue to grace all our neighborhood interactions.