Indy Convergence has provided a space for professional development for interdisciplinary artist residencies since 2007 by carefully curating groups of artists to come together to create mutual mentorship experiences.
With residencies not just in Indianapolis, but in Toronto, Canada, and Jacmel, Haiti, Indy Convergence has the ability to facilitate the collaboration of both local and foreign artists, uniting them in the same creative space in an exchange of meaningful insight and artistic growth.
“We aren’t just bringing artists in Indianapolis to teach,” says Artistic Director, Robert Negron. “We’re bringing them to work as peers with Indianapolis artists and also getting a chance to show off our city and our awesome art scene to artists that normally wouldn’t be coming through.”
Specializing in interdisciplinary collaboration, Indy Convergence works with a plethora of artists and creatives ranging from singers and directors to visual artists, dancers and musicians.
Typically, Indy Convergence starts things off with their umbrella project which works in all three countries throughout the year with the participation of very artist. However, with careful consideration and information gathering, they are able to organize smaller groups between residencies based on the needs of each individual artist.
Each artist is then given the opportunity to teach a workshop in their area of expertise to other artists, allowing room for personal development, networking and artistic exchange. In an effort to get everyone out of their comfort zone and to offer different artistic perspectives, Indy Convergence organizes programming in a way that ensures that each artist does something that they would not normally do.
Negron focuses on most of the building and lighting design within the physical space, but also collaborating with different community outlets, including Reconnecting to Our Waterways, to provide space for artists to work and to plan community civically engaged arts programming.
The latest initiative in the works is the 2020 live concert and festival, A Rising Tide, which will consist of a floating stage on the White River and live performances from local and out of town artists.
A Rising Tide is not only an effort to get community members to appreciate the geographic wonders of the near west, but to provide a job opportunities and professional experience to Indy and near west residents.
“It’s in our real house of putting what we do best, creating programming and working with artists and putting on shows, but it also is bringing folks down to the river which is the best way that we can start protecting and continue revitalizing our river by bringing more attention to it,” says Negron. “We’re doing 20 performances in 2020, so setting up and breaking down the stage and moving all that stuff around those are 20 dollars an hour jobs that are good gig jobs as a tactic for people who already volunteer in the community to make a little extra money.”
They are currently working on more funding opportunities to provide this adventurous and game-changing experience to the near west community and they are also hoping to get different local arts agencies and organizations involved.
“We want to continue supporting the ideas that keep residents up at night, artists up at night and providing space, time and materials and collaborative opportunities that they wouldn’t normally have and that they don’t have to leave Indianapolis to have,” says Negron. “In general, I’d love to see the arts community continue to grow and I’d love to see the opportunity to support a lot of the really great smaller arts companies that maybe don’t have the capacity for fundraising and find a way to make A Rising Tide an opportunity to get funds and visibility to artists and smaller art companies who otherwise wouldn’t normally have it.”