INDIANAPOLIS – What once sat as an empty and unused office park is now drawing a different kind of energy. Healer lives up to its name by offering a sense of community and catharsis.
Giving things a second life is all part of Healer’s mission.
WRTV recently caught up with Colin Oakley. He's one of the founders of the former office-space-turned-event-venue on East Raymond Street. Here, beauty lies within. When you step inside, you could easily make the mistake of assuming you’d stepped into Alice’s Wonderland.
“Healer was essentially born from the bare-bones skeleton of an old office building,” Oakley said. “It used to be [the] Health Net building, hence the cubicles.”
The music and events venue is decorated from floor to ceiling with colorful and eccentric surprises, but nods to its roots still remain: Take, for instance, the stereotypical office ceiling tiles still in place.
Cubicles and tiles aside, the decorating and style of Healer is organized and beautiful chaos.
Oakley says over the years, people donated all sorts of items as décor like old sound equipment, a fake dragon and whale-themed art. There are no rules, and that’s entirely intentional.
“(It’s) almost a little ‘Toy Story’-ish, where, like, abandoned toys and trinkets and objects that have integral meaning to people’s lives get a second life,” Oakley said. “And they get to be valorized in a new context when they come here.”
That theme of acceptance and second chances carries through to other fronts. Back in 2016 when it first got started, Healer was known as “Health Net” as a dystopian nod to its original tenant.
“Which, as you can imagine, became confusing, because Health Net is a functioning organization,” Oakley said. “We wanted to pay homage to that original title. So we kept the ‘heal’ part.”
Oakley, along with his fellow co-founders, agreed the name “Healer” fit the metaphor of the space: A place for people to come together with no judgment and no agenda. A place where the music fits into no particular niche or genre. A place to express yourself and feel safe in the comfort of art.
“People need a release from the monotony of everyday life,” Oakley said. “I think people need a place to nurture and warm, and, like, just state the artistic, creative sides of themselves.”
Oakley says every show features a different genre of music, and that's how they like it.
Healer has music shows several nights out of the week including Fridays and Saturdays. You can find Healer at 3631 E. Raymond St. in Indianapolis.
Check out their latest news at their Facebook page.
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