Broad Ripple Art Fair canceled, smaller event with limited space focuses on local talent

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Posted at 9:55 PM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 21:57:46-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The 50th Anniversary of the OneAmerica Broad Ripple Art Fair will not happen again this year, but a smaller event focused on local talent will take place instead.

"It's time to celebrate. We are facing the other side of this pandemic finally," Mark Williams, President & Executive Director Indianapolis Art Center said.

In January when the decision was made to cancel the Broad Ripple Art Fair, Williams said they had no way of knowing where Indiana would be now with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

"That has provided us the opportunity to actually do something and do some thing safely and responsibly," he said.

Typically, the OneAmerica Broad Ripple Art Fair attracts more than 15,000 people.

This year, in order to help artists, chefs and musicians get back to work the Indianapolis Art Center is teaming up with Indy Jazz Fest for the first time for an event called Locally Made.

The two-day ticketed event will be held on May 15 and 16, and will be limited to 1,500 per day.

"We're looking currently with the limited number of tickets at approximately 12 people per acre of land. So socially distancing is embedded in our plans," Williams said.

Locally Made will be held at the center's ARTSPARK which has sits on near 10 acres. The park borders the Monon Trail and the White River. The center has been heavily investing in upgrading the park including adding a new stage. This summer they even plan to add programming in the space.

Local artist Linette Bledsoe is looking to the event. During the pandemic, nearly every show or festival she would normally attend was canceled.

"Artists rely on events to meet people and to talk about our art. You can only do so much on an online platform because a lot of people, a lot of patrons like to meet the artist and to know the story behind the art," Bledsoe said.

Locally Made will feature such Indy musicians as Josh Kaufman, winner of The Voice Season 6; The Blue Side featuring Tad Robinson; Gordon Bonham and Rob Dixon; Cathy Morris on electric violin; Clint Breeze and the Groove and many more.

"This has been a really tough year for musicians all around. Musicians, artists, gig workers restaurants. It's been a really tough year, so this is a great event to go support because this is all about supporting the local community," Rob Dixon, Aristic Director of Indy Jazz Fest Said.

Williams expects tickets for Locally Made to sell out fast.

Plans are already in place for the 50th Anniversary of the OneAmerica Broad Ripple Art Fair in 2022.