Community Investment Fund Awards

“I want you to understand that your first duty is to humanity. I want others to look at us and see that we care not just about ourselves but about others.”

Madam C. J. Walker

Inaugural Year of the Community Investment Fund

The 16 Tech Community Investment Fund was established in 2019 to support resident-endorsed projects – both large and small – that are important to the growth and vitality of neighbors and neighborhoods near the 16 Tech Innovation District.

The first round of grants, totaling $500,000, was awarded in May 2020 and supports new projects and the expansion of existing programs as well as strengthens community ties.

A second round of grants, totaling $503,000, was awarded in December 2020 for a total of $1 million in grants this inaugural year.

Innovation Pool Grant Awardees

This funding pool supports projects that are designed, led and implemented by grassroots and neighborhood-based organizations with funding up to $25,000.

Impact Pool Grant Awardees

The Impact Pool funds projects up to $100,000 that have a significant impact on neighborhoods and residents.

Arte Mexicano en Indiana

La Sardina Gallery at Purpose Park

$15,300

Project creating a new community gallery and performance venue in Purpose Park in the Hawthorne Neighborhood. The La Sardina Gallery will provide arts enrichment activities that will bring interest to the area and lead to connections between community members and local businesses.

Aspire Higher Foundation

First Floor Aspire House Indy

$50,000

Aspire Higher Foundation will rehabilitate the first floor of the historic Aspire Firehouse and create a hub for the community, a place of connection and education. With this community space, we will develop and attract educational programs to the near North Neighborhood of Indianapolis. Aspire House will provide co-working spaces, workforce training, shared arts and a social service hub to our neighborhood.

Aspire Higher Foundation

Digital Innovation Hub

$25,000

A project to install accessible internet, increase community involvement and provide virtual workforce training with neighbors as a digital community hub to aid in closing the digital divide in the community. The project will provide immersive experiences- intergenerational opportunities for connection.

Be Nimble Foundation

Melon Kitchen Food Entrepreneurship Accelerator

$40,000

The Melon Kitchen Ghost Kitchen and Food Entrepreneurship Accelerator is launching to help Near Northwest, Near West and Indiana Avenue/Ransom Place/Flanner House residents overcome poverty and create pathways to entrepreneurship capacity building, economic mobility, and enhanced opportunity for Black and Brown Hoosiers. The innovative model will help emerging food entrepreneurs build high-scale, high-impact businesses that lead to job creation and long-lasting economic self-sustainability and bounce back from the effect COVID-19 has had on the restaurant industry.

Indy Convergence

A Rising Tide

$20,000

The project supports the creation of “mobile, non-invasive arts programming” in unique riverside locations along White River. Cleared by the Near West Livability task force and the ROW White River committee, there are several beautiful spaces for anyone to enjoy our shows, hiking, fishing, and picnicking. The project also includes a small stage crew training program that will provide paid training for four Near West residents.

Believers United in Local Development

BUILD: Construction Workforce and Education Training

$45,000

This project is one part of an organized effort to disrupt the current state of Haughville and other underserved west side communities while bringing about sustainable and equitable revitalization. The construction workforce and education training project is the second phase of an existing program funded by 16 Tech focused on creating meaningful workforce development opportunities for young adults 16-24. This new phase provides impact to our community through the training of (35) total trainees. As part of this expanded training BUILD will offer both construction and CDL training.

New Life Development Ministries

Youth Basic Construction Training Project

$25,000

The NLDM Youth Basic Training Project will offer construction skills training that will play a vital role in educating youth to be employable in semi-skilled labor for construction trades i.e. Carpentry, Drywall, Painting, Electrical, Plumbing, and Maintenance. The training center offers effective training and support services for youth that will serve as a catalyst for viable employment and additional training, education and career-advancement opportunities.

Center for Leadership Development

Near West Academic Achievement

$25,000

CLD has a new initiative to develop a Satellite and In-School Program which will expand its reach and capacity to serve young people within the Near West neighborhood at Christamore House and Matchbook Learning Wendell Phillips. Services include programs that encourage self-esteem in minority youth, equip youth with tools and support needed to graduate from high school, prepare students for postsecondary education and scholarship application processes, help students identify their strengths and weaknesses as well as their future career goals, and connect students with mentors in their chosen career fields. CLD programming also includes workshops to assist supportive adults prepare for their students’ academic and career journey.

Source Entrepreneurship Center

West Washington Street Business Corridor Revitalization

$18,000

SOURCE Entrepreneurship Center, working in concert with WCDC, LISC, the Hispanic Business Council, the Business Opportunity Advisor Task Force (BOAT) and other local organizations and individuals, will lead efforts to revitalize the West Washington Street Business Corridor. This project will identify and encourage commercial building owners and landlords to improve properties and encourage locally owned business tenants to locate/relocate in the Near West, along the West Washington Street corridor.

Hawthorne Community Center

STEM Initiative – Creating Opportunity for the Near West Community

$65,000

Hawthorne will transform our existing early education and out of school programming into a comprehensive and sustainable science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Initiative. Hawthorne will partner with The STEM Connection to integrate high-quality STEM activities into existing programming to provide seamless and sequential STEM focused learning opportunities to pre-kindergarten youth through 8th grade.

Indianapolis Environmental Equity Council

Reclaiming Indiana Avenue

$75,000

This project supports a community planning initiative and helps to build the capacity of the Reclaim Indiana Avenue Coalition (RIA), a group of residents, stakeholders, advocates and civic leaders who are passionate about preserving the area’s rich cultural heritage and history.

IUPUI – School of Engineering & Technology

16 Tech Engineering and Technology Scholars Program at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI)

$42,000

The Purdue Extension Youth Maker (PEYM) program will provide free, hands-on workforce and educational programming through engaging maker curricula at the Machyne makerspace. This program will serve youth in the 16 Tech Impact Area and will focus on the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). The PEYM program has established partnerships with the following organizations that serve youth: MatchBook Learning-Wendell Phillips #63 (140 Teens), Groundwork Indy (30 teens), and Community Assets Inc. (20-30 Teens).

Nine 13

Near NW Building Bikes Classroom Programming

$35,000

Kids Building Bikes was designed as an opportunity to allow students to work with their hands learning mechanical aptitude skills within a program that also teaches other desired employability skills such as problem solving, oral communication, perseverance, attention to detail with the goal of impressing up on our students a career path mindset. STEM lessons are introduced throughout the 16-hour curriculum that is provided free of charge to the Near Northwest students in a new education and community space with a 12-bench learning space.

Purdue Extension

Purdue Extension Youth Maker Program

$20,000

The Purdue Extension Youth Maker (PEYM) program will provide free, hands-on workforce and educational programming through engaging maker curricula at the Machyne makerspace. This program will serve youth in the 16 Tech Impact Area and will focus on the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). The PEYM program has established partnerships with the following organizations that serve youth: MatchBook Learning-Wendell Phillips #63 (140 Teens), Groundwork Indy (30 teens), and Community Assets Inc. (20-30 Teens).

Innovation Pool Grant Awardees

This funding pool supports projects that are designed, led and implemented by grassroots and neighborhood-based organizations with funding up to $25,000.

Arte Mexicano en Indiana

La Sardina Gallery at Purpose Park

$15,300

Project creating a new community gallery and performance venue in Purpose Park in the Hawthorne Neighborhood. The La Sardina Gallery will provide arts enrichment activities that will bring interest to the area and lead to connections between community members and local businesses.

Aspire Higher Foundation

Digital Innovation Hub

$25,000

A project to install accessible internet, increase community involvement and provide virtual workforce training with neighbors as a digital community hub to aid in closing the digital divide in the community. The project will provide immersive experiences- intergenerational opportunities for connection.

Indy Convergence

A Rising Tide

$20,000

The project supports the creation of “mobile, non-invasive arts programming” in unique riverside locations along White River. Cleared by the Near West Livability task force and the ROW White River committee, there are several beautiful spaces for anyone to enjoy our shows, hiking, fishing, and picnicking. The project also includes a small stage crew training program that will provide paid training for four Near West residents.

New Life Development Ministries

Youth Basic Construction Training Project

$25,000

The NLDM Youth Basic Training Project will offer construction skills training that will play a vital role in educating youth to be employable in semi-skilled labor for construction trades i.e. Carpentry, Drywall, Painting, Electrical, Plumbing, and Maintenance. The training center offers effective training and support services for youth that will serve as a catalyst for viable employment and additional training, education and career-advancement opportunities.

Source Entrepreneurship Center

West Washington Street Business Corridor Revitalization

$18,000

SOURCE Entrepreneurship Center, working in concert with WCDC, LISC, the Hispanic Business Council, the Business Opportunity Advisor Task Force (BOAT) and other local organizations and individuals, will lead efforts to revitalize the West Washington Street Business Corridor. This project will identify and encourage commercial building owners and landlords to improve properties and encourage locally owned business tenants to locate/relocate in the Near West, along the West Washington Street corridor.

Impact Pool Grant Awardees

The Impact Pool funds projects up to $100,000 that have a significant impact on neighborhoods and residents.

Aspire Higher Foundation

First Floor Aspire House Indy

$50,000

Aspire Higher Foundation will rehabilitate the first floor of the historic Aspire Firehouse and create a hub for the community, a place of connection and education. With this community space, we will develop and attract educational programs to the near North Neighborhood of Indianapolis. Aspire House will provide co-working spaces, workforce training, shared arts and a social service hub to our neighborhood.

Be Nimble Foundation

Melon Kitchen Food Entrepreneurship Accelerator

$40,000

The Melon Kitchen Ghost Kitchen and Food Entrepreneurship Accelerator is launching to help Near Northwest, Near West and Indiana Avenue/Ransom Place/Flanner House residents overcome poverty and create pathways to entrepreneurship capacity building, economic mobility, and enhanced opportunity for Black and Brown Hoosiers. The innovative model will help emerging food entrepreneurs build high-scale, high-impact businesses that lead to job creation and long-lasting economic self-sustainability and bounce back from the effect COVID-19 has had on the restaurant industry.

Believers United in Local Development

BUILD: Construction Workforce and Education Training

$45,000

This project is one part of an organized effort to disrupt the current state of Haughville and other underserved west side communities while bringing about sustainable and equitable revitalization. The construction workforce and education training project is the second phase of an existing program funded by 16 Tech focused on creating meaningful workforce development opportunities for young adults 16-24. This new phase provides impact to our community through the training of (35) total trainees. As part of this expanded training BUILD will offer both construction and CDL training.

Center for Leadership Development

Near West Academic Achievement

$25,000

CLD has a new initiative to develop a Satellite and In-School Program which will expand its reach and capacity to serve young people within the Near West neighborhood at Christamore House and Matchbook Learning Wendell Phillips. Services include programs that encourage self-esteem in minority youth, equip youth with tools and support needed to graduate from high school, prepare students for postsecondary education and scholarship application processes, help students identify their strengths and weaknesses as well as their future career goals, and connect students with mentors in their chosen career fields. CLD programming also includes workshops to assist supportive adults prepare for their students’ academic and career journey.

Hawthorne Community Center

STEM Initiative – Creating Opportunity for the Near West Community

$65,000

Hawthorne will transform our existing early education and out of school programming into a comprehensive and sustainable science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Initiative. Hawthorne will partner with The STEM Connection to integrate high-quality STEM activities into existing programming to provide seamless and sequential STEM focused learning opportunities to pre-kindergarten youth through 8th grade.

Indianapolis Environmental Equity Council

Reclaiming Indiana Avenue

$75,000

This project supports a community planning initiative and helps to build the capacity of the Reclaim Indiana Avenue Coalition (RIA), a group of residents, stakeholders, advocates and civic leaders who are passionate about preserving the area’s rich cultural heritage and history.

IUPUI – School of Engineering & Technology

16 Tech Engineering and Technology Scholars Program at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI)

$42,000

This project supports a community planning initiative and helps to build the capacity of the Reclaim Indiana Avenue Coalition (RIA), a group of residents, stakeholders, advocates and civic leaders who are passionate about preserving the area’s rich cultural heritage and history.

Nine 13

Near NW Building Bikes Classroom Programming

$35,000

Kids Building Bikes was designed as an opportunity to allow students to work with their hands learning mechanical aptitude skills within a program that also teaches other desired employability skills such as problem solving, oral communication, perseverance, attention to detail with the goal of impressing up on our students a career path mindset. STEM lessons are introduced throughout the 16-hour curriculum that is provided free of charge to the Near Northwest students in a new education and community space with a 12-bench learning space.

Purdue Extension

Purdue Extension Youth Maker Program

$20,000

The Purdue Extension Youth Maker (PEYM) program will provide free, hands-on workforce and educational programming through engaging maker curricula at the Machyne makerspace. This program will serve youth in the 16 Tech Impact Area and will focus on the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). The PEYM program has established partnerships with the following organizations that serve youth: MatchBook Learning-Wendell Phillips #63 (140 Teens), Groundwork Indy (30 teens), and Community Assets Inc. (20-30 Teens).

2020 Innovation Pool Grant Awardees

Indy Convergence: $20,000

Facade and Street Scape Improvement

Indy Convergence will make improvements and repairs to its building façade and facility on West Michigan and King Avenue. The building, which is over a century old, requires street lighting for safety, air conditioning enhancements and new signage leading to the beautification of the neighborhood and sustainability of the arts organization.

Indy Convergence empowers and connects artists from all backgrounds to their communities, other artists and new cultures in an inclusive, collaborative environment. Its programs, from professional development initiatives to community engagement, put “Artists at Work” to their fullest potential.

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library: $15,000

New Jazz Exhibition

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library will design and fabricate a new outdoor exhibition to educate the public about Kurt Vonnegut’s relationship with jazz music and the history of jazz along Indiana Avenue.

In honor of his wit and wisdom, the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library champions the literary, artistic, and cultural contributions of the late writer, artist, teacher, and Indianapolis native Kurt Vonnegut.

Lillian Davis Foundation: $8,500

STEM Enrichment/Resident Engagement

The Lillian Davis Foundation will enhance its Enrichment Summer Camp by adding a 4-week STEAM-focused experience for 25 youth between the ages of 7-11. The foundation also will use grant funds to support the annual Riverside Parade and Community Celebration.

The Lillian Davis Foundation, Inc. is continuing the legacy of Mrs. Lillian Davis who promoted and advocated for initiatives involving family, education, community and service by supporting youth education and activities in family and community service initiatives.

Near Northwest Governance Committee: $13,500

Resident Engagement and Outreach

The Near Northwest Governance Committee and its partners will engage residents in community-building activities and beautify the Near Northwest neighborhood. The proposed activities include the creation and installation of banners along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Fiesta Fridays at Cleo’s Bodega to expand outreach to the Hispanic community, and support for a monthly newsletter to every household in the Near Northwest area.

The Near Northwest Governance Committee is a collaborative group that leads the work of the Near Northwest Quality of Life structure. The committee, comprised of residents and partnering organizational representatives, helps set and execute the neighborhood vision and associated plans.

ProAct Indy: $25,000

Service-learning Program

ProAct Indy will launch a Proactive Community around Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis, creating an integrated framework for community engagement that connects the middle school students, corporations, and nonprofits to cross social, racial and economic boundaries.

Since 2010, ProAct Indy has helped urban youth build solid foundations based on relationships and service to help alleviate disparities in poverty and education. Leveraging social capital, they specialize in intentionally bringing together organizations in the city – helping groups cross social, racial, and economic boundaries through meaningful service projects and social equity training.

Rebuilding Together: $13,000

Home Repair

Rebuilding Together will provide additional rehabilitation during the Spring Build, a partnership with Flanner House and the Central Indiana Union Construction Industry to repair homes at no cost to homeowners.

Rebuilding Together preserves and revitalizes houses and communities, assuring that people in need, people with disabilities, and seniors may continue to live in warmth, safety, and independence.

Stringtown Neighborhood Association: $5,000

Resident Engagement

The Stringtown Neighborhood Association will improve resident engagement in its neighborhood by increasing the connectivity, economic stability, safety and health of residents as well as beautifying the neighborhood.

The Stringtown Neighborhood Association represents the residents of the Stringtown area and works toward having a better education, increased employment opportunities and a safer and more beautiful neighborhood.

 

2020 Impact Pool Grant Awardees

Believers United in Local Development: $42,000

Construction Training/Apprenticeships

BUILD will expand its construction jobs training program to serve up to 15 young adults in Haughville and the west side community.

With a team of dedicated clergy, sponsors and volunteers, BUILD trains youth ages 16-24 in various building trades. The program targets westside youth to participate in a 14-week education and construction training program leading to college credits, a paid internship and a pathway to employment.

Christamore House: $70,000

 

Christamore House will launch the Technology Enhancement At Christamore House Project (T.E.A.C.H.) program to connect and engage neighborhood residents across two generations in interactive STEM programming, education and workforce development opportunities.

The Christamore House provides child and youth educational services, senior programming and life skills training to empower residents of the Near West and Haughville communities to be self-sufficient and contributing members to a safe and healthy community.

Christel House Schools: $33,000

Industry Certifications

Christel House DORS will provide day and evening courses to adults who reside in neighborhoods surrounding 16 Tech leading to a high school diploma and industry certifications to increase job readiness.

Christel House Schools is a network of public charter schools educating children and adults throughout the Indianapolis area, teaching both academics and the social skills necessary for students to thrive.

Elevate Indianapolis: $37,000

College and Career Readiness Program

Elevate Indianapolis will expand the Pathways to Purpose college and career readiness program at George Washington High School to prepare 60 new students for life after high school.

Elevate Indianapolis is an initiative privately funded primarily by the Central Indiana business community to positively change the lives of urban kids, reduce generational poverty, enhance the city’s workforce, and prepare the next generation of leaders.

Flanner House: $57,000

Retail Entrepreneurship/Pop-up Market

The Flanner House will provide entrepreneurial support and development services for retail-based entrepreneurs in the King Commons neighborhood, including female and male business founders of color, returning citizens and seniors.

The Flanner House supports, advocates for and empowers individuals, children and families by applying educational, social and economic resources that move residents of the Northwest side of Indianapolis toward self-sufficiency.

Marian University: $72,500

Dual-enrollment Pilot Program

Marian University will launch a new initiative with Riverside High School (RHS) to promote post-secondary access and success for underserved youth. The program will allow students to earn dual credits, engage with employer partners and career-focused experiences and earn preferential admission to Saint Joseph’s College of Marian University.

Marian University provides educational opportunities to children, teens, and adults throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana. St. Joseph’s College of Marian University delivers an innovative and mission-driven two-year college education.

Near Northwest Governance Committee: $45,000

Homeownership Lease-to-own Program

The Near Northwest Governance Committee, Near Northwest Housing Committee and its team of collaborators will partner with the Flanner House to create a Family Lease Program, a revolving lease/purchase program that provides home ownership opportunities to eligible families in the Near Northwest neighborhoods. The program gives residents the ability to establish a legal interest in property for future homeownership. The program also rehabilitates housing units in the Near Northwest and makes them available to program participants for future homeownership.

The Near Northwest Governance Committee is a collaborative group that leads the work of the Near Northwest Quality of Life structure. The committee, comprised of residents and partnering organizational representatives, helps set and execute the neighborhood vision and associated plans.

Stemnasium Learning Labs: $43,500

STEM Education Program

Stemnasium Learning Labs will provide scholarships for Riverside students to attend the Stemnasium Learning Labs Saturday Academy academic enrichment program. The 40-week program is held on Saturdays at Global Prep at Riverside 44 and is dedicated to providing STEM education to children from preschool to high school.

Stemnasium introduces children to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, and partners with elementary schools to introduce children living in low-income communities to careers they might have not thought of otherwise.