Over 100 volunteers get dirty on Mass Ave cleanup day

Leaders of the Mass Ave Cultural Arts District’s Clean/Green Committee got the season off to a good start on one of its key near-term objectives – stewardship of the mile-long Mass Ave corridor. Over 100 volunteers got dirty on a sunny Sunday morning spring cleanup, weeding and curb-painting romp. They filled a big dumpster, then enjoyed box lunches furnished by the Cunningham Restaurant Group and showed off their new Mass Ave T-shirt rewards.

The effort was logistically supported by a very sober but motivating Handlebar beer wagon crew. The committee now has a bunch of its very own tools, provided at cost by Fusek’s Hardware, as were gallons of paint for the multi-color curbs.  Organizers/choreographers of the event were Clean/Green Committee cochairs Tracy Robertson of Mass Ave Pub (also providing cold water on that hot day), Mick McDaniel of Artisans Gallery (also providing safety vests that prevented volunteers becoming roadkill), uber volunteer George Klein and social media guru Randi Ireland, who helped build the volunteer roster and chronicled the event for followers.

The committee also said cheers also to Keep Indianapolis Beautiful staff, who procured the essential city dumpster. Organizer5s said it was a great ramping up of the Clean/Green initiative toward more frequent weeding, planting and watering of the Mass Ave landscape.  They are convinced that the results have already had  positive effect on visitor behavior.

A nice problem to have: And as a sign of the Mass Ave Cultural Arts District being a desirable and welcoming venue, lots of Covid-deferred events are refilling the calendar this summer with both festival opportunities and coordination challenges.

The list includes the Pride Parade, Indy Fringe Festival, Indy Crit and the Sidewalk Sale & Art Fair. Even more events are planned just off Mass Avenue at Bottleworks, the Athenaeum and the James Whitcomb Riley Home.  Effective coordination, collaboration, and cross-marketing of these is an ongoing objective of the Cultural Arts District’s member organizations. Check thewebsite at massaveindy.org for details.

All of those ideas are informing the Cultural Arts District’s other near-term objective: beginning the process of participatory strategic planning and vision planning of the Mass Ave district, its public infrastructure and mobility systems as a bottom-up process open to and supportive of all our stakeholders. Organizers call it MassAveNEXT. More about that soon.

PHOTO ABOVE: Just a few of the many volunteers who came out to clean up the Mass Ave corridor.