Just as a hub is the central part of the wheel on a bike, rotating on an axel from which spokes radiate, it can also be used to describe a vibrant city center that connects various organizations, entities, and individuals.
Karin Ogden, Executive Director of Indy Bike Hub YMCA, is one of those spokes for City Market East Plaza, which has become a vibrant hub in downtown Indianapolis. After the Market received a Southwest Airlines 2016 Heart of the Community grant, she and her team joined in the effort to bring new life to the East Plaza by encouraging and testing different activities and being part of the daily operations of the plaza.
“Over 25 years ago, the East Plaza was no more than a pass through to take you somewhere else,” Karin remembers. “Now, the plaza is coming into its own as a destination in the heart of Indy.”
Earlier this year, the Plaza hosted the city’s annual “Bike to the 500” event. Over 200 people, some bicyclists, some newcomers, and some who came just to hang out, attended. In that moment, inspiration struck Karin as she observed people enjoying one another as music and laughter filled the air. She remembers thinking, “It’s the simple things like music, ping pong, and conversation that will bring this place to life.” Those simple pleasures can now be found on any given day out on East Plaza.
The process that led to that point was a collaborative one with many contributors such as Karin lending their time, talents, and voices to create this vibrant hub. Many different spokes were needed to keep things rolling forward.
“This vibrant place and coming together with others to make it happen makes me feel even more connected to my City of Indianapolis. I can see the wonderful possibilities that come about when people work together. They are endless!”
Do you know a “connector” like Karin in your community?
The Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grants support the creation of spaces and opportunities that build connections and bring people together to strengthen communities for a more resilient future. To learn more about Indianapolis’ City Market East Plaza, visit https://www.pps.org/heart-of-the-community/#indianapolis.