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  • Evelyn Blunt

Moments of Joy!

How do you define "Black" Joy? The Near Northwest received a triple treat the first weekend of August. Three separate days of celebrating, "Joy"!

The weekend kicked off with a Back-to-school event at Flanner House, giving away backpacks, health consultations, important enrollment information, and help with Individualized Education Planning. Immediately afterward was the monthly Grapevine event on the Flanner House and Cleo's campus, serving up music, art, food, and vending from

local entrepreneurs.

The next day brought The Bloc Party, formerly the "Black" Business Bazaar, which lasted all afternoon. Over 100 minority vendors brought their wares and services back to the Flanner House campus with even more food, local live music, dancing, and activities for the community to enjoy. Dominic Dorsey, the event planner, made every effort to ensure this event exceeded our expectations! Even with the crazy heat, people came from all over town to enjoy the festivities and support "Black"-owned businesses.

Finally, the "Black" Joy celebration by GangGang Culture came on the third day. This event was their first Joy Festival held at the new Taggart Memorial Amphitheater in Riverside Regional Park. Nigel Long, a Riverside resident and member of GangGang, was among the many creative minds that made this 9hr event of live music, poetry, improv, sound healing sessions, and so much more possible. Still, a hot day and the place was packed! The event even brought singer/songwriter Case to the stage; they brought down the house. It was an incredible way to cap off the weekend, and they even created a "Black" Joy Fund to grant $25,000 to 10 applicants that represent "Black"-owned businesses or "Black"-led organizations based in Indy.

As an NNW resident, I couldn't help to be moved by the intentions of this three-day extravaganza. "Black" creativity, "Black" entrepreneurship, "Black" artistry, "Black" collaborations, "Black" success; and most importantly, the opportunity to once again show that "Black" people are defined by what THEY choose to be determined by and not by what society ASSUMES us to be.

This weekend gave me joy! And it happened right here in our neighborhood.

To all of you who worked so hard to grace us with your offerings of "Black" Joy…we thank you!

Submitted by: Ron Rice, NNW Community Builder

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