Owens receives community award

Underpass plan earns $10,00 grant

Owens receives community award

Theatre director Kristopher Owens made a huge splash with his creative and innovative idea earlier this month. On August 1, Owens participated in the Indy “5×5 re:Mix” and won with his presentation. His victory has earned him $10,000 to show his imagination to the world.

Indy 5×5 is an organization founded to fuel creativity, art and innovation in our Indianapolis community. Four times a year, people submit innovative ideas and the five best innovators are selected as finalists. Owens was selected as one of these five and was invited to the Harrison Center for the Arts to display his idea. Each finalist received five minutes to present five slides about their plan (hence the “5×5”), and Owens was deemed the winner.

Owens’ inventive plan was named “Overwhelming Underpass.” He described his awareness of an underpass near his neighborhood. He found it to be a very dull and uninviting place, needing to be freshened up.

How would he do it? His solution was to add improved LED lighting, landscaping and public art to the underpass to give it a friendlier, welcoming feel. He faced fierce competition; the event showcased many other great ideas such as a cooperative studio for sculptors, furniture makers and artisans, and revitalizing abandoned homes into a place for creativity. However, Owens’ idea was voted the most deserving of the $10,000 prize.

Now, the only thing left to do is to put words into actions.

“I’m in charge now,” Owens said. “They give me the money and I decide the light and art that will be added to the underpass.”

Soon enough, his impact on the community will be here for all to see. Be on the lookout for his work on a road near you, and be sure to visit 5x5indy.org for further information on the organization along with other recipients and their ideas.