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Lead gift from Lilly Endowment paves the way

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Inc. announced today that the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick will undergo its first major expansion in its almost ten-year history, adding new stretches to the internationally recognized linear park and urban bike and pedestrian path along South Street and Indiana Avenue.

The Cultural Trail also announced that Lilly Endowment Inc. has made a $20 million grant to help fund the project in recognition of the Trail’s extensive cultural, economic and community benefits. This landmark gift joins a prior $5 million commitment to the expansion by the City of Indianapolis.

The South Street expansion will bring the Indianapolis Cultural Trail from New Jersey Street to Capitol Avenue, improving access in a thriving stretch of downtown that includes Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center and a growing residential hub anchored by CityWay. The new section will also create a beautiful connection between downtown and near Southside neighborhoods and Stadium Village area.

The Indiana Avenue expansion will begin at the Madam Walker Legacy Center on Indiana Avenue and continue north to 10th Street. It will then head west on 10th Street to the planned bridge leading to the 16Tech Innovation district, which is anticipated to become a vibrant live-work-play community. Importantly, the Indiana Avenue segment will tie in historically and culturally significant neighborhoods and cultural destinations that have been disconnected from downtown and better unify Indianapolis’ hospital and university campuses with the heart of the city.

“From its inception, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick has been a shining example of how public-private partnerships enhance quality of life for our residents. The Cultural Trail has moved our city forward by integrating cultural and economic development with opportunities to improve community health and vitality,” said Kären Haley executive director, Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Inc. “We are grateful to Lilly Endowment, along with other generous supporters, for helping us realize our vision to expand the Trail to better connect our city’s unique cultural destinations and neighborhoods.”

The expansion is estimated to cost $30 million, which includes funding for the Cultural Trail’s endowment to maintain the Trail for years to come and funding to enhance the Trail’s art collection and public art program. With the Lilly Endowment grant, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail has received more than $26 million in gifts and commitments for this effort.

“We are impressed with the ways that the Cultural Trail has helped connect people and neighborhoods to each other and to downtown Indianapolis,” said Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development. “With these new strategic expansions, significant assets in our city – including Indiana Avenue, Madam Walker Legacy Center and 16 Tech and Lucas Oil Stadium and Eli Lilly and Company – will now be beautifully linked to the Trail.”

In addition to the Lilly Endowment grant, Anthem Foundation in 2019 announced a $1 million grant to the Cultural Trail, a portion of which will be dedicated to the Cultural Trail’s maintenance endowment included with the expansion.

“We are proud to join our city’s generous philanthropic and corporate community in this incredible public private partnership. By expanding the Cultural Trail, we are able to increase the quality of life for our residents while uplifting the economic future of Indianapolis neighborhoods,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “The Cultural Trail’s expansion along Indiana Ave, 10th Street, and South Street is an exciting opportunity to enhance our city, strengthen our arts and culture efforts, and illustrate that Indianapolis is an amazing place to live, work and play.”

Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc. will launch a fundraising campaign to raise additional philanthropic funding from individuals, foundations and corporations. The expansion will add two miles of pathway to the iconic eight-mile Cultural Trail, which attracts more than 1 million users annually. Design for the expansion will take place in 2020 with construction anticipated to begin in 2021.

A 2015 report by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute found the Indianapolis Cultural Trail generated significant public benefits, including an increase of $1 billion in assessed property values for properties on or within one block, increased consumer activity, and an enhanced sense of safety downtown. The Cultural Trail has been heralded by The New York Times as “putting Indianapolis on the map as a place to see bold innovation,” hosts popular programs such as the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare, offers free access to engaging works of outdoor art and includes a horticulture program which includes flourishing urban gardens along the Trail’s path.

“The Madam Walker Legacy Center exists to advance the legacy of our namesake, Madame CJ Walker, through art, entertainment, cultural education, youth empowerment, entrepreneurship and civic engagement,” said Judith Thomas, President and CEO of the Madam Walker Legacy Center. “The expansion of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail along Indiana Avenue to the Madam Walker Legacy Center will help us fulfill our mission by connecting and bringing people to our physical location so that they too can learn about and experience Madam Walker’s legacy. We also see this expansion as a critical step in the process to revitalize the Indiana Ave cultural district which is an important asset for our city’s cultural history. “

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About Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc.
Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc. is the world class leader in urban trails and linear parks and is committed to a sustainable funding model that ensures accessible connections for future generations on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Additional Quotes regarding the expansion of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick

“I am especially aware of the important role the Cultural Trail’s expansion along Indiana Avenue and 10th Street will play to enhance connections between the near west side and downtown Indianapolis. I am confident it will improve the quality of life for residents of neighborhoods that have been disconnected from the rest of our community for too long. It will also create a unifying sense of place along Indiana Ave and within the Indiana Ave cultural district. As a Councillor, it is also extremely impressive that the Cultural Trail continues to thrive despite receiving no operating support from the City of Indianapolis.” — Vop Osili, President City of Indianapolis City County Council, Council District 11.

“CICF and I support Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc’s vision for expanding the Cultural Trail along both South Street and the Indiana Ave and 10th Street corridor. We believe both of these expansions better connect neighborhoods and residents that have historically been disconnected from downtown. We also believe these expansions will connect neighborhoods with the same high level of design and detail that was embedded in the original vision of the Cultural Trail by making art, nature and beauty accessible every day for everybody. Most importantly, we believe it supports our new mission of creating equitable access and opportunity for all people and, by doing so, helps Indianapolis become a more thriving community.” — Brian Payne, President and CEO, Central Indiana Community Foundation and Indianapolis Cultural Trail founder.

“The Cultural Trail is an Indianapolis treasure serving as an iconic, inspiring, and engaging connector of our arts and cultural assets. We enthusiastically support its strategic expansion to these two important and emerging cultural centers in our city. In addition to increasing physical accessibility, the planned Cultural Trail expansion brings valuable endorsement and exposure to these locations as exciting new contributors to our creative economy and community story.” — Julie Goodman, President and CEO, Arts Council of Indianapolis

“Improving the health of our community will take an enormous citywide effort to promote daily exercise, increase access to healthy lifestyle choices and improve the overall quality of life in Indianapolis. We strongly believe that expanding the Indianapolis Cultural Trail by providing safe, beautiful and easily accessible pedestrian and bike connections to many of our city’s most important resources will play a critical role in this effort.” — Lisa Harris, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Eskenazi Health

“The Indianapolis Cultural Trail has been and will continue to be one of the greatest assets in Indianapolis, and we believe the Cultural Trail expansion will strengthen its impact on our City.” — Michael Huber, President and CEO Indy Chamber

“Thanks to the Cultural Trail, no other city’s downtown districts are more connected or more pedestrian friendly than Indianapolis. Visit Indy enthusiastically supports the expansion of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail… Expanding the Cultural Trail to these two neighborhoods will better connect our visitors to cultural amenities, the convention center, hotels, Indy’s unique neighborhoods and the rest of our downtown” — Leonard Hoops, President and CEO, Visit Indy

“We believe the expansion of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail along Indiana Ave will enhance access to our building by making it safer for pedestrians and bicycles along this heavily traveled corridor, which is currently more vehicle-friendly than pedestrian-friendly. Additionally, it will create a sense of place to the area by promoting access to beautiful art and nature and highlighting the historical and cultural destinations along the corridor. We also see this as a critical step in the process to unify the Indiana Avenue Cultural District, which is an important asset for our city’s cultural history connecting neighborhoods along the Avenue, many of which have been disconnected for far too long.” — Tony Mason, President and CEO, Indianapolis Urban League

“We believe expanding the Cultural Trail will stimulate and support growing economic activity while also enhancing opportunities for long-standing business and institutions in the Stadium Village area and enhance the quality of life for the people who live and work there. The South Street expansion of the Cultural Trail will ultimately make the Stadium Village area more attractive to new businesses and residents while also providing more amenities and connections to existing businesses and their employees.” — Erica Wells, President, Stadium Village Business Association

“As Indianapolis has grown, especially in this quadrant of downtown, Anthem has grown with it. This donation from the Anthem Foundation will help the Indianapolis Cultural Trail continue to support health and wellness and inspire residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty and rich culture of our city.” — John Gallina, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Anthem, Inc

“We identified several Great Places 2020 neighborhoods, which have great assets and potential, and are working to transform them into dynamic urban villages that attract young people and others seeking a high quality of life in walkable and bikeable neighborhoods. The Trail expansion will provide a critical link to connect these strategic places to jobs and educational opportunities. We know that no matter the community, connecting communities and having biking and walking infrastructure in neighborhoods are keys to making neighborhoods thrive.” — Tedd Grain, President and CEO Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis

“The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is one of the decade’s most important pieces of urban infrastructure. It’s about making us less dependent on the car but, even more important knits back together severed pieces of the city to create common ground.” — R.T. Ryback, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Community Foundation and former Mayor of Minneapolis

Media Contact
Sarah Frey
Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc.
SFrey@IndyCulturalTrail.org
317-289-3419

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