As is true in any city from New York to Tokyo, sniff out where the artists have migrated and you’ll find the next “it” enclave. In Indy, that means heading two miles from the Conrad to the Fountain Square neighborhood. Here, brick warehouses and once-grand theaters now house galleries, artist’s studios, and cafes. People for Urban Progress (PUP), a collective of community-focused designers, set up shop in the lovably scruffy Murphy Arts Center in the early days. The group came together in 2008 when the city demolished the RCA Dome (former home of the Indianapolis Colts) to salvage the stadium’s iconic canvas roof. That very canvas is what they use to create their nearly indestructible totes, wallets, and messenger bags. Boutiques around town carry the line, but we suggest going to the source. In the second floor studio, you’ll find designers sitting behind sewing machines constructing PUP’s “goods for good.” Insider tip: if in town the first Friday of the month, plan a late afternoon visit to PUP, then roam nearby galleries showing new work, staging performances, or screening films for First Friday.
Take a 10-minute taxi ride two miles from the Conrad to the Murphy Arts Center in the Fountain Square neighborhood. Use the entrance on Virginia Avenue near the corner of Woodlawn Street and take the stairs to the PUP studio on the second floor.
PEOPLE FOR URBAN PROGRESS: 1043 Virginia Ave., Ste. 213; peopleup.org