Hello, 2016: 14 things to look forward to in Indy

Posted by kbrueckmann on January 6, 2016

The Indianapolis Star

It’s hard to believe that anything could top the year that brought koalas to the Indianapolis Zoo, “Dream Cars” to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and a state-of-the-art YMCA to the heart of Downtown.

How thrilling it was to witness the release of the film based on hometown author John Green’s book “Paper Towns” and watch the Children’s Museum transform to a playland for “Robots in Disguise.”

But just as the end of one year is a time to reflect on the past, the start of another is a time to look at the exciting things the future has in store.

In 2016, we’ll celebrate two milestones in sports and entertainment history with the anniversary of the film “Hoosiers” and the 100th 500-Mile Race. We’ll cheer on local restaurateurs in Irvington and watch how art collective Big Car will continue to push our creative buttons.

This only scrapes the surface of what’s to come. And as always, we look forward to hearing what major moves you’re making in the Circle City — be sure to reach out and let us know. In the meantime, read on for our list of things to look forward to in Indy in 2016.

30th anniversary of ‘Hoosiers’

I’m curious to watch the classic “Hoosiers” at the Indianapolis Museum of Art to see how people react 30 years later. Will “Hoosiers” hold up amid today’s obsession with irony? Or has it become a cliche? Screened publicly (people are snarky in groups), will it get mocked? Like, when the Hickory boys “run the picket fence,” will the audience cheer like they did in 1986, or will they crack up? Or both? The movie will be shown at 7 p.m. Jan. 8. More at imamuseum.org. —Will Higgins, feature writer

Big steps for Big Car

In 2015 alone, this up-and-coming grass-roots art collective opened a new “makerspace,” worked toward “gentrification-proof” artist residences, took over Monument Circle and is exploring sound art, which includes hosting a new indie radio station. I can only imagine what Indianapolis’ most creative band of doers and thinkers will be up to next year. Check out Big Car’s projects at bigcar.org. —Wei-Huan Chen, arts reporter

100th running of the 500

I always look forward to the month of May in Indy, but this year my excitement is palpable, thanks to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race on May 29. The special place the race has in history is reason for the whole city to celebrate. Details at indianapolismotorspeedway.com. —Leslie Bailey, Adventuress

Vida

New restaurant Vida makes charcuterie in house. Opening day is in early February at 601 E. New York St. (Photo: Vida)

Cunningham Restaurant Group, the team that brought Union 50, Bru Burger Bar and Mesh on Mass to Mass Ave., plans to open Vida in in the former Amici’s Italian restaurant space, 601 E. New York St. A hydroponic food garden inside and a charcuterie program are part of the buzz surrounding the concept. More at vida-restaurant.com. —Liz Biro, food and dining reporter

‘Artist Designed Mini Golf’

Artist Designed Mini Golf opens on May 3 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. (Photo: AP photo)

The modest game of miniature golf will go upscale and historical when the “Artist Designed Mini Golf” exhibit opens May 3 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Inspired by Indiana’s bicentennial year, the course features 18 holes devoted to the state’s history, landscape and landmarks. As Scott Stulen, the museum’s curator of audience experiences and performance, says, “It is not very often that you can view an exhibition that you can also ‘play’ with a drink in your hand.” —David Lindquist, entertainment reporter

New eats in Irvington

Homemade hot dogs, Cuban sandwiches, whoopie pies, crab cakes — Eastsiders (like myself) will get to expand their palates when several new food spots open in 2016.

Chris Baggott, co-founder of ExactTarget, has bought a three-unit building in the 100 block of South Audubon Road. He plans to open a second location of his wildly successful Greenfield drive-in The Mug (minus the car service — though there will be outdoor seating); an intimate 21-and-older gastropub called Griggsby’s Station (named after a wistful poem by Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley) and a small-scale grocery featuring local foods and household products. Meats for all three will come from Baggott’s Tyner Pond Farm in Greenfield, home to grass-fed, pasture-raised animals.

Baggott expects the grocery to open in February, The Mug to serve its first hamburgers and hot dogs in May, and Griggsby’s to offer its chef-driven “recognizable” fare and mixed drinks at summer’s end. (Throughout the winter and spring, Scratch Truck will run a pop-up restaurant in the Griggsby’s location.)

If gourmet breakfast and baked goods are your thing, look forward to the coffee cake, chile relleno and monte cristo sandwiches at Bitter Sweet, 5543 E. Washington St. Owner Laura Johnston, who has worked in restaurants for 25 years — including catering and menu-development for Blend Cigar Bar — will open her “fresh casual concept” in February. Lunch and a limited “after 5” menu will also be served. —Amanda Kingsbury, content strategist

Writer Jacqueline Woodson will speak in Indianapolis on April 15. (Photo: Photo provided by the Indianapolis Public Library)

‘Brown Girl’ Speaking

Writer Jacqueline Woodson — whose memoir written in verse “Brown Girl Dreaming” won the 2014 National Book Award — will speak in Indianapolis this spring. She will deliver the 39th annual McFadden lecture April 15 at Northview Middle School. The free lecture is sponsored by the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. The Brooklyn-based author has written numerous books for children and young adults and says on her webpage that she can only write with her notebook turned sideways. The event is free, and no tickets are required. More at indypl.org. —Shari Rudavsky, medical writer

Janet Jackson

(Note: Jackson announced Dec. 25 that she was postponing the start of her "Unbreakable" tour — including the Jan. 29 stop at Bankers Life Fieldhouse — until spring. The concert will be rescheduled.)

The pop icon made her fans “wait awhile” before returning to the stage, but on Jan. 29 Janet Jackson will bring her international tour — Unbreakable — to Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Keep your fingers crossed during the concert for Jackson’s 80s hits. She’s promoting her new album (same title as the tour), but a few bars of “Rhythm Nation,” “What have you done for me lately” and “The Pleasure Principle” would bring the house down. —Cara Anthony, Downtown Quality of Life reporter

Three-time Emmy winning actress and host Jane Lynch will bring her cabaret show, “See Jane Sing” to The Cabaret on June 19-21. (Photo: Provided by The Cabaret)

Jane Lynch live

The Cabaret at the Columbia Club might be the best-kept secret in Indianapolis. During the past couple of years, the venue on Monument Circle has brought some of the top vocalists in musical theater to the city, and this year will be no different. Jane Lynch, multiple Emmy-winning host of “Hollywood Game Night” and showtune-hating coach Sue Sylvester on “Glee,” will perform “See Jane Sing” June 19-21. Lynch brings along a five-piece band and Kate Flannery of “The Office.” This year’s lineup also includes Patina Miller of “Madam Secretary” and Tony-nominated Joshua Henry of “The Scottsboro Boys,” “Porgy and Bess” and “Shuffle Along,” which opens on Broadway in April. More at thecabaret.org. —Jennifer Morlan, Quality of Life editor

Downtown transit center

The futuristic, sloping glass and chrome depot in the center of Downtown will be the landing spot for almost all city buses starting in June. The $26.5 million center at Alabama and Washington streets will have 19 bus bays, Wi-Fi access and bus arrival and departure screens. It will reduce the number of buses that converge on Ohio Street, making it a fuming mess during rush hour. IndyGo will streamline several bus routes, eliminating the “loop” they do around Downtown, which will shorten travel times. A $13.5 million federal grant paid for most of the center’s construction. —John Tuohy, transportation reporter

BlueIndy

BlueIndy expects to add more car stations in 2016. BlueIndy is a membership-based, do-it-yourself electric-car rental. (Photo: Robert Scheer/The Star)

The electric car-sharing service expects to continue expanding by adding more stations in 2016. It opened in the fall with about two dozen stations and has been opening more since. Eventually, the service wants 200 stations across the city. BlueIndy is essentially a membership-based, do-it-yourself electric-car rental. It’s intended as a convenient way for people who don’t own cars (like a growing number of millennials) to run errands or get to work or the airport in a pinch. A yearly membership for $120 lets you rent a car for $12 an hour. As long as you plug the car into a charging station, you won’t be charged. So the smart thing to do is make sure there is a station near your destination. Otherwise the meter will stay running while you’re shopping. Monthly, weekly and daily memberships are also available. More at blue-indy.com. —John Tuohy, transportation reporter

Newsies at Clowes Hall

Extra! Extra! Get your tickets now for “Newsies,” a high-energy Broadway show about the newspaper industry of a century ago. The Tony Award-winning production, coming to Clowes Hall in 2016, is based on the newsboys’ strike of 1899 and the war waged with newspaper giants William Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. Dates are March 15-20, and tickets start at $25. indianapolis.broadway.com/shows/tickets. —Maureen Gilmer, features reporter

Bicentennial Brew Tour with the BrewsLine

For the adult crowd only, this may be the most relaxing way to tour Hamilton County next year. You can celebrate local businesses while learning local history with friends, families and neighbors. This sample booze-cruise of six breweries will be available Sundays beginning in January and run through May. Tickets are $40 per person. More information at visithamiltoncounty.com —Olivia Lewis, Hamilton County Quality of Life reporter

‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ in 70mm

The year will peak early with this Jan. 21 screening of director Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece at the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum. Tickets are $12 and going fast. Tracing the evolution of man from his first use of tools through his evolution into a higher being, it’s not only one of the greatest movies of all time, but also one of the most scientifically accurate thanks to the participation of novelist Sir Arthur C. Clarke. (How accurate was it? So accurate Kubrick was hired to fake the moon landing the following year. No, really.) —Channing King, gadfly

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