INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In preparation for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” a nonprofit arts hub is gearing up for the return of the Indianapolis 500-themed Porch Parties event.
As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and watches a war in Ukraine, organizers hope the return of the annual Porch Parties will bring some healing. For several years, the Harrison Center has partnered with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to launch Porch Parties ahead of the Indianapolis 500.
Checkered flags outside the Harrison Center help mark a month of community celebrations. Joanna Taft, the center’s executive director, said, “In 2016, we started partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy 500 to do Porch Parties because May is a great time to get out on the porch.”
Porch Parties was designed to give the community a chance to mingle and soak up the art. The kickoff beginning at 6 p.m. Friday will feature music, food, an Indy 500-themed fashion show and more.
To help set the stage for Porch Parties, Indiana Supports Ukraine is at the forefront and ready to welcome the community while taking advantage of the moment to shine a light on the ongoing war in Ukraine. Indiana Support Ukraine will feature handmade items for their fundraising efforts. Anya Aslanova with the group is Ukrainian and has family there.
“Really hard to watch, but a lot of them react because they understand it’s a threat to democracy,” Aslanova said. “It’s not something that happens in a distant country. It is a global problem that affects them.
Since the start of the war in February, Indiana Supports Ukraine has been collecting aid. However, his focus has now shifted to the front line, with a growing need for first aid, tactical vests and boots.
“My brother is fighting in Kyiv and he’s just a civilian who decided to join the army,” Aslanova said, “and he’s fighting in tennis shoes.”
She says it’s impossible to ignore what’s going on but, seeing Porch Parties, knows there’s value when people come together.