A former 80,000-square-foot laundry facility in Muncie holds limitless possibilities. Boombox music fills the second floor while artists move tables to set up for First Thursday, a monthly event to draw people to explore art and culture downtown. A woodworker helps children build birdhouses while Steven Knipp colors hair in his salon a few doors down. Adjacent businesses invite people in for gift shopping or ax throwing.
When Nash Coy was ordered to rework the run-down Little Free Library in Heekin Park, he was inspired by Noname, a book group that believes “building community through political education is crucial for our liberation,” to create a community locker for the homeless population in Muncie.
When Dave Ring was a kid in the 1980s, he hated apples.
Susanna Benko, Ball State director of English education and associate professor of English, only had one answer when she was approached by representatives of the Teachers College asking her if she would want to help teachers in the Muncie Community Schools (MCS) district.
Since summer 2017, Twisted Twigs has sold crystals, handmade oils, dried herbs, incense and other homemade apothecary items to their customers. The metaphysical shop is nestled among residential houses on Main Street in Anderson, Indiana, and is owned and operated by two witches: Brytneigh Burgess and Kinsley Elsten.
When her step-grandson was placed in a children’s home in Richmond, Indiana, at 7 years old, Tracy Walters hired a lawyer and fought for him with no hesitation. She was given a kinship placement, when grandparents or other extended family members raise a child, and he lived with her for the next five years.
It doesn't take long for visitors to see the stories the southside of Muncie has when they notice the neighborhood's appearance, said Kory Gipson, co-owner of the Common Market.
Guitars strumming. Music blaring. Voices raised. People dancing. Before March 2020, the music scene on Ball State’s campus was as lively as ever. Then, everything changed. Once the pandemic hit, shows were immediately canceled, and the noise that once filled Ball State’s campus became a nearly silent hum. Now, slowly but surely, the scene is rebuilding, the sound is returning and music is back once again.
After getting home one day, Lezlie McCrory was greeted by both a neighborhood cat and a man on the street near her house in Muncie on 9th Street. McCrory told the man the cat had been greeting her for years, not necessarily wanting to be touched or let in the house.
The first time Women In Business Unlimited (WIBU) President and Open Door Health Services Director of Community Engagement Dorica Watson attended one of the organization’s luncheons 12 years ago, she was greeted by colorful hair and artificial fish heels. What she learned that day is that anything can mean business.
“Group one — you guys ready? One group at a time. OK, five, six, seven, eight, one, two, three, four.”
It starts with the base, a circular slab of wood surrounded by thinner strands, which travel the perimeter of the slab, around and around. Tall strands the size of popsicle sticks reach toward the sky, away from the circular motion of the other strands, almost making a fence. Where the end of the continuous circle meets the sky-reaching fence, the thinner circular strands begin to weave around the taller strands, enveloping them. This is basket weaving.
Casey Toomey’s grandma, Carolyn, baked cakes — “beautiful cakes with royal icing flowers” — to celebrate family and friends. She never sold them. It was her gift to those she loved.
“Do well by doing good.” Ben Franklin’s historic quote shapes the Muncie Map Company’s mission, seeking projects and jobs that benefit the Muncie community. Andy Shears, owner of the Muncie Map Company, is a Muncie native and a Ball State alumnus, and always wanted to give back to the community after leaving his former career as a professor.
Dark blue clouds cover the sun as the October wind picks up the coconut logs outside of 713 E. Willard St. The light sprinkle is a relief to the grime and sweat but can be bad news for the hog’s pen in place of a front yard.
Drive on South Hoyt Avenue, and you’ll see businesses decorated with colorful murals, adding a pop of color to the otherwise bare street. Several local businesses, such as Rosebud Coffee House and the Common Market, have set up shops in Muncie's southside to bring the community together.
Amanda Hughes remembers strolling down the streets of downtown Muncie when she was little, peeking through cracked windows, counting boarded-up buildings and watching her hometown wear away.
There he stood, overwhelmed by what he saw. The mile-and-a-half-long property that used to be Muncie’s Slick Track Raceway was now piled with problems.