Muncie has more to offer than just fast-food chains and department stores. The city has made its downtown and surrounding areas a great place to explore and try new things. While every city might have a Walmart and a Taco Bell, not every city has the following places that make Muncie what it is: home.
Soul food in Muncie may seem like a stretch when one has the appetite for it, but when you look into the options of a good ‘ole plate of comfort food, for some, Mama and Son, located in Downtown Muncie, is second to none.
The word Powwow is the English translation of Pau Wau, which means medicine man in Narrtick. It was originally a healing ceremony performed by the tribe's spiritual or religious leaders.
Wanting to share their love for boba tea and provide more authentic, personalized drinks to the Muncie community, husband and wife duo Maria and Jay R. Cabasag opened PositiviTea, a family-owned business, in May.
For some students, the sole reason to attend higher education is to socialize and party. For others, partying is an outlet to let go of the day-to-day stress that follows academia.
Bearing large-rimmed glasses, a red and white raglan t-shirt, a ball cap, and a monotone voice, Ray Toffer has become synonymous with the things that make Muncie "beautiful and luxurious," on social media. However, much like the “Mocal” version of Clark Kent, when the glasses come off Toffer becomes Muncie local Stevie Hahn.
The expectation of nail appointments consists of searching for parking in a crowded strip mall to wait for a nail tech’s availability. Once the appointment has begun, you’re sat between strangers for an hour before you leave and have to repeat the process in a couple of weeks. In contrast, pulling up to a home with a brick exterior in a serene residential area might offer a better chance of relaxation than traditional nail salons.
The nomination. Filling out the application. Writing an essay about defining Beneficence. All of it ends in a waiting game. The process for applying to be a top 100 student can be lengthy between recommendations from bosses or professors to having to wait to see if you made it.
It only took one class. Kinzee Davis and Victoria Stout started in drawing. Arielle Birk started in animation, and Kelsey Bobrowski wanted to pursue the same. But after getting a taste of metals, each of the students decided a focus in metals is what they needed to go after. “I saw metals and signed up for it not really thinking much of it, didn't really know what all it entailed, but I immediately fell in love with it …” Davis said. “Just everything about it. I felt like I was finally connecting to the material that I was working with.” As the end of the year approaches, future graduates in the metals concentration are wrapping up their time and preparing their theses and final galleries before stepping into the world of metalsmithing.
“Take a breath in. Take a breath out. Set an intention.” Fourth-year directing major Brynn Allison-Harty repeats the words to their cast at the start of rehearsal in between downward dog stretches and indie-pop music. They want the cast to think about the things they would like to improve during the rehearsal and think about the way they want the rehearsal to go. For Allison-Harty, the intention was simple: tell a story about the climate crisis with an emphasis on sustainability in production.
Renee Snyder and her family moved into a new house in May of 2022. While getting to know her neighbors, Snyder and her children quickly formed a bond with the older woman who lived next door. They soon discovered their neighbor was none other than Marlene “Bowz” Skeoch from the famous Muncie clown duo, Buttnz & Bowz. Marlene and her husband, Jack "Buttnz" Skeoch, brought joy to children all around Muncie with their colorful makeup and intricate balloon animals for nearly three decades.
Sand, clay, silt, peat, chalk and loam. All are different types of soil. According to ISRIC World Soil Information, soil filters rainwater to help prevent flooding, it helps plants grow and acts as a buffer against pollutants, which helps improve groundwater. Without soil, human life would be difficult. The science of soil has always been a passion of Ball State University Assistant Professor of Natural Resources, Jessique Haeft, growing up in California. Since 2014, she has been sharing that passion with her students, teaching them valuable ways to care for the environment.
Seth Pope and Blake Edwards have been friends since they were first-year students at Ball State University. Though Pope was an elementary education major and Edwards went for business administration, what brought them closer was their love of collecting vintage clothing. Edwards started selling clothes in 2016 while he was in high school, but Pope didn’t start until his second year of college, when he sold vintage clothes on Snapchat. Pope and Edwards met in 2018, and, once Pope started selling, he asked Edwards if he wanted to put together a pop-up shop. “When that pop-up shop did well, we were like, ‘Okay, this is something we could definitely continue doing,’” Pope said. “It just sort of built from there.” Pope and Edwards did not enjoy constantly hosting pop-up shops. They wanted something more stable where people can come in at any time. At the beginning of 2023, they decided to open a thrift shop called Well Made Vintage.
When David Hreno was in high school, he considered himself to be a shy person, finding it difficult to socialize and make friends with his peers, he said. When he started participating in theatre, however, he was immediately immersed in the novel experience and felt like part of the group. Now, as a third-year theatre education major, Hreno wears the hat of director for a group of middle schoolers at Northside Middle School, putting on his own shows. Alongside Megan Templeton, third-year theatre education major, the two are doing the same thing for the Northside students: building a community for them to thrive in.
Jerry Shaner walked up and down the Family Dollar aisles in search of the perfect gift. Reaching out to his daughter who teaches preschool for recommendations, a small, plush pink and white unicorn and a matching baby blanket caught his eye. It was only $10. But when Shaner went to check the 5-year-old, he realized the cost of providing a toy for a girl in the morgue costs much more. Shaner, who is the business manager, crematory director and funeral director in training at Parson Mortuary and Cremation Center, said funerals for children are always the hardest.
The unmistakable crunch and warm, buttery smell of the common movie snack has been a staple for thousands of years, and people have since found that it is also a great base for diverse flavor combinations. The Muncie Mall is home to a variety of shops, and beginning the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a new business opened bringing with it a strong but familiar aroma. Danielle’s Popcorn is attracting growing attention due to their variety of gourmet popcorn flavors. It has options for people with a sweet tooth as well as those whose palettes lean toward a more savory experience.
Eight women sat around a table at Bracken Library in August 2020 with the same thought in mind: the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot by police, wasn’t as respected as others, and there was no space on Ball State University’s campus to talk about what was happening in the Black community. That day, the eight founders: Star Gooch, Olamide Awoola, Makayla Atwater, Jordyn Owens, Kye Wilson, Trinity Mitchell, Jaylyn McDonald and Francesca Fontus, decided to make that space by creating the Black Women’s Voices organization, official in February 2021.
Music has been said to bring people of all ages together, and at Electric Crayon Records, it’s no different. The store opened March 11, and within their first week, co-owner Grant Butler said a 14-year-old and a 60-year-old had already come in looking for similar records. Butler, an addictions specialist at IU Health, has been into music since sharing a room with his punk-loving brother as a kid. His brother was a photographer and would take Butler with him to shows. “When you’re a kid, the first medium you’re given is a crayon, pencil and all that stuff, so it’s kind of like that idea to create, there is electricity to it,” Butler said. “It’s kind of like the idea that you’re drawn to create art, whether it’s music or actual, tangible art or literature, any of that kind of stuff. You’re drawn to it.”