Indy Toxic Heritage: Pollution, Place and Power is a collaborative project of Indiana University Indianapolis museum studies faculty, Indy Parks & Recreation, Kheprw Institute, and community-based scholars/activists Kaila Austin and Kay Hawthorne. Together, we are blending historical research, storytelling, and academic resources to create an exhibit and public conversations focusing on the city-wide history of environmental harm centering community experiences.
Our goals are to 1) deepen critical thinking about Indianapolis’ citywide toxic heritage, 2) amplify the voices of those working in the community for environmental justice, and 3) instigate conversations about how to move toward more sustainable and just futures.
August 2023-January 2024: Story gathering, community partner meetings, and historical research
- November 11, 2023, 10-12am – Cultural Compost, Spirit & Place Festival, Broad Ripple Family Center
- Future storytelling workshops – TBA
February-May, 2024: Exhibit and program development
June 2024 – Traveling exhibit display at select Indy Parks sites with public programs
Project funding has been generously supported by a 2023 Charles R. Bantz Community Fellowship and an Action Grant from Indiana Humanities.
Learn more about Indy Toxic Heritage. Video produced by TRIP (Translating Research into Practice) and McLucas Film Production.
Press release: IUPUI Announces the 2023 Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellowship and Scholar Awards Recipients, July 19, 2023.
Indianapolis Toxic Heritage StoryMap collection: Student and faculty-authored StoryMaps
- Environment and Race: Dry Cleaning and Environmental Justice in Indianapolis, Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, Owen Dwyer, Gabe Filippelli, David Kloster, May 26, 2021.
- Coal Ash and the Toxic Legacy of Fossil Capital: The Toxic Heritage of the Harding Street Generating Station, by Madeline Griem, December 4, 2022.
- Down in the Dumps: The story of Indianapolis waste management, by Emily McMath, Adrianna Hull, Brian Sams, & Sara Polk, November 23, 2022.
- Leadlining: Environmental Justice in Indianapolis, by John Terwilliger, Amanda Pavot, Shauna Keith, Hailey Barrow, December 5, 2022.
- Welcome to Sunshine Gardens, by Angela Campbell, Micaela Knox, and Katelynn Sinclair, November 27, 2022.
- Critical Incompetence: The 1994 Central Soya Plant Explosion, How one corporation’s neglect harmed an Indianapolis neighborhood, by Morgan Coffman, Nick Crone, Bryn Foreman, Aria Lyons, and Alanna Smollen, November 17, 2022.
- Rising From the Soot: Environmental Racism in Indianapolis, by Autumn Abbatiello, Abby Chamberlin, Parth Chaubey, Andrew Lohman, and Peyton Reicherts, November 28, 2022.