Year By Year

NPA-Year-By-Year1
2008-2009—Market Development

The idea of Nickel Plate Arts as a community connector is formed, and a state trails development grant is received. Hamilton County Tourism Inc. hired a contract coordinator to inventory and connect artists and communities, and marketing materials were developed. The inventory showed availability of artists, but not many ways to connect artists to residents and visitors.

NPA-Year-By-Year2
2010—Visioning

Fishers re-formed its arts council, and the town germinated an idea of an outdoor amphitheater. Noblesville looked at a neglected corner just off its downtown core with historic houses and dreamed of an urban arts campus, and the smaller communities to the north began exploring and identifying what resources were needed to expand their arts presence. The Fishers Arts Council began working in even greater earnest on public programming for the arts, and artists at the Hamilton County Artists Association Birdie Gallery began asking for local affordable studio space.

NPA-Year-By-Year4
2011-2012—Planning & Implementation

“Art in Town Hall” series in Fishers was created, transforming lower- and upper-level lobbies into an arts gallery, free and open to the public. The idea of a Fishers Amphitheater for the performing arts developed, and a Nickel Plate District was created. The City of Noblesville worked with Hamilton County Tourism Inc. to acquire three historic, but neglected lots on 8th Street. The partners received grants and $1.5 million was invested in that block. The Nickel Plate Arts Campus was born, serving as a “trailhead” for the initiative. Hamilton County Tourism hired a professional staff director, eight artists moved from other locations to serve as artists in residence, and Nickel Plate Arts moved to its second phase. The Fishers Amphitheater opened. Noblesville began a BSU Building Better Communities consultancy to help define a downtown arts district and an arts master plan.

NPA-Year-By-Year3
2013-2014—Rapid Expansion

Five years after the first idea of a Nickel Plate Arts Trail had been developed, a collaborative marketing program to promote the arts in the six communities was developed, an arts master plans in three communities was created and plans launched for a West Park Amphitheater in downtown Noblesville. Finally, thanks to an Indiana Office of Tourism Development grant, Nickel Plate Arts identity signs are now in place in each of the participating communities.

NPA-Year-By-Year5
2015-2016—Increased Collaboration

Two goals exist for the next phase of Nickel Plate Arts, Inc. These include increasing support for the arts through funding and human resources, and increasing presence by the arts in each community—whether it’s performing, visual or culinary arts. Leaders want to continue the cross-community dialogue and the connectivity that makes this unique 30-mile arts community so special.