About City State

City State Logo

City State is a platform for experimentation and provocation that explores the character and complexity of our city, Indianapolis.


City State is a program of the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute in partnership with Ignition Arts, iMOCA, People for Urban Progress, and PRINTtEXT. City State is generously supported by the Central Indiana Community Foundation, Eskenazi Health, IndyGo and Blue Indy.


City State seeks to inspire our collective imagination and develop strategies that move us towards a more just, more resilient, more creative, and more generous citizenry. Through public conversations and a curated multidisciplinary residency, City State brings people together to collaborate, provide new perspectives, and design for the future.


Multi-disciplinary in Approach
City State curates interaction between a full-spectrum of professions and practices in order to discover the widest field of possibilities. While we include visual, performing, and literary artists, we will also look to the multi-faceted fields of design, science, and the humanities for selection of participants.

Residency as Catalyst
City State embeds visiting, multidisciplinary residents with various community organizations throughout Indianapolis to generate new perspectives, catalyze collaborative projects, and learn from the past to design for the future. By participating in a global conversation, we hope to discover the things we have in common with other cities as well as uncover the things that make us unique.

Learning with Communities
City State engages various local organizations and communities to inspire and challenge our visiting residents in their own theories and practice. This multi-directional exchange reaches within and beyond Indianapolis.


Activating Diversity
City State seeks to include diverse voices in its own organizational structure. We understand that diversity in an organization is essential to developing creative, equitable, and effective outcomes for everyone.

Critical Thinking
City State hopes to build welcoming spaces for critical thought and analysis. Within these spaces, we aim to encourage and enable the kind of difficult conversations that lead to cooperative learning and positive outcomes.

Being Nimble
City State aspires to remain relevant by keeping its processes and structures nimble. This means spotting issues or opportunities early and embracing the possibility of rapid shifts in direction.