Tell us a little about yourself.
We both work in the arts with a focus on helping our city be a great place — Shauta is interim executive director of iMOCA (http://www.indymoca.org) and Jim is executive director of Big Car (http://www.bigcar.org). We have long lived in Fountain Square but will be moving soon to the north Garfield Park area — just a block or so from the park. We’re excited about that! We have two kids who attend the IPS magnet school CFI and we’re very proud of them. They’re amazing and creative and brilliant and beautiful. We’re very into walking, biking, eating local food and supporting local businesses.
Why did you first support KIB?
We are big fans of beauty. And we see beauty both in things like trees and landscaping and in things that bring people together like parks and community gardens. We love how KIB provides both kinds of beauty for our city. We also love the vibe and the energy of KIB. It is very positive and determined at the same time. When KIB comes into a neighborhood, it shows people it really cares. And this is contagious.
Do you have a favorite KIB experience or memory?
We remember exiting the interstate once in on a spring day and seeing the hill covered in yellow tulips. It made us smile. It was the first we’d heard of KIB. We looked it up, and although we were just making ends meet then, we donated $50. Driving on and off the interstate is so boring. People want to rush through it to get home. But, when you get stuck somewhere or are just doing something boring like driving, it’s very important to your state of mind to have beauty and art appear in otherwise ugly on nondescript places.
What keeps you involved?
We love the staff and volunteers from KIB, their energy and their great attitudes. And we love the vision of the organization. It’s all about serving the city and its people making this place beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.
Do you have a favorite place in the city?
We love Garfield Park. That’s why we are moving there. There’s an outdoor theater, arts center, pool, sunken garden and cool pagoda right by where we play softball and baseball. And the trees are amazing — especially on the north side of the park. This is the most beautiful park in Indianapolis. We first went there when we were dating in 1999. It’s a very special place for us in terms of beauty and in terms of our relationship.
Do you have a favorite flower or tree?
We like tulip trees and buckeyes and cockscomb flowers. Jim loves the big sunflowers that grew this year at Big Car’s Service Center location.