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Welcome to Local Arrangement Working Group Week on AEA365 by Robert Hoke

Greetings, AEA365 readers! Liz DiLuzio here, Lead Curator of the blog. Registration for this year’s conference is officially open, and our local hosts at the Indiana Evaluation Association (IEA) are working with the AEA team to ensure our time in lovely Indianapolis is a fulfilling one. This week’s posts feature the voices of IEA’s members. Happy reading!

I am Robert Hoke, an Indianapolis- based independent consultant, an AEA Conference attendee since 2001, and a member of this year’s Local Arrangement Working Group.  The LAWG and the Indiana Evaluation Association look forward to welcoming all of you to Indianapolis in October. To kick off this week of posts, we acknowledge that the conference’s location is the ancestral territory of the Miami, Potawatomi, and Shawnee people.

This week’s posts will provide information about things to do in Indianapolis, a little history, and some insights into evaluation work in Indiana. 

Navigating Downtown Indianapolis

The central core of downtown Indianapolis is accurately called the Mile Square. The center is Monument Circle at the Market and Meridian Streets intersection, bordered by North, East, West, and South Streets.  The Host hotel is approximately a half mile from Monument Circle in the town center at the corner of West and Washington Streets.  Popular areas close to the convention include the Wholesale District, Circle Centre Mall, White River Park and the Canal. Other popular nightspot areas such as Mass Ave, Fountain Square, and the Bottleworks District are close but not necessarily within walking distance.

Hot Tip:

A temporary public park was recently established at the southwest quadrant of the Circle and will be open during the conference.

Below is a series of maps to help you plan your stay in Indianapolis: 

Getting Some Fresh Air and Exercise

The host hotel is one block from one of my favorite places to run/walk in Indy. The Downtown Canal Walk is a pedestrian/ biking promenade around the old Indiana Central Canal built in the 1800’s. You can access the Canal ½ block north of the host hotel on West Street or by a path between the Indiana State and Eiteljorg Museums. Completing the entire loop of the Canal is about three miles. For those of you who want a five-mile run, you add the White River Promenade on either side of the White River.

Connected to the Downtown Canal is the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which extends beyond the immediate area to other parts of downtown, including Indiana Ave., Mass Ave., and Fountain Square.   

If you would rather pedal than walk, the Pacer Bikeshare Program has many locations throughout downtown to rent bikes by the hour. 

Rad Resources

  • Visit Indy (https://www.visitindy.com/evaluation2023/) has been the LAWG go-to site for information to share with our fellow conference attendees. An excellent site for information on things to do, events, restaurants, and general tips for Indy visitors.
  • Downtown Indy (https://downtownindy.org/) compliments the Visit Indy site with more detailed information about downtown neighborhoods and events.
  • AEA’s Visitor’s Guide: (Coming Soon).  The Local Arrangements Working Group is preparing a tailored visitor guide for the AEA Conference.  Look for more details in pre-conference announcements. The LAWG will also be staffing an information table throughout the conference, so please plan to pick up the visitor’s guide or learn more about things to do in downtown Indy.

We’re looking forward to the Evaluation 2023 conference all this week with our colleagues in the Local Arrangements Working Group (LAWG). Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this AEA365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the AEA365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to contribute to AEA365? Review the contribution guidelines and send your draft post to AEA365@eval.org. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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