Early Development (1820-1860) Indianapolis has been closely linked to politics since its selection as the seat of the Indiana government in the 1820s, but early in its history the city became a rail transportation hub for the region and a center for civic and cultural affairs. For decades, Indiana Ave served as an African-American cultural center, with a vibrant social, commercial, residential, spiritual, educational and economic community. Indiana Avenue was a center of the local jazz scene and, at the height of the jazz era in the 1920s and 1930s, “The Avenue featured more than 33 jazz clubs with performances by Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and more. Indiana Avenue remains one of Indy's cultural districts, stretching between the Central Canal and the White River, and encompasses many neighborhoods and the IUPUI, as well as the Madame CJ Walker Theater.
The community keeps its traditions and history alive by organizing festivals and performances and showcasing jazz-themed outdoor art. The Indianapolis Colts are known for being competitive in AFC South, but this part of Indianapolis culture is best known for the city's sporting activity. Indiana University — Purdue University in Indianapolis (196) includes the Herron School of Art (190) and an internationally renowned medical center. This legendary race is held every May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, located seven miles northwest of downtown Indianapolis.
Indianapolis is not only known for its panoramic views of the entire city, but also for its art collections at the famous Indianapolis Museum of Art. Indianapolis is also home to the national headquarters of the American and Indiana Legion Legion Mall, the Indiana War Memorial Sanctuary Room and the Eiteljorg Museum of American and Western Art. However, even if your trip to Indianapolis doesn't coincide with the Indy 500, stopping at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is still a must because of its vast racing history. Maybe it has a lot of nicknames because they're easier to say and spell than Indianapolis, which was actually made by an Indiana Supreme Court judge simply putting the name Indiana with the Greek word for city.
In 1919, Mary Rigg moved to Indianapolis to help juvenile offenders in the Federation of Churches and, simultaneously, earned her master's degree from the Indiana University School of Social Work.