Monday, February 8, 2016

Flipping through February!

Miller Spotlight has been selected by the Indiana Chapter of the American Planning Association to receive the Outstanding Public Outreach Award for 2016. Thank you everyone for supporting our online and face-to-face outreach efforts.

This has been a true grassroots collaboration. Cheers to an awesome kickoff to 2016! An awards ceremony will be held during the APA Indiana Spring Conference on Friday, February 19, 2016, at the Ball State University Alumni Center. We are a Legacy Foundation initiative. Thanks for being our convening organization Miller Beach Arts & Creative District!

2016 is the third step of our project, the “action phase.” We are working towards accomplishing our 29 community goals. 
This means we are reaching out to organizations, businesses and government entities to form partnerships to sustain our initiative and help us garner funding to execute our community goals. For a PDF of our community plan please email our community builder, Jessie Renslow, via

Miller Spotlight has committed to hosting a monthly Bingo Night at Park Shore Commons this year. Once a month our volunteers run a bingo night at PSC. We hosted our first Bingo Night in January. We had a great turn out and hope for an even larger one for February. 
It's a great way to have fun, promote new leadership among our community and keep folks updated on our community goals as they progress. 
Our next one will be on Tuesday 2/16/16. Volunteers will meet at the PSC community room at 4PM. Hope to see you there! 
Address: 860 N Wells St. Gary, Indiana, 46403

Our Miller Spotlight Property Improvements Action Committee Volunteers just received funding for a grant they wrote to board up 12 blighted properties in our community. 

They will work in teams of five to do these board ups in the spring. Our Property Improvements Action Committee volunteers are always looking for folks to join the group and help revitalize our community!
They also co-hosted two fun engagement workshops with the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District, Doors to Miller and Art from Excess. 83 community members of varying ages helped create The Doors to Miller. 
The doors were displayed for the month of January at the Marshall J. Gardner Center in the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District. All the doors sold! Thanks to everyone who supported this project. Funds from this event will go 50/50 to Miller Spotlight’s Property Improvements Action Committee and the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District. These donations will further programming and property improvements in our community. 
Art from Excess came back for its second year as a smashing success. Local artist and blight specialist, Chris Toepher, taught locals how to create beautiful sculptures from found objects. These 
Miller Spotlight’s Jobs and the Economy Action Group's online survey for Miller K Market closed on 1/30/16. Thank you to the 267 people who took the survey. 

We co-hosted this project with the MCC. The survey results will be given to our local grocer. Sam and his family run Miller K Market. They started doing some improvements 2015 and are looking for constructive feedback on which facility and product upgrades to pursue in 2016.
Cycle Miller Beach will host their next community Slow Roll on President’s Day (2/15/16). Many members of our Miller Spotlight Transportation and Infrastructure Action Group, as well as other Miller Spotlight volunteers, are part of the monthly Slow Rolls. They will rally at The Brasserie cafe. This will be another spontaneous group ride, so there is not a route yet. However, the hardiest of riders may expect to go west and cross Delaware River...err, Street to Washington Street (Genesis Center) and then victory back east to 18th Street Brewery (Gary). What is a President's Day Ride without crossing the Delaware???!!!
Twenty-two riders of varying levels partook in their last event. These rides showcase a need for infrastructure improvements, while also allow folks to enjoy our neighborhood’s natural wonders. This group is hoping to help Gary’s Miller Neighborhood become more universally designed.  
These same Miller Spotlight volunteers were also able to get 11 bike racks funded for our community via a Legacy Foundation Grant. We will host a workshop for those who want to help install them this spring. Our local playground company, Kidstuff Playsystems, is creating the ADA compatible racks at their shop on Miller Ave. 
Volunteers from the Miller Spotlight: Access Miller Beach (Transportation and Infrastructure Action Group), Barrier Free Beach, Miller Beach Arts & Creative District, the MBA and MCC discussed complete streets and universal design with some of Gary's SC2 Team
The Miller Spotlight Transportation and Infrastructure Action Group will attend many meetings with different government agencies this year to advocate for our community. If you’re interested, please email our community builder, Jessie Renslow, via  
This group of volunteers has worked hard to obtain funds for bike racks and wheelchair ramps.They will host several workshops starting in the spring. They piloted the portable ramps last week with some of our local businesses. 
Cycle Miller Beach is working with Miller Spotlight: Access Miller Beach (our transportation and infrastructure action group) and the Miller Beach Arts & Creative District sponsored, MILLER BEACH FARMERS MARKET to start a build a bike/ bike share program, summer 2016. Artists are needed to individualize bike share bicycles. Contact Ken Parr via for more info.

Please like us on Facebook and Follow us on Google+