What is the 5×5? 

5×5 was launched in 2013 by Central Indiana Community Foundation, Christel DeHaan Family Foundation and the Efroymson Family Fund. Joined by the Lilly Endowment in 2015, these entities are providing support for the initiative designed to inspire, ignite and financially support creative and innovative ideas related to the arts. To make this happen, these Indianapolis funders have partnered with five host organizations (Indy ReadsIndiana Humanities, The Harrison Center for the Arts, Verge and Big Car) that helped co-design the platform to give anyone with a great idea the opportunity to compete for a $10,000 prize at four unique 5×5 events. As a 2015 Creative Partner, IndyHub will support and enhance the efforts of the 2015 Hosts by cataloging the four 2015 5×5 events through a series of blogs and videos and providing support to create updates from the eight previous winners in 2013 and 2014. Also, in 2015, 5×5 is collaborating with Indianapolis’ Plan 2020 to align the efforts around key community issues and to include and engage broader and deeper participation throughout all Marion County.

So, how does 5×5 work? 

  • Each of the host organizations has selected a 5×5 theme.
  • To have your idea considered for a particular theme you must complete a short application. In this application you will have to make a compelling case for how your idea aligns with the specified theme and what you will be able to accomplish with a $10,000 prize.
  • Each host partner will review all the ideas they received related to their theme and select five finalists.
  • Each host will hold a public event in which the five selected finalists will have five minutes each to pitch their idea using five PowerPoint slides to the event attendees and a panel of judges.
  • The best idea as determined by judging parameters at each unique event walks away with a $10,000 prize.

Tell me more…  When can I apply? When are the 5x5 events?

Read Indy
(literature / reading / written word)
Host: Indy Reads & Indiana Humanities
Application Due Date: April 10, 2015
5×5 Event Date: May 14, 2015

Look Indy: The city is your classroom
(place-based learning)
Host: The Harrison Center for the Arts
Application Due Date: June/July 2015
5×5 Event Date: August 7, 2015

Start Up Indy 
(music / music education / technology)
Host: Verge
Application Due Date: September 2015
5×5 Event Date: October 15, 2015

Dream Indy
(intergenerational presenter teams / placemaking / arts)
Host: Big Car
Application Due: October 25, 2015
5×5 Event Date: November 12, 2015

Who can submit ideas?

Great ideas come from lots of places. We’ll accept applications from any individual, private or non-profit organization as long as your idea will directly impact and serve Marion County.

I’ve got LOTS of great ideas for a particular theme. Can I submit multiple ideas?

We want you to submit your best idea. Only one idea per applicant will be accepted for each theme.

Can I apply to multiple themes?

Sure. As long as you only submit one idea for each theme then you’re good.

Does my idea have to be totally original or can it enhance/expand on something that already exists?  

We’re up for either.

I applied or was a finalist last year but I didn’t receive a $10,000 prize, can I apply again with my same idea or even something different I’ve been thinking about?  

Yes and yes.

I won a $10,000 prize in 2013 or 2014; can I submit a new idea or expand on my winning idea?

Our goal is to support and spark as many ideas as possible. We are open to past 5×5 winners applying but our preference is that you submit a new idea or concept.

Are you looking to only support ideas that cost only $10,000 or can I think bigger?

You can submit for an idea that can be fully implemented with $10,000 or something that is a spark of a larger vision. Either way, you’ll have to convince us you are the right one to implement the idea and that you can make it happen.

Any hints on how I can win the $10,000 cash prize?

  • Be sure to follow the specific instructions in the host partner application.
  • Don’t submit an application late.
  • Before you submit, do your homework. Be sure your idea isn’t duplicating something that is already out there.
  • Make your case. Be able to articulate what problem your idea is solving or what will be different or change as a result of your idea being implemented.

Other questions?

Contact us at info@5x5indy.org