Jeff Sparks joined the Sagamore Institute in May of 2014 as a community developer with a special interest in the near eastside neighborhoods of Twin Aire and Fountain Square.
As former President and CEO of Heartland Truly Moving Pictures, Jeff moved Heartland’s headquarters to the Murphy Building in Fountain Square. He also restored an old home there while helping plant Fountain Square Presbyterian Church.At the end of 2013, Jeff joined the SEND board and the housing committee—two months later becoming its chair. SEND had recently decided to focus on Twin Aire, a neighborhood just east of Fountain Square.
Though he didn’t know much about the neighborhood, as he got to know the people he realized it was the community he was meant to serve. “They have a strong desire to make their neighborhood stronger,” he explained. Many of the residents have lived there since the 1950’s and 60’s, a heyday brought on by the opening of the Twin Aire Shopping Center. When other shopping centers began opening up, Twin Aire lost a lot of business—and along with it, the vibrancy of the neighborhood.
In May of 2015, the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership awarded Southeast Neighborhood Development Corporation (SEND) $20,000 grant to work towards the development of the Twin Aire neighborhood. Not long after, Indianapolis received the exciting news that the near eastside, Twin Aire included, was one of eight communities designated by the Obama administration as a federal “Promise Zone,” a designation which eases the federal funding process for projects in this area of the city. Jeff is currently working with SEND, area developers, and Twin Aire residents to work together to make the neighborhood vibrant.
Funded in part by
A part of