Zionsville Monthly-September 2021

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Scott Simpson


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We help you turn someday into right now. Nothing compares. E N C O R E S OT H E B YS R E A LT Y.C O M

Only Pemberton of Zionsville offers the unique quiet and privacy of a historic country estate and is still positioned just minutes from some of Zionsville’s best eateries, galleries, and activities. More than half of the homesites in Phase One of this community have sold and demand is high for the remaining lots. If you are seeking a home tucked away from the din of the day to day, contact us now. We’d be delighted to share with you the incredible opportunity available inside Pemberton of Zionsville. EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOM HOMES FROM $800,000

© 2021 Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. All rights reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty Logo are service marks licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated.

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Scott Simpson: On Life as an Advance Scout for the Indiana Pacers With this month’s cover we feature Scott Simpson, a Zionsville native, who was recently named as the advance scout for the Indiana Pacers. When we saw the press release announcing Simpson’s appointment, we were curious on many levels. First, and foremost, what does an advance scout do. After Simpson answered that question, we couldn’t help but ask what’s it like to be traveling constantly from one NBA town to another night after night by yourself while also spending most of your time invading the enemy camp. Thanks to Simpson for sharing his unusual professional life with us. Writer // Janelle Morrison • Cover photo // Laura Arick

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Tracy Wright Team: Experts in Real Estate With Decades of Experience

PUBLISHER / Neil Lucas neil@collectivepub.com / 317-460-0803

Business Spotlight: Spray-Net. A New Way to Renovate Your Home

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF / Neil Lucas neil@collectivepub.com / 317-460-0803

Civic Theatre Presents: ‘The Color Purple’

PUBLISHER / Lena Lucas lena@collectivepub.com / 317-501-0418

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Proudly Presents: The Paintings of N.A. Noel

DIRECTOR OF SALES / Lena Lucas lena@collectivepub.com / 317-501-0418

22 The Center Presents: An Evening with Clint Black 25 Return to Your Marks, Get Set … Go! 29 Who Was Mary Cross—the Humble Woman Behind

HEAD WRITER / Janelle Morrison janelle@collectivepub.com / 317-250-7298 SEPTEMBER WRITERS / Janelle Morrison

Marysville Road?

Business Spotlight is sponsored content.

Stay informed on news and events in Zionsville by following us on Twitter and Facebook ZIONSVILLEMONTHLYMAGAZINE




For advertisement sales call Lena Lucas 317-501-0418 or email lena@collectivepub.com COLLECTIVE PUBLISHING, LLC - PO BOX 6326 - FISHERS, IN 46037 ZIONSVILLE MONTHLY

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110 W WASHINGTON ST, INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46204 (317) 638-tony (8669)

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real estate industry was like. Her mother started several title companies in the area and had been in title insurance ever since Wright was a small child. Wright’s mother and maternal grandparents worked in and around real estate. And her grandfather started a local commercial brokerage division and was an auctioneer. So, it [real estate] was in her DNA, so to speak.


Tracy Wright Team: Experts in Real Estate With Decades of Experience Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick

The Tracy Wright Team are a founding member at Encore Sotheby’s International Realty with more than 40 years of combined real estate experience. Led by Zionsville resident Tracy Wright, the team has earned numerous awards and is consistently recognized as one of the top producers in the industry. Tracy Wright Team is also consistently ranked in the top 1% of Realtors in MIBOR REALTOR Association.


right shared in her own words what her journey to becoming one of the top real estate producers has been like and, now that she and her team have a local office on Main Street in downtown Zionsville, she discussed how they are maximizing their office space. Additionally, Wright pointed out the qualities that make her and her team distinguishable from other firms and real estate teams.

THE JOURNEY TO BECOMING A REAL ESTATE POWERHOUSE TEAM Wright moved to Zionsville in 1989 with her mother, Becky Newman, and her stepfather Dr. Dan Newman. Wright graduated from Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School and from Indiana University with a degree in early childhood.

“Right out of college, I student taught overseas for a short time,and then I came home and took a teaching job here in Indy,” Wright said. “I taught for six years, and then I got married to my husband, Tom. And when we had our daughter and son, I felt like I wanted to stay home and be as hands on as I could for those first few years.” While her husband Tom was gaining extensive experience with sales and working with vendors representing a litany of trades, Wright was building upon her skillsets while working in independent sales from home and raising their young children. Upon honing her natural sales abilities during that time period, it wasn’t a huge leap for Wright when she decided to become a real estate agent. Having grown up around the industry, Wright had a firm grasp of what being in the


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“I love helping people and found that there are lots of different needs that people have—and are all at different stages of life,” Wright shared. “There may be a job change or a death in the family, a financial crisis, divorce or [they] are just downsizing. There are all different reasons that cause someone to move—some more positive than others—but I have always felt that if there’s an opportunity to chip in and help, to be resourceful and to provide somebody with a peaceful journey through whatever it is they’re going through, it’s a great feeling, and I enjoy doing it.” Wright and her team members that include her husband Tom, mother Becky [Newman] and Diane Muench, have developed relationships with their clients and believe they are not above helping their clients with things that might typically go above and beyond the expected duties of a real estate agent. “I’m pretty hands on,” Wright expressed. “I may be helping [clients] with touching up paint, moving furniture, packing boxes or whatever needs to be done to help the sale go smoothly, and that helps my clients get to the other side and through their closing.” Wright continued, “I have had opportunities that have given me a lot of experiential knowledge and that isn’t necessarily something you learn in real estate school. And I love people and the warmth of being around people—making them feel good, putting a smile on their face and meeting all their needs. It’s something that I’m really good at.”

THE TRACY WRIGHT TEAM DIFFERENCE When asked what some of the aspects that differentiate Encore Sotheby’s from other real estate brokers are, Wright replied, “When I started out [with Encore Sotheby’s], there wasn’t any other Sothe-


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said I would do, then no real estate agents would want to show the properties that I have listed. So, I’ve always prided myself on trying to maintain a positive relationship with other agents too.”

NOW OPEN ON MAIN STREET As long as Wright can remember, she has wanted an office on Main Street. She would walk up and down along the historic bricks and look for ideal and available locations to open an Encore Sotheby’s International Real Estate office in Zionsville. “We found our spot, and the lady who owns it was a past client of mine,” Wright said. “There was quite a bit of remodeling that had to be done because we were coming in on the tail end of a fire that had occurred in the building a few years ago. And when we finally moved in, COVID-19 hit. So, we’ve yet to have a ribbon-cutting or official grand opening.” The fact that Wright and her team haven’t held an official “We’re open for business” open house has not impeded on their goals to welcome the community and fellow businesses into their space, nor has

it hindered Wright’s initiatives to support her neighboring local businesses. “Once a month, we produce a newsletter and select a merchant to showcase,” Wright explained. “We’re all working together in a sense and want to keep the dynamic of Zionsville alive and well. We love being a part of Street Dance or other events that bring people to Main Street. We are here [in our space] with the doors open and lights on so people can come in and put a bottle of wine in the fridge if they want. It’s a fun place to sit and chat with friends and past/ current clients. This space serves as a place to legitimize our investments in the community, our business and ourselves.” If you are considering selling and/or buying a home in the immediate or near future, put your trust into the local experts and contact the Tracy Wright Team at Encore Sotheby’s International Real Estate in Zionsville. Don’t wait—contact them today! Contact the Tracy Wright Team at (317) 281-0347, tracy.wright@encoresir.com or tracywright.net, or visit their office located at 76 South Main Street, Zionsville, IN 46077.

Service that’s as elevated as your standards Nothing compares. E N C O R E S OT H E B YS R E A LT Y.C O M

© 2021 Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC. All rights reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty Logo are service marks licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated.

by’s agents in Zionsville. I moved over to the Sotheby’s team and developed my team. My mom and husband joined me as well. It gave me an opportunity to make a footprint in the community and gave me an opportunity to learn a lot of different aspects of the real estate business from the different players that are involved. We are in the top 20 real estate teams.” Wright emphasized the importance of being able to build relationships with not only the clients but with her peers in the industry as well. “One of the things that I have always felt is really important about the success of being a Realtor, or anything that we do, is acknowledging that you can’t get there by yourself,” Wright stated. “It is just as important to build relationships among your peers in this business as it is with clients. So, if you’re kind, and you follow up, collaborate and problem solve, people will enjoy doing business with you. You start to develop relationships from one company to another and from one town to the next.” Wright added, “I’ve always said that if I were mean and nasty and didn’t do what I

Tracy Wright Team | 317.218.0347 • tracywright.net •tracy.wright@encoresir.com ZIONSVILLE MONTHLY

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Cornerstone Living Live near Downtown Zionsville and keep your independence After enjoying a meal with friends in our restaurant, head on down the hall to your haircut appointment. Then walk around the corner to work out in the gym or watch a favorite movie in our indoor theater. Cornerstone Suites offer everything you need for worryfree living under one roof. You’ll find companionship, scheduled transportation for your adventures and 24/7 on-site staff just in case you need us.

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World Class Cabaret at Carmel City Center

October 1

ROGER SCHMELZER Roger Schmelzer’s upbeat take on America’s Songbook has been described as “a journey back to Old World New York Cabaret.” Since making a critically acclaimed NYC solo debut in 2017, Roger appeared at Carnegie Hall in a tribute to Jerome Kern produced by the Mabel Mercer Foundation.

October 2

JOSH KAUFMAN Welcome back to Indiana’s own, Josh Kaufman! Enjoy a night of songs from his album, NDOXO (pronounced endo-exo) along with a handful stories and covers in a stripped-down acoustic setting.

October 8 & 9


Following the Broadway run of Be More Chill and the release of Two-Player Game as a live album, we host George Salazar and Joe Iconis. Salazar, the Drama Desk-nominated actor known for Be More Chill, Lightning Thief, Godspell, and tick tick BOOM, joins with Iconis, the Larson Award-winning musical theatre writer known for Be More Chill, Broadway Bounty Hunter, Love In Hate Nation, The Black Suits, and his songs for “Smash”… for an intimate concert you’ll never forget! Expect a rock-and-roll evening of hilarious characters, soaring vocals, and the unstoppable energy of two artists on the rise on stage all by themselves.

October 7


Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael presents “All The Way” A Frank Sinatra Tribute with the one and only Don Farrell. Join us spectacular performance on the Feinstein’s stage celebrating the legend, Frank Sinatra.

October 15


With the energy of a teenager, the wisdom of a sage, and the memory of a superhero, Marilu Henner, star of “Taxi,” “Evening Shade,” and Gettin’ the Band Back Together, takes you on a journey through her decades long career filled with Broadway shows, movies, two hit sitcoms, and three husbands! Hilarious and heartfelt, this is an evening you won’t forget!

October 22


October 23

1st violinist and vocalist of the internationally acclaimed group Well Strung, Bagnell makes his solo Carmel debut with this exciting new show. Through stories and song, the evening celebrates all things music from classical to standards and from pop to Broadway, and of course with a good dose of fiddle thrown in.


Join us for a night of Smooth Jazz and R&B sounds featuring Indy’s own Rob Dixon and Kenny Phelps as they return to Feinstein’s!

October 29 October 30


Sharon McNight is a formidable singer, no holds-barred comedy presence, and an unstoppable entertainer. To underscore those performance attributes is her Tony Nomination, the prestigious Theater World Award, two Lifetime Achievement Awards. Ms. McNight strips away all vestiges of traditional Halloween costumes as she conjures her multiple personalities and talents in the form of witches, Divas, movie stars and other delectable characters from her extensive list of audience favorites.

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“Songs From The Heart” featuring music by everyone from George Gershwin and Irving Berlin to Billy Joel and Joni Mitchell stars Corinna Sowers Adler who is a well-known professional cabaret singer from NYC. Corrine, having performed her solo shows in many venues including The Triad, Feinsteins/54 Below and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s famed Appel Room.

1 Carmichael Square, Carmel, IN For tickets go to feinsteinshc.com or scan QR

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If you’re looking for a cost-effective option to boost your home’s value, there’s a new, innovative and eco-friendly trend in home renovations, thanks to Spray-Net.


efinishing your kitchen cabinets is one of the most cost-effective ways to update and boost your home’s value. After all, it’s been said that “kitchens sell homes.” Spray-Net offers you a way to easily transform the look of your kitchen without having to spend a ton of money on replacing your cabinets or live through a disruptive remodel. Whether you want cabinets

in the classic color of Chantilly Lace or a trendy choice like Hale Navy, or maybe you want to paint your island one color and other cabinets another color, Spray-Net can make your dream come true. The best part is the price will blow you away! In addition to kitchen cabinets, Spray-Net can refinish the exterior surfaces of your home with custom coatings and a patented weather-ad-

overall property value. Unlike some renovations that don’t pay off, Spray-Net’s renovation solution allows property owners to literally see a return on their investment.

SPRAY- NET OFFERS A 15-YEAR NO-PEEL WARRANTY! That’s almost unheard of in the painting and coating industry. Spray-Net can offer this warranty because they manufacture their own specially formulated paint for each and every unique surface they paint. For example, to provide you with superior durability and a flawless factory finish, Spray-Net formulated a poly-


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urethane paint for kitchen and bathroom cabinets that combines the best of all worlds: • the adhesion of a soft alkyd • the flexibility of urethane • the hardness of a polyurethane This formula makes the Spray-Net coating flexible enough to avoid cracking, hard enough to avoid chipping, smooth enough to wash easily and tough enough to block stains. Their paints come in a low-toxicity, water-based formulation that conforms to Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association standards. The result is a seamless factory-quality finish that will have your friends asking you where you bought your brand-new cabinets. With an exterior revamp, your neighbors will drive by and won’t believe it’s the same home, it will look and feel brand-new, not painted! Spray-Net’s cabinet and exterior painting process



Factory Finish Done in as little as a day Affordable solution No-peel warranty Sustainable

is so unique that it’s been featured on HGTV and is a US patent holder. What’s more, Spray-Net’s 15-year warranty on peeling, is transferable, a value-added feature for anyone looking to sell their home. You can head to www. spray-net.com to check out the range of colors offered and try out the HOME VISUALIZER to imagine what your home would look like updated with Spray-Net. Whether you’re looking to boost your home’s value, dra-

matically increase the curb appeal or give an out-of-date kitchen a refresh, this new, innovative and eco-friendly trend in home renovations is available to you! Like your kitchen or exterior but are not in love with it any-

more? Go for it. Rethink Renovation with Spray-Net’s custom coatings and application. “We’re excited about helping homeowners throughout the entire Indianapolis area find a high-quality and cost-effective solution to transform and update their homes,” says Rodney Kuhl, local Spray-Net North Indy franchise owner. “While we offer a unique solution, customer service is our true passion. The smiles on our customers’ faces after they see their home for the first time is what drives and inspires us.” Rodney Kuhl is a local entrepreneur and has partnered with Spray-Net to open the first location in the Indianapolis area.

Call 1-317-671-7525! or visit www.spray-net.com to schedule a free at-home consultation to transform your home!!


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In t ro d u c in g

GAINBRIDGE FIELDHOUSE Indy’s F ield h o u s e o f t h e F u t u re Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick and Courtesy of Gainbridge Fieldhouse

With the start of the Indiana Pacers 2021–22 season right around the corner, the executive team and staff at Bankers Life Fieldhouse have been wrapping up an extensive $360 million “Fieldhouse of the Future” renovation project, and even more, they have recently announced the new name of Indy’s beloved fieldhouse. We are pleased to help announce the new name—Gainbridge Fieldhouse.


e spoke with Pacers Sports & Entertainment President/COO and Carmel resident Rick Fuson and EVP of Corporate Communications, Community Engagement and Facilities Operations Mel Raines about the renovation project and what ticketholders and guests of the fieldhouse can look forward to when they attend games, concerts and other specialty community events.

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF INDIANAPOLIS’ VISIONARIES The fieldhouse is already consistently and independently listed as one of the very best places to watch a basketball

game in the NBA—the three that are typically called out are Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center and what will be known going forward as Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Fuson, Raines and their team are building upon the legacies of previous leaders and visionaries that made the state’s capital city the sports capital of the world. Their goal is to create experiences within the experience, something new facilities have been focused on and is in line with what fans have come to expect. “We’ve had this whole learning process, and that’s what Indianapolis has been built on,” Fuson said. “People learning and taking it forward. I think for the last

50 years or more, we’ve been dedicated to that and to wanting to make it better. Regardless of what generation you’re in, there is multigenerational love for downtown Indianapolis, and we continue to learn what people want and make changes so that more and more people of all generations will come downtown.” Fuson went on to explain why the organization decided to renovate rather than implode the existing structure and build from scratch. “I’ve said it for years—we built this building with great bones so we didn’t have to tear it down like so many other cities do or like we did Market Square Arena or the RCA Dome,” Fuson said. “In


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Current construction

light of that, it’s going to be like a new building to those coming back this fall. In many cases, you won’t recognize it from when you were here at the last game in April, when we were a fully functioning building, just before we closed soon after that [due to pandemic-related shutdowns]. It will be interesting to see people’s reactions.” Raines added, “You can’t come within three blocks of the fieldhouse and not know that we’re undergoing a significant renovation. This phase is focused on starting the plaza to the north. We took down the parking garage and are actively building the infrastructure part of that plaza, and that will continue for a full 18 months to be completed in fall of 2022.”

Game night fall 2022

ENHANCING THE GUEST EXPERIENCES In addition to a multitude of new spaces, revamped spaces and new amenities designed to enhance the guest/fan experiences, Fuson and his team have created a space for everybody—in and out of the fieldhouse. “There really isn’t an area in the building that we’re not significantly updating,” Raines said. “From our restrooms to concessions—we’ve added an additional nursing mothers’ room and a sensory room for guests who might need to take a break from the events and get away from the lights and sounds. That’s a best practice in the industry now.” It’s important to note that the fieldhouse has gone completely cashless, and all tickets are now digital/mobile. Additionally, the fieldhouse has a new Grab N Go feature—in two locations— that will allow guests to go through and grab their own food, beverages and merchandise, which speeds up transactions and makes for a touchless environment. This was something that took legislative change last session because of the alcohol sales component. Fuson added, “When it’s finished, it’s going to be dramatically different. The former box office has been redesigned to be more like a concierge area rather than a hard brick box office because our ticketing is electronic now. There are a lot of

Winter evening with skating rink during the holidays


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great changes that will help increase the overall experience for everybody.” When asked if parking was part of the overall renovation project, Raines replied, “Parking is always something that’s on our minds. The garage has been updated during COVID-19, over the last 15 months. We’re doubling the width of the [pedestrian] bridge so that we will be able to screen—from a security standpoint—

twice as many people that will come through here and will just be another fan enhancement once it’s completed.” Raines also mentioned that they have incorporated new windows throughout the Main Concourse to utilize much more natural light and make it a much more open building. There is also more “flex-seating” options, and the club levels and suites have been completely over-

hauled. On the Krieg DeVault level, new “flex suites” have been created—the first in our market—which allow guests to use these suites as single suites or open up into 50-person party suites. The new PointsBet Hardwood Club and ’67 Club and updated CareSource Courtside Club offer unique experiences within the overall game experience. The clubs are a mix of traditional and modern and incorporate design elements reflective of Indiana’s rich basketball tradition. The PointsBet and Hardwood Clubs are brand new, built out during this renovation. The CareSource Courtside Club was updated and renovated and now is much more exclusive with smaller capacity. There are also 10 new Key Bank Level suites and two new loge terraces have been added, while all the suites on the Key Bank level have been modernized and updated. There is also a brand-new bar area—the Yuengling Flight Deck, at the south end of the building that also looks into the bowl.

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PROVIDING SPACES TO BEGIN NEW TRADITIONS In addition to all the new amenities within the fieldhouse, Fuson and Raines were excited to share what’s being built OUTSIDE of the fieldhouse. The parking garage on Maryland was torn down, just north of the building, to make space for a new outdoor plaza that will be completed by fall of 2022. The plaza will have a basketball court in the summer months and an ice-skating rink—larger than the one at Rockefeller Center—in the winter. For those of us who remember skating around the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, this will be the start of many whimsical winter and holiday traditions. You won’t need to go to Rockefeller or anywhere else to enjoy hot cocoa and ice skating with family and friends! There will also be lots of green spaces, which will provide opportunities for public art, programs, community gatherings, basketball game viewing parties and much more. “I think it’s going to be an important gathering space downtown,” Fuson stated. “We have the opportunity for people to come and enjoy downtown, sitting right by the arena, and to have community events, outdoor basketball games, whatever the case may be, and not have to close the street. I think it’s going to be the beginning of many new traditions here. When you tie in Georgia Street, the fact that the jail site will be developed and the fact that we have this whole corridor running from Lucas Oil Stadium, the convention center, Georgia Street and to Gainbridge Fieldhouse, we will have a really great thing going here in downtown Indianapolis. I think it is a great start to bringing people back down to enjoy [the amenities] year-round.”

Some elements of Phase 1, which began in April 2020 and wrapped up in December

• Center-Hung Scoreboard: Welcoming fans back to the fieldhouse is the new LED center-hung scoreboard, equipped with more than 3,350 square feet of video area, two LED rings and underbelly screens. A partnership with experience design company ANC, the scoreboard is part of a digital enhancement to Bankers Life Fieldhouse that also includes more than 600 square feet of 1.5 mm fine-pitch LED in the DataBank Courtside and PointsBet Hardwood Clubs. • Fever Locker Room: A new locker room for the Indiana Fever is among the best in the WNBA and includes amenities like a film room, larger weight room and hydrotherapy tubs. • Renovated Visitor Locker Rooms: The visitor locker rooms, also used for teams and groups using the fieldhouse for other events throughout the year, has been updated with all new fixtures, paint and carpeting. • Salesforce Court: The Salesforce court, which was 21 years old, boasts a brand-new playing surface and was raised to street level to not only create necessary operational space on the event level but make access to the court for community and youth events easier. • New Kitchen: This larger kitchen on the event level includes expanded capacity, dedicated dock and storage areas and state-of-the-art equipment. Phase 2 is primarily focused on the Main Concourse and the Krieg DeVault Level, which is where most fans will have the majority of their experiences.

• All the concessions will be renovated and updated, and new food offerings will be rolled out at the end of October. • Gainbridge Fieldhouse will also unveil a celebrity chef program to give local chefs the chance to show off their product at games and events. • The Lexus Loft space on Krieg DeVault level has been expanded and renovated. • The display cases at Sections 1 and 20, which is at the top of the grand staircase in the Entry Pavilion, is being opened up into two new bar areas that will look into the bowl. • Two major components of Phase 2 are the fact that, from basically anywhere around the Main Concourse and Krieg DeVault level, there are places to stop and look into the bowl.

ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL In the spirit of supporting local and being good stewards of the community, Fuson and Raines emphasized the importance of not only supporting the fieldhouse and all its sporting and entertainment events, but they also spoke on the importance of Hoosiers supporting their capital city and its hotels, restaurants and businesses. “I think a rising tide lifts all boats,” Raines stated. “People come to Indianapolis to see and experience a lot of different things. The more infrastructure that we have to support that in terms of having the best hotels, restaurants and venues, the more we are all helping each other.” Fuson added, “We have to make sure that people feel welcome and comfortable. There’s going to be some great things happening down here—especially once the plaza is completed. This is the people’s building, it’s not just Indianapolis’ building. It’s a building to celebrate in and to make memories in. We can all look forward to more memories being made with family members and friends. And I think we need more of that. These gatherings that we do around sports and entertainment can help bring our psyche back. So, I welcome people to come back down here and celebrate getting back to life.”

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trepidation because we spent so much of our time in those 18 months planning things we had to pivot, change or cancel.

Civic Theatre Presents:

‘The Color Purple’ Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick

This musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (and the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film) spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of this epic story.


ith a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues, “The Color Purple” is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life. It premiered at the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta, Georgia, and opened in November 2005 on Broadway, where it was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score. The London offWest End production moved to Broadway in 2015, winning the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Purchase your tickets at thecenterpresents.org. I sat down with Civic Theatre’s Executive Artistic Director Michael Lasley to discuss the upcoming production of “The Color Purple.” We dove deep into

his thoughts about the return to live shows and his motives for bringing this dramatically brilliant production to Civic’s audiences. Janelle Morrison: When we last spoke [in 2020], the stage light was on but the theater was empty and there was an eerie vibe throughout the Center for the Performing Arts campus. Now that we’re back here—in person—and rehearsals are underway, how is that impacting the company and the staff’s mental state? Michael Lasley: I think it’s slowing improving. It’s been kind of hard to get underneath the weight of the last 18 months. [COVID-19] is still this looming specter because we don’t know what tomorrow, next week or the next six months will bring to us. There is this

JM: You have spoken about silver linings and moving forward. What are your thoughts on moving Civic forward rather than trying to take it back to its prepandemic existence? Lasley: I do think that we’re all still sort of struggling and want to get back to where we were. I’m not sure that’s ever going to happen. Not that things won’t restore and we won’t be back in a great place, I just think that maybe it’s a mistake to think we’re going to go back when we need to go forward and find what works after this. Not to try to erase it like it never happened. I also think we all appreciate what we’re doing even more, and I think we’re beginning to heal. On the backside of this, maybe this also exposes things on a new level. I don’t think the division in this country is new. I think it was hidden for a long time and now there is a light being shown on it in a stark way. JM: As the executive artistic director, how do you perceive your role in this renaissance of the arts and in bringing equity and inclusion into community theater? Lasley: I don’t look at what I do as trying to change people’s lives, but it provides an opportunity for it. What we do provides an opportunity for the audience to look in a mirror and see someone else’s experiences. The Civic has never been a company that does a lot of challenging material. It has this perceived and cultivated image of a good, wholesome family place, but if people want something new and interesting and want fresh material on the stage, then they will have to learn to deal with some profanity, homosexuality, diversity and inclusion that may not be in their comfort zone. It doesn’t cost you anything to be open to someone else’s way of life or thinking, and that goes both ways. Otherwise, we are not really doing our jobs and are not really using the arts to our best advantage.


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JM: Prior to this cast of “The Color Purple,” when was the last time Civic ever featured an all-black cast in one of its productions? Lasley: The first time I saw a full-length show at the Civic, it was an all-black version of “Guys and Dolls.” I thought it was the best thing I’d seen in my whole life. It was just amazing. I think I was around 17 years old. We’ve done some predominantly black-casted shows, but that show in 1988 was the last time Civic did a show with a 100% black cast until now. This is a big deal to me. I’ve been working hard towards getting a more

diverse look to our casts since our first production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” It’s taken over 20 years for me to get to this point in terms of my tenure and having an artistic voice here. The struggle has been getting people to come and audition and want to be in the show. JM: Why has that been such a challenge? Lasley: If they don’t see themselves on stage, then they’re never going to audition and they’re never going to come back to see the next show. We need to have representation in every show so that people begin to see that this is a place they can come and see their experiences represented on stage and be a part of it if they choose. We’re not

just telling some people’s stories—we’re telling everybody’s stories. JM: What can the audiences expect to see and experience with Civic’s presentation of “The Color Purple”? Lasley: This is one of the biggest leaps we have taken in a long time. It is a Pulitzer-winning novel, and the movie is lovely. This production is more brutal than the movie. In a lot of ways, people are going to see representations of black people that they have not seen— certainly not on this stage. It was not a pretty time period to be a person of color, but it’s an honest depiction of that time. We’re trying to tell one woman’s story—Celie—who was so abused and robbed of her own humanity and how she finds the deity within herself. It is a passion project and we [the Civic] are making progress. And having as much diversity as possible is going to be the goal going forward.

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T h e C h i l d r e n ’ s M u s e u m o f I n d i a n a p o l i s P r o u d l y P r e s e n t s :

The Paintings of N.A. Noel Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of the Kosene Family

The Indiana art community lost a world-renowned and iconic artist last year when Zionsville resident Nancy Noel succumbed to her illness and passed away on Aug. 16, 2020. Those who are familiar with her art, along with those who have never been exposed to her whimsical and emotion-evoking work, will have a chance to pay tribute to her life and several pieces from her collections at a brand-new exhibition coming to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: The Paintings of N.A. Noel. The exhibition officially opens on Nov. 13, 2021, and runs through January 2022. EXPERIENCING THE MAGIC THAT NOEL CREATED


spoke with Monica Humphrey, director of exhibits at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and one of Noel’s sons, Alex Kosene, about the genesis of this exhibition and what families and children will experience once the exhibition officially

opens to the public. The exhibition, The Paintings of N.A. Noel, will consist of a minimum of 40 original works of Noel’s that were thoughtfully curated by Kosene and the museum staff. “I thought the museum would be the appropriate place to celebrate my mother, Nancy, because of her long history with

The Children’s Museum and also because of her focus on children throughout her life and career,” Kosene shared. “I thought it would be exciting for families and children to rediscover Nancy or newly discover Nancy.” Kosene explained in more detail why he and his brother Michael Kosene thought


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The Children’s Museum would be better suited to exhibit Noel’s art in a style that other museums could not. “My mother painted children and animals; she never painted adults,” Kosene said. “I felt like The Children’s Museum would celebrate her and the messages of innocence that you experience in her art as children often do. Other museums would focus on her work from an intellectual or analytical perspective, and my mother was all about the emotion in her work. The Children’s Museum knows how to present her story in a way that is not only appropriate but will be exciting and interactive for kids, and I know that is what my mother would really want.”

AN EMOTIONAL AND INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION The Kosenes would like to thank the Herb Simon Foundation and members of the Simon family for their support of this exhibition and of Noel’s work over the decades.

Kosene added, “There’s going to be a lot of original paintings that represent Nancy’s history, and the museum is creating a narrative that presents both her career, her different styles and her process. There will be programming that examines the use of color and her process so that kids have a little better understanding about the ‘artistic’ process and then they will get to participate in the ‘process’ themselves with tools that will be part of the exhibit.” When asked how difficult it was to choose the pieces that will be displayed in this exhibition, Kosene replied, “I wanted to show my mother’s versatility and track her evolution as an artist. I went back chronologically and discovered things that I didn’t even know about. For instance, I discovered her early oil or mixed media paintings—some of which were once in the Hoosier Salon [Patrons Association]. I never knew that she competed in the Hoosier Salon.” Kosene continued, “Then we selected

some iconic pieces like ‘Cat on a Quilt’ and ‘Sarah,’ which is her all-time bestselling piece for reproductions. It was a tough process because we have hundreds and hundreds of images to choose from.”

A VIEW INSIDE THE NOEL’S MOST SACRED SPACE The exhibition will also feature a small re-creation of Noel’s studio featuring some of her art tools and effects from her personal space in which she created beauty and whimsy on canvas. “There’s going to be some pieces from her studio and maybe some of the canvases that were works-in-progress hanging in her studio,” Kosene shared. “It will be kind of like going inside of her head. Her studio was a sacred space for sure, and hopefully, it will bring a little bit of that to the museum experience.” Additionally, Humphrey shared that there will be three areas of engagement in this exhibition, all of which apply to the museum’s educational framework and


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family-learning initiatives. “Everything we do is to create conversations and prompt kids and adults to collaborate and explore together,” Humphrey stated. “There will be three different types of self-guided activities that we’ve put together that visitors can come and participate in. The programming that we’ve

developed for this exhibition allows us to dive into Nancy’s story a little more and talk about the nuances of creating art in different ways. This exhibit will be part of our general admission, which is really important to us. We want to make sure that everything we have to offer is available for everyone who comes to the museum.”

When asked if Kosene and his brother have any other immediate plans for exhibiting their mother’s work, Kosene said, “My brother, Michael, and I are committed to upholding her legacy and to bring her art to more people. We are also committed to giving her the place she deserves in Indiana’s art history. We are re-envisioning the N.A. Noel brand and are figuring out what we want to do, what will be best for her legacy and are exploring different things. And yes, we are planning more exhibitions and still offering high-quality reproductions, but we really want to share her originals with people, and this exhibition at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the first opportunity to do that, so we are thrilled to see how it goes.” For more information on this extraordinary upcoming exhibition, visit childrensmuseum.org.

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CLINT BLACK THE PALLADIUM // SUNDAY, OCT 24, 7PM ET Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography //Courtesy of The Center for the Performing Arts


Janelle Morrison: We are looking forward to your show here in Carmel! How great is it to be back on tour?

Clint Black: I say it every night on stage, “What is this strange thing of people all together like this?” It’s fantastic! You tend to count your blessings when you regain them. It’s been great—we were a little rusty at first, but we got back to our norm pretty quickly. JM: Are you noticing anything different with the audiences as in a different kind of energy or vibe now that we’re allowed to gather again?

Black: The first couple of months [on tour] it was really striking. I’d say we’re all kind of settling in now. There were of couple of places recently where we were their first show back and it was noticeable how happy people are. I’ve had friends come out for shows and they’ve commented on how great it is to be out hearing live music again.

Black’s 1989 album Killin’ Time is one of the great debuts in country history, selling over 3 million copies and spawning five No. 1 singles, including the title track, “A Better Man,” “Nobody’s Home” and “Walkin’ Away.” Last year, the Texas native released his 23rd album, the self-produced Out of Sane, featuring nearly all original songs. When he is not touring and working in his studio, Black is hosting and co-producing a new series, Talking in Circles with Clint Black, which premiered on Circle Network on Saturday, May 22. Be sure to purchase your tickets before they sell out at thecenterpresents.org.

JM: Almost immediately after this tour, you will be going on tour with your wife of 30 years, Lisa Hartman Black for the Mostly Hits and The Mrs. Tour. Is this the first time you will have toured together?

Black: Yes, it is and we’re really excited. We have a special show planned and our daughter [Lily] is joining us. She’s pursuing a music career, so this is going to be a great experience for her and the three of us traveling together. We’ll finish this [current] tour at the end of October and I’ll take about four days off then we’ll go into


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Black: Typically, when writing, it’s an acoustic guitar and a legal pad unless I’m doing something that’s driven by the groove in which case, I’ll pick out a good drum groove that I will then play to on an electric guitar. I enjoy both equally but I’m newer to the electric guitar and anything newer is a little more exciting. I like to push myself on the electric guitar and have created things to do in the show that are very challenging and just within my reach. I have to really be on my toes to pull it off every night! JM: I’ve seen some of your Willie Nelson impressions and they’re incredibly uncanny and on point. Is it true that you’ve been doing that since you were 13?

rehearsals to get their parts of the show worked out and then we’ll head out [on tour] right before Thanksgiving. JM: Let’s talk about your latest album, “Out of Sane”. This is an independent project that you worked on last year. Share with me a little bit about that process and the irony of the album title coming out of 2020.

Black: I started doing it out of a love for his music and his voice. I used to do other impressions of Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Young and Mark Knoplfer. I’ve always been kind of a mimic so I would learn a song that I really loved, and I could be disciplined and do it as me, but the temptation is always there to put mask on and be them. JM: I saw the interview where you were talking about the results of your DNA test, and you had found out you had 1% sub-Saharan African in your DNA. You were talking about the melting pot that is our nation. As we progress into the future, post 2020, do you see country music being impacted further by the melting pot phenomenon that is the American people?

Black: Out of Sane is my attempt to do a better job of making a record and I think I did that. It’s a collection of songs so there isn’t anything behind what’s on [the album] other than I tried to put the best material that I have written on there and make it a dynamic album. I play a lot more electric guitar on that album—more Black: I’m not a great student of than I’m used to playing—on purpose. country music history but I I’ve been pushing myself that play close attention and the way to be more expressive in one thing that you can see it the making of an album. I proPERFORMER SPOTLIGHT throughout its history is that duced it myself and did some it’s always evolving, so we of the engineering, but I got never know where it’s going. But I think the last song on there, literally closed the the idea that the [country music industry] mix the day before everything shut down might not have been inclusive before— in Nashville. The album was accidentally which I’ve heard that criticism—I think named “Out of Sane” appropriately for that is long gone. 2020 but that was always my title, and the cover was always going to be the cover JM: How difficult is it for anyone to break but how perfect was the timing? We also into country music today? put the album on vinyl which is the first Black: I know one thing to be true about vinyl record I’ve done in decades. the entertainment industry in general— JM: I’m curious, which do you prefer— there are very few slots and there are way acoustic or electric when writing and too many people for those slots trying to performing? break in. It’s a hard to get into this business


no matter who you are and what you look like. I’ve seen very talented people who just could not get a break and that can be discouraging. I think it’s easy for someone to look at why they’re not making it and personalize it. A friend once said to me, “Sometimes when things don’t go our way or when something bad happens to us, most times people aren’t doing something to you, they’re doing something for them. When you have managers, executives and agents all trying to do something for them and their companies, it has absolutely nothing to do with you who are.” Perseverance is a must in this industry but it’s not always enough. JM: As someone who absolutely functions on coffee, I am interested in the fact that you have started a coffee company—Clint Black Cowboy Coffee—during your hiatus from touring AND you’re producing and hosting a T.V. show, Talking in Circles with Clint Black. Tell me more!

Black: You can find my coffee at clintblackcoffee.com and my show “Talking in Circles with Clint Black” is on Circle Network. We’ve already aired season one, which you can still stream, and we’ve gotten halfway through taping season two. It’s really fun! It’s me interviewing one guest artist per episode and we talk bout things that interest us and have the kind of conversations that we [as artists] typically have when the cameras are off. It’s a little bit of silliness and great guests in front of a small audience. JM: What would you like for your fans to experience when we come to see you at the Palladium in October?

Black: We’re trying to play these songs the best that we’ve ever played and to make a connection with the audience. We’re there to entertain you and to have fun with it. We’ve got stage screens and I did the video myself to make more of a personal expression to share with the audience. We will have a good time and hope the audience will sing along when we ask you and even when we don’t. We want everyone to relax and have fun. It’s an intimate show and I’ll be a bit more talkative than I would be at a festival show so we can all have a few laughs.


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Return to Your Marks, Get Set … Go! Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Submitted

Looking for an outlet that is outdoors and promotes both physical and mental health? What I think 2020 has taught us is that while we had to reprioritize our lives last year—and rightfully so—it also taught us the importance of having healthy outlets for us to decompress and to stay “balanced.”


he ability to set goals and to hold ourselves accountable for meeting those goals is part of our prepandemic routine. Why wait for the pandemic to be “over”? You can still explore whatever creative and/ or physical outlets make you feel reenergized. And for you runners out there—I highly recommend registering for this year’s Zionsville Half Marathon & 5k run/ walk taking place in downtown Zionsville on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021!

Dust Off Your Running Shoes Registration is open for this year’s Zionsville Half Marathon & 5k. You still have plenty of time to start training! You can register online or on Saturday, Oct. 16, during packet pickup or on race morning beginning at 5:45 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. Saturday packet pickup will be at Greek’s Pizzeria in Zionsville, 30 North Main Street, from 10:30 a.m.–noon. Enjoy 15% off food/drinks during or after you get your packet. Both the half marathon and the 5K will begin at 7:30 a.m. Medals will be given to all finishers in both races. Pizza and refreshments will be available after the race! An additional bonus, runners will be offered one free beer at Greek’s Pizzeria to all half marathon runners that are 21 and over. Bring ID!

The Secret Is Out—Zionsville Is a Running Town This will be the sixth consecutive year for the Zionsville Half Marathon & 5k. It was founded by Zionsville resident Mike Cole who also puts on the Big Boom 4th of July 5k and the Zionsville Lions 5k & 10k. Cole, who competed in track and cross country while he attended Ball State University, is also a running coach and personal trainer who works with people at all levels of experience, from beginners to those who are competing in marathons. He purposely designed the Zionsville Half Marathon course to showcase the community and take runners through “the best sides of Zionsville.” Cole is currently planning on returning to and is training for the Boston Marathon. Cole spoke about the impact COVID-19 had on last year’s race and the move from running the Zionsville Half Marathon & 5k from April to October—a move that may become permanent. “The only good thing about COVID-19 [and 2020] was that I saw so many people outside,” Cole said. “I feel like everybody was on the trails and going to local, state and national parks, hiking with their families.” When asked if the pandemic affected the marathon/race circuits here locally, Cole admitted that he and other local race


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directors saw a decrease in participation. “We’re not back to a prepandemic ‘norm,’” Cole said. “And we pushed last year’s race from April to the fall. The weather was good, the times were good and everybody was happy. Everything worked out pretty well. We decided to leave it in the fall this year, and we will see what the entries come in at, get some feedback from the runners, and then we’ll make a decision about whether or not we permanently leave [the half marathon and 5K] in the fall.” Cole and his team will need volunteers for the races to run water stations and other race-related tasks. If your student is looking for volunteer hours or if your family and/or co-workers are looking for a volunteer opportunity that is outdoors and supports local—contact Mike Cole at mike@run2race.com. Registration and event information for both races can be found at run2race.com. Zionsville Monthly is proud to be the media sponsor for this great event in downtown Zionsville.


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Scott Simpson: On Life as an Advance Scout for the Indiana Pacers Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Laura Arick and submitted

The Indiana Pacers hired Zionsville resident Scott Simpson as the advance scout for the franchise. Simpson—a ZCHS graduate—spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the G League and previously served as an advance scout for the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and USA Basketball and was an assistant coach for the Long Island Nets before joining the Mad Ants. WHAT DOES AN ADVANCE SCOUT IN THE NBA DO?


he duties and lifestyle of an advance scout is inarguably the most taxing job on NBA teams. An advance scout spends a great deal of time on the road— over 200 days a year—attending games

to record opponents’ sets and play calls and gather tactical information to bring back to the scout’s home team coaching staff. Essentially, an advance scout is sent out in advance of a game to do reconnaissance on the other teams. In addition to the scope of work an advance scout must complete upon each


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trip, this person is also traveling—commercial—and living out of their suitcase 20–22 nights a month. “What’s interesting about my job is that I am basically going to specifically watch our opponents in the preparation process so that we [the Pacers] can tactically prepare to play against them,”


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Simpson explained. “In the NBA, we all know we’re doing it to each other, and I’m friends with all the other [advance] scouts, so it’s not like we’re ‘cloak-anddagger’ and sneaking around out there.” When asked if NBA franchises play fair and provide decent seats to advance scouts or rather place them in the nosebleed sections or up in the rafters, Simpson replied, “It’s a big topic of conversation amongst the advance scouting community—which arena takes the best care of us and gives us the desirable seats and which [arenas] do not. It’s a reciprocation thing—we’ll provide them with a good seat, but they better provide us with a good seat. We in the advance scouting community have our desired arenas that we like to go to and where we know we’re going to be placed in a good position to get our jobs done well. It will be interesting to see what that looks like this season with COVID-19 regulations.” Simpson shared why it is necessary for advance scouts to physically attend the games rather than watch them on TV or playback videos. “We’re constantly looking for communication,” Simpson said. “In a very basic explanation, I’m sent to the game to get all the information I can that we can’t

get off of video/film, and you have to be there in person because a lot of the [tactical] information is communication based. I have to decipher what a hand signal means and put names to basketball actions so that the coaching staff can come up with strategies on how to combat those actions.”

THE JOURNEY TO BECOMING AN ADVANCE SCOUT “Just like everybody else who’s grown up in Indiana, you likely have grown up a Pacers fan, college sports fan, and we were definitely a sports family,” Simpson shared. “As far back as I can remember, we had a basketball goal down in our basement, and I can remember my grandma—my dad’s mom—coming down and playing one-on-one with me. I didn’t know that was unusual. When you’re 5 years old, you don’t know that other people’s grandmas don’t do that.” Simpson’s dad also painted a half court in their cul-de-sac where the neighborhood kids could safely play. And though Simpson played basketball as a youth, he chose to focus on golf in high school. Once he was in college at Arizona State University, Simpson decided to alter his course and experiment with coaching basketball. “My dad had been telling me for years


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that I should get into coaching,” Simpson recalled. “Long story short, I ended up getting invited to coach a sixth-grade boys [basketball] team. I had a great experience, and we had a ton of success, so I thought, OK, maybe there’s something to this.” Simpson became a student manager for the basketball team at Arizona State while attending as a full-time student working toward a communication degree. Simpson added, “I was working towards my degree but was really going to ‘Basketball 101’ every day as a student manager. I had thought that I just wanted to be a college coach, and having gone to the same high school as Brad Stevens—whose career had started to take off—I called him and asked him what he thought I should do. He told me that DePauw University had a good setup, and it’s where he had played college basketball. And I had a great experience in Greencastle. There’s a lot of great people at DePauw, and the head coach Bill Fenlon is still there—he was Brad’s coach.” Simpson acquired experience in both D2 and D3 college basketball teams by the time he was offered a “break of a lifetime” by the Houston Rockets as a video intern. “I was the lowest guy on the totem pole and was in the video room for two years with Houston,” Simpson said. “I would get a little bone here and there and was able to dip my toe in the water to see what it would be like to be an advance scout. I had grown a strong interest in that role.” Simpson accepted a position with the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise in the 2009–10 season. “It was the second year that they were a franchise in Oklahoma City,” Simpson


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in town by Monday. That Wednesday, I get called into coach [Scott] Brooks’ office and he said, ‘You’re going to be the advance scout now.’” At that time, Simpson was the youngest advance scout in the NBA. When asked if the sacrifices made are worth it at the end of the day, Simpson said, “I don’t have a wife and children, but I still miss birthday parties and other life events. It’s really challenging sleeping in a different bed every night and getting on an airplane every day. It’s a passion project for sure, but it’s still a large task to take on. You can’t just come in and say, ‘I need the weekend off.’ That’s not an option.” As Simpson prepares for the upcoming season as an advance scout with the Pacers organization—his hometown team and a franchise he has dreamt about working with his entire career—he expressed, “I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.”

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stated. “They were not good the year before, but they had a third-year player named Kevin Durant, a second-year player named Russell Westbrook, and they had just drafted a rookie named James Harden. I didn’t know it at the time that those were going to become powerhouse names. We went on this unbelievable five-year run. I was still in the video room my second year [with the Thunder] and I got promoted, so I started traveling for the first time. I had made it really clear to the management and coaching staff that I wanted to be an advance scout one day.” Simpson had turned 30 years old at the time of the 2011 NBA lockout. He recalled coming home for a very special Thanksgiving that year—one that would change the trajectory of his career and life. “I was back home in Indiana during the lockout and for Thanksgiving,” Simpson said. “I went to a DePauw game when I got a phone call that the lockout was ending and the Thunder needed me back

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Who Was Mary Cross— the Humble Woman Behind Marysville Road? The long-anticipated grand opening of the North-South Connector that connects the intersection of CR 850 East/ Cooper Road with CR 875 East to the north of Oak Street—complete with bookend roundabouts (RABs)—is being celebrated by residents and town officials alike. Writer // Janelle Morrison • Photography // Courtesy of SullivanMunce Cultural Center


have been covering the progress of this project since former Mayor Tim Haak commenced the road project during his administration. The project had been in the town’s transportation plan since 1983 and was officially opened to the public on Sept. 15, 2021. The stretch of road that runs north of Oak Street (CR 875 East)] to Whitestown Road was renamed Marysville Road after the town of Zionsville and Mayor Emily Styron posted a road-naming opportunity, seeking input from

the community to name of the newly constructed roadway segment.

OFFICIALLY DUBBED MARYSVILLE ROAD When the announcement was made that the new roadway segment would be dubbed “Marysville Road,” there were numerous conversations and posts on social media inquiring about who Mrs. Cross was and why a road would be named after her. So, I contacted the SullivanMunce Cultural Center to get more of the story behind Mary Cross.


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Cynthia Young, executive director of the SullivanMunce Cultural Center, supplied me with this historical data: “David Hoover came to Boone County in 1824 with his wife, Rebecca, and their three children, Jacob, Isaac, and Mary, more commonly known as ‘Polly.’ They settled at the junction of Big Eagle and Little Eagle creeks, the first to create a farm there. Hoover slowly amassed land, including that which would become Zionsville. Boone County was established in 1830, and Hoover was elected to be


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clerk. The first marriage in the county took place in 1831 at the Hoover cabin, then moved to Oak and Sixth streets, for which Hoover issued the first license. The marriage was between his daughter Polly, then 19 years old, and Elijah Cross. David Hoover died suddenly in late 1835. As his sons had moved away from Indiana, Polly and Elijah inherited and purchased all the Hoover property.

“William Zion and his wife, Amelia, were living in Lebanon soon after the county was established. He became a prominent businessman and in 1847 was appointed as special commissioner for the Lafayette & Indianapolis Railroad. The railroad was to connect the two cities, and so he wished to bring it through Lebanon. He negotiated with acquaintance Elijah Cross to bring the train


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tracks north parallel to The Michigan Road, then through a new community just west of Eagle Village. “In 1851, the land was leveled and graded, and they platted 26 acres of land for a new town. Work was finalized in November 1885, but paperwork wasn’t filed until Jan. 26, 1852. Was the delay due to their challenge in finding a name? Elijah wanted to honor his wife, Mary, and name the town after her. She declined, so the men settled on Zion’s Village. It wasn’t long before the name was changed to Zionsville. “Mary died in 1903, survived by five of their 10 children and a number of grandchildren.” It is important—as the decades roll by—to know our community’s history and origins, and while we won’t ever know how Cross would’ve felt about her name being immortalized on Google Maps, we do have the responsibility of learning who she was and passing this knowledge down to future generations.


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