Music is supposed to have the power to bring people together. Why isn’t it working in Indianapolis?

Indianapolis musicians could benefit from a professional organization that helps them develop relationships, enabling them to collaborate and network easier.

Project background:
Completed in 12 weeks.

Indianapolis isn’t popularly known outside the Midwest as a leading city in music; at best, it is known as a conference hotspot because it’s at the “Crossroads of America.” Despite this, Indy has a defined culture and art scene that is well known by residents. One part of the culture that isn't familiar, however, is the local music scene

Hillary Celebi, Arie Gatewood, Ashley Ghearing, Michelle Kwolek, and Kaela Mahoney

Defining problems and opportunities, interviewing, analyzing and synthesizing data, participatory session design and facilitation, collaboration, prototyping, process documentation


We did 5 weeks of exploratory research about music marketing and production in Indianapolis, which led us to several insights: 

  • Most musicians don’t know how to market themselves.
  • There is a lack of "tastemakers" in Indy.
  • Networking must be strategic because there are different genres and audiences.
  • It is important for musicians to network because that is how labels find them.

These findings helped us define the problem, which stemmed from the lack of musician to musician relationships.


We then did 4 weeks of ideation and synthesis, which helped us realize that what Indy really needs is an organization to cohesively bring existing resources and services together and create new ones.

We prototyped our organization by making a visual map of the potential structure and offerings. After a couple of iterations, we had a final map that defined the mission, vision, users, partners, structure, and potential user journey of the organization.

case study website

Organization prototype