Indiana Avenue District

617 Indiana Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46202


Indiana Avenue is home to the Madam CJ Walker Theatre Center and in 1821 a popular jazz scene that lasted until the 1970s. Nobel Sissle is one of the most famous Hoosier jazz musicians. He was born in 1889 in Indianapolis and worked with Eubie Blake to perform and write the Broadway musical Shuffle Along in 1971. At the height of its jazz era, “The Avenue” featured over 33 jazz clubs with headlines including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and more. Indiana Avenue was also home to the first black-owned business in Indianapolis. In 1865, Samuel G. Smother opened a grocery store and later in 1879 The Indianapolis Leader was the first African American-owned newspaper in Indy.


Indy's Cultural Districts

Get beyond downtown to get a taste of local culture. From Mass Ave to Broad Ripple to Fountain Square and Indiana Avenue, these districts will have you living like a local.