Indy Like a Local: Andrea Hunley

Who is Andrea?

Principal of Center for Inquiry School 2, part of Indianapolis Public Schools

For an extended interview with Andrea, listen to this episode of the THE DRINK CULTURE Podcast:

Q. Tell us about the Center for Inquiry and what makes it special in the realm of education.

A. The Center for Inquiry is a K–8 magnet school in IPS, where we focus on globally minded learners, and we use an engaging and challenging curriculum that focuses on the whole child. They have the opportunity to solve real-world problems and take meaningful action to make the world and community a better place. As an example, second-graders were reading all about water and water poverty around the world, and they realized how scarce water was around the world. Many of them taught their parents about action, such as turning off water. But they also wanted to research how to build wells on the west coast of Africa. They came up with ways to raise money, and they raised enough to build two wells in Africa. Every month, we do a Change for Change. They bring in change and it goes toward the cause. They also started an online campaign and pushed it to friends and family. I’m in my sixth year as principal. We have about 430 students, and we’re one of four CFI locations. Across the four, we serve 1,500 students. We are the downtown location.   

Q. What are your go-to restaurants in Indy? Do you have a favorite dish at any of them?

A. Our absolute favorite as a family is Rook. We love the pig face hash. If my children could choose dinner every night of the week, they would choose Rook. Livery has quickly become a favorite place of ours. Any of Mike Cunningham’s restaurants are fabulous. I love all of their appetizers. I order the whole appetizer menu every time. 


Q. If you’re in need of some fresh air, where might you go?

A. Definitely walking or biking on the Cultural Trail. Sometimes that will take us downtown to White River State Park and the Canal; sometimes that will take us to Fountain Square and we’ll play around there. When we’re feeling very adventurous, we’ll bike all the way to Broad Ripple and enjoy ice cream and other fun restaurants, like Public Greens

Q. Do you have a favorite neighborhood or area where you like to hang out or spend the day?

A. I would say Mass Ave because there’s great shopping and restaurants. You can relax at Indy Reads Books, put your feet up, and have a cup of coffee. You can spend hours and hours shopping and going into all the great places. Meeting shop owners is the best part, and talking to people who are passionate about what they’re doing. Having a glimpse of their dreams coming true is cool to see. At IndyFringe, the comedy and magic shows are really fun for adults, as well as kids. They bring in people from all over the country to perform. 

Q. As a school principal, you must know of some great spots for kids. Where would you suggest families with little ones go while in Indianapolis? 

A.Tarkington Park is a must-stop spot that is very fun. It has wide-open spaces, great playground equipment, and a splash pad and fountains in the warm season. The IMA for all four seasons is a great spot for kids. The interactive studios for kids to create art are really fabulous. You can spend a whole day exploring 100 Acres. And Central Library – it’s so fun, and you don’t need a card to enjoy everything it has to offer. There’s a stage kids can play on and sit and read. And there’s always something going on – arts and crafts, music performances. Every weekend they’ve got something interactive for the family to do there. 

Central Library

Q. What locally owned boutiques do you frequent?

A. Definitely Wildwood Market. It has lovely foods and flowers, and it’s a great place to grab a quick lunch. They have great sandwiches, soups, and salads. The people behind the counter are incredibly knowledgeable. Homespun is my go-to local shop for any type of gifts or fun items, like clothing for myself and jewelry. 

Q. Any particular spots you favor for a nightcap, or perhaps do you have a favorite brewery in town?

A. The rooftop at Livery. It has multiple bars inside and you can choose what level you like to be on. Their bartenders are amazing and creative. I’m sure they call themselves mixologists. 

Q. Have you recently discovered any hidden gems in the city?

A. I’ve always been to the Indianapolis Art Center for the Broad Ripple Art Fair every year, and I just now am really discovering what the IAC has to offer visitors, too: awesome galleries, a fabulous art park all around the grounds, popup workshops that are great for couples. They have those several times during the year. 

Q. Where do you like to take out-of-town guests, especially if they have never been to Indy before?

A. If we’re hosting people with children, we have to take them to the Children’s Museum. That’s at the top of the must-do list for everyone, and it should be. It’s the place you’ve got to go. If we’re hosting adults, we’re hitting up one of the other museums, like the Eiteljorg or the IMA. We’re definitely getting some culture in there. In terms of restaurants, then we like to hang out in Broad Ripple and take people to Delicia – that’s a great place we take our out-of-town guests. 

Q. Describe your ideal day in Indy.

A. You gotta catch an early-morning workout class. We have some really amazing places that have hot room yoga or barre classes. Start with something active. And then spend the day with good shopping, whether on Mass Ave or at The Fashion Mall. And then dining in Fountain Square, but first walking around, looking at menus, and choosing a place. There are so many great places – Milktooth, Repeal, Bluebeard, or Rook. Then a live show at the IRT or the Hilbert Circle Theater. You can’t come here without catching a live show.  

The Fashion Mall

Q. Do you have a favorite holiday memory or tradition? Are there any holiday events in town that you make it a point to attend every year?

A. We love the lighting of the Christmas tree downtown. I love to be around people who are gathered for good, a large crowd who are all sharing in a fun experience together. There’s no better place for that than the lighting of the tree. The entertainment is great; there’s hot chocolate. It’s just beautiful. Also attending Yuletide Celebration – there’s nothing that puts you in the holiday mood than getting dressed up and going to the theater. We’ve taken my 5-year-old child to my 80-year-old grandmother. Everyone loves Yuletide at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. 

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