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An Indiana street

Steven Russell

Indy Like a Local

Who is Steven?

An event producer and curator who advocates for Indy’s cultural class via his company, Lari Pati.

Q: Can you explain what Lari Pati is?

Lari Pati is a creative agency specializing in curation, branding, and special projects that make Indianapolis a destination for creativity through our philosophy of “Think Global. Work Local.” As our philosophy pervades our work, we are creating economic opportunities for Indianapolis’ creative community to evolve into a creative industry. One that becomes an unexpected destination for creatives beyond the Crossroads of America.

Q: Where did the idea for Lari Pati come from?

It came from a playlist series I started when I revamped the website for my now-defunct clothing store, Roxbury Bodega, in 2014. The idea was music would play as you browsed. Each week would have a different set of curated songs. I wanted to create a block party vibe and was inspired by Caribbean culture. The name Lari Pati is “street party” in Haitian Creole.    

Q: What’s your goal with Lari Pati?

The mission is helping move the focus of economic development from STEM to STEAM, “A” for Arts. It’s important for kids in Indianapolis to see that it’s possible to have a fruitful career within the arts and creative industry as a whole. Growing up, the arts and creative ventures weren’t as encouraged or pushed as “worthwhile” pursuits, given the odds or perceived high risk of success. Simply, many didn’t see people within the creative community here have success, so they believed energy was better spent in a profession with a “guaranteed” chance of success.      

The goal is by changing the perception of the creative community, we will become a promising industry for the city of Indianapolis in the same vein as sports and tech, which have brought many visitors and transplants. When you see someone else succeed, it gives confidence that you can succeed, too.

Q: You’re obviously a music fan, so where might we find you catching a show in Indy?

Pioneer used to be my favorite spot until they closed. HI-FI and White Rabbit are my go-to.

Hi Fi

Q: I understand you work with "Pattern" as their music editor. What does that entail?

It’s evolved, but tapping into what’s going on, particularly locally, then pitching and writing about it. I’m actually helping with a new project over there called Supply, which will be a much more targeted outlet run by those of the community and not just from it.

Q: Where in the city do you like to have a good meal?

It changes with the seasons, but right now Thai Town in the International Marketplace. It has a calming ambience with great food. I’d recommend the summer rolls and pad Thai. Noodles extra hot for a little kick.

Q: What’s your favorite spot for a nightcap?

It depends, but Petra Cafe on Mass Ave is my go-to after a good night. Best shawarma in the city.

Q: What’s your favorite neighborhood in Indy?

My favorite neighborhood is where our creative community is able to work and thrive. In recent years, that has been Fountain Square. So many memories and epic moments that were made because of that neighborhood. We made it as cool as it is, the talent! It’s important people never forget that.

Fletcher Place

Q: I know you have a background in the fashion industry, so where in Indy do you like to shop?

Cargo Streetwear, which is the first concept store of its kind, and Naptown Thrift, our city’s nostalgia capital. Sixty percent of my closet comes from shopping local. 

Q: f you’re hosting guests from out of town, where do you take them? What do you like to show them about Indy?

Our shops above, then show them our cultural districts and give them the 411 on how locals enjoy themselves. I never turn down an opportunity to show off the culture we’ve been building here. One district I’m looking forward to is Indiana Avenue where the Madam Walker Legacy Center is. So much history is there.

Indiana Avenue

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