10 questions with GANGGANG operations manager Alyse Tucker Bounds

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Alyse Tucker Bounds is the operations manager for local creative agency GANGGANG. The Indy-based arts organization has raised $2.6 million in funding to develop strategies to financially support creatives of all kinds.

Alyse is a Hoosier and was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana. She graduated from the IUPUI Herron School of Art + Design in 2020. Her mission is to bring about an “artistic renaissance” to the city of Indianapolis.

We asked Alyse 10 questions about her favorite local food spots, Indy artists to look out for + the community work she’s a part of. Keep reading to find out how you can bring about change in your community.

What goals do you have in mind for the future of art and music in Indy?

We want Indianapolis to become a hub, we want Indianapolis to be someplace that people think of when they think of arts and culture. Right now, it’s kind of like they think of sports or maybe they think of races and there are other reasons to come to Indianapolis. But one of those reasons we want to be is for the arts and culture.

What were the last 3 things you did locally?

I am almost fully vegan. I really like vegan food. There’s a little vegan taco spot, Tlaolli, and I just love going there. I also really like going vintage shopping. So you know, Midland Antiques and Broad Ripple Vintage. I also like the parks. So, going to Holliday Park, going on a walk and kind of hiking through. It’s not hiking. Anybody who hikes would be like that’s not hiking but it definitely feels that way.

What’s motivated you through your work for others with organizations like GANGGANG + One Drop World?

I grew up in Columbus — Indiana not Ohio. And there wasn’t a lot of diversity when I was growing up, and so kind of I felt out of place. And as I’ve come into adulthood, I don’t want anybody to feel like they don’t belong where they live. So part of the work I’m doing with One Drop World is to highlight black, biracial, and BIPOC artists in every city. We just did a show in Houston, and all of our artists were black and biracial or people of color. And I think it’s important to give back to the cultures that have really built this country. So through that, and through GANGGANG, my biggest motivation is to bring equity in the arts and bring forward the artists that are really the underpinnings of our generation. Put them on display and give them the credit that they deserve.

You can only choose one local restaurant menu to bring with you to a deserted island — which one is it and why?

Before I was vegan, I would have said The Eagle. But now that I am, I would say Garden Table.

Name 3-5 other local leaders, influencers, or movers + shakers you’re watching.

So I’m going to be cliche and first say Molly and Alan, who are the founders of GANGGANG. They’re doing incredible things and that’s why I wanted to be here. And then also Leslie Bailey who owns Indy Maven. It’s a business that empowers women and right now she has a co-working space for women. It’s a safe space where you can go and work, she has a lot of different things going on in the city.

Who are some of your favorite artists or musicians from Indianapolis?

One band that I really like is Huckleberry Funk. I don’t know if you’ve seen them before, but they’re kind of a mixture of funk and rhythm and blues. It gives kind of like Silk Sonic.

What are some things you recommend to people who want to get involved in their communities?

There are a lot of organizations in Indianapolis based on your interests. So if you’re interested in nature, there’s the Parks Alliance, if you’re interested in music, there’s organizations all over Indy. So I would encourage anyone to just start Google searching like “what can I be a part of?” There’s lots of volunteer work out there. And I just feel like the more we get out and connect with each other, especially after a pandemic, the better off we’ll be.

What are some projects that you’ve been a part of recently?

So we just wrapped up Next Up, which was a project with nine musicians in Indianapolis, that we think are next up. We believe that next year they will really pop off and we did workshops with them. We had a final show at The Vogue in Broad Ripple. It was a lot of fun to meet different musicians and get to know the music scene in Indy. Now, we’re currently working with DMD, with the city, on a project called South Downtown where we’re kind of asking downtown Indianapolis, what do you want? Like what would make Indianapolis better for you? Why are you here? And what do you want? And what can we do? So partnering with the city has been incredible, and just hearing people’s feedback. Then obviously, this fall with Butter is going to be a huge part of that. And I’m really excited.

What has been the biggest difference to you that sets GANGGANG apart?

I get to think creatively. Before I was just carrying out procedures, like, here’s the blueprint now do it. And with GANGGANG, I get to be more innovative and come up with new ideas and try new things. And there are no bad ideas. So that’s awesome.

What’s something that every Hoosier should know about?

I think every Hoosier should know what city they live in, and the history of it. And then also what’s around them. So you know, take public transit, go on a walk, get outside of your sphere and just see what’s around you like restaurants and people and initiatives that are going on. I would just encourage any Hoosier to know where they live.

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