The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is continuing a collaborative community effort, 500 Forward, to celebrate the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil and the Month of May.
Now in its second year, 500 Forward harnesses the collective efforts of 13 partner organizations and countless individuals alongside IMS to offer programming and events that celebrate the Month of May and support a broad array of community initiatives.
In 2018, two of the most prominent initiatives within 500 Forward are Welcome Race Fans and #500FashionFridays, which blend the exciting worlds of fashion and art with the excitement of racing at IMS during the Month of May.
In the Welcome Race Fans program, area artists Lisa Sears, Artur Silva, Greg Potter, Dianna Porter and Derrick Carter each created a piece on various mediums that incorporates the term "Welcome Race Fans." These pieces will be displayed around greater Indianapolis, including the Indianapolis Artsgarden, the Athenaeum and Indy Reads Books buildings in the popular Mass Ave dining and entertainment area, and in the Irvington neighborhood.
Another art tradition, Indy Wings, returns this year as part of the Welcome Race Fans program. Indianapolis graphic artist Aaron Scamihorn created this year's "wings" - an ode to the famed IMS "Wing and Wheel" logo - that will be placed on buildings and on business fronts throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana, providing a perfect photo opportunity for fans, pedestrians and business customers. Locations include Mass Ave and Broad Ripple in Indianapolis, Main Street in Speedway, and in the communities of Noblesville and Westfield.
Another new part of Welcome Race Fans that will engage the local arts community will be the painting of an IndyGo bus with an IMS racing motif by local artist Amy Rheinhardt on the grounds of IMS during two weekends of track activity during May, the INDYCAR Grand Prix on May 11-12 and Indianapolis 500 qualifying on May 19-20. The bus will be used as a cooling station for fans on Race Weekend May 25-27 and then be placed into service on IndyGo routes after May.
#500FashionFridays were a popular hit last year, gaining traction with fans and fashionistas around Indianapolis. The program, a partnership with Pattern, Downtown Indy Inc. and Susan Decker Media, encourages everyone to dress in their best Indy 500 fashion during the four Fridays of May, showing their pride and excitement for racing at IMS during the Month of May. Fans are encouraged to post photos of their outfits on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #500FashionFridays.
This year, focusing on all types of fans, photographer Polina Osherov of Pattern and her team organized a photo shoot to create a look book helping fans find inspiration for #500FashionFriday outfits.