After much anticipation, the International Marketplace Coalition’s dream of creating the Global Village Welcome Center is becoming a reality. A recently purchased 56,000 square foot building at 4223 Lafayette Rd. (formerly Value City Furniture) will be developed as a space where all cultures from around the world are welcomed, celebrated and experienced within a museum and other functional spaces.
“Our goal is to create a Global Village Welcome Center that showcases the awe of Disney’s Epcot Center, educational delivery of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and functionality of a convention center – all with international flair,” said Mary Clark, executive director of Indy’s International Marketplace. “The Global Village Welcome Center will serve as the backbone of our community and further support on-going growth in our area. We are excited to present this project – a place where all people are welcome.”
Once completed, features of the facility will include:
- Museum with cultural pavilions representing inhabited continents
- Demonstration kitchen
- Event and conference rooms of various sizes
- Dance studio
- Audio/video studio for creative services
An estimated $100,000 worth of authentic artifacts, representing cultures from around the world, has already been collected for the museum portion of the Global Village Welcome Center. The demonstration kitchen, audio/video and dance studio will allow people to share aspects of their culture with others.
The International Marketplace is defined as a 2.5-mile area within these boundaries:
- North: 46th St. and Lafayette Rd.
- South: 34th St. and Lafayette Rd.
- East: 38th St. and Commercial Dr.
- West: 38th St. and High School Rd.
This area is home to more than 100 ethnic restaurants, 40 markets and 900 businesses. Community members collectively speak and represent more than 80 languages. The Global Village Welcome Center is intended as a hub of activity for international communities.
Events hosted by the International Marketplace Coalition such as Taste the Difference Festival & Sister Cities Fest, International Women’s Gathering and World Arts Expo will be held at the new location.
“Together, we are shrinking the globe and creating a village,” said Clark.
The International Marketplace recently began a $12 million capital campaign to develop the Global Village Welcome Center and is seeking support – both financially and in-kind. Contact Mary Clark via email (email@example.com) or phone (317-331-3909) to learn how you can help.