Indigo and Hippo, the color and animal that represent creativity.

Indigo - a powerful, beautiful, and strange color that’s hard to define.  Indigo is seen and described differently by everyone who imagines the color. Its qualities vary from person to person, flexible and useful.  In that way, among the colors it is very special - not in what it demands to be, but in the way it involves everyone in its experience of being.  

Hippo - a heavy and surprisingly graceful animal.  Hippos are among the largest land mammals, and spend much of their time in water.  The water keeps them cool, and supports their weight - it allows them to float, to be at ease.  Creativity serves the same role for humans; something to keep us afloat, to bring joy, and to be relieving when the challenges of life pile up.

Indigo Hippo is dedicated to helping people understand the power of creativity to build and strengthen the connections we all have with ourselves and our communities.  We do so in these three ways:

Creative Reuse - A thrift store for art supplies
Our storefront at 1301 Main St. in Over-the-Rhine is the hub of our creative reuse program, focused on putting low-cost and affordable art supplies into the hands of people who will use them.  We accept donations of unwanted, gently used or unused art materials, ranging from traditional to non-traditional, paint to pastels to paper to wood to fabric to gears to glue.  If it can be used in a creative, artistic, or expressive way - we’re interested in finding a way to give it a second life.  Donated materials are collected, sorted, and available for purchase during business hours.  Prices are kept as low as possible to spread creativity as far as possible.  All sales support the Indigo Hippo space and programming.

Visual Arts Programming - Expression toward understanding
The greatest value of creativity is the way it allows every individual to be themselves and connect with others.  Creativity is a powerful way to communicate who we are and what we’re feeling.  Indigo Hippo works with community partners in the planning and carrying out of programs which encourage everyone to explore who they are and how they create.  

Camp JoyWe developed and facilitated Camp Joy’s summer creative arts programming for underserved youth and their families. Campers demonstrated and reported back an increased ability to interact with their social and emotional experiences through art. Indigo Hippo is currently planning and implementing year round programming with Camp Joy’s Fostering Success program. Indigo Hippo is providing the majority of the creative materials used for all programs.

MORTAR Cincinnati: We partnered with MORTAR to develop and creatively incorporate social and emotional growth curriculum into their programming for under resourced entrepreneurs. By adding a layer of personal growth to hard business skills, we strengthened confidence and perseverance in all of the students. Indigo Hippo is facilitating two MORTAR Indigo classes annually.

Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired: After providing support for their creative arts camp this summer, we are collaborating on the curriculum development and instruction of a fall ceramics course. Visually impaired individuals often have difficulty demonstrating their identity to others, this course supports students in understanding and expressing themselves in and through their art. These discussions and discoveries are grounded in pottery lessons, and will culminate in a gallery show at our storefront.

Gallery Space - Creativity and connection on display
Indigo Hippo’s storefront, in addition to being the go-to place for inexpensive art supplies, will also be a gallery space to celebrate the work of everyone - often showcasing the work created through our programming and community partners.  Nothing brings a bigger smile to our faces than seeing and interacting with the creative spirit!