Recently, we took 12 Vanguards to see the local art exhibit: BUTTER. Hosted by GANGGANG, this three day art fair was curated to elevate local black visual artists and black entrepreneurs alongside national contemporaries. This field trip was so much more than time outside of the classroom. 

A Black Art Fair 

Naming the art fair BUTTER was deliberate. BUTTER spreads, BUTTER is essential. Everyone has a story about BUTTER.  So, too, is this creative movement. It is essential; to elevate black artistry in Indianapolis and throughout cities across America. To enable more equity for creative outlets and economies is something we can all get behind. And hopefully with more platforms such as this — BUTTER (the art fair and launch pad for black visual artists) will spread.  

Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis and middle school field trip to BUTTER art fair in downtown Indianapolis

Local & National Art 

This art show was exceptional in many ways. It was an inaugural event in Indy, held at the Stutz building downtown. Over 60 pieces of art from 38 local and national artists were showcased. Every dime earned went back to the artists. GANGGANG curated the event to lift up those who create and work as artists today — while also hoping to inspire the next generation of black artists. 

By incubating a platform for local artists to share the spotlight with national artists — this one-of-a-kind art event reminds us all that Indianapolis is a place for black creative talent and also a place to come to find and nurture your creativity, equitably. 

Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis and scholars in front of mural at the Stutz Building in downtown Indianapolis during the BUTTER Art Exhibit sponsored by GANGGANG


The 12 stellar Vanguards who experienced this trailblazing art event won their seat on our bus because they were the top V-bucks earners from their respective cohorts. V-Bucks are part of our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) commitment. PBIS teaches our scholars about behavior expectations and strategies; with an affirming lens of prevention, not punishment. V-bucks are awarded for positive behavior that exemplifies our values: Team, Hard Work,  Integrity,  Nobility and Knowledge (THINK).

Real Talk

Our Vanguard scholars were wowed and inspired by this black art showcase. We heard feedback like, “different”, “special” and “so good”. Real talk happened, too. Our scholars saw how their artistic efforts can inform a bright future. Perhaps this field trip sparked some mojo to get back to the art they love to create as well. 

GANGGANG co-founder Alan Bacon spoke directly to our scholars about the vitality and creativity within each of us. He shared how he and Vanguard’s own Mr. Eric Saunders met through spoken word showcases, which enabled their friendship. From that shared passion and outlet, came a bond which led to our top V-bucks earning scholars knowing about and enjoying BUTTER as an educational experience together. 

Mr. Bacon encouraged our scholars to read, write, listen to music, to create music, pick up a paintbrush, and sketch. To find the art within! Mr. Bacon knows first hand how creativity brings people together, elevates our own personal experiences, and spreads…. like BUTTER. 

Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis and scholars at BUTTER art fair hosted by GANGGANG and showcasing black visual artists in Indianapolis

Small and Mighty Free Public Middle School 

Vanguard has room for a few more scholars in grades 5-8. Our small and mighty public middle school is free and offers: Be a Vanguard! 

And much more. Join us, today! It’s definitely not too late to learn, serve, lead… with us. 

About Vanguard 

Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis is unapologetically focused on the academic success of our scholars, our fifth to eighth grade students. Situated in Central Indianapolis, we provide high-quality instruction, rigorous curriculum, and supportive character development. We create pathways to college success and to becoming leaders in thought, word, and action. Be a Vanguard, today!