Winners of Legacy Foundation’s 4th annual Civic Innovators Convening

Legacy Foundation awards $20,000 to improve Gary through innovative ideas

Contributed By:The 411 News

Two ideas from Decay Devils and Greenleaf Consulting get winning nods

On Thursday, August 2, Legacy Foundation hosted its fourth annual Civic Innovators Convening at ArtHouse in Gary, Ind. After a month-long call for ideas to improve the city of Gary, Legacy Foundation selected six applicants to present their projects to a voting audience. Two ideas were voted to the top and received $10,000 each.

The audience – made up of past Knight Cities Challenge winners and applicants, Gary residents and city leaders – voted for their favorite project after hearing all six presenters.

Each presenter had four minutes to pitch their innovative idea and another four minutes to answer questions. Applicants’ projects covered topics such as public debates around local issues, pop-up activities around the Gary Metro South Shore train station, eco-friendly tiny structures for offices and residences, opportunities for Gary expatriates to invest in growth and development of the city, a technology training program for Gary residents, and artistic installations around downtown Gary that invite exploration.

At the end of the event, the two presenters with the most votes in their ballot box each were awarded a $10,000 grant from Legacy Foundation to implement their idea in the Gary community.

Rodina Iacovacci of Greenleaf Business Development Consultants won with her idea to use technology and corporate culture training to equip Gary residents to be competitive in the job market.

The other winning idea, “Off the Grid: Tiny Art Residency Project,” came from Andrea Ledbetter and Tyrell Anderson of Decay Devils, Inc. They will construct a tiny residency/office space out of recycled and salvaged materials, and they will seek alternatives methods for power, waste, and water collection.

Legacy Foundation launched the Civic Innovators Convening as a way to engage residents in the decision-making process around the types of projects being implemented in Gary communities. Funding will come from the Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund at Legacy Foundation.


Carolyn Saxton, Legacy Foundation; Lilly Weinberg, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Rodina Iacovacci, Greenleaf Business Development Consultants; Andrea Ledbetter, Tyrell Anderson, and Lori Gonzalez, Decay Devils; Kelly Anoe, Legacy Foundation

Story Posted:08/10/2018

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