Language Translation
  Close Menu

Madison is creative.

Sitting prominently on the Ohio River between the hubs of Cincinnati and Louisville, the Madison Arts and Cultural District presents an outstanding collection of early American architecture - representing the cultural history of the river, the founding of the state of Indiana, and the nation's expansion westward. Beautifully preserved, historic in nature, but, interestingly progressive and contemporary, it has the fresh vibe of residents who are choosing to live 'off the grid' in a rural yet, urban setting. The natural and built environment invites the visitor and inspires the artist to tell the story with their art, their words, and images that are unique to this lovely little city. Madison's history is deeply rooted in arts, crafts, and architecture. Every corner lies a history designed by traditional craftsmen, architects, and master builders from the East Coast and the South. It is not unusual to find options for live music, artist receptions, figure drawing events, drum circles, painting classes, a play, yoga or massage, culinary event, poetry reading, a farmer's market, and a book review all in one day!

Impact Points


Creative jobs in the zip codes surrounding the Madison Arts and Cultural District in 2019. (Source)


Creative industry earnings in the zip codes surrounding the Madison Arts and Cultural District in 2019. (Source)


Cultural nonprofit revenues in the zip codes surrounding the Madison Arts and Cultural District in 2019. (Source)

four photos from the cultural district

Impact Stories

The House of Jane Songwriting Series began in 2019 when Nashville songwriter and Madison native Jimmy Davis joined forces with Madison native and barber Jane Vonderheide. The House of Jane (HOJ) is a traditional barbershop located on East Main Street in the heart of Madison's Cultural District and has quickly become Madison's listening room venue.

The focus of the HOJ Songwriting Series is to intertwine local singer/songwriters with singer/songwriters from Nashville, Tennessee. The small barbershop transforms into an intimate listening room, resembling that of the Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville or that of NPRs Tiny Desk series.

The result in just a year has been fantastic. Local singer/songwriters (of which there are many!) are finding partnerships and connections with nationally recognized artists. Each artists plays a set and each artist listens to the other, the room is packed, there is a small portable stage, a lighted barber pole behind the stage area (from a long time Nashville barbershop on loan to the HOJ) and each session is recorded and uploaded to YouTube under the House of Jane: Songwriter Sessions. This new venue and activity in our cultural district has generated energy and created lifelong connections and friendships to all who are fortunate enough to witness one of these really cool sessions.

Our live music scene is becoming yet another drawing card for the overall economic development strategy for Madison’s revitalization, tourism, and livability. One of the most successful stories of reinvestment into the cultural district is that of the Red Bicycle Hall. A group of community-oriented partners formed and have renovated a large historic building, retrofitting it into an impressive music and production venue complete with top quality sound system, lighting, stage area, bar, green room and beautiful second floor special event space.

This venue has established an impressive reputation in just a few short years for the attraction of top name live musical acts attracting an assortment of patrons to the area. The venue is an anchor in the cultural district and Madison’s strong live music scene. The Red Bicycle Hall hosts a robust year round calendar of musical events, cultural events, with over 30 major live music shows in 2019 in addition to many community events.  The Red Bicycle Hall offers a sophisticated assortment of styles and genres of music, often attracting national acts from off the road, as well as, the many nationally known artists and musicians that call Madison home.

In addition to the venue, the owners of the Red Bicycle Hall understand the importance of arts and culture in our community and they have worked hard to attract an assortment of audiences-- diverse audiences and ages-- and provide a consistent level of quality programming and professionalism for our community.  We are fortunate to have them as an anchor and investor in our cultural district.

Through partnerships with the Cultural Continuum of Madison (O' Madison, Where Art Thou?, Madison Grafitti, Pure Prine, Rumours, Jesus Christ Superstar), the Kindred Folks Music Series (SHEL, Billie Strings, Parsonsfield, The Black Lillies, Wild Ponies), Roostertail Music Series (Ward Davis, Chris Knight, Sunny Sweeney, etc) Community events include: Fireweed Productions, Soup, Stew, Chili & Brew, Madison Area Arts Alliance, Madison Main St. Program, RiverRun Theatre.

Feeling inspired? Start your journey on the Creative Community Pathway.

Connect with the District