This week we are featuring a wonderful local venue that was the brainchild of Mark and Carrie Ortwein, the Grove Haus. This local eclectic event space is located in Fountain Square and is the location of an upcoming event hosted by CMI, stay tuned for more info in the near future!
Grove Haus: An Eclectic Venue in Indianapolis
Grove Haus was conceived by Mark Ortwein, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Assistant Principal Bassoonist, and his wife Carrie, a Nurse Practitioner with IU Health Physicians. Certainly no small feat, this venue was a former historic church at 1001 Hosbrook Street in Indianapolis and is now one of the most interesting spots in the city.
Mark and Carrie explain, “We first just wanted the building to live in as our home, but the banks couldn’t lend on that dream. So we then started a business, Grove Haus, so we had a cha
nce at getting a loan to actually purchase the building. Our dream then shifted into turning it into a living/workspace. Our vision is now to have a variety of different artistic events in the space. We want people to re-imagine the space and transform it in their own way. Music, dance, art exhibitions, music lessons, multimedia events. We want to keep it varied and interesting.”
Like with CMI’s partnership with The Chatterbox Jazz Club for Classical Revolution on the first Tuesday of every month, CMI is always curious about the ways in which people interact with music and with each other when music is around. This creative couple explains, “The music events we have had in Grove Haus have had a real sharing and positive feel. There is a different feel with rock music as opposed to classical or folk or jazz, but especially at the events we’ve had where we have
all different types – everybody seems to like something and get something out of each style. The ‘rockers’ really enjoy and respect the classical and vice versa. It’s great bringing the different musicians together that normally don’t mingle too much!”
Carrie and Mark run the whole business themselves while balancing full time jobs. They make all the decisions so they don’t have to go through a committee to get things approved. All of the success is their own hard work. In addition to Carrie being at IU Health Physicians Mark being full time in the ISO, he also has a jazz quintet, teaches at UIndy and privately, plays lots of recording sessions, and has another business, Ortwein Woodwinds. They joke that “maybe we will need to start hiring help!” They have done all of the work on the Grove Haus building with their own funds, so they’re doing as much as they can.
They explained that they have renovated the building with sweat equity of their own and from some
very helpful friends. There have been numerous milestones on that journey. Their first “Eclectic Market” (the eclectic mash-up experience described above) was in Aug 2013. That was the first time they opened up the building to the public after a year and a half of renovations! They were featured
that Fall in a story by valued CMI partner, the Indy Star, and January 2014 marked the first concert which went off without a hitch. Since then, Grove Haus has become a much sought after event space for weddings, fashion shows, concerts, and much more.
Mark and Carrie were told by multiple people that they couldn’t buy this building, that they would need financial investors to be able to do what needed to be done, and that they didn’t know what they were doing taking this big of a project on. To their credit, the opposition only fueled their desire to make something special happen. The couple obviously takes great pride in having accomplished what they were told wasn’t possible.
To find out more visit GroveHaus.com.