Michigan City is a city on the rise. It’s plain to see for all who have experienced the newly revitalized Uptown Arts District in the heart of the city’s downtown North Side. What was once a series of vacant buildings only a decade ago are now bustling small businesses and trendy apartments, injecting new life into the once dead streets. It takes a lot of inspiration, dedication, and creativity to work on revitalizing an area of town so many people from Michigan City hold dear. Someone who perfectly embodies those qualities is Kyle Murphey, Marketing Coordinator at the Lubeznik Center for The Arts, President, and Founder of Crosscurrent Media, and Promotional Committee Member of the Michigan City Main Street Association.
That’s an impressive resume in and of itself, and Murphey has yet more to offer in the form of his accomplishments. He is a film and video graduate from Columbia College in Chicago, and he focuses his creativity not only into his jobs at Crosscurrent, a content production company that creates media for businesses and nonprofits as well as films weddings, and the Lubeznik Center, but also in his third capacity as a committee member of the Michigan City Main Street Association. The Main Street Association is an organization dedicated to the revitalization of Michigan City’s historic Uptown Arts District, and the only organization of its kind to be recognized as a registered Indiana Main Street Program.
Murphey’s love for Michigan City and passion for injecting new life into the Uptown district began young.
“I remember as a kid, the downtown was this abandoned place that no one would ever go to,” said Murphey. “Everyone would always talk about the yesteryear of Michigan City’s downtown area. I remember getting excited reading in a newspaper about all of the different plans Michigan City had to revitalize the downtown- this was years ago.”
Murphey’s creative mind saw the real potential Michigan City had.
“I remember being a teenager and thinking ‘oh, this’ll be exciting to see Michigan City have a really cool downtown,’” said Murphey. “Because I always liked going to Chicago and seeing their amazing downtown, and while we’re obviously a considerably smaller city, I always wanted that kind of downtown life to happen here.”
Murphey’s imagination to bring the true potential of Michigan City to the forefront is limitless, and that’s evidenced by his vision for possibilities.
“I’ve always liked being part of a community, and I thought that the fact that there was no really active downtown as part of Michigan city was really a detriment to the community,” said Murphey. “I like the idea of grand possibility. So, when there’s any inclination of revitalization in the community, I just think of the possibilities.”
A self-described dreamer, Murphey’s interest in art and videomaking started at a young age, too. Supported by a great network of family, he was able to cultivate that imagination and love of art into not one, but three careers.
“I started writing little stories when I was 3 years old,” said Murphey. “I couldn’t write them myself- I would say them, and my parents would write them for me. It just kinda grew from there. I also remember my dad buying a video camera for his ministry and I just remember having this video camera, and me and my friends saying, 'let’s make a movie!' and just making really stupid videos. It really sparked my interest. Constructing stories in a visual medium was fascinating to me.”
When it comes to stoking his creative fires, his job as marketing coordinator for the Lubeznik Center provides an excellent catalyst.
“It’s a nice, casual work environment that’s busy because there’s always something to do and there are always new challenges,” said Murphey. “They encourage creative thinking. I just like that I get to work around other artists.”
Murphey’s threefold career leaves little time for other activities. His day normally starts at Crosscurrent Media, which sees him drafting and creating marketing materials and strategies with his partner, Shane Beecher. In the afternoon, he’s at the Lubeznik Center developing marketing strategies for the Art Gallery. At night, he either goes back to Crosscurrent Media or helps out with the Michigan City Main Street Association.
Murphey credits his awesome support network made up of his family, wife, Brooke, and dog, Lazlo, along with his creative imagination for the drive necessary to work these three jobs.
“I definitely rely heavily on my imagination and creativity. My organizational skills and the fact that I can keep a level head helps me juggle all of these responsibilities,” said Murphey.
Despite being a very busy man, Murphey enjoys exercising his creative muscles purely to be fun.
“Sometimes it’s nice to do something creative that has nothing to do with work,” said Murphey. “I like to sit down and write short stories, or I write film scripts.”
When it comes down to it, it takes a creative team of people to pump new life into a once empty downtown, and it’s thanks directly to people like Kyle Murphey that that’s happening now in Michigan City.