Spark Placemaking made a vibrant presence in the summer of 2017 at The Indiana State Fair by organizing, managing and staffing a pop-up public space to visitors. This space, located in the middle of main street across from the Coliseum and next to the grandstands, offered a fun and free spot for children and adults to engage in games, art, and comfortable seating. See photos from the project here.
The Fair asked us to create a space that would encourage people to stay longer and our Spark programming was a clear success. We had a blast during the 18-day duration of the State Fair, in which at least one of our staff members was on site each day to supervise the space and help facilitate activities around our recently refreshed Wagon of Wonders. Two favorite activities among our guests were the mini soccer field and the postcard project. The postcard project offers people a free opportunity to fill out and mail a postcard anywhere in the world. Inspired by our awesome neighbors, Pineapple Whip (see animation from Wagon of Wonders), Ball State intern Julia Voigt sketched a postcard featuring the Pineapple Whip stand.
Other activities included ping pong, cornhole, foosball, coloring pages and the Wagon itself as a small, mobile contemporary art museum. The mini soccer field, a partnership with our own Indy City Futbol program, was constantly used (see video clip) and featured straw bales on the edge of artificial turf.
Over 1,000 visitors per day enjoyed the free activities in our pop-up public space as well as the programming our local PBS and NPR station, WFYI, offered in our tented seating area. We also enjoyed our partnership with Western Governors University, our sponsor of the space.