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Our history of art and community in our neighborhood(s)

Our history of art and community in our neighborhood(s)

Big Car Collaborative started in 2004 as a way to support artists and the Fountain Square neighborhood where two of our co-founders, Shauta Marsh and Jim Walker, then lived. In 2011, Walker and Marsh found themselves priced out of Fountain Square when they needed a bigger house for their growing family. Fortunately, they found just the right home in Garfield Park — one neighborhood south of where they’d lived since 2000.

Welcomed by neighbors already leading important work in multiple associations (Garfield North, Garfield South, and Garfield East), Big Car began in 2011 utilizing its tools, experience, and network to support addressing things like:

• Identity and wayfinding signage for the neighborhood (these include a community gateway mural, the logo currently used by the Garfield Park Neighborhood Association and other murals),

• Safety and economic development and connectivity on Shelby Street (we co-led two Better Blocks and other events at what’s now the Garfield Brewery) and temporary safety improvements after the Red Line opened,

• Overall planning as a co-leader convening organization on the South Indy Quality of Life Plan,

• Cultural and community programming like Normal Coffee and hosting neighborhood meetings at our Tube Factory campus, and lots more.

Since 2011, we’ve joined neighborhood leaders like Bean Creek’s Bernie Price in advocating for safer streets here for those who walk and bike. This teamwork and the support of our elected officials has led to improvements like the hawk crosswalk flasher at Cruft and Shelby Street, better signals at Shelby and Southern intersection (which had no crosswalks just a few years ago), and speed bumps on Nelson Ave. We even worked with neighborhood artists and volunteers to paint street murals to make crossing safer in the park and at new stop signs in the blocks north of the park.

Another key outcome of neighbors working together on the Better Blocks in 2013 and 2014 was the Garfield North and Garfield South associations collaborated to each do a Better Block on each end of the neighborhood — volunteering to help each other as they tested out ideas for safer streets and temporarily filled vacant storefronts and lots with positive activity.

Neighbors soon realized it made little sense to be separate and formed a single association, the Garfield Park Neighbors Association, which our staff helped establish as a nonprofit with longtime neighborhood leaders like Jim Simmons and Ed Mahern. These things happened, also, with lots of leadership from current neighbor Aryn Schounce, a Big Car staff member at that time.

Along the way, we’ve been happy to support getting things started and see small businesses continue the work. For example, in 2018 Big Car also applied for and received a sizable grant to pilot the sunken beer garden for a summer in the Garfield Park Conservatory, paving the way for this ongoing favorite now operated by the Garfield Brewery. We’ve also enjoyed supporting impactful projects and programs in our neighborhood like the Garfield Park Farmers Market (with which we’ve partnered in multiple ways and often provided the mobile parklet to sit on under the shade sails since the market started in 2016).

People often ask how Big Car Collaborative landed with its home base in the Garfield Park and Bean Creek neighborhoods (our block is found within both official borders). Back in 2011, we had left our small gallery in Fountain Square and operated out of a pop-up for a few years we called Service Center for Culture and Community in the Lafayette Square area with a community space and large parking lot garden at an abandoned tire shop outside the mall. When that project ended in 2014 — and with us already having worked for four years in Garfield Park — we were fortunate to soon find both a great location and a fantastic partner in Tube Processing, who ended up donating much of the property they had on the block between Cruft Street and Nelson Avenue.

This work on the block, which began in 2015 based out of our Listen Hear space on Shelby (home of WQRT FM and once a place where we did an art show when it was an appliance store), now includes 21 buildings — including 18 long-term affordable homes for artists who are now vital and dedicated members of our community. One of these houses — fixed up by and named after neighbors Steve and Cari Guichelaar — includes a gallery that features artists from the neighborhood and two apartments for hosting visiting artists from around the world. Check out this video that shows what our campus looks like now.

While we have much more to come, Big Car has already brought several millions of dollars of investment to our neighborhood (mostly through foundation grants and donations). We employ 13 people on an ongoing basis — more than half of them neighborhood residents or people who grew up in Garfield Park.

All of our properties are owned by the nonprofit organization, Big Car Collaborative (other than some homes that are co-owned between Big Car and the artist residents as a way to ensure long-term affordability). That means none of these properties are owned or controlled by individuals or for-profit developers — insuring the long-term affordability for artists and use of these facilities as community assets.

At this time of transition in our neighborhood, it’s important to differentiate between mission-driven, non-profit-owned cultural spaces and properties owned by for-profit developers who may use the arts and artists as a way to increase traffic to their buildings and temporarily fill empty space — boosting the attractiveness and value of the property. While for-profit owners understandably want to make money and build value, we believe it’s problematic to use the arts and artists without really sharing wealth or opportunities for ownership. This move — experienced in cities around the world — is sometimes called art washing. And it is often a step in the process of gentrification and displacement.

We anticipated this cycle would eventually come to our neighborhood as we teamed up over the years with other neighbors to improve the quality of life for residents — making the neighborhood more attractive and valuable. So we designed and invested in an approach to have our nonprofit and artists own and preserve much of our block as a long-term place for art and artists.

This strategy is central, also, to our next project — taking the 46,000-square-foot long-vacant factory building behind the current Tube Factory and bringing it to life with museum-quality galleries, artist studios, a performing arts and event space, small business incubator storefronts, and a restaurant and culinary center that offers learning and workforce development opportunities.

This project alone will be a $7 million investment in the arts, our community, and our neighborhood. And this building is a long-term investment in artists and small business people who won’t have to worry about their rents skyrocketing under a for-profit building owner. And the artists in our building will know this owner won’t be cashing in and selling the place to someone else who wants to turn the studios and galleries into something more lucrative — resulting in their displacement once again.

At Big Car, we’re proud of our deep connection to both the Garfield Park and Bean Creek neighborhoods. We feel lucky our campus is located in an area where both boundaries overlap. We work tirelessly, as neighbors ourselves, to support this place we call home. And — with the long-term help of so many neighbors, artists and partners — we’re excited about so much more to come!

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Join our long-term affordable artist residency program

Join our long-term affordable artist residency program

Big Car’s Artist and Public Life Residency (APLR) program – which offers affordable housing to artists who support the community – seeks artists of all disciplines for a discounted, nicely renovated rental home near Tube Factory artspace and Garfield Park. APLR artists enjoy access to Big Car facilities and support from this artist-focused community.
More on the home:
  •  1 bedroom, 1 bath, new appliances (including washing and dryer), street side parking. $600 per month
How does it work?
  • As an exchange for deeply discounted rent cost, artists dedicate about 16 hours per month to work with the public in the community. These hours can include time
    on your own public-facing projects, related training and meetings, research, and time supporting our neighborhood, Big Car programs, and citywide efforts.
  • Artists share a detailed plan and goals for the upcoming year and beyond for their public work as part of APLR .
  • Resident artists share progress and plans.
  • Artists participate in group public engagement efforts on our block.
  • Artists have opportunities to participate in exhibition and collaboration opportunities. We encourage partnerships between resident artists, visiting artists, other local artists, and our staff artists.
  • Artists residents are communicative, collaborative, and considerate with our neighbors, Big Car staff, volunteers and partners.
  • Resident artists receive research, promotion, and training support from Big Car staff and others as they will represent our partnership in the community.
  • Resident artists have access to tools, resources and spaces on our campus.
We view the label of artists broadly to include all creatives, makers, visual artists, performers, culinary artists, writers, musicians, designers. Anyone who considers themselves an artist is eligible to apply. Click here to apply. (edited) 
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Help us build an artful, social creekside educational space

Help us build an artful, social creekside educational space

We’d love your help during this holiday season as we transform an overlooked spot along Bean Creek on our Tube Factory campus into a place for peaceful reflection, socializing, and learning about nature — a perfect gift for the ecosystem and humans alike!

From Dec. 13 through Jan. 13, we at Big Car Collaborative are raising $50,000 matched — dollar for dollar — through CreatINg Places, a program of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) that utilizes funds from the State of Indiana.

With this project called Water World: Creekside Social and Educational Space, artists at Big Car are teaming up with experts in landscape design and horticulture, neighbors, and other partners to restore and reconnect a section of Bean Creek behind Tube Factory as a beautiful and natural public asset.

Please donate online at www.patronicity.com/waterworld. All of these tax-deductible donations will be matched by IHCDA through Jan. 13. We can also accept offline donations via check sent to Big Car at 1125 Cruft Street, 46203. And we give back fun and artistic thank you gifts for your donations!

With your support, we’ll:

• Remove a section of asphalt along Bean Creek and relocate dumpsters and parking to create a green outdoor classroom and gathering area. This intimate space will feature landscaped paths surrounding native pollinator plants.

• Add stone steps down to Bean Creek, allowing visitors access to this year-round waterway enjoyed by fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals like muskrats and mink.

• Clean up trash in the section of Bean Creek that borders our campus. Program the area on First Fridays and with special small events to bring social and educational activities, conversations, and performances from commissioned artists.

• Collaborate with our neighborhood organizations (Bean Creek and Garfield Park) and Reconnecting to Our Waterways on social, educational, and arts-focused gatherings.

• Repair the parking lot adjacent to the new restorative space and paint murals on the pavement. This improved lot will also be easily closed to cars and used for events.

How else can you help? Share the word about this opportunity with friends and family and through social media using the link www.patronicity.com/waterworld

And join us for a donation-optional art opening and fundraiser celebration as part of our Jan. 5 First Friday at Tube Factory artspace. All proceeds and in-person donations from that day will go toward this campaign. As always, we thank our friends at Sun King or their ongoing support.


A Conversation with “Weathering” Author Dr. Arline T. Geronimus

Join us for a conversation with Dr. Arline T. Geronimus, author of “Weathering: The Extraordinary Stress of Ordinary Life in an Unjust Society” and professor in the School of Public Health and research professor in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Register here.

Hosted by Women on a Mission and facilitated by John Krull with an introduction by Tamara Winfrey-Harris, the evening will provide an opportunity to learn about the physiological effects of living in marginalized communities that bear the brunt of racial, ethnic, religious and class discrimination to better understand the causes of health inequities in Indiana.

Dr. Geronimus will discuss her groundbreaking book and the decades of research that led to the term “weathering” and all that it entails. The conversation will take place at Indiana Landmarks Center, located at 1201 Central Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana. Reservations are required. Admission is free.

About Dr. Arline T. Geronimus

Dr. Arline T. Geronimus is a public health researcher and professor at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, where she also is affiliated with the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.

About Women on a Mission

Recognizing that systemic stress can lead to poor physical and mental health, we seek to engage allies and partners in identifying and addressing the root causes and impact of stress, build experiences that lift and heal us, and improve access to physical and mental health care in Indiana.

The first event of the yearlong series adopts “Weathering: Extraordinary Stress in Ordinary People in an Unjust Society” and its author Dr. Arline T. Geronimus to learn about the physiological and mental effects of living in marginalized communities that bear the runt of racial, ethnic, religious, and class discrimination and to understand causes of population health inequities.

Big Car Collaborative and our community radio station, 99.1 WQRT FM, are pleased to support this important community event.

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Announcing the 2023 Power Plant Grant Awardees

Announcing the 2023 Power Plant Grant Awardees

Big Car Collaborative, has regranted a total of $60,000 to artists living and working in the Indianapolis area. These Power Plant Grants — made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts based in New York — fund visual artists and collectives producing public-facing work that’s experimental and brings new energy to the city’s arts community.

Big Car is one of 32 regional regranting organizations across the United States working to support artists via funds from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. “We are grateful to our Regional Regranting Program partners at Big Car Collaborative for their ongoing dedication to supporting artists in the Indianapolis area,” says Khadija Nia Adell, Regional Regranting Program Manager, “The Warhol Foundation is excited to see the projects awarded in this cycle come to fruition and to continue to help artists thrive and make thoughtful and exciting contributions to their communities.”

This is the third round of Power Plant Grants in Indianapolis. The program started here in 2020 as emergency grants distributed during the height of the pandemic. Big Car also awarded $60,000 in project grants to artists and artist-run spaces in 2021 and 2022.

“Power Plant Grants energize the Indianapolis arts community and support visual artists by encouraging them to grow by taking chances, realizing untapped potential, trying

experimental projects, collaborating with each other, and bringing work to unusual places,” said Big Car program director Shauta Marsh. “We’re excited by the quality, dedication, and innovation we see in the work of these artists in our city. We’re so glad to be able to support them and what they’re bringing to audiences in Indianapolis.”

Power Plant grants support visual artists who live, work, or run spaces in Indianapolis with six project grants of $10,000. This year’s awardees were selected by past Power Plant winner Andrea Jandernoa, Indiana-based artist Kelvin Burzon, and Cierra Rembert of SPACES in Cleveland, Ohio.

These are the funded projects for 2023:

Zola Lamothe “Ransom Place: Unveiling a Forgotten Legacy.” This project will center around recreating household and community scenes on the Indiana University Indianapolis campus where people’s homes, churches, and livelihoods once stood. Lamothe’s goal is that viewers will be able to not only witness the juxtaposition of what the land housed then and now but also bear witness to what was lost and wonder what could have been. The work will be released and shared with the community along with information about Indiana laws and future reform to avoid gentrification and displacement. In addition to the public gallery exhibition, Lamothe also plans to donate prints to the Through 2 Eyes organization that offers Indianapolis walking tours on the city’s history.

Lamothe hopes to release a photo book of the project that includes quotes and interviews from those who used to live in Ransom Place and their descendants. Her goal is for the book to be available in public libraries, the Indiana University Indianapolis bookstore, and the Indiana State Museum gallery shop.

Lauren Daughtery: Transformal Textiles

Textile Transformations will focus on themes of grief and loss, transformation, and empowerment through textile work. Using textiles related to a late child (crib sheets, clothing, colors associated with the nursery, etc), mothers will create their own textile work to memorialize their child and to provide a process-based approach for containing and transforming thoughts and emotions.

Textile work has been found to be beneficial in trauma work, allowing women to cope with grief, depression, and other physical ailments. Working in textiles provides sensory stimulation, promotes a feeling of centeredness or grounding, and can be used as a

coping mechanism that can improve mood. This grant will support two iterations of Textile Transformations. Any mother who has experienced loss of a child due to miscarriage, birth trauma, post-birth complications, or any other means will be invited to participate. Sessions will be led by an art therapist and practicing artist alongside a licensed mental health counselor. There will be an optional exhibition for the participants.

Kelsey Simpson: Railroad City Bookmobile

Railroad City Bookmobile is an extension of the work that the locally based Gluestick group does within the Indianapolis community including teaching workshops, distributing free art supplies, publishing collaborative zines, and hosting an annual festival. As the digital world takes over, books and zine making are becoming more like art objects. Our plan is to fill a small vehicle with zines, comic books, and general interest books and distribute them across Indianapolis. In the long run we would love to make connections with community representatives and make return visits to certain locations. We envision ourselves having an item for everyone. We would love to connect with Hoosiers and ask what they would like to read or share with others. We want to see the bookmobile become a collaborative project with all who encounter it.

The Power Plant Grant will be used to purchase a vehicle and transform it into the Railroad City Bookmobile. This mobile workshop will make its public debut at a Read-in event with workshops and other creative opportunities for visitors at the Major Taylor Skatepark on the near westside of Indianapolis. Gluestick plans to document the Read-in experience and publish it as a zine to promote the Railroad City Bookmobile.

Bryn Jackson and April Knauber: Markings of Remembrance.
This collaboration engages a form of Filipino storytelling through abstract patterns found in ancestral body art, or tatak. By engaging stateside practitioners, ancestral objects, colonial-era manuscripts and contemporary texts, Jackson and Knauber see their ultimate goal to be creating space for collective remembrance and understanding of an artform nearly lost to hundreds of years of religious and political subjugation of the indigenous peoples of the islands now known as the Philippines.

Prior to the creation of new sculptural and video works, the project will consist of the formation of a cohort of Filipinos interested in researching their lineage and sharing their findings and personal experiences, continuing a long tradition of cultivating collective memory through oral history, which will inform a tailored curriculum through which the group will learn about the archetypal symbols central to various Filipino tattoo traditions.

Jackson and Knauber will research and share individual histories, the islands from which their families migrated, the languages spoken within their families, and the roles family members held within their communities.

Carlos Sosa: “Reflexiónes de Los Júziers: A New Visual Ethnonym and A New Consciousness Portrait Series”

Sosa will produce and exhibit a dozen multimedia artworks — portraits, dioramas, and textile pieces — with accompanying text in Spanish and English. The work is based on decades-old photos of Hispanic individuals and families with roots in Latin America who chose to call Indiana their home. The artworks will be displayed in high-traffic areas in multiple parts of Indiana. Also, during scheduled discussions and public meetings, these images will foster dialogue to address issues of identity and immigration, migration and borders in our own lives.

Sosa’s goal is for these works to help us think more about identity, survival, energy, and movement. Today’s Júziers will hopefully connect with “their” origin stories: a collection of faces and narratives that is easy to explore and make their own. His approach is focused on the belief that images will reflect or provide access to a period’s views and actively participate in acknowledging those views de vida in the first place. A history of images has an impact on remaking, which itself constitutes a valuable record and purpose of people’s lived lives.

Evren Wilder Elliott: Imagining Home: Liberatory Theatre and Speculative Solutions for Housing Justice

Elliot’s social practice and performance art project, “Imagining Home: Liberatory Theatre and Speculative Solutions for Housing Justice” aims to utilize critical dialogue, art and liberatory theater to examine the housing crisis in Indianapolis, specifically among the experiences of Black, Latine, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+, and other historically marginalized communities.

By gathering community members affected by housing insecurity, as well as partnering with local organizations within the Indianapolis Housing Continuum of Care, we will engage in play, improvisation, imagination, and storytelling practices to collectively envision solutions and policies that can drive meaningful change. This project will employ a participatory approach, inviting individuals to become co-creators and active agents in the exploration of housing issues. Through a series of workshops, participants

will be encouraged to develop their narratives through story circles, written accounts, performance, image-making, and other creative mediums.

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Lockerbie Pop-Up Public Place

Lockerbie Pop-Up Public Place

Lockerbie Night Market from Big Car Collaborative on Vimeo.

In October 2017, our Indianapolis Spark Placemaking crew teamed up with CitiMark and Gershman Partners to bring short-term public programming to the Lockerbie Marketplace small park area between Alabama, New York, New Jersey, and Vermont streets in the heart of Downtown. This previously underutilized green space is surrounded by a grocery store and other office and retail spaces and is located just off of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Due to successful events and programming, we were invited back – Look out for the following events in 2022!

Lunch at Lockerbie Marketplace
Spend your lunchtime with us at Lockerbie Marketplace every Thursday. Stop by to enjoy the various activities that this hidden downtown green space has to offer along with a soundtrack provided by live musicians from right here in your city. Challenge a friend to a game of ping pong or foosball, play giant Jenga, and find your new favorite musician. At Lockerbie Marketplace green space, food truck from 11:30 am-1:30 pm and live music 12-1 pm.

Make sure to pop in each week for varied activities like pilates, numerology readings, collaborative knitting projects, and creative activities with various local artists.


May 4: Live music by Jay Elliott, indie folk. Community knitting project by artist Mary Jo Bayliss. Food by Weiner Dreams Hot Dogs, a mobile hot dog cart serving up the finest Casper Dogs.

May 11: WQRT DJ Mix and Food by Taste of Manila, authentic Filipino comfort food.

May 18: Live music by Kristen Bales, alt-rock. Numerology readings by artist Ellen Robinson. Food by Guacho Fire. Guacho’s wood-fired grill serves great cuts of meat, poultry, seafood & vegetables.

May 25: WQRT DJ Mix. Food by Guacho Fire.

June 2023 Schedule

June 1: Live music by percussionist, Rob Funkhouser. Community knitting project by artist Mary Jo Bayliss. Food by Tortas Mexican food truck with an eclectic menu of tortas, tacos, and tamales.

June 8: WQRT DJ Mix. Food by Taste of Manilla.

June 15: Live music by Haley Stevenson (violin/viola) & Maya Nojiri Sutherland (cello). Food by Tortas.

June 22: WQRT DJ Mix. Food by PI Indy food truck, brick oven pizzas.

June 29: Live music by Luke Garrigus (piano & vocals) & Charissa Garrigus (piano). Food by Hert’s BBQ food truck, ribs, brisket & sausages.

All events are free at 320 N New Jersey Street in the greenspace right off the Cultural Trail

Keep this page bookmarked for more event announcements and details.

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Thanks for helping us meet our CreatINg Places match!

Thanks for helping us meet our CreatINg Places match!

We want to thank our individual donors who helped us with a successful campaign to raise funds matched by the IHCDA CreatINg Places program with the State of Indiana. This campaign — which brought in $50,000 from donors matched by $50,000 from IHCDA — is supporting improvements underway to our Cruft Street Commons campus and adjacent block. Many donated anonymously and we aren’t listing their names.

Indianapolis Foundation, PNC Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Buckingham Foundation, Jenifer Brown, Diana Mutz, Ed Mahern, Ursula David, Marianne Glick, Katie Clements, Frank and Katrina Basile, Anne Laker and Joe Merrick, Jane Henegar, Emily Masengale, Russell Clemens, David Yosha, Stephen B Gates, Ben & Connie Berg, Janet Fry, Connie Christofanelli, Martha Steele, James C Kelly, Kurt Bokelman, Carlie Foreman, Steve Guichelaar, Thomas Batista, David Anderson, Chelsea DuKate, Daniel E. Marquis, Alex Tourney, Jim Walker, Katie Carlson, Bethany N Bak, Georgia Mason, Molly Martin, Iris L. Williamson, Mali Jeffers, Paul J Hinton, Joan Wyand, Sarah Spiewak, Sarah J Stiles, Felix Medina

With your help, our staff and many artists will team up to further beautify our block for people to celebrate art, poetry, and each other at a welcoming public place filled with color, light, and nature.

All of this work – centered around community collaboration – continues to develop social infrastructure that helps make places inclusive, equitable, and comfortable. Thank you for your investment in Big Car Collaborative and for sharing our belief that art and vibrant public spaces are crucial to the quality of life for everyone!

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Help us meet our match to beautify our art block!

Help us meet our match to beautify our art block!

Today through Dec. 22, each dollar you give in support is matched by Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA)’s CreatINg Places program.

Please donate today. Your tax-deductible support will help us further beautify our block on the near southside for people to celebrate art, poetry, and each other at our welcoming public place filled with color, light, and nature.  You can also help us by sharing the word about this opportunity that also comes with fun rewards for donating.

With this project on our contemporary art campus (now with 16 artist homes and three cultural and community buildings) we’ll improve the streetscape by bringing the artist’s homes alive with color, light, and plantings. And we’ll add commissioned public art around the block (including poets and musicians as well as visual artists) as we launch a seasonal art walk series that will include the resident artists as it becomes a regular celebration for the public.

Learn more and donate at www.patronicity.com/abloom

What we’ll do with your support (often working with and paying commissioned, neighborhood, and other locally based artists):

  • Paint artist houses on the block with vibrant and welcoming colors.
  • Add light elements to homes and streets for night-time art walks and year-round beauty.
  • Utilize a projector to show bright and colorful digital art on the side of our soon-to-be-renovated big building — visible from much of the block.
  • Bring public art to surprising places on the block — like the chain-link fence around our parking lot (colorful flower mural), street sign poles (a perfect place for poems), and the dead-end barrier at the end of Cruft Street (kinetic sculpture).
  • Add benches around existing trees along Cruft Street and install attractive planters for residents to use for growing food in spring.
  • Install wayfinding and informational signage around the block.
  • Start the first of an ongoing tradition of seasonal art walks around the entire block (winter, spring, summer, and fall) that include galleries, installations, and performances at the different artist’s homes and yards.

We hope you can join us for a donation-optional art openings and fundraiser celebration during First Friday on Dec. 2 from 6-10 p.m. at Tube Factory artspace. 

Proceeds from that night will go toward this campaign. As always, we thank our friends at Sun King for their ongoing support. 


If you’d prefer to write a check, please also note Patronicity in the memo. You can mail/drop your donation in person at the following address:

 Big Car Collaborative
1125 Cruft Street
Indianapolis, IN 46203

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Circle SPARK Fest Artist & Vendor Call Out

Circle SPARK Fest Artist & Vendor Call Out

Sat & Sun, October 22-23 1-5 PM on Monument Circle

Big Car Collaborative in partnership with Downtown Indy, Inc. are bringing Circle Spark Fest on Monument Circle and are seeking artists to participate.  

400 to 600 guests are expected at the following event, the majority of which are downtown for work, and a good number of downtown residents as well. A required Vendor Submission Form is Due September 29 @ 12pm.

Event Details

Event:  Circle Spark Fest

LocationSW Quad of Monument Circle (in front of Emmis)

Parking Provided (1 vehicle per artist) on Monument Circle on the SE and NW quad curb lane. 


Event Time:   1:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Load-in Time:   11 am

Load-out Completion: 9 pm

Artist Requirements:

  • We will require a $50 refundable deposit for artists to participate once accepted. Artisan vendors will be refunded their full deposit upon attendance.
  • Artists must provide their own setup (which could include a 10×10 tent, table, chairs, signage, etc.)
  • A signed Services Agreement that Downtown Indy, Inc. will need returned at least 48 hours prior to event

Big Car Collaborative and Downtown Indy, Inc. will provide:

  • 1- (12×12) space along the curb lane or the inner part of the SW quad of The Circle
  • Access to electrical outlet for $10 fee (limited number available)
  • Overall logistics/event management
  • Police officers to close the SW quad of the Circle
  • Overnight security of vendor booths
  • Port-o-lets and handwashing stations
  • 1 parking space per artist
  • Liability insurance for vendors
  • Marketing and promotion of event (vendors will be required to market their participation of the event, Big Car and Downtown Indy will NOT promote any single vendor)
  • Live music, games, and artist-led activities


Circle Spark Fest is open to all individual artists and artisans over 18 years of age living in central Indiana, but preference will be given to those living in downtown Indianapolis. All artwork must be original art or fine craft and made by the artist/s and/or artisan/s present at the event. We define “fine craft” as functional objects such as unique one of a kind ceramics, jewelry, etc. and also include creative functional non-art objects such as artisan made soaps, clothing, etc.  Imported or commercially made objects will not be accepted.

All 2D and 3D media are welcome. However, due to the nature and timing of the event, it is recommended that all items are offered in an accessible size and priced relative to the environment ranging from the low end of $5 to a median $50 and higher end between $150 and $250.

Selection Process:

Artists/Artisans will be selected based upon the quality and uniqueness of their work as well as its appropriateness for a variety of downtown audiences.

Fill out the Submission Form here.

  • This form will take 5-10 minutes to fill out if you have your upload materials ready.
  • Via the online form, applicants are to submit 5 images depicting examples of the artwork/fine craft they intend to sell at Circle Spark Fest as well as an (optional) photo of their booth set up.
  • You will be notified by October 3 if you’ve been selected to be a featured artist/artisan for the Fest.


Wednesday, September 29th by noon: Application Deadline

October 3: All artists/artisans are notified whether or not they have been accepted into Circle Spark Fest. Those accepted will receive further instruction on load in that they have been chosen and will be given further instruction on load-in and parking.

By Friday, October 14th: All required documents must be returned.

More information about the organizers of Circle Spark Fest:

With SPARK on the Circle in 2022, the artist-led cultural and community organization, Big Car Collaborative, is teaming up with Downtown Indy and the City of Indianapolis to spark downtown with free, human-scale activities like playing games, enjoying live music, making art, and socializing in a comfortable place to take it easy, spend time together, and enjoy our city. SPARK activities are free for everyone to enjoy.

For specific questions, please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required