About Spark Monument Circle (2015)
What makes a city great? Dynamic, people-centered spaces. Aug. 1 through Oct. 16, 2015, Big Car and our partners staged a major placemaking project in Indianapolis’ most public plaza with new amenities and daily programming — Spark Monument Circle.
Check out our Spark by the Numbers report.
View a video with Spark highlights here:
Browse photos from the project.
Media coverage of Spark Monument Circle
Read the original press release here. This temporary, demonstration was a partnership with The City of Indianapolis, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Central Indiana Community Foundation.
Our artist-led work activating the Circle included free, low-key programming and infrastructure: drop-in games, music, bistro-style seating on platforms known as parklets, conversation, the Wagon of Wonders, historical characters, fitness, and more, co-presented by a great roster of partners.
The information gathered during Spark Monument Circle has been shared with the City of Indianapolis Monument Circle Reconstruction team for consideration in the longer-term re-construction project of the space.
Big Car’s approach to Spark used the tools, techniques and strategies of creative placemaking, tactical urbanism, and socially engaged art to accomplish three main goals:
- Honor the history and civic importance of the space while offering insights and information helpful for planning for future uses of Monument Circle
- Help improve the quality of life for residents by providing a thriving civic & social space in the center of the City
- Provide an enjoyable, memorable, and surprising experience for visitors to Indianapolis.
During the run of Spark, free themed programming happened each day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.:
✪ Mellow Mondays encouraged low-tech, relaxing experiences … with the Indianapolis Public Library’s Bookmobile, lunchtime yoga, and live ambient music
✪ Talking Tuesdays featured the “Ask an Expert” desk, conversation prompts, and a Listening Booth
✪ Walking Wednesdays days when people met to walk and talk and take organized, artist/expert-led walks from the Circle to other destinations nearby — and fitness walks, too
✪ Throwback Thursdays focused on history – especially of Monument Circle – and bringing history to life with four characters: Gov. Oliver Morton, city planner Alexander Ralston, entrepreneur John Freeman, and First Lady Esther Ray Brown.
✪ Phono Fridays featured music, sound, and DJs – including crowd-sourced, vinyl, spoken word
✪ Social Saturdays featured morning workouts, open call and community events, and themed processions
✪ Cycle Sundays included opportunities for bike riders