What’s Spark? Many things: A placemaking effort to energize our city’s most important space, a tactical urbanism test to examine the approaches of a redesign in progress, a complicated and rewarding partnership that brought Monument Circle stakeholders and officials together with an array of cultural organizations, and a socially engaged art project that focused on interacting with people as the main ingredient to the success of all of the above. The participants in the human-scale programming at Spark during 11 weeks in 2015 were both members of the public who joined us there (by chance or on purpose) and the artists, program designers, and facilitators who created and cultivated opportunities for the public to play, create, socialize, and have fun.
The photo mosaic above includes many of the people who worked with us at Big Car on this project. We involved more than 50 artists and creatives in this project — all in paid positions. To them, though, it was more than a job. It was an opportunity to celebrate Indianapolis and help make this city a better place — and help people feel connected with the culture of our community. We appreciate the creativity and dedication of this group and the participation of all of the visitors to Spark. And, we are so thankful to our funders and partners for the opportunity to help make this happen on Monument Circle. We hope to be back in 2016 and beyond! — Jim Walker, executive director of Big Car and lead artist on Spark