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Spark by the Numbers

2015 SPARK By the Numbers by Big Car

We’ve pulled numbers together from surveys and counts from Spark. Check them out above or download a one sheet here.

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Love Letter Writing Booth

Love Letter Writing Booth

On the last day of Spark Monument Circle, stop by and write a love letter to Indianapolis (maybe it’s your favorite restaurant, your favorite very specific place, or even your favorite non-profit– HINT, HINT). Tag it with #LoveIndy. Presented by Plan 2020 and Big Car.

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Indiana Landmarks’ Monument Circle Tours

Indiana Landmarks’ Monument Circle Tours

Indiana Landmarks’ guided tour explores the physical and symbolic heart of Indianapolis and tells the intriguing story of Monument Circle, past and present. During the tour, you’ll hear about the Soldier and Sailors Monument, including why the woman on top faces south, as well as the roundabout’s role in the city’s original plan and stories regarding encircling architecture.


No tour if raining cats and dogs! Reservation required. Advance tickets are $8 per adult (12 and up); $5 per member of Indiana Landmarks; $5 per child (6-12). If space is available the day of the tour, tickets are $10 per person regardless of age.

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Sung Compline presented by Christ Church Cathedral

Sung Compline presented by Christ Church Cathedral

Good Night, Indy. The Christ Church Cathedral Schola will be singing traditional end-of-day prayers on the north end of Monument Circle at 8:15pm on October 15th. Take a moment to wind down with this beautiful choral music, which has been sung for centuries.

Sung compline is an essential part of the Anglican Choral tradition, which the Christ Church Cathedral Choir– a historic staple of the arts community on Monument Circle– has traditionally and continually strived to embody.

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Spark In Lights on the IPL Building

Spark In Lights on the IPL Building

Spark 2015 goes out in style: watch for the Spark logo to scroll across the colored lights in the windows of the IPL building. Thanks, IPL!

Check our partner, IPL, by clicking here.

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Placemaking Lunch Conversation: David Engwicht

Placemaking Lunch Conversation: David Engwicht

With Spark: Monument Circle winding to a close, let’s consider the impact of creative placemaking projects. Bring your lunch as Australian public space guru David Engwicht discusses the challenges and outcomes of creatively transforming our shared spaces.

This event is part of the Big Car and Reconnecting to Our Waterways series on Creative Placemaking. Find out more at:
http://www.bigcar.org/placemakingseries/.

Other partners include:
Indiana Arts Commission, Love Indy, Indianapolis City Market, IndyGo, Harrison Center for the Arts and City Gallery, StreamLines, White River Festival, DaVinci Pursuit, Ball State University Department of Landscape Architecture, Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center (INRC), TEDxIndianapolis, and Spark Monument Circle.

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Indy Look Up

Indy Look Up

Every Wednesday at noon, bring your camera phone/camera, some comfy shoes, whatever you know about our city, AND meet us at the Spark Welcome Trailer to take part in British artist/writer Cara Courage’s Indy Look Up Project!

As you take pictures, share what you know as you walk with us and post to Facebook/Twitter.

To upload the images to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lookupproject

Twitter (with the hashtag #IndyLookUp)

This can be done as the walk progresses or afterwards in one go– whatever you like.

You don’t have to wait till Wednesdays either; contribute to Indy Look Up anytime you are out and about!

More about Look Up from www.caracourage.net.

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Indiana Landmarks’ FREE Monument Circle Walking Tour

Indiana Landmarks’ FREE Monument Circle Walking Tour

Indiana Landmarks’ guided tour around the physical and symbolic heart of Indianapolis tells the intriguing story of Monument Circle, past and present. Join Indiana Landmarks docent Susie Dawson to hear about the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument and why the woman on top faces south. You’ll learn the roundabout’s role in the original city plan and the stories of the encircling architecture, both past and present.

Meet outside the South Bend Chocolate Company on the southwest quadrant of Monument Circle.

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Ask Me Anything (About the Monument) presented by Indiana Landmarks

Ask Me Anything (About the Monument) presented by Indiana Landmarks

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument is the icon of Indianapolis. Who designed it? What’s it made of? What does the imagery mean? On Talking Tuesday at Spark, ask an Indiana Landmarks docent anything you want about the amazing Monument we sometimes take for granted.

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Spark boosts Circle businesses

Spark boosts Circle businesses

By Chris Schumerth, Spark writer in residence 

Ever since seeing Spark “on the news,” Shawn Jones, a 19-year-old freshman at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, walks to Monument Circle almost every day to play ping-pong and meet new people.

“I love my city,” Jones said, enthusiastically, as he sat with four others he’d just met — one celebrating her 30th birthday. Part of Jones’ routine, he said, is to stop in at Rocket Fizz to choose from the stores array of eclectic sodas.

Jones isn’t the only Spark participant who is frequenting Monument Circle eateries.

The owner of Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Chuck Brewer, said that while there’s no way to for him to be completely certain of which traffic comes from Spark, his store’s sales have increased up to 20 percent per week since the program began August 1. The consistent boost in sales has allowed him to hire two new workers to cover shifts.

Brewer pointed in particular to the green outdoor seating that Spark has placed around the Circle. He said the new outdoor seating has provided more seating inside his restaurant because a lot of customers have chosen to sit outside. “It’s a simple math equation,” Brewer said.

Soupremacy is right around the corner from Potbelly. Store Manager Danielle Shipley, who has worked at the restauarant since it opened, confirmed that while sometimes her restaurant’s location on one of Monument Circle’s “spokes” leads to less food traffic, Supremacy has also have seen increased sales of up to 10 percent per week since Spark began. The weekends, she said, have been especially busy, and she has noticed Spark workers frequenting her shop for meals.

Shipley also noted that Spark has brought positive publicity to a place that too often only gets negative media attention. And that spreads the perceptions outward to the city as a whole.

Both Shipley and Ernesto Small, an associate at The South Bend Chocolate Company – located just a few feet from Spark’s welcome trailer – mentioned that they’ve noticed a difference in the kind of traffic at Monument Circle. The Circle, they said, tends to get a lot of business and motorcyclist traffic. But they have recently noticed more families, young people, and tourists spending time there. The credit for bringing that crowd in, Shipley and Small said, goes to Spark.

Small has worked at The South Bend Chocolate Company for more than a year. He he has played chess outside on one of the Spark tables and has learned the names of Spark staffers. He doesn’t have access to the exact numbers, but he knows The South Bend Chocolate Company has seen increases in sales as well.

According to Small, several tourists recently visited The South Bend Chocolate Company en route to Minneapolis from Cincinnati. They had never been to Indianapolis before, but they were impressed by how inviting the Spark program made the Circle as a whole. Small said the guests told him it made them want to come back to Indianapolis.

Along the way, Spark has been surveying hundreds of visitors — both tourists and locals — and gathering data about how people are using the Circle. Spark will also work with nearby businesses to gather numbers to support the positive stories.

With Spark programming nearing its end this week, this leads to the question: what can or should be next for Monument Circle, particularly as Indianapolis makes decisions about how to program and design the Monument Circle area?

Jones, Brewer, Shipley, and Small all seemed to agree: they want more of what Spark has started.

“Spark is such a new and innovative idea,” said Brewer, who noted he’d be glad to see Spark return next year. “This has caused people to think differently about how to use public spaces.”