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Cool Bus presented by Word On The Street

Cool Bus presented by Word On The Street

Every Sunday at Spark, visit the Cool Bus (a mobile literary arts center) for a word challenge, a place to read, and free books!  Explore word games, rhyming challenges, poetic forms, and maybe meet a visiting author. You can also check out the book selection and take a book home for free.

The Cool Bus is a program of Word On The Street, a not-for-profit focused on engaging neighbors in reading, writing, and exploring in spaces that inspire imagination and wonder. Word On The Street created the Cottage Home Microlibrary as well as the Cool Bus. Central to the organization’s mission is giving away free books and increasing excitement around and access to literacy opportunities. The Cool Bus was the “5×5: Make Your City” winner in 2013.

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Parachutes with Cloud Preaser

Parachutes with Cloud Preaser

Do you remember those giant parachutes you used to play with during recess or at summer camp? There were different games you could play with them– cat and mouse, popcorn, or sharks and minnows– but the best game was played simply when everyone grabbed a handle, raised the parachute into the air, and then ran underneath it and sat inside, creating a giant bubble-like clubhouse. Imagine playing with twelve of those parachutes, which were once white but have now collected pictures and messages from all over the country! Cloud Preaser, an art collective providing public and participatory art, are behind these playful and creative parachutes! In 2014, they traveled all over the United States and invited hundreds of strangers to play with, add pictures, messages, thoughts, and other positive, creative energy to their parachutes. Now, they are coming to Spark Monument Circle to share more of the fun!

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DIY Playground

DIY Playground

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Family fun time in the Blue Foam Playscape.

Learn to build, create and play with a variety of shapes

including ramps, tubes and spheres.

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ActiveIndy Self-Guided Bike Tour: Monon & Fall Creek Trail Loop

ActiveIndy Self-Guided Bike Tour: Monon & Fall Creek Trail Loop

Enjoy the tail-end of Spark Monument Circle by exploring Indianapolis by bike through the final ride from this series of self-guided tours developed by ActiveIndy Tours! This 9.5 mile route showcases the connectivity of three trail systems on the northside of downtown. Cyclists will enjoy fall’s display of colors while exploring the Cultural Trail, Monon Trail, and Fall Creek Trail before returning to the Circle via the historic neighborhoods of Fall Creek Place, Herron-Morton, and the Old Northside. Check in at the Welcome Trailer before departing to view a route map and receive a cue sheet of directions for the ride.

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ActiveIndy Guided Bike Tour: Cultural Trail & Historic Neighborhoods

ActiveIndy Guided Bike Tour: Cultural Trail & Historic Neighborhoods

During Spark, the Circle is the launching point for ActiveIndy Tours’ most popular tour – a guided bicycle tour of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail & Historic Neighborhoods!  This tour covers 10 miles at a casual pace allowing you to explore downtown while learning about our city’s history, architecture, public art & connections to pop culture.  Rental bicycles available & advance registration required for this fee-based tour. Get details and sign up here.
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DIY Playground

DIY Playground

20420360726_370a7e2aee_o

Family fun time in the Blue Foam Playscape.

Learn to build, create and play with a variety of shapes

including ramps, tubes and spheres.

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Preview: Monument Circle Art Fair

Preview: Monument Circle Art Fair

Fall has proven a season of firsts on Monument Circle this year. The tally of premieres sparked by Big Car over the last couple of months proves too innumerable to count. That’s what happens when you experiment. New territory gets explored.

Yet, Big Car is not alone in its inaugural efforts in the heart of Indy. Local ceramic artist Ruth Stoner will bring nearly 70 artists and six musical acts to Fountain Square for the free, family friendly Monument Circle Art Fair.

“I used to have a job on the Southside, and I used to stop on the monument at the end of the day because it was right on the way,” Stoner says. “I would hang out for 10 or 15 minutes. I just loved the space.”

After a bit of investigating just 15 odd months ago, Stoner discovered the Monument was available for at a relatively inexpensive price. That’s when the gears began to turn. “As somebody that’s done art shows,” Stoner says, “I was thinking gosh, you know, it seems like a logical place to have an art fair. It’s such a great space.”

As a new event, Stoner decided to limit applications to Indiana artists and kept booth prices low relative to more established art fairs around Indy. Despite the local focus, the applicant pool swiftly surpassed Stoner’s expectations – a fact she says is a testament to the Central Indiana arts community. “I figured we’re in the heart of Indianapolis and Indiana,” she says. “Let’s have some Hoosier pride for our Indiana artists.”

A registered pediatric nurse by trade, Stoner never shook the love for ceramics she found while still in high school in South Bend. After nursing school, she continued to take art classes at everywhere from IUPUI and Herron to Indianapolis Art Center. Stoner continues to work as a nurse around 25 hours per week, while operating a studio out of Broad Ripple called Artistry In Clay. It wasn’t until her kids reached adulthood that she began to consider ways she might give back to a community that has fed her creativity over the years.

Music Schedule:

  • 10 am – Elizabeth Efroymson Brooks with the Suzuki academy (weather dependent)
  • 11 am – Nick Zyromski
  • 12:30 pm – The Yellow Kites
  • 1:30 pm – Luke Austin Daugherty
  • 3 pm – Cathy Morris
  • 4 pm – Blue Moon Revue

When Stoner initially decided to pursue the idea of hosting an art fair on the monument, she didn’t realize that Spark would be overlapping. The circle is an interesting space, in that the Monument itself belongs to the state while the surrounding streets and sidewalks belong to the city. This has led to some interesting complementary programming throughout Spark. For part, Stoner is thrilled with the timing.

“I just think Spark has brought such an awareness to the circle,” she says, “and they have been so supportive in getting the word out. It’s just such a nice setting for us, because of all the seating. It’s great.”

If the event is successful, Stoner hopes to make Monument Circle Art Fair an annual event. With food trucks, live music, a glass blowing truck and Spark as a backdrop, she hopes the event will offer something for everyone. At the end of the day, the artists who participated will measure the success.

“It’s all about the artists for me, and how they feel,” Stoner says. “If it’s successful and the artists feel like it’s worth it, then I would love for this to be an annual event. We’ll just have to see how it goes, and go from there.”

monument-circle-art-fair-map

What: The inaugural Monument Circle Art Fair brings nearly 70 artists and 6 musical acts to Monument Circle for a single day festival in celebration of Hoosier art.

Where: Monument Circle

When: Saturday, October 10, 2015

10am – 5 pm

 

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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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Bubbles Brown

Bubbles Brown

Bubbles Brown, a Chicago-based early blues duo, brings you roots-rock: delta blues with an aggressive, electrified twist. Acoustic and electric guitar, washboard, suitcase bass drum … real old-time instrumentation in a modern arrangement.

[Check out some of their tunes here.]
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Sparking Monument Circle: Ash Robinson, Stuart Hyatt

Sparking Monument Circle: Ash Robinson, Stuart Hyatt

During this casual, brown-bag lunch, artists involved with Spark will discuss placemaking and projects that engage people in new and creative ways before a brief walk around the Circle led by Big Car’s Jim Walker.

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.