Mellow out and experience experimental / ambient / electronic sound art every Monday evening. This week: Sedcairn Archives.
Whether you’re new to yoga or you’re a long-time practitioner, bring a mat and take a break for a free, 45-minute class each “Mellow Monday” at Noon. All People Yoga Center instructors will lead a class including gentle, basic movement and centering, calming breathing techniques to rejuvenate your heart, body and mind.
What to bring: Mat, water, wear comfortable clothing. Don’t have a mat? A few will be available to borrow while supplies last.
Registration: Arrive a few minutes early to register anytime between 11:30 am – 12:00 pm.
In case of rain: class will be held in the lobby of the Emmis building (located in the southwest quad of the Circle).
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.”
Bring a friend, pull up a chair, and enjoy experimental electronic noise with ambient moments in this free live concert right on Monument Circle!
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.
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!
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.