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SPARK in the News – 2024

 

SPARK on the Circle 2024 is spark-ing conversation! 💥

Check out some of the media coverage of SPARK in 2024:

 

 

 

 

 

 

WFYI, 4/18/2024

Citing last year’s success, Indianapolis officials announce return of SPARK on the Circle 

“The program closes off parts of Monument Circle to vehicles, opening it to foot traffic for arts and culture events.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOX 59, 4/18/2024

SPARK on the Circle returns for 2024 season

“For this year’s season, the space will offer expanded programming and hours, including evening additions.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBS4, 6/1/2024

Opening weekend for SPARK on the Circle

“SPARK on the Circle is officially back for another big year. Tens of thousands of people had a chance to enjoy this popular downtown feature last year and now the excitement is building for year two.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WTHR-13, 6/6/2024

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUU4N3SO_l0 

“13Sports director Dave Calabro visits SPARK on the Circle during his weekly quest to find some Good News!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

WISH TV, 5/30/2024

https://www.wishtv.com/news/local-news/spark-on-the-circle-returns-for-summer-on-saturday/ 

“Big Car Collaborative, one of the partner groups of SPARK, has developed a lineup of live music, art classes, and other interactive events for the season.”

 

… 

 

Check out @sparkplaces on Instagram for information and updates about SPARK on the Circle!

 

Find the SPARK event schedule here.

 

Find the SPARK 2024 press release from Downtown Indy here.

 

Have questions? Send us an email at [email protected].

 

 … 

 

SPARK is a partnership between Big Car Collaborative, Downtown Indy, the City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, with support from the Indiana War Memorials Commission Capital Improvements Board.It is a continuation of our work in 2023 and in 2015 on the Circle.

 

At Big Car, we approach our work at the Circle as a site- and community-specific socially engaged art and creative placemaking project. The SPARK on the Circle pop-up park was collaboratively designed with Indianapolis-based Merritt Chase to be a restorative public place where people of all walks of life can relax, play, socialize, and engage with art and artists in the heart of our city. 

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SPARK park back in 2024!

SPARK park back in 2024!

We had a great season at Monument Circle in 2023! SPARK on the Circle is an ongoing partnership between Big Car Collaborative, Downtown Indy, City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, the Capital Improvement Board, and the Indiana War Memorials Commission.

SPARK — returning from June until November in 2024 — brings a free, fun, playful, welcoming, and art-filled park to the heart of Indianapolis. Read the press announcement about the 2024 version here.

On Monument Circle, you’ll find comfortable places to sit in the shade, free games to play like ping pong and chess, a cafe serving food and drink, art experiences, and special offerings like live, local music. Big Car Collaborative approaches its aspects of SPARK on the Circle as a site and community specific public art project.

Find our report from 2023 here.

Check out our highlight video from 2023 by Ben Rose

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SPARK FEST is back Oct. 28 & 29!

Circle SPARK Fest is a free, two-day fall festival on Oct. 28 and 29 featuring live music by an amazing array of local musicians, delicious food, artisan vendors, and hands-on creative activities led by Indianapolis artists. Activities include pumpkin carving, making pottery, and lots more. The festival, which runs from 11 am until 6 pm each day, takes place at the pop-up park on the southwest quadrant of Monument Circle that has been closed to traffic this summer.

New this year: SPARK Fest’s organizers at Big Car Collaborative and Downtown Indy are teaming up with UbeFest — an event that’s all about the tasty purple yam often used in desserts in Filipino cuisine called ube. UbeFest brings more than 30 food, artist, and unique retail vendors to the Circle for the festival. Many will showcase, among their offerings, a variety of tasty ube-based treats.

Due to forecasted rain, the festival will close early, October 29 at 4 p.m.

 

Performance schedule

(hosted both days by Tennah):

10/28 Sat

11-11:45 – Nathaniel Russell and Landon Caldwell

12-12:45 – Freetown Village Singers

1-1:45 – Naomi Pulver

2-3 Allison Victoria

3:30-4:30 – D’Classics

5-6 – Bashiri Asad

 

10/29 Sun

11-11:45 – Fred Miller
11:45-12– Tinikling Cultural Dance (On Monument)
12-12:45 -Tubbles the Band
1-1:45– The Roundups
2-2:45 – Forgotten Tribe
3-3:45– Exceso Rock Band

 

Activity Schedule (all free to participate):

10/28 Sat

12-5pm Henna with Pam

12-5pm Indy Face Painting

11-6pm Making Pottery with Stephanie Williams

11-6pm Pumpkin Carving

4-6pm Candle Making with Freetown Village

 

10/29 Sun

12-4pm Henna with Pam
12-4pm Face Painting with Stephanie Zki
11-4pm Derek Tudor Selfie 360 and Mini VanGo
11-4pm Ceramics with Stephanie Williams
11-4pm Pumpkin Carving

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SPARKFEST Volunteer Opportunity

SPARKFEST 

– Date: 10/28-10/29

– Time: 11-6pm

– Location: SPARK on Monument Circle

 

Volunteers will assist with event activities like pumpkin carving and be involved in engaging with visitors. We would like to offer this opportunity for volunteers to get a chance to be involved in a community event and earn valuable event experience.

 

How to Get Involved:

If you’re interested in volunteering with us, sign up for a time slot with your information. We’ll reach out to you with further details and confirm your volunteer role.

Sign Up Link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C094BAFAA29A4FCC34-45153094-sparkfest

 

Join us in creating a memorable and impactful event that brings our community together. Your time and dedication can make a real difference.

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Meet SPARK Artist in Residence: Brittany Fukushima

SPARK on the Circle has a new Artist in Residence, Brittany Fukushima!
Over the next 10 weeks, Fukushima has plans for works that will be centered around our five senses—focusing on smell. Fukushima has planned an on-going scavenger hunt, working with found materials like leaves, coloring pages and even scratch and sniff stickers. Plans will grow as Fukushima spends time at the Circle. So be sure to continue to check back on circlespark.org as they add to the menu of fun to be had at SPARK on the Circle.
 
About the artist: Brittany Fukushima is an Indianapolis-based painter and teaching artist who uses their practice to interpret their environment. Drawing and painting become a means to investigate the natural world, express the intangible, and to present alternate ways of seeing. Recently, they have experimented with paint making using foraged pigments. Teaching is an integral part of their process as it keeps them in community and provides fresh perspectives. Brittany currently teaches at the Indianapolis Art Center and is a graduate of Herron School of Art and Design. They have exhibited throughout Indianapolis and Chicago and their work has been featured by Butter, WFYI and Pattern Magazine.
About SPARK on the Circle: This is an inclusive, artist-led, site-specific partnership between Big Car Collaborative, Downtown Indy and The City of Indianapolis for free daily programming, arts activities, games, live entertainment, and recreation. SPARK is made possible by the Capital Improvement Board. Learn more at circlespark.org.
downtownindy.orgdowntownindy.org
Downtown Indy, Inc. Exists to Enhance and Advance Downtown Indianapolis.

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SPARK in the news

The Indianapolis Star, 07/07/23
Monument Circle will partially close Saturday to offer pedestrian-focused experiences in the heart of downtown Indianapolis for the next four months.
13 WTHR, 07/06/23
It is a trial run for potentially closing the circle to traffic in the future. 
Fox 59, 07/06/23
INDIANAPOLIS – Part of Monument Circle is now closed to drivers in what city officials are calling an effort to make downtown more pedestrian friendly
Indianapolis Business Journal, 07/07/23
The Monument Circle quadrant outside of the Emmis Corp. headquarters and South Bend Chocolate Co. will serve as a pedestrian-only experience in the heart of downtown Indianapolis.
WISH-TV, 07/08/23
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The southwest quad of Monument Circle is closed until November to make way for “Spark on the Circle,” a pedestrian-friendly area with games, food, and art.
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Help us SPARK the Circle!

Help us SPARK the Circle!

Big Car Collaborative is hiring for SPARK on the Circle! Are you creative and friendly or know someone who is? Would you like to work with people in a fun and artful public space in the heart of Indianapolis? We’re taking applications for both part-time Field Artists to activate the space and a Circle Artist in Residence. The project starts July 8, will be open daily, and runs through November. Apply today and share with people who may be interested! Get all the details on both jobs below.

Field Artist and Public Space Activator

The SPARK on the Circle Field Artist and Public Space Activator is a creative, friendly, observant, and detail-oriented person who will work as a seasonal contract artist to create, maintain, and activate an engaging, comfortable, artful, and welcoming public space on Monument Circle.

Big Car Collaborative is currently hiring multiple people for this position. Pay is $20 per on a W9 seasonal contract for up to 30 hours/week (flexible). The work will be happening from July 8-Nov. 2, 2023.

We’ll be working on the southwest quadrant of the Circle that will be closed to motorized traffic as a partnership between the City of Indianapolis, Downtown Indy, Big Car Collaborative, and others. Open from 11 am until dusk daily from July 8 until Nov. 2, 2023, the SPARK on the Circle pop-up park is designed to be a restorative public place where people of all walks of life can relax, play, socialize, and engage with art and artists in the heart of our city.

The SPARK Field Artist, who will also have support from cleaning and security staff employed by Downtown Indy, will be stationed outdoors during open hours — based out of our welcome trailer.

Field Artists will:

• As applicable, set up, take down, and keep the space clean, organized and inviting. This includes walking the space, setting up games, light cleanup, and noticing and taking care of or reporting any issues that require additional support.

• Greet and interact positively with visitors, answering questions as a sort of a city concierge. From the welcome trailer, check out games, suggest creative activities like our postcard project.

• Help facilitate creative, social and cultural activities — including their own ideas and projects.

• Support — as time is available on site — our ongoing data tracking and surveying of visitors and partners, documentation, and promotion of the project and events on the Circle.

• Help keep track of stock of supplies in the welcome trailer and track

• Communicate on Slack at the start, middle and end of each shift.

• Attend a paid training (about 3 hours).

Preferred experience/interests 

  • Customer service of any kind
  • Creativity and interest in community and participatory art
  • Familiarity with nonprofit and/or arts programming
  • Social media and photography skills a plus

Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Friendly attitude; comfort interacting with the general public
  • Observation, listening and learning skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability in a dynamic work environment
  • Ability to anticipate tasks
  • Must be comfortable working outdoors in various weather conditions

→ TO APPLY, SEND RESUME AND COVER LETTER to [email protected]

The full contract position description is found here.


Circle Artist in Residence

We’re excited to back with an even bigger and more transformational SPARK on the Circle at Monument Circle in the summer and fall of 2023. We’ll be there with free daily activities and opportunities for everyone to relax and socialize in this amazing public space. Working again in partnership with Downtown Indy and the City of Indianapolis, Big Car Collaborative will again approach working at the Circle as site- and community-specific socially engaged art. And we’re seeking an artist or artists to work with us at the Circle.

This contract position, at a flexible 15-20 hours per week, runs through Nov. 3 and starts in July (this round of SPARK kicks off July 8). Pay is an $8,000 contract stipend. Big Car provides supplies, materials, facilities, etc. So all of the stipend will go to the artist or artists. Teams or partners/collaborators are welcome to apply. We’re seeking applications before midnight on July 12. Artists of any genre (performing arts, theater, visual art, music, literary, etc.) who are interested in working with the public are encouraged to apply.

Position Summary

Big Car’s Monument Circle Artist in Residence works as part of a team of Indianapolis-based artists in the creation and implementation of art-focused projects and programs during the 2023 summer/fall return of Spark at our city’s most important public plaza, Monument Circle. The Circle Artist in Residence will create, design, and implement their own ideas for working in socially engaged ways with guests/community members. The Circle Artist in Residence will have input into overall approaches and be encouraged to suggest ideas for programming and projects as part of these duties. They’ll also help with the overall program by facilitating activities at our pop-up public place and welcome center — and elsewhere on Monument Circle.

The Circle Artist in Residence will engage with the public during regular on-site hours at times they set, and assist the SPARK team with data tracking, documentation, and promotion — including via our social media efforts. Additional duties include helping maintain a clean space and unpacking, monitoring, and packing up Spark equipment and supplies. This position helps make SPARK on the Circle a great visitor experience.

We appreciate a self starter and also encourage independently-driven projects tailored to the artist’s particular curiosities, skills and interests. Detail orientation, conscientiousness, innovative thinking, empathy and a dedicated interest in the art world is a must. Curiosity and the ability to ask questions is highly valued, as this is first and foremost an opportunity for the applicant to learn.

To apply, e-mail a cover letter and resume/cv to [email protected] by July 12, 2023.

Responsibilities

  • Create and implement your own and others’ programs, projects, and small events.
  • Welcome visitors to Monument Circle
  • Supply guests with information about Monument Circle, Indianapolis, and featured daily presenters and activities
  • Facilitate the visitor experience of current exhibits, programs, and events at Monument Circle, including things like games for loan, art activities, the postcard project etc.
  • Sign up guests who are interested in receiving updates about Spark and other programs
  • Support SPARK social media, documentation, and data tracking while working.

Experience

  • Familiarity with nonprofit and/or arts programming preferred, but not required
  • Customer service or stage/artistic interaction (like performing) experience preferred
  • Social media and photography skills a plus

Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Friendly attitude; comfort interacting with the public
  • Listening skills
  • Willingness to learn about new projects on an ongoing basis
  • Flexibility and adaptability in a dynamic work environment
  • Ability to anticipate tasks
  • Able to work outdoors with the public in a non-traditional workplace

About Big Car

As a nonprofit art and design organization, Big Car Collaborative utilizes tools of culture and creativity to build community and social cohesion — helping connect people as a way to boost quality of life. Formed in 2004 and based in Indianapolis, we also work in other communities and collaborate with artists from around the world.

As an adaptive and flexible cultural organization, we draw together people of all backgrounds to promote and perpetuate creativity, invigorate public places, and support neighborhoods. Big Car is a creative community builder working to boost livability from an engagement-based arts perspective. Our mission statement: We bring art to people and people to art, sparking creativity in lives to support communities. 

About SPARK on the Circle 2023

A partnership with Downtown Indy and supported by the City of Indianapolis, SPARK builds on Big Car’s previous SPARK Monument Circle in 2015. Spark energizes shared public spaces with fun and interactive human-scale experiences. Spark enlivens and energizes public places with games, music, art, and more. Spark activates and celebrates our most culturally rich shared spaces. Spark creates opportunities for connections among fellow citizens.

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SPARK returns for 2023!

SPARK returns for 2023!

We’re excited to return with an even more transformational SPARK on the Circle this year. Starting July 8, the entire southwest quadrant of Monument Circle will be closed to traffic as it becomes a park with lots of seating, shade, food and drink, and opportunities to socialize and get creative in the middle of the city. SPARK, which is always free to enjoy, will be open every day 11 a.m. until dusk until Nov. 3. 

SPARK is a partnership between Big Car Collaborative, Downtown Indy, the City of Indianapolis, and the Indiana War Memorials Commission — and funded by the Capital Improvements Board. This year’s season of work is a continuation of  SPARK on the Circle in 2022 and in 2015

Big Car Collaborative, an artist-led nonprofit based in the Garfield Park neighborhood of Indianapolis, approaches work at the Circle as a site- and community-specific socially engaged art and creative placemaking project. The SPARK on the Circle pop-up park was collaboratively designed with Indianapolis-based Merritt Chase to be a restorative public place where people of all walks of life can relax, play, socialize, and engage with art and artists in the heart of our city.

SPARK on the Circle cultural programming:

  • Lunch Break Live presented by Lake City Bank features a few food trucks and a live musician and takes place every Tuesday from 11am-1pm
  • Second Wednesdays morning donuts and coffee with a live musician from 9-11am
  • Weekly interactive activities by Indianapolis artists sharing hands-on art making experiences with visitors. This is a great way for visitors to engage directly with our city’s artists, meet new people, and experience the joy of creativity. 
  • The Monument Circle Artist in Residence returns to engage with the community and create site-specific programs and projects linked to the Circle, its history, and the people who enjoy it.

More details coming soon!

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Pictures from SPARK 2022

Check out lots of pictures from SPARK on the Circle 2022 here!

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SPARK 2022 in video