10 Things to Expect from Spark: Monument Circle

New initiative invites you to eat, stretch, chat, and play at the city’s center.

Ever stepped onto Monument Circle and thought,

“If only there were more seating, more culture, more art”?

Don’t worry; we have too (Debbie Paul – Full Circle and 10 Big Ideas to Make Indy a Model City, #8). But soon, we’ll all wonder no more.

The city’s Office of Sustainability, in conjunction with Big Car Collaborative and Downtown Indy, is bringing art and culture (and, hopefully, foot traffic) to Monument Circle. The program, called Spark: Monument Circle (circlespark.org), is meant to uncover what brings people downtown—and what keeps them here.

“We’re ‘sparking’ ideas,” says Big Car Collaborative executive director Jim Walker. “It’s a pre-design approach to redesign.” When the events conclude in October, the city will consider permanent changes based on Spark’s success.

“In this city, we’ve done a good job investing in places to make them nice, but we haven’t invested in programming,” says Walker. “With [Spark], there’s always going to be something there.”

Few could be as excited as we are for Spark—the “front porch,” as Walker calls it, takes place right outside our front door.

Here are 10 things we can all expect come August 1:

1. More food trucks. So many more food trucks.

2. Motivation to start your fitness plan with yoga every Monday and Indiana-themed walks every Wednesday (ever wanted to know all the weird things about the Hoosier State? Now’s your chance).

3. An answer to every “what are we going to do today?” question thanks to the calendar on Spark’s website (circlespark.org) listing anything happening on or around Monument Circle from August 1 to October 16.

4. Reincarnation of grade-school recess thanks to jump ropes, hopscotch, and hula hoops available for play.

5. Conversations with William Henry Harrison about holding the shortest presidency or life at Grouseland with the help of an impersonator. (On—wait for it—Throwback Thursdays.)

6. A wish-making factory where all your dreams come true—in the form of pipe cleaners and clay, that is.

7. Getting to explain to your kids what that cassette-tape motorbike is made of as it makes its rounds every Friday. You can even buy one of those tapes for them to ogle later.

8. Live music right outside of Emmis Communications (Indianapolis Monthly’s parent company), from folk performances to classical musicians to bands, making discovering new tunes a whole lot more fun.

9. Parking spots–turned–seating decks with extra chairs, for when the steps of the Monument just don’t cut it.

10. A chance to host your own activity within Spark’s programming. If it fits in their criteria, you and your group or community can hold a book booth or a show-and-tell about robots. The sky’s the limit—almost (circlespark.org/opencall/).


We will be sharing Monument Circle and Spark happenings on social using hashtag #OnTheCircle. Join us!