Placemaking Week 2024
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Wednesday, June 5 • 11:15am - 12:30pm
PANEL: Soup to Nuts: Artists and City Officials Teaming up to Activate a Public Space

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In this session, a group of artists, designers, and city officials will discuss the full gambit of what it takes to activate a public space together — from community engagement, to finding political will and funding, to space design and choosing furnishings, to engaging artists for offering programs, to keeping it clean and safe, to handling promotion and marketing, to documentation and data tracking. Plus everything in between. Many people, including city and corporate leaders, want more vibrant public spaces in their cities and understand the importance of active, engaging, welcoming, and art-filled public spaces in supporting stronger communities of all sizes. People now see the WHY of doing this. Our workshop -— led by the team that worked on SPARK Monument Circle in Downtown Indianapolis — will focus on the details of HOW to do so — with thoughts on WHERE and WHEN as well. We’ll also talk about WHO is vital to involve in making it happen.  SPARK on Monument Circle is a major effort to turn an underutilized civic space in the heart of our city into a large pop-up park. This work began in 2015 with an NEA Our Town grant. That process led to multiple smaller iterations of the project before the City — with solid support from its Capital Improvement Board (which supports tourism in our City) — made a major investment and closed a large section of street on the Circle in 2023.  Why is this an important topic? Now, more than ever, public places need to be optimized to be as beneficial as possible to all citizens who visit and enjoy them. These spaces can—and should—serve as our civic commons. We’ll talk about some of these key outcomes of creating welcoming, enjoyable, respectful, comfortable, and active public places.

avatar for Jim Walker

Jim Walker

executive director, Big Car Collaborative/Spark Placemaking
Jim Walker is co-founder of the Indianapolis-based arts organization, Big Car Collaborative. He serves as lead artist on Spark, Big Car’s program activating public spaces. He co-leads work on one block where Big Car owns 22 properties — including affordable artist homes and a... Read More →
avatar for Rusty Carr

Rusty Carr

CEO, The Parks Alliance of Indianapolis
avatar for Shauta Marsh

Shauta Marsh

Co-founder, Big Car Collaborative
avatar for Courtney Rissman

Courtney Rissman

Director of Events and Placemaking, Downtown Indy, Inc.
avatar for Danica Liongson

Danica Liongson

Landscape Designer, Merritt Chase

Wednesday June 5, 2024 11:15am - 12:30pm EDT
MICA - Fox Building, Room 210 (2nd Floor)