Monumental Voices asks for your input to improve downtown public spaces

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INDIANAPOLIS — A new campaign wants your input to improve popular public spaces in Downtown Indianapolis.

Monumental Voices is a collaboration among the city, Art Strategies and GANGGANG. Organizers are seeking your feedback through pictures, videos, texts and audio messages.

“We want to understand what people want to see in the space,” said Rusty Carr, deputy director of the Department of Metropolitan Development in Indianapolis. “What is going to make them feel more welcome? What is going to drive them to the space? So we really want that to inform our future programming, our future activations and our future event schedules, really how we think about these public spaces and the power that they hold.”

“These are our public spaces, we the taxpayers,” said Mindy Ross, owner and chief curator of Art Strategies, “and so we want to see those spaces programmed, and come alive, outside of Indy doing big events well for convention years and visitors.”

The goal is to gather thousands of responses, take them to key players and help figure out ways and strategies to implement changes. The campaign focuses on Monument Circle, the canal, Georgia Street and Lugar Plaza.

Organizers hope to hear from a diverse crowd, reflecting the many cultures in the city.

“It will take voices that may not be regularly heard, or people who may not be regularly seen in these spaces,” said Ross.

Ross says they’re already seeing a variety of suggestions, including more arts and culture, outdoor seating and a welcoming approach to public safety.

“We’re also hearing a lot about humanizing the spaces, making sure there’s more amenities in terms of tables, chairs, shade, just a real way to sit, and enjoy and spend some time in the space,” said Ross.

“Public safety, we all know it’s a topic,” she added. “Not just in terms of crime, but also in terms of communities not feeling welcome when they see groups of police, and making sure we look at ways that we do monitor those spaces in a way that makes people still feel welcome.”

Organizers are looking for creativity in responses. The goal is to choose several submissions to be highlighted in the public display, which will be projected on the AES building, on October 1st.

“It really doesn’t put anyone in a box,” said Carr. “It really allows you to kind of express yourself, and express your views in these spaces, in whatever way is authentic to you and that is something that I think is really valuable.”

You can submit your feedback now. Organizers suggest the sooner the better so it can be considered in time for the video.

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