INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In a matter of weeks, downtown Indianapolis will be filled with all kinds of music and art during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Organizers of a big art project are looking to hire more than 300 people to create during March Madness.
“We can’t wait to be back to some live performance and the opportunity to experience some of what we’ve been missing,” said Julie Goodman, president and chief executive officer of the Arts Council of Indianapolis.
Spearheading the initiative, the council wants put a spotlight on local artists who’ve been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic for the visitors coming to the Circle City for basketball. The organizers say they also hope the events will promote the city.
“So, we’ve been doing a lot of surveys and check-ins with artists throughout the pandemic to know what they need what support and help they need,” Goodman said.
The organization says they’re planning pop-up dances, music, spoken word, and more in places including Monument Circle, Richard G. Lugar Plaza, and Georgia Street.
“We want to create opportunities for the community to participate in all of this safely and so a lot of outdoor opportunities,” Goodman said.
Other activities will include a self-guided walking tour of public art around downtown.
The council is also looking to add art in empty downtown storefront windows to bring more color to downtown.
“We’re thinking about it really in terms of our city as a gallery,” Goodman said, “so how do we leverage some of the openings, places,and spaces that we have to showcase some of the best visual artists that we have in our city?”
“We really see this as an opportunity to engage artists and creatives as a way to express our spirit, express our DNA as a city, and and what makes Indianapolis Indy,” Goodman said.
Volunteers from organizations including Through2Eyes, Indy Chamber, and Indy Music Strategy are leading the council’s initiative. The group Indianapolis Cultural Trail Inc. is also working to make sure all these events come to life.
Kären Haley, executive director of the Cultural Trail, said, “So, thinking about how do we support all the amazing work for us to host March Madness, but also to support the arts and cultural community in a way that people are going to see it and realize just how rich and diverse it is.”