Butler's $2.9M grant to create new kind of science museum

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The National Science Foundation has awarded Butler University's Center for Urban Ecology a four-year, $2.9 million grant—money the university will use to create sites along six Indianapolis waterways that will educate the public about the city's water system.
“We’re creating the first science museum in Indianapolis, but it will not be a building,” said Tim Carter, director of the Center for Urban Ecology. “Instead, we’re using the city itself as a learning environment and focusing on six waterways and the adjacent neighborhoods.”

The six waterways are the White River, Fall Creek, Central Canal, Eagle Creek, Pleasant Run and Pogue’s Run.

By spring 2015, the six "city as living laboratory sites" will feature activities such as dance, music and poetry that will interpret scientific content.

In addition, the project will be accessible virtually through an app for mobile devices so that temporary installations will have a life beyond the live performances.

“This innovative form of informal science learning combining scientific content and artistic endeavors of sculpture, music, dance, and poetry has the potential to reframe how future science museums around the country are constructed and programmed,” Carter said.

Funding will go to the artists, for installing sites, and toward research and evaluation.



  • Public Arts = Public Good...
    Using money for public art is better than than giving it to the banks.. How's TARP working out for the Average Joe? Not to good. Pumping 80M per month into Wall Street is not helping Main Street. This way at least the public will SEE a benefit. Pretty basic stuff.
  • Public art
    I guess we should give money away to anything that will make people feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. Can't believe I am such a moron to think of $2.9 million worth of better use of this money.
  • Not a Waste...
    This is a good idea. Public art is the best use of money. I painted a mural downtown (Sunflowers mural, 30th and central),it was amazing the comments I got while painting that mural. Here is an actual "quote" from someone driving by as I painted the mural: "Your mural makes me feel happy." A lady driving down the street actually said that. That just blew my mind. When is the last time someone said that about a government OR corporate program/project? All that from just painting a wall. Public art is the BEST use of money, morons just don't understand that it is.
    • Are you kidding?
      Three words: What a waste!

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    1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

    2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

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    4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

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