On the Cultural Trail: Let’s keep the bands marching

May 14, 2013
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On May 11, I spent 12 hours on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, free-associating my way from Mass Ave over to Meridian Street to IUPUI down to White River State Park, across Washington Street, down to Fountain Square, and back up to Mass Ave. It was a great opportunity to celebrate this long-in-the-making amenity and my appreciation for it grew even greater.

Of course, its pleasures were accentuated by the involvement of arts and culture groups, neighboring businesses, churches, civic organizations, etc., who stepped up and provided activities all along the trail for the day.

Amid all of Saturday’s activity, the strongest memories for me came courtesy of a small group of band members from George Washington Community High School, who patrolled the trail with style, energy and talent. These students sparked smiles everywhere they went. And by staying on the move, they never overstayed their welcome. I don't think I'm the only one who, hearing and seeing them, felt good not only about our city but also about our youth.

While I fully realize this kind of programming isn’t possible on a regular basis, I'm hoping the powers that be are seriously considering hiring such bands for the summer. With a trail whose name itself says "culture," why not put some of this talent to work? Seems to me a strolling band or two would be an upgrade for both the trail and the city.

I'll be listening.

Your thoughts?

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  • A good thing.
    I myself was surprised to hear that marching bands would be participating in this event knowing the logistical challenges of getting these groups to and from schools. It seems to me that if the city or it's people want to see more of this they should open up their pocketbooks and invest in the programs. Some of the drums and equipment these students use is twice their age.
  • Agreed.
    It was great to see marching bands, folk music bands, a clown, bocce ball, fruit stand and other activities and vendors along the trail in Fountain Square. I, too, hope the "powers that be" can keep the momentum going. Imagine how nice it'd be to head out to the trail and see this type of entertainment and/or vendors on a frequent basis!
  • Music definitely enhances the trail experience
    I also hope that arts programming in the form of music continues to be part of the trail experience. It was great on Saturday and even before the grand opening when I was leading a bike tour on the trail down in the Ftn Sq area, someone had opened their 3rd floor apartment window, pointed their speakers out and had music playing...and that impacts the user experience in such a positive way!

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  1. Only half a million TV Viewers? And thats an increase? I knew Indycar was struggling but I didn't know it was that bad. Hell, if NASCAR hits 5 Million viewers everyone starts freaking out saying its going down hill. It has a long way to before Indycar even hits NASCAR's bad days.

  2. IU has been talking that line for years with no real progress even with the last Dean, Dr. Brater. Why will an outsider, Dr. Hess, make a difference? With no proof of additional resources (cash in the bank), and a concrete plan to move an academic model that has been outdated for decades with a faculty complacent with tenure and inertia, I can count on IU to remain the same during the tenure of Dr. Hess. One ought to look to Purdue and Notre Dame for change and innovation. It is just too bad that both of those schools do not have their own medical school. Competition might wake up IU. My guess is, that even with those additions to our State, IU will remain in its own little world squandering our State's tax dollars. Why would any donor want to contribute to IU with its track record? What is its strategy to deal with the physician shortage for our State? New leadership will not be enough for us to expect any change.

  3. How do you think the Bridges got approved? I spent a couple days researching PAC's and individual contributions to some city council members during that time. My printouts were inches thick on the two I concentrated on. Finally gave up. Was disgusted with all the donations, and who they were from. Would have taken me days and days to compile a complete list. Tried to give it to the Star reporter, but he thought it was all just fine. (and apparently he was treated well himself) He ended up being laid off or fired though. And then of course, there was land donated to the dad's club, or city, as a partial payoff. All done in the shining example of "charity." No, none of these contributions are a coincidence.

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  5. What about the hundreds of patients who sought this doctor for the right reasons, to quit drugs. what option do these patients now have, experience horrible withdrawl or return to heroin?? those are the choices. what about the children of these former addicts who's parent(s) WILL not b able to maintain their job, for @ least 2 weeks.. There needs to b an emergency clinic opened for these patients.

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