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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