City marshals $400,000 for Monument Circle events, projects

The city of Indianapolis has marshaled $400,000 to expand amenities, activities and attractions on Monument Circle.

The Office of Sustainability on Wednesday announced that the city will receive a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to plan and host events and activities on the Circle. In addition, the city and Central Indiana Community Foundation each will contribute $100,000 to the effort.

"Monument Circle is the heart of our city," said Lori Miser, director for the city's Department of Public Works. "Offering more reasons for residents and visitors to spend time here every week will boost revenue for local businesses, support local artists and arts organizations, and provide insight for the City’s Monument Circle redesign project on how the space can be sustainable long-term."

Local arts organization Big Car will work with the city on program development and project management. Planning will begin this fall with implementation planned for 2015.

"This program is a wonderful addition to Indy's blossoming downtown," said Jim Walker, executive director for Big Car. "By bringing surprising and engaging arts experiences to people in a vibrant public space, we’ll encourage people to be more civically engaged, more socially connected and more inclined to seek cultural experiences."

The project is part of a larger, long-range effort to revamp and revitalize Monument Circle. The Department of Public Works will examine and monitor the initiative, gaining useful information to help improve on the design elements for the Monument Circle construction plan.

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