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Indianapolis Cultural Trail: Making Indianapolis a Better Place to Bike, Walk, Breathe

Through the generous donations and community leadership of Eugene and Marilyn Glick, owners and founders of the Gene B. Glick Company, in addition to countless other municipal, state, and individual collaborators, Indianapolis is well on the way to developing a unique approach to sustainable, eco-friendly transportation around the Circle City. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is a bike friendly, pedestrian friendly, Segway friendly, stroller friendly, almost anything friendly path that will eventually connect many of the Indianapolis cultural districts and provide a destination for visitors and residents alike for decades to come.

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail runs through the American Legion MallThe Indianapolis Cultural Trail runs through the American Legion Mall

Upon completion, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail will be a expansive network that spans eight miles of beautiful pedestrian paths from 18 to 36 feet in width. Far from being a simple sidewalk or bike lane, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is a beautiful stretch of red brick, dotted with fountains, outdoor patios, and public Indianapolis art displays, all inviting citizens to enjoy the beautiful Indianapolis weather while taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of downtown Indianapolis.

Video by Gail Payne about the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a network of pathways that will eventually connect most of Indianapolis

 

Currently, only the East Corridor of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is completed. The East Corridor runs parallel to Alabama Street, starting at Market Street (former site of Market Square Arena) and ending at North Street, just a few blocks from Veterans Memorial Plaza. Along the way, the East Corridor crosses one of the most famous hubs of Indianapolis society, the Mass Ave cultural district. It’s a beautiful walk to take, whether you’re trying to work off a big meal at the many Indianapolis restaurants in the area or getting some sunshine after hours of being cooped up inside an Indianapolis business building or in an Indianapolis shopping mall.

Public Art on the Indianapolis Cultural TrailPublic Art on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail

Eventually, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail will connect almost all of downtown Indianapolis, including the cultural districts of Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, The Canal & White River State Park, and the Wholesale District. The trail will pass through or close by tons of Indianapolis attractions, like Veterans Memorial Plaza, Indiana University – Purdue University (IUPUI), Military Park, the Indiana State Capitol Building (also known as the Indiana Statehouse), Circle Centre Mall, and Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Indianapolis Canal Walk is part of the Indianapolis Cultural TrailThe Indianapolis Canal Walk is part of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail

The trail also goes right around Monument Circle, so visitors to Indianapolis can see the sights at Christ Church Cathedral, the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, and the many other great things in the area. Also connected to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail will be the Monon Trail, meaning that pedestrians and bikers can get easy access to the Broad Ripple Village, with its huge assortment of Indianapolis bars, Indianapolis shopping, and things to do in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail runs through Fountain SquareThe Indianapolis Cultural Trail runs through Fountain Square

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail isn’t just an easy transportation lane for bikes and people, however. The Indianapolis art scene is also getting involved, because the cultural trail will feature lots of public art displays from members of the Indianapolis art community. Currently, over $2 million has been spent on public art for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Often these displays are site specific, outdoor exhibitions of pieces created only for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Not only that, but many pieces will be designed to show off the Indianapolis culture that’s present in whichever cultural district the piece happens to be in. The public art is a unique feature of the trail that’s sure to show the world that Indianapolis art is still going strong.

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail runs through Mass AveThe Indianapolis Cultural Trail runs through Mass Ave

The public art portion of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is run by the trail’s Cultural Advisory Committee. The Committee selects artists, locations, and themes for Cultural Trail pieces. But don’t worry; the city wouldn’t trust just anybody with the art direction for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. The Cultural Advisory Committee includes many luminaries of the Indianapolis community, most of whom have roots in Indianapolis education and Indianapolis art. The Committee has two curators at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, a curator at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, professors at IUPUI, a chairman at Herron School of Art & Design, a curator for the Indiana State Museum, a curator for the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and the vice president of the Indianapolis Art Center. This well founded committee is sure to provide meaningful works of art to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

A brief video overview of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail

 

 

Such a grand, ambitious project as the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is impossible to be completed alone. The whole city of Indianapolis has united to make this revolutionary downtown network a reality, led by the hard work of Eugene and Marilyn Glick. The Glicks have been leading the way in Indianapolis philanthropy for many years; they have many other causes, like the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Riley Children’s Hospital. Other Indianapolis partners for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail include the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Greenways Foundation (which funds the Indy Greenways in addition to other projects), the Indiana Sports Corporation (which supports Indianapolis sports, including sponsoring Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 and Lucas Oil Stadium), and several others.

More Public Art on the Indianapolis Cultural TrailMore Public Art on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail will be an Indianapolis trademark for decades to come. Upon its completion, the trail will encompass eight miles of public art displays, restaurants, shops, and culture. It will provide easy pedestrian and bike access to each of the famous Indianapolis cultural districts, and will serve to unite downtown Indianapolis under one sustainable, Earth friendly banner. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail gives Indianapolis residents a reason to join together for a single cause: making Indianapolis a better place to walk, bike, and breathe.

For more information on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, including a timeline, a list of donators, partners, and public art displays, please visit the trail’s homepage.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail Office
c/o Central Indiana Community Foundation
615 N Alabama St, Ste 119
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: 317.713.3333
Fax: 317.684.0943
contact@indyculturaltrail.org