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Indianapolis introduces world’s first culture trail - GTH
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Indianapolis introduces world’s first culture trail

Indianapolis’ Cultural Trail beckons visitors to leave cars behind and explore many of the city’s public arts projects by foot or bicycle. © GTH & Marc Kassouf

Indianapolis’ Cultural Trail beckons visitors to leave cars behind and explore many of the city’s public arts projects by foot or bicycle. © GTH & Marc Kassouf

Philanthropists, residents, and politicians from all levels gather tomorrow in downtown Indianapolis for the official ribbon-cutting of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Built for nearly every form of transportation except cars, the Cultural Trail connects users to the front door or within one block of every major arts, culture, heritage, sports and entertainment venue in downtown Indianapolis.

“That’s one of the main reasons why there’s nothing else quite like it in the world,” said Brian Payne, President and CEO of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and The Indianapolis Foundation, lead partner with the City of Indianapolis and the person behind the original idea. “Other urban trails around the world take you out of the urban environment. The Cultural Trail’s purpose is to connect and celebrate the best of Indianapolis while offering a beautiful journey along the way.”

In many ways, the project and The Cultural Trail represents how all levels of government can work together to improve communities. After 12 years of planning, six years of construction, and $63 million in federal funding and private donations, the eight-mile Cultural Trail connects five downtown cultural districts, several greenway trails and bicycle lanes. It also connects to the sixth cultural district, Broad Ripple, and through the Monon Trail creating regional connectivity beyond downtown Indianapolis.

An animated LED installation with music, Ann Dancing has become one of the iconic public art pieces that line the Cultural Trail in Indianapolis, Indiana. © GTH & Marc Kassouf

An animated LED installation with music, Ann Dancing has become one of the iconic public art pieces that line the Cultural Trail in Indianapolis, Indiana. © GTH & Marc Kassouf

“The Cultural Trail is a transformative project that will play an important role in encouraging connectivity and economic development for downtown Indy,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “We thought big with this one. The trail also connects downtown to many other parts of our community via bike lanes and greenway trails that extend throughout the city.”

To celebrate, over 75 different programs and activities are planned along the Cultural Trail and in each Cultural District in what is being called “Get Down On It,” Saturday, May 11. Activities range from outdoor films, live animals, chalk art, and live dance to jump-roping, acrobats, magicians, yoga, fitness classes and even hot-air balloon rides.

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This news bulletin is based largely on information created or provided courtesy of Visit Indy.

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