The Parade Approaches (are They ready?)

15 04 2008

In little more than a week, the East meets West Interchange Overpass Parade will take place.  Are the organizers ready for the event and the mass crowds that might show up?  Has the call for volunteers made an impact in getting more people excited about this parade?  Just who is excited about the parade?  More questions again and where are the answers?

It is my opinion the public isn’t really buying into the concept of the parade or a willingness to participate.  The first workshop which took place at the Indianapolis Museum of Art was set up to accomodate 50 to 60 people and 10 showed up.  Of the ten people who showed up, four were children and three were students from the IUPUI Museum Studies Technology class.  I have not heard the numbers from this past weekend’s workshop but I really doubt the turnout was much greater.  One of the comments to my blog was it is just a parade.  This got me thinking that yes, it is just a parade but parades tend to have some meaning behind them.  Parades celebrate a cause or an event generally.  What is the celebration in this parade?  Is it a celebration of artistic influence in Fountain Square?   Is it an attempt to reunite a severed community broken apart more than thirty years ago by the building of an interstate?  Or is it a vehicle for the Indianapolis Museum of Art to expose itself to the greater community at large?  I don’t know and I guess I will not know until I go to the parade and get enlightened to what it is all about.   I am hoping to get caught up in the mood of the parade once I am there.  If the Indianapolis Museum of Art can pull this thing off, then kudos to them.  Of course, that remains an unknown and for their money, I hope they get what they are hoping for as far as interest sparked within the community.         




7 responses

16 04 2008

First, dear Blogger…thank you so much for my new nickname in cyberworld. 🙂

On to the parade. Yea, it’s just a parade. Just a group of slow moving people clogging up traffic, creating hazardous travel for unsuspecting motorists. Maybe I’d have a different view on ‘its just a parade’ if there had been some mention of this in local news (print or airwaves). Until now, I had never even heard of this silly event. Can someone explain what the idea behind this is? Not asking for the purpose …just the idea. Perhaps the spark that spawned ‘just a parade’ is too complex for those of us less cultured folks.

LOL..I don’t know. It just seems a bit silly to me. A bit unsafe for all parties involved (either directly–participants, or indirectly–travellers). Has anyone checked to see if they actually have permits to do this?

I just hope everyone stays safe during this little event. (Might be fun to show up, just to see how many people are there. I bet there will be more participants than viewers)

16 04 2008

I can think of better investments of time and money. There are much cheaper ways to have fun and more meaningful projects which actually bring about something worthwhile. Sounds like a waste…

16 04 2008

Thanks for your comments on this. We’re working hard to get the word out. In fact, the IMA is papering downtown, Mass Ave, Broadripple and Fountain Square this week with On Procession posters and flyers. We’ll be walking the streets distributing promotional materials tomorrow. Got suggestions for specific locations to hang posters or drop off flyers? Email me at!


16 04 2008

Wow, I drive through Fountain Square every morning on the way to work and didn’t know they are having a parade! I hope they have a Golden Spike since East is meeting West. You know like in the 1800’s in UTAH!
I am guessing there must have only been three students from the IUPUI Museum Studies Technology class at the second meeting, but, that means there will be three to pull a donkey, a jack***, and a mule. Hope they aren’t to stubborn! 🙂

18 04 2008

Just writing in to correct a factual error in your post and to offer an alternative viewpoint…. Participants in the IMA workshop with artist Alison Heimstead included 3 young people with their mom and their grandma who helped Alison paint and decorate her float, and a group of 4 adults from Fountain Square who spent more than an hour brainstorming together and planning their float with Alison’s assistance. Supporting the workshop were 3 staff members from the IMA, Leah and Alice representing IUPUI museum studies, sculpture student Karen, and myself. Our role was to assist in the construction of Alison’s float, which was miraculously completed within the span of the 4-hour workshop, and to involve workshop participants in getting ready for the parade. Certainly, turn-out was lower than anticipated, but this could as easily be attributed to the gorgeous outdoor weather that day as to lack of interest in the parade. As this blog demonstrates, there is value in a small group of people working closely together and learning from each other. I thought the workshop was a lot of fun!

28 04 2008

Some answers to your questions, since no one seems to be addressing them:

Q: What is the celebration in this parade? Is it a celebration of artistic influence in Fountain Square?
A: We are celebrating the opening of a new exhibition about parades at the IMA (On Procession). What better way to open an exhibition about parades than to stage one ourselves? In this way, the parade applies not only to local artists but to the greater history of art in public spaces, parade and pageantry traditions, etc.

Q: Is it an attempt to reunite a severed community broken apart more than thirty years ago by the building of an interstate?
A: This is one of many potential ways to understand the parade, as addressed by artist Fritz Haeg in his statement sent to participating paraders (available on his website here: Fritz sent out this series of questions to provoke thought and discussion of this and other issues surrounding the parade and our experience of public space.

Q: Or is it a vehicle for the Indianapolis Museum of Art to expose itself to the greater community at large?
A: Well, as much as any other event organized by the museum. If you want to view the parade purely as promotion for our current exhibition On Procession, go ahead, but I think it has much further-reaching significance.

Also, small side note: Allison Smith’s 2005 art event is entitled “The Muster,” not “The Munster” as you have listed in your side links. That’s “muster” as in mustering up the troops, not Munster as in the cheesy TV monster family.

28 04 2008

Also just wanted to identify myself quickly (such a rare thing in blog comments, right?) as an intern at the museum on the parade project. I’m not a full-time or even a paid staff member, so these comments shouldn’t be considered as any kind of official note from the museum or the like. I’m just imagining some future article citing these: “according to an inside source at the museum, the Munsters are cheesy! Lawsuit to follow!” Yikes.

Anyway, just wanted to jump in on the great discussion you’ve got going here. I’ve really enjoyed the blog – seems like a great project on the parade. Hope your professor thinks the same thing 😉

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