I live within walking distance of Monument Circle, the Canal and downtown–it’s a huge reason I picked where I live. I sometimes feel like the city activates and promotes these spaces for visitors, seeing them as amenities to attract conventions or out-of-towners, rather than thinking about the everyday ways that nearby residents use these places to relax, to exercise, to meet up with friends, and generally enjoy a third space and improve our quality of life. The “Back Downtown” marketing after the pandemic bothered me a lot for this reason: one, it felt premature given everything we knew about preventing the spread of covid, and two, some of us never left downtown–we’re always here. That framing really captured the mindset that downtown is for visitors. (I also think that framing reinforced the idea that downtown was somehow unsafe or unclean, and had been “fixed” for white suburban visitors: we have to do better, civic leaders!)

I’d love to see more investments in things like seating, native plant landscaping (I hate how treeless downtown is), and cleanliness to make sure these places are welcoming every day, not just when some big event is coming through. I think there are many ways to make this equitable, especially the opportunity to create employment opportunities around the needs I outlined: Local artists and artisans can design seating. Hire people (in permanent, full-time, better-minimum-wage jobs) to clean downtown public spaces. I used to live in New York and the crews who cleaned public spaces had good public sector jobs and the cleaning/maintenance of these spaces was visible–you saw the effort being made to make the spaces welcoming. Don’t just rely on a few big photo op volunteer projects; think about how to create jobs (and what kinds of career pathways might help the formerly incarcerated or other folks who have a hard time finding work).

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUBMISSION!

Thank you so much for sharing your voice and thoughts.

Your submission will be reviewed to ensure it meets the submission guidelines and will be posted on the Monumental Voices site shortly.

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Submission Terms & Conditions

  • I give permission for the submitted content to be used on the Monumental Voices website, in an audio and video projection on Monument Circle, and in materials that promote the Monumental Voices website and project including but not limited to social media, press releases, media interviews, etc.
  • I understand I will not be compensated for this submission and these uses.
  • I agree to hold harmless the City of Indianapolis, Art Strategies LLC, and the team producing Monumental Voices listed on the “About” page of this website.
  • I understand the content I submit will be curated and displayed with other submissions from people who may or may not agree with my views.
  • I understand that my submission may be edited to fit within the technical and creative parameters of the website or projection. 

Creating a successful submission

For great visuals:

  • Shoot videos and selfies horizontally, not vertically. (Turn your phone sideways)
  • Hold the camera as still as possible or put it on a tripod or other fixed location.
  • Keep the camera at eye level and look directly into the camera lens.
  • Film in natural light if possible. If inside, film near a window with the light in front of you, not behind.
  • Do not alter images or video with filters, color correction, text, emojis, etc. We’ll handle that in final editing! Send the original files.

Below are two examples taken outside with correct lighting. 

Two selfies with good light

Below is an example of a selfie that is backlit and another where the light source is in front of the person.

Good and bad selfie example

For great sound:

  • Find a quiet location.
  • If having someone film a video for you, please make sure they are close enough to capture good audio.

For video files:

  • Video files may be uploaded as H.264, MOV, WMV, or MP4.
  • Please don’t shoot any larger than 1920 x 1080p and no smaller than 720p.
  • Shooting in 4K is not necessary and will create a large file.

Submission Guidelines

  • You must be over the age of 13 to submit.
  • No profanity, nudity, violent or sexually suggestive content.
  • No hate speech.
  • No content that specifically names a person, political party, religious group, or cultural group.
  • Limit video to 120 seconds (2 minutes). There’s a 300 MB file upload max.
  • Copy may be edited if lengthy.