Downtown Indianapolis and I have always had an interesting relationship. It’s the place where I learned about protest, it’s where I’ve celebrated some of my top life accomplishments with friends and family, where i’ve shared romantic walks with lovers, where i’ve come to have solo dates because those are important too. #selfcare I’ve also been out out of Circle Centre Mall and harassed by volunteer security and law enforcement. Layers. Growing up, downtown was a special occasion destination. I still remember my first time going to what in 1995 was referred to as “the new mall” to see Space Jam with my dad. My mom had five kids, me being the oldest, and it was a lot for her to haul all of us anywhere let alone an expensive downtown with complicated parking situations. There were not, and still aren’t, a lot of affordable options for family dining or excursions so our trips as a tribe were far and few. On these rare visits, I was always enamored by the lights and bustle of it all. Until early adulthood, this was the closest I’d come to being in a big city. As a teenager, I had a contentious relationship with downtown – whether it was a random trip to walk around the mall with friends or Expo/Classic festivities, I never felt embraced. It was clear from the overwhelming police presence and the attitudes of shop/restaurant owners that my poor, young, Black presence wasn’t welcomed. Certainly not on the level I saw others welcomed like suburban/rural folks coming to town for a dinner at St. Elmos or the droves of convention attendees with corporate plastic to burn. As an adult with some access to disposable income, I’m able to do more downtown but it’s still a feeling of conflict there. I hate nightclubs and outside of drinking and eating, I have to wait for someone to throw an event I’m interested in to truly engage. It’s also challenging to step out and see unhoused and hungry people on damn near every street corner. Outside of a kind words and perhaps a few bucks if I have it on me, I feel helpless to positively impact their experience. Especially when I know that some privileged/powerful folks would rather they just disappear entirely. I believe downtown belongs to them as much as it belongs to me and anyone else who calls Indy home. I know that this may sound a bit like a gripe but I think that if our downtown is to truly become MONUMENTAL it must be a place that embraces everyone. Downtown belongs to us all.

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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.