NewsPublic Affairs / July 25, 2014

Busking Aims for Center Stage Downtown

Sam Klemet
Busking Aims for Center Stage Downtown

For the next several weeks, street performers with all types of talents will show off their skills on Georgia Street, Monument Circle, and Mass Ave.

Indy Fringe and the Arts Council of Indianapolis is putting on the Downtown Buskers Campaign to encourage this kind of street art.

Busking is already happening around downtown. But, as Bob Schultz with Indianapolis Downtown Inc explains, highlighting the performances is a way to encourage more people to come to the area to see what it and other attractions is all about.

"You see this a lot in Boston where it kind of gathers the crowd, they are entertained, it's short term, and it just adds to that vibrancy of the urban core," he said.  "This is where we want to see this especially during the summer months a continuation of that energy that makes downtown such a dynamic place to go out and eat and spend time with family and friends."

He says there is no way to gauge the economic impact busking has on downtown, but believes it provides an attraction outside of events like Colts and Pacers games.

"It's not a downtown that falls asleep on the weekdays even.  So, it's an even vibrant week night activity," said Schultz.  "The weekends bring out a lot of family and visitors to town.  So, we just want to see that that continues, that people are entertained and want to come back downtown.  They want to enjoy our restaurants and clubs and bars and entertainment venues and all of this contributes to the growth and development of a great downtown."

Schultz says it is form of passive solicitation and is allowed as long as performers do not block the public right of way.

The busking campaign will run Friday and Saturday nights through August 23.



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