The proposal is called Arts2Arts. The idea is to place public art along the Indianapolis Canal Towpath, that scenic trail that runs along the canal through midtown Indianapolis, in order to make it a "destination" for the arts. The Canal Towpath has been a popular spot for joggers, dog walkers and bike riders who live in the Broad Ripple area.
The proposal has sparked a battle pitting the Indianapolis arts community versus nature preservationists and history buffs. The latter groups want the canal protected.
The Arts2Arts proponents have a glossy presentation on-line about the proposal. Ironically the presentation provides so many wonderful pictures of nature along the towpath as well as detailed history that it actually undercuts the concept. Reading that, I have to wonder why anyone would want to clutter the Canal Towpath with "public art."
Not surprisingly, the Broad Ripple Village Association, which supported the elimination of two lanes of traffic on Broad Ripple Avenue in favor of barley used bike lanes, supports the idea. It is a wonder that the good people of Broad Ripple do not run BRVA out of the village since the group seems to care so little for the people who actually live and work in the Village.
Meanwhile the Arts2Arts idea has flagged opposition. A group called Save Our Scenic Central Canal has been formed to oppose the idea and has a website up and running. Just this month, SOSCC released a statement on the Arts2Arts idea:
Case Statement for Preserving the Canal and Towpath for Future Generations
The SOSCC needs to fight this dumb proposal NOW.
Hmmm, a fight between our elitist local arts community, which always has its hand out for more of our tax dollars, versus nature buffs and history preservationists. It is not a hard figuring out which side I am going to support.