Downtown Indy, Inc. and the Indiana War Memorials Commission shared plans and details about the $7.6 million Shining a Light on Indianapolis initiative, made possible by the Lilly Endowment, that will activate the Indiana Soldiers & Sailors Monument and Monument Circle with enhanced lighting, video-mapping and projection capabilities, a state-of-the-art sound system and flexible, performance staging.

These new and updated amenities will enable a variety of interactive event experiences, especially during evening hours that will help amplify Monument Circle as a vibrant gathering place and creative public amphitheater. Programming will include seasonally-themed experiences, light shows and a nightly “Signature Salute” synchronized with an Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra original score that pays tribute what the iconic Monument stands for — all debuting Nov. 9, 2019. Visit www.downtownindy.org/shiningalight

With a reverence to Indy’s past and an eye towards the city’s future, Shining a Light illuminates the city’s most iconic space as the Crossroads of America.

“We are so pleased to partner with the Indiana War Memorials Commission in helping to bring light, literally and figuratively, to the woefully-lit Monument Circle,” said Bob Schultz, senior vice president of marketing and events for Downtown Indy, Inc. “This artistic project will complement the historical relevance of the Soldiers & Sailors Monument with cutting-edge, story-telling technology and cultural presentations, thanks to the generous and forward-thinking Lilly Endowment, Inc. And we chose a world-class team of local experts to help us pull it off.” 

The Technology: The best of the best lighting technology will be used to create a stunning environment for the Monument and the surrounding Circle properties, through Dodd Technologies. The highlight of this new technology platform is the 240,000 lumen, 4K laser video projection system that will project from the NorthWest Quad of the Circle on to the building faces of the SouthEast Quad. The buildings were laser scanned and mapped so the images could be folded onto the contours of the building surfaces. The video files will be projected through six laser projectors.

Clean, bright fixtures with energy-efficient LED light engines are being used. A state-of-the-art programming and monitoring system is in place and operates seamlessly. Additionally, a new audio system around Monument Circle has been installed to provide high quality music and voice reinforcement.

“This will be the largest projection in the state’s history,” said Conrad Piccirillo, president of Innovative. “Everyone remembers the Olympic opening ceremonies because they’re visually stunning. Now, Indiana and Indianapolis will have a recognizable beacon that will light a path for the world to see us.”

The Story: The content behind the Signature Salute was designed by Innovative. Using video-mapping technology, the creative group has created a beautiful canvas for a deserving icon. The stories will honor our service women and men, some of whom have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy.

The Signature Salute will run nightly, just after dusk, 365 days a year. (Performance times will be adjusted based on the seasonal time for dusk. From November – March, the Salute will run between 6:30-6:45 p.m.) The five-minute program will bask the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in red, white and blue with a synchronized original score from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra written by Emmy Award winner John Colby. Coordinated video and light projections featuring images of historic significance will unfold across the surrounding building facades and statues on the Monument will be illuminated. As the music crescendos, four intense beams of light will soar skyward from each quadrant illuminating Victory (atop the Monument), signaling Indianapolis as the Crossroads of America.

The Activations: In addition to the nightly Signature Salute, this new technology allows the telling of stories that amplify the biggest events and create new arts and cultural activations and programs on the Circle, managed by Downtown Indy, Inc.

The patriotic Signature Salute will continue to run every night, even throughout the holiday season, when it will merge with a coordinated holiday theme starting at Downtown Indy, Inc. Circle of Lights presented by IBEW 481 Nov. 29. Visitors will see enhanced holiday activations and new video and lighting elements..

Beginning Nov. 30 and the following three Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 & 21, Holidays on the Circle will take place from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Holiday performances, signature treats and festive music will fill Monument Circle. Additionally, B105.7 holiday music will be played daily throughout the holiday season.

Throughout its history, The Circle has served as a crossroads of connection where individuals come to celebrate, to mourn, to pray, to educate and to be inspired as a community. To continue the tradition of celebration, Downtown Indy, Inc. and the Indiana War Memorial Commission will award eight arts and culture organizations the opportunity/in-kind programming costs to bring performances to Monument Circle as part of Shining a Light: Arts & Culture on the Circle from March – November 2020.  Arts & Culture on the Circle is designed to infuse arts and culture into the lives of the hundreds of thousands that engage with Monument Circle annually. The call for applications is available now through Oct. 21.

Video/Website: A new website was launched today featuring all aspects of Shining a Light, including a preview video. Visit www.downtownindy.org/shiningalight

. Help spread the word on social media: #ShiningALightIndy #DowntownIndy

Sustainability: The sustainability of this initiative depends on the support of the entire community. More resources spur updated video mapping content, more activation of free, public events, enhanced decor elements around Monument Circle and a new fund to support local artists who will perform and present as part of this project. Individuals who would like to be a part of this initiative are encouraged to become Shining A Light Luminaries with a donation of $150 or more online. Corporate and event sponsorship opportunities are also available.  

Premiere: All are welcome Nov. 9, 2019, as we usher in Veterans Day weekend with a patriotic celebration, from 4 – 7 p.m. on Monument Circle.