INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis’ thriving arts and cultural scene will offer fans a variety of experiences to stay entertained and engaged in between collegiate basketball games now through the final game on April 5. Fan activation, arts experiences, and updates on events can be found online at NCAA.com/FinalFour.
“Indy was ‘made for this moment’ and is doing an incredible job showcasing how sports and arts come together to provide fans with a fantastic downtown experience during March and April,” said Ryan Vaughn, president of Indiana Sports Corp.
There are multiple opportunities to engage with unique activations surrounding the 2021 tournament, including:
Swish Arts & Culture Activations
Nearly 600 visual artists, musicians, dancers, spoken-word artists, and other creative-industry professionals will turn downtown Indianapolis into a sidewalk art gallery and a three-week cultural festival to coincide with visitors attending the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. All experiences are free and open to the public and will take place outdoors. The festival will include 3D court murals, immersive murals, a public art crawl,
• 3D Court Murals. Four basketball-themed 10x10x10-foot 3D murals invite people to step into and be surrounded by artworks inspired by stories of childhood basketball games, players’ “court vision,” a determined female athlete who overcame cultural barriers, and an astronaut shooting for the stars. The murals are located at Lugar Plaza, Monument Circle, Georgia Street, and the Majestic Building (47 S. Pennsylvania St.).
• A public art crawl. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of 60-foot-tall murals featuring Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller in mid-shot, portraits of Indiana Avenue jazz legends, The Murals for Racial Justice, a series of temporary murals painted last summer on boarded-up storefronts, and other public artworks highlighting sports, historic landmarks, famous Hoosiers, and works by artists of color.
• Music & performance series. A diverse lineup of Indy’s top performance talent will bring the city’s outdoor civic spaces to life, including 11 pop-up locations along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick. The series—produced by the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and curated by GANGGANG—will feature 500+ musicians, DJs, spoken-word artists, and dancers delivering performances Thursdays through Sundays with a finale on April 6. The series’ main locations are Lugar Plaza, Georgia Street, and Davlan Park; additional locations and partners include the Indianapolis Artsgarden, Monument Circle, and Indianapolis International Airport. To keep up with all things Swish, follow and use the hashtag #SwishIndy.
Bike and Trolley Historic Basketball Tours
The Indianapolis Cultural Trail and Through2Eyes created a tour highlighting historical basketball locations along the Cultural Trail in Downtown Indianapolis and surrounding areas. There will be six tours on city bikes and four tours on a trolley. Bike tour registration includes access to an Indiana Pacers Bike Share Bike, helmet (by request) and an exclusive tour with history buff Sampson Levingston, founder of Through2Eyes. Bike tour stops include: Lockefield Gardens, Lucas Oil Stadium, the old site of the RCA/Hoosier Dome, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, old site of Market Square Arena, City Market - Old Tomlinson Hall, NCAA Headquarters, NFS Headquarters, IUPUI. Bike tours cost $10.
The Fan Jam is the ultimate interactive fan experience that will travel throughout the state to unite and uplift Indiana communities. The Fan Jam will feature fun basketball-themed appearances through a series of grassroots, interactive, “pop-up events.” Depending on the event, Fan Jam presence may include our colorfully wrapped truck (or Jam Juniors) and/or Final Four-branded tent space. The full schedule of locations and times can be found online.
Shining A Light, Nightly Signature Salute
Monument Circle and the Soldiers & Sailors Monument are the site of the Shining A Light presentation and nightly signature salute, featuring a five-minute powerful tribute to basketball, Indiana's Game: a Ball, a Basket and a Dream, three times nightly. The projection tells the story of growing up with the game accompanied by music and sounds of the game. The presentation is synchronized with an Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra original score, paying tribute to the iconic monument. Downtown Indy, Inc. and the Indiana War Memorials Commission illuminate the Soldiers & Sailors Monument with this nightly light presentation.
68 Trees for 68 Teams Tree Planting: Thursday, March 18, 9AM to Noon
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) is leading a volunteer tree planting event, open to fans, on Thursday, March 18. Sixty-eight trees – one for each NCAA tournament team – will be planted in two Butler-Tarkington neighborhood parks: Andrew Ramsey Park (310 W 42nd St, Indianapolis, IN 46208) - Elwood and Mary Black Park (4241 Fairview Terrace, Indianapolis, IN 46208). Volunteers can sign up to participate in any of the projects on KIB’s volunteer calendar at www.kibi.org/projects. COVID-19 protocols are in place to keep all volunteer safe and healthy.
Indiana Sports Corp’s committee of partner organizations and volunteers throughout the city are responsible for assisting the NCAA in all tournament related planning. Indianapolis and its community organizations have a long-standing history of working together to make events a tremendous success. This collaboration is why Indianapolis was trusted by the NCAA to make this once in a lifetime opportunity come to life. For updates and information on fan experiences visit: NCAA.com/FinalFour.
NCAA Selfie Stations
Some would say that any experience is not truly an experience without a good photo to prove you were there. We've got you covered for the best spots in Indy (and beyond) to find those perfect selfie and instagramable photo locations. Have some fun and tag #doyourdance to show friends and family how you're celebrating The Big Dance back in Indianapolis!
About Indiana Sports Corp
Founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission, Indiana Sports Corp is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing premier sporting events to Indiana to drive economic vitality, facilitate a vibrant community with civic pride and garner positive media attention. Because of this, Indiana Sports Corp is able to provide positive, sports-related opportunities for youth in the community. For more information, please visit IndianaSportsCorp.org.