After over 10 years of near-constant motion, Ann Dancing – the most highly visible and highly popular piece of public art on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail – is taking a break.
The artwork installation British artist Julian Opie went dark on May 30. She won’t resume her swing-and-sway for at least a month while a campaign – Keep Ann Dancing – works to raise $262,800. Cultural Trail officials are taking to a social media campaign to accomplish their goal, which they say needs to occur in four weeks.
The funds are needed to implement a complete hardware and technology upgrade, and to create a maintenance fund for the electronic piece of art.
“Ann Dancing is a shining example of how accessible and engaging public art can build community, create engaging public spaces and improve quality of life,” said Cultural Trail Executive Director Kären Haley. “Art on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is free and accessible for everyone to enjoy and experience 365 days a year.”
Haley continued that Ann Dancing has been dancing non-stop, and outside in the elements for more than 10 years. “She needs significant upgrades to keep dancing for many more. She is a piece of art, but she is also a piece of technology. Imagine if you still had your same mobile phone from 10 years ago.”
Originally designed to be a temporary installation, Ann Dancing has been maintained throughout the years, but the temporary fixes to “Keep Ann Dancing” are not sustainable. The public fundraising campaign will raise money to purchase and install new display units that are designed with 24 hour operation in a four season climate, as well as long term maintenance needs at the forefront of the design. The upgrades also provide for improved electrical connections, allow for the piece to be updated remotely and integrate fans into the system.
“Ann Dancing is one of our city’s most iconic pieces of public art,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “She is free and accessible to everyone to enjoy and entertains residents and visitors alike in the heart of our vibrant city. The Cultural Trail and Downtown Indianapolis would not be the same without her, and I challenge everyone to come together and do their part to Keep Ann Dancing.”
Added Haley, “Ann Dancing is one of us, she’s an Indianapolis resident. People from all over the world have grown to love her just as we have. No contribution is too small. We want this campaign to be a way for everyone to Keep Ann Dancing, as she puts smiles on all of our faces as we walk by her every day.”
How to help raise the money: The Keep Ann Dancing campaign is designed to be very public and accessible in nature just as the art piece itself. There are many ways people can Keep Ann Dancing including:
- Make an online donation at keepanndancing.org,
- Text to give: Ann to 243-725
- Buy Keep Ann Dancing merchandise at Silver in the City or KeepAnnDancing.org/shop
- Attend an event: Happy Hour on Monday, June 4 and Keep Ann Dancing Dance Party on June 29.
- Host an Ann “Friend Raiser” at your office or home.
She’s “hitting the road:” Since Ann is taking a break from dancing during the four- week campaign, she will be out and about traveling around the city and visiting places outside of her normal home on Mass Ave. She will be taking part in events around Indianapolis during the month of June and also visiting corporate partners to thank them for their support.
Everyone is encouraged to share their favorite Ann Dancing memory and images using #KeepAnnDancing as well as follow @KeepAnnDancing on all social media channels. For more information and for updates throughout the next four weeks visit keepanndancing.org.