Chelsea Schneider, Municipal Innovations Specialist
One poem speaks of a traveler who leaves impressions of herself in places she’s called home. Another celebrates a “deeper hi” shared when community members acknowledge each other.
Visitors to Downtown Zionsville can now spot the poems stamped into a sidewalk near the gateway of the town’s bustling restaurant and shopping district.
The one-of-a-kind sidewalk art in Indiana – among only a handful across the nation – was made possible through a partnership between the town and the Zionsville Cultural District. Earlier this year, the coalition launched the first-ever “Step-On-Us Sidewalk Poetry Contest” and nearly 200 entries came pouring in.
“This is a unique project that we were happy to get on board with since it makes our downtown an even more vibrant destination for residents and visitors and promotes the diversity of the arts,” Mayor Tim Haak said. “We look forward to seeing the contest expand each year.”
Haak joined the poems’ authors to celebrate the sidewalk transformation this summer. The winning poems were written by Megan Alms, a Taylor University student and Zionsville Community High School graduate, and Carrie Ciula, a local writer who focuses on sustainability. Winners were selected in youth and adult categories.
Alms said she entered the contest because she loved the idea of decorating the town with words.
“I can’t think of a better way to leave a mark on my hometown than using words to make it more beautiful,” she said.