Music & Theater events part of 2017 Spirit & Place Festival starting Nov. 5

22nd annual Spirit & Place Festival focuses on POWER Nov. 3-12

 WHAT: The Spirit & Place Festival returns in 2017 to explore the meaning behind “power” with 37 unique events throughout 10 days. These events take place across 32 venues with over 70 presenters, speakers and performers on Nov. 3-12. This year’s festival includes a selection of events that are centered on the art and power of music and theater.

Visit the website at www.spiritandplace.org for the full festival lineup, including these music and theater events below:

EVENT INFO:

Sunday, November 5 – 2-3:30 p.m.

Power Chords: A Violinist’s Obsession with Bach
Presented by Colette Abel Colette Abel and Crown Hill Heritage Foundation

Crown Hill Cemetery – Gothic Chapel, 700 W. 38th St.
Violinist Colette Abel leads you on a musical journey through powerful masterpieces by J.S. Bach and Eugene Ysaye in Crown HIll’s intimate Gothic Chapel. 

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Sunday, November 5 – 2-4 p.m.


What If? The Power of Imagination

Presented by JCC Indianapolis, Dance Kaleidoscope, Indiana Writers Center, Indiana Historical Society, and Jewish Family Services

Arthur M. Glick JCC – Laikin Auditorium, 6701 Hoover Rd.

High school and college writers exercise their imaginations through literary responses to “what if” scenarios inspired by the world we live in. Dance Kaleidoscope dancers as well as actors from the Indiana Historical Society will then interpret their creative responses.

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Sunday, November 5 – 7-9 p.m.

Overcoming Addiction: The Paradox of Powerlessness and Power

Presented by Presented by Fairbanks; Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition; Art of Healing, Inc.; and Hope Academy.

Phoenix Theater – 749 N. Park Ave.

Witness the powerful grasp of addiction, the stigma of mental health diseases, and the healing power of recovery through a play, spoken word performance and discussion.

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Thursday, November 9 – 6:30-8 p.m.

Using the Power of Music to Promote Health
Presented by Marianne Tobias Music Program at Eskenazi Health and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.

Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital – Eli Lily Company Foundation Concourse, 720 Eskenazi Ave.

High-quality healthcare combines with the power of music to heal the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – at Eskenazi Health. Learn how music has the power to enhance health while enjoying a performance from the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.

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Saturday, November 11 – 1-3 p.m.  

Rise Up Singing!

Presented by Earth Charter Indiana; Indianapolis Worker Justice Center; Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation, and Justice; and Christian Theological Seminary.

Christian Theological Seminary – 1000 W. 42nd St.

Lift your voice in song for historic and contemporary social justice causes: civil rights, worker justice, human equality and environmental protection. Participants will learn about the important role music has played in various social justice causes through video, discussion and group singing.

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Family-fun events part of 2017 Spirit & Place Festival starting Nov. 3

22th Annual Spirit & Place Festival Focuses on POWER Nov. 3-12

WHAT: The Spirit & Place Festival returns in 2017 to explore the meaning behind “power” with 37 unique events throughout 10 days. These events take place across 32 venues with over 70 presenters, speakers and performers on Nov. 3-12. This year’s festival includes a selection of free, family-fun events.

Visit the website at www.spiritandplace.org for the full festival lineup, including the family-fun events below:

EVENT INFO:

Friday, November 3 – 6-9 p.m.

Superhero’s Bash: Opening Night Kick Off!
Presented by Spirit & Place, Harrison Center for the Arts and the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center

Harrison Center for the Arts – Gymnasium, 1505 Delaware St.
Geek out with Spirit & Place as we kick off the 2017 Festival with a Superhero’s Bash! Dress as your favorite superhero or other empowering character you love for a night of games, art, music and fun. Activities include mask designing, photo booths, testing your game-playing skills and more.

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Saturday, November 4 – 11-2 p.m.

The Almighty Pollock Paint Launch Affair

Presented by Garfield Parks Art Center, Ivy Tech Community College Central Indiana and Social Sketch Indy

Garfield Parks Art Center – 2432 Conservatory Dr.

Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) come together in this gloriously messy and thrilling day of paint and catapults. When again will you have the opportunity to create large paintings using paint soaked pom-poms hurled from trebuchets, catapults and slingshots? Join in on this family-friendly event that demonstrates the innovative power of combining the arts and engineering sciences.

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Sunday, November 5 – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

PRESSing Matters: Man vs. Machine

Presented by Arts for Learning, Ivy Tech Community College Central Indiana, Cat Head Press, Indianapolis Art Center and Insight Development Corp. (Indpls Housing Agency).

16 Park Community Center – 546 E. 17th St.

Local printmakers, working with schools and businesses, will hand carve large-scale images onto relief blocks. Ink will then be rolled over the blocks and run over by a steamroller to transfer the images to the cloth. Visitors can take part in hand-printing stations where they can imitate the steamroller process on a smaller scale by creating smaller relief prints that can be taken home.

 

About Spirit & Place:

Celebrating the theme of POWER in 2017, Spirit & Place honors the role the arts, humanities and religion play in shaping individual and community life. Through its November festival, people-centered community engagement, and year-round activities, Spirit & Place links people, places, ideas and organizations to stimulate collaboration, experimentation and conversation. A national model for building civically engaged communities, Spirit & Place is an initiative of The Polis Center, part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Major partners include Lilly Endowment Inc.; Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Bohlsen Group; Indiana Landmarks; The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate; IUPUI; IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; The Polis Center at IUPUI; WFYI Public Media; and more than 200 other community partners and donors. For more information, call The Polis Center at (317) 274-2455 or visit www.spiritandplace.org

THE HEALING POWER OF STORIES

In ancient times, people gathered around the warmth of the fire to share tales of their ancestors: stories of brave conquests, legendary heroes, and tragic deaths. In the telling are lessons of courage in the face of adversity, hope in the midst of defeat, and enduring love in the face of death.

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Our stories give shape and meaning to our lives — in times of celebration as well as in times of sorrow and loss.

While modern day living for most of us no longer involves folktales passed from generation to generation, we likely all know someone in our circle of acquaintances who carries on the tradition of telling and retelling significant family anecdotes —sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always memorable.

Where do we go today to pass on the tales of our ancestors? Do we have safe places to share the stories of our loved ones who are no longer physically here?

In my book, HEART GUIDE: True Stories of Grief and Healing, I interviewed close to 50 people about the death of loved ones. Sharing the memories of those we love and telling their stories is important to our healing. Listening to the personal reflections of others is also useful. In doing so, we may discover something that helps soothe our suffering. We may acquire a source of strength to go forward in the world after loss. We may gain courage, knowledge, or comfort.

We may also find glimmers of hope in the stories of those individuals who have traveled this rugged trail of bereavement before us.

As Janet Brown (who lost both parents) points out in HEART GUIDE, “It was important for me to hear other people’s journeys while I was going through mine … not advice but just telling their stories. That’s valuable.”

Our stories of grief and healing are powerful heart medicine.

Sandra Harris, (who lost her daughter to suicide and her husband to cancer), states, “When we gather as a family, we tell stories. … We think that telling their stories is a good thing to do, and it speaks to the fact that the people we love are still with us.”

With time, the stories may change and evolve. Those who play a meaningful part in the narrative may come and go. New lessons may emerge. Yet always, what remains is the story of our deep love for those we hold close to our hearts.

Author Bio

Diana J. Ensign, JD, is an Indiana writer and author of ‘Heart Guide: Trues Stories of Grief and Healing.’ Her prior book is ‘Traveling Spirit: Daily Tools for Your Life’s Journey.’ (Her books are available on her website www.dianaensign.com and Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Guide-Stories-Grief-Healing/dp/0988332000/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506360980&sr=8-1&keywords=diana+ensign+heart+guide. She also blogs on Spirituality for Daily Living at http://www.dianaensign.com/.  Diana is one of the panel speakers at the Spirit & Place event, Words Matter! Writing for Healing, Action, and Change, Friday, November 10, 7:00 – 9:00 PM. Panel members also include writers Phillip Gulley, Amber Stearns, and Barbara Shoup. Presented by First Friends Quaker Meeting 317.255.2485

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Indianapolis selected to pilot first Community Innovation Lab of its kind

National EmcArts’ program to focus on creating inclusive economies for Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS – After a rigorous national search process, Indianapolis has been selected as the first U.S. city to pilot EmcArts’ first Community Innovation Lab focused on economic inclusion. The winning proposal, submitted by Spirit & Place, Groundwork Indy, and Kheprw Institute, is aimed at creating inclusive and sustainable economies for formerly incarcerated individuals, youth aging out of the foster care system, and others who are too frequently pushed aside by traditional economic systems. Core funding is being provided by MetLife Foundation. A minimum of $100,000 in matching funds will need to be raised by June 30 to finalize Indianapolis’s eligibility.

“In the midst of growing poverty and inequity in Indianapolis, we hope that our involvement with this project can contribute to creative ideas and solutions,” said Imhotep Adisa, executive director of Kheprw Institute. “The current social and economic crisis requires cross-sector communication, collaboration, and engaging the community in ‘from-the-ground-up’ solutions and decision-making.”

The Community Innovation Lab’s 20-month process represents an unconventional approach that brings cross-sector viewpoints together to address complex social challenges in new ways. The Lab will use artistic processes to build trust, curiosity and persistence; to explore new possibilities; to test experimental approaches; to build local capacity to address self-determined challenges, and to prompt systemic change. Other local project partners currently include the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Edna Martin Christian Center, IUPUI Office of Community Engagement, New Life Development Ministries, Marian University, and Recycle Force, among others.

“We are deeply honored to be selected by EmcArts for this amazing initiative,” said Pam Blevins Hinkle, director of Spirit & Place. “It’s a testament to Indianapolis’s successful history of private-public partnerships, collective impact projects, and creative place-making efforts, as well as the ingenuity and tenacity of community-centric organizations such as Groundwork Indy, Kheprw Institute, and Spirit & Place. We look forward to working together to make a tangible difference in the lives of people who face challenges that are, quite frankly, unimaginable and invisible to many of us.”

For more information about this initiative or to contribute by the June 30 deadline, visit spiritandplace.org or contact Spirit & Place Director Pam Blevins Hinkle at pbhinkle@iupui.edu. To learn more about the EmcArts Community Innovation Lab, visit http://www.EmcArts.org.

ABOUT SPIRIT & PLACE
Celebrating the theme of POWER in 2017, Spirit & Place honors the role the arts, humanities, and religion play in shaping individual and community life. Through its November festival, people-centered community engagement, trainings, and year-round activities, Spirit & Place encourages radical collaboration, catalyzes civic innovation, and reveals invisible stories. Spirit & Place is a legacy project The Polis Center, part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Major partners include Lilly Endowment Inc.; Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Bohlsen Group; The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate; IUPUI; IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; The Polis Center at IUPUI; WFYI Public Media; and more than 200 other community partners and donors. For more information, call The Polis Center at (317) 274-2455 or visit http://www.spiritandplace.org.

ABOUT KHEPRW INSTITUTE
Kheprw Institute is a community organization run by a diverse staff of young adults and seniors who are innovative, passionate and dedicated to creating a more just, equitable, human-centered, environmentally sustainable world. They are community members, artist, engineers, activists, entrepreneurs, critical thinkers, leaders, students, parents, and youth. They believe in community empowerment through self-mastery. Self-Mastery — a commitment to self to continually develop attitudes and behaviors that allow one to positively impact self and community. KI and Spirit & Place are in their third year of collaborative programming.

ABOUT GROUNDWORK INDY
Groundwork Indy’s mission is to bring about the sustained regeneration, improvement and management of the physical environment by developing community-based partnerships which empower people, businesses and organizations to promote environmental, economic and social well-being. Groundwork Indy engages in community-based strategies for revitalizing neighborhoods with initiatives in youth development, greenways and parks, brownfields and vacant land, and healthy communities.

ABOUT EMCARTS
Inspired by the arts, driven by a world in transition, EmcArts works alongside people, organizations, and communities as they take on their most complex challenges. Through advancing practices of innovation and adaptive change, EmcArts strengthens the resilience of individuals and organizations in the arts and social sectors. Through rigorously designed and facilitated workshops, coaching, and labs, we create space and conditions to navigate uncertainty, test innovative strategies, and build adaptive cultures. Our current programs are: Community Innovation Labs, New Pathways, Arts Leaders as Cultural Innovators (ALACI), tailored Services for Single Organizations, and our resource-sharing and storytelling web platform, ArtsFwd. To learn more, visit http://www.EmcArts.org.

ABOUT METLIFE FOUNDATION
MetLife was founded on a simple, powerful insight: Everyone needs access to the right financial tools to achieve their goals. In 2013, this understanding inspired MetLife Foundation to refocus its grantmaking toward financial inclusion. To support its vision and mission, the Foundation has committed $200 million over five years to help low-income individuals and families get access to safe and affordable financial products and services. As we enter the second half of our five-year strategic plan, MetLife Foundation is right on track, disbursing more than $100 million against that goal. Since its creation in 1976, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $700 million in grants to make a positive difference for the people, families and communities we serve.

 

Connecting with the Earth

by Benjamin Leslie

When we talk about taking care of the earth, we often refer to our connection to the basic elements and to basic natural processes, including the seasons and the natural cycles of life and death. The ways that this connection often looks in our society are familiar to us: We strive to be ‘in touch’ with nature by way of spending more minutes outdoors, planting more trees, or composting the kitchen scraps. Or we may have a more wholesale approach, that involves giving up certain comforts, learning how to camp, or hiking the Appalachian Trail. We find value in these activities, but at times they don’t seem to do the trick. They leave us wondering how to connect more – how to recycle more or to spend more time camping in isolation. The ‘Survivor’ method of giving up our comforts can end up being quite aggressive, yet the contrary – racking up points for being ‘green’ – somehow doesn’t go far enough.

In the Buddhist tradition, taking care of the earth starts with ourselves – our own persons and bodies. The ways we handle our waste as a society and the ways we connect (or don’t) to the elements are a direct result of our very personal and intimate habitual patterns. And our habitual patterns are based on, what we call in the Buddhist tradition, ‘mind.’

Working with one’s mind is one of the most direct ways to take responsibility for caring for the earth. Our ideas about how to care for the earth may be grounded in good logic or good morals, but if we don’t work with them personally, they might become a hollow crusade. Consider the common example of committing to a special diet. Many become vegan or vegetarian due to legitimate environmental concerns. Yet often those who have attempted a special diet will express that success is based far more on working with everyday habitual patterns than on moral, ethical, or logical consideration of the environment.

In Buddhism, the sitting practice of meditation is used to work with our minds. Rather than being a technique for contemplating a certain concept or improving one’s concentration, the unique approach of sitting meditation involves acknowledging our thoughts simply and precisely. The meditator identifies with the outbreath and has their eyes open so that gentleness and awareness are cultivated toward themselves and their situations. The gentleness that can develop from consistently and precisely touching-in with our thoughts without manipulation is often referred to as ‘making friends with oneself.’ Gradually, the practice, including that gentleness, is extended toward our everyday situations – our habitual patterns, our relationships, our households, and maybe even our compost piles.

Relating to our world with gentleness can be vulnerable. Courage is the result of our willingness to remain soft and gentle in the midst of this vulnerability. When we apply this type of courage and awareness to our situations directly, it becomes possible to see them more directly. There is no need to turn away from the intensity of challenging everyday situations, or hotspots. When our garden fails, we might not see it as a reflection of ourselves, but as fertile ground. When we decide to compost or raise chickens, we can commit to working directly with our habitual patterns in a gentler way. When we are confronted by the natural processes of life and death, of the seasons, and of the elements, we may recognize the opportunity to connect with that situation and through that gentleness, to care for the earth.

Benjamin Leslie is currently on staff at Center for Interfaith Cooperation as Program Director for the Immigrant and Refugee Service Corps.

Why should you apply for the 2017 Spirit & Place Festival?

The application guidelines for the 2017 Spirit & Place Festival are online! Why should your organization consider applying?

Following the 2016 festival, event partners told us being involved in the Spirit & Place Festival allowed them to:

  • Shine a light on new topics and innovative speakers
  • Re-engage stakeholders on important issues
  • Work with new community partners
  • Hone professional skills
  • Develop new frameworks of engagement

We appreciate what one of our partners in particular said of her experience, “Spirit & Place added legitimacy and a new platform to learn from, engage, and empower our [constituents].”

That’s awesome!

Speaking of awesome, Spirit & Place will again this year offer a $1,000 “Award of Awesomeness” to the festival event that best exemplifies the characteristics and values of Spirit & Place. (Congrats again to Ebenezer Baptist Church for their 2016 winning event, “Riverside Speaks!”)

Check out the application guidelines today and reach out to Erin Kelley, Spirit & Place Program Director, with any questions. She’ll be happy to work with you to brainstorm ideas, talk about event design, connect with potential collaborators, and find a venue, if possible.

Download the application guidelines HERE & mark your calendars for the Application Deadline: Friday, April 21 at 5p.m.

We look forward to seeing your event ideas to make this year’s Festival a great one!

STEM and the Humanities – a look at Quantum Leap

As Spirit & Place examines the subject of Power in 2017, one of the things we can explore is the force that helps us turn on lights or heat our homes. That scientific aspect of power touches our lives daily, and our partner Indiana Humanities is helping bridge the gap between science and the humanities through its Quantum Leap initiative.

Quantum Leap explores the spirit of possibility and problem-solving when we bridge the humanities with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). One piece of the initiative is Sound Bites, a weekly series of five-minute-long audio stories that share moments of scientific discovery, creation and innovation in Indiana’s past and present. The episodes are professionally produced by Sandra Bertin and will run on select Indiana radio stations. Listeners can download episodes through iTunes and Android podcast software or through SoundCloud.

New episodes of Sound Bites will be available every Tuesday. The first episodes have covered engaging stories about how Hoosiers have contributed to science. They explore topics like the beginning of molecular biology in Bloomington, Ind., and the first African-American doctor in Indianapolis. Upcoming episodes will tell stories of the world’s first electrically-lighted city, lunar vehicles and how jails can be more humane, among others.

Spirit & Place believes in the impact the humanities can have in bringing people together. It’s part of why we do what we do. Through telling stories like those included in Sound Bites, we can learn how science and technology have informed Indiana’s past and how it will continue to shape our state in the future.

For more information on Indiana Humanities’ Quantum Leap initiative, visit their website. From listening to Sound Bites to joining the statewide read of Frankenstein or attending an event, there are plenty of ways for you to join the conversation.