By Pam Blevins Hinkle
An original board game about homelessness, a series of super-sized sidewalk games all over Indy, a pumpkin-flinging contest for families, a film on faith and football, a recital of improvised arias, a documentary about senior athletes, a comedy act by a rabbi and Muslim, a tour of Indy’s best play spaces … these are among the dozens of programs that will explore “PLAY” during the annual Spirit & Place Festival, November 2–11, 2012.
“This is your chance to explore the silly and serious dimensions of play, to participate in new conversations, to play with new ideas, places, and friends.”
The 10-day festival opens this weekend with signature events that feature urban art expressions, French composer Pierre Bastien (builder of mechanical instruments), as well as songs and stories from Scott Russell Sanders, Phil Gulley, Krista Detor, and Carrie Newcomer.
The following week explores PLAY through audacious performances, provocative discussions, art exhibits, and more. From architecture to jazz, game history to art therapy, video games to drumming, there’s something for all ages and interests … and 75% of the events are free.
The festival closes with the 17th Annual Public Conversation, Sunday, November 11, 5:30 p.m. at The Toby, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Bestselling author and internationally acclaimed game designer Jane McGonigal, stand-up comedian and Baptist minister Susan Sparks, and Grammy-winning cellist and former Hoosier David Darling wrap up the festival with a bit of comedy, a dash of music, a quick game, and a fantastic conversation on the role and power of play in our lives.
Fred Rogers said, “When we treat play as seriously as it deserves, we feel the joy that’s in the creative spirit. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a difference in our lives.” This is your chance to explore the silly and serious dimensions of play, to participate in new conversations, to play with new ideas, places, and friends.
Pam Blevins Hinkle is director of The Spirit & Place Festival, a community project managed by The Polis Center, an independent unit of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Exploring a different theme each year, the festival brings together curious people, clever ideas, and collaborative organizations to spark creativity and action that builds strong, more inclusive communities.