2016 marks Indiana’s 200th anniversary. Not surprisingly, Spirit & Place was inspired to by our state’s bicentennial to select HOME as its theme this year.
What you might find surprising is that according to the 2015 Indiana Civic Health Index.
- In the 2012 Presidential Election, Indiana ranked 38th in voter turnout with a rate of 59.3%.
- In the 2014 midterm election, Indiana ranked last in the nation with only 27.8% of the voting-eligible population participating.
According to local news reports, during the 2015 municipal election in Marion County, out of 663,209 registered voters, only 150,451—or 22.69%—people cast their ballots. A 20 year low.
We can and must do better.
Spirit & Place’s mission is to be a catalyst for civic engagement and our partners at Indiana Humanities share this dedication . . . as do all of our community partners with whom both organizations frequently work.
That is why Spirit & Place and Indiana Humanities are working to bring Central Indiana’s leading arts and cultural organizations together in an initiative to do our part to encourage voter registration and voting.
Throughout 2016, Spirit & Place and Indiana Humanities will create opportunities and provide resources to our community partners so that they can reach out to their audiences, as well as staff members and volunteers, in a nonpartisan way.
Organizations already supporting this effort include Christian Theological Seminary, Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indy Reads, Athenaeum Foundation, and several others. These groups are committed to communicating important election-related dates and details to their audiences, staff, volunteers, and others as well as fostering an atmosphere of civic engagement at their institutions.
Indiana Humanities and Spirit & Place will also be offering a one-day “Civic Reflection” training session as well as a “Voter Engagement Training for NonProfits” in March as way to further encourage a culture of civic participation.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive updates about important electoral deadlines and non-partisan updates and then help us spread the work by sharing these posts! Together, we can all do our part to improve Indiana’s civic health.
Sadly, Indiana ranks in the lower half of all states in other civic categories as well. According to the Civic Health Index:
- Hoosiers rank 46th in public meeting attendance.
- 44th in participation in school groups, neighborhood, or community associations.
- 47th in working with neighbors to fix or improve something in the community.