Partnership encourages residents to open their homes to share a meal, build community bonds
INDIANAPOLIS — In an effort to build stronger bonds in the Indianapolis community, the Harrison Center for the Arts, City Gallery and Spirit & Place invite residents to be a part of a special, home-themed City Supper event on Sunday, Oct. 16.
Now in its third year, City Suppers is a partnership effort to promote a movement of neighborliness by encouraging residents to open their homes and share a meal with family, friends, and fellow members of the community.
Research has shown that families who eat together enjoy significant benefits over families who don’t, including: lower high-risk teenage behaviors, lower obesity, lower depression, happier kids, and better grades. Civic bonds are also strengthened when neighbors congregate and form personal connections with each other. When neighbors know each other, they can work together to solve common problems.
The inspiration for City Suppers came from the Harrison Center’s popular citywide Porch Party. “We’ve seen great success with our Porch Party initiative, but wanted to encourage neighbors to gather year-round,” Harrison Center Executive Director Joanna Taft said. “Thus, City Suppers was born.”
Since its start, City Suppers has evolved to include organizations rooted in community. New to the City Suppers partnership this year, Spirit & Place is a natural addition – since 1996, Spirit & Place has enlivened and enriched Central Indiana by using the arts, humanities, and religion to build bridges between, people, organizations, and ideas through its year-round offerings and annual festival of events every November. The 2016 Spirit & Place Festival theme is “home,” with 40 festival events scheduled Nov. 4-13 aimed at sparking meaningful conversations around the notion of “home” as a “space, a place, and an idea.”
“City Suppers aligns perfectly with what we aim to do each year with the festival – to provide opportunities for people to get to know each other, and connect with their community in a personal way,” Spirit & Place Program Director Erin Kelley said. “We’re excited to be a part of an effort that encourages people to share their homes and engage in authentic, community-strengthening conversation.”
While the main goal for City Suppers is simply to encourage families and neighbors to break bread together for a shared experience, the hope is also that they might consider discussing what “home” means to them using conversation prompts found online at spiritandplace.org and harrisoncenter.org. Interested City Suppers participants can find conversation prompts for children (“What color would you like to paint your house?”) and adults (“2016 is Indiana’s Bicentennial. Do you consider Indiana your forever home?”).
2016 City Suppers Participation Information:
- To participate in City Suppers, Indianapolis residents should invite their neighbors, host a dinner on Sunday, Oct. 16, take a picture, write a short blog post, and send everything to firstname.lastname@example.org. Social media posts using #SPIndy and #citysuppersindy are also encouraged.
- The first 60 people to respond will receive a $25 gift card to a locally owned restaurant as well as the opportunity to receive a $250 gift certificate from the Harrison Center.
- Non-urban residents are encouraged to participate as well, and prizes will be available to people from any neighborhood that submit a blog post.
- Details and registration information can be found at harrisoncenter.org.
About the Harrison Center
The Harrison Center serves as a catalyst for renewal in Indianapolis by creating awareness, appreciation, and community for art and culture. The Harrison Center is dedicated to serving both “emerging artists” and “emerging patrons” through engaging exhibits and concerts, educational programs and art programming for youth. In addition, the Harrison Center provides below-market studios for individual artists and office space for arts and cultural organizations. For more information, visit www.harrisoncenter.org.
About City Gallery
The City Gallery is a program of the Harrison Center for the Arts that uses arts & culture to tell the story of Indy’s urban neighborhoods. For more information, visit www.citygallery.org.
About Spirit & Place
Celebrating the theme of HOME in 2016, 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.