What Kind of Events Does the Festival Want?

By Erin Kelley

The three most frequent questions I hear this time of year are:

  • What is Spirit & Place?
  • What’s the deal with the theme?
  • What kind of events does the Spirit & Place Festival want?

Let me break it down!

Spirit & Place is YOU! We are nothing without this community’s passion for creating evocative events that enlighten, challenge, engage, and bring people together. Ultimately, Spirit & Place is a platform for you to experiment with new ideas, amplify your voice, and embark on radical collaborations. Of course, we believe using the arts, humanities, and religion is the best way to go about doing all this.

Each year we choose a different theme for the community to interpret and explore. There really is no “right” answer to what the theme means.

What we hope is that when you think about the 2018 theme, INTERSECTION, you think of places of meeting and of convergence. At the same time, we recognize that when ideas meet, it can sometimes get messy! Intersections are complex, but there is opportunity in the complexity. So, slow down and work together – ideally across sectors – to explore an intersection in a new and innovative way.

As for actual festival events? We want your best!

The Spirit & Place Festival provides you the opportunity to build up our community. For 10 days, Central Indiana residents are invited to share in a common experience built on exploration of a yearly theme. You have the power to help bring people together in dynamic ways all the while elevating the work you and other arts, humanities, religious, and/or community organizations do.

When submitting your event application . . .


  • Be inventive and collaborative. Get out of your silo and work with others to create something fresh.
  • Center the theme. Be clear on how your event is connected to the theme and how the audience will experience/reflect upon the theme. (2018 theme is INTERSECTION.)
  • Embrace the arts, humanities, & religion. Use one or more of these disciplines as a vehicle explore your idea.


  • Force what isn’t there. If you’re stretching to make a theme connection, don’t.
  • Ignore your audience. Invest the time in really talking about the needs, wants, and values of the audience you hope to attract.
  • Get lost in language. The application questions have word limits for a reason: To force succinct explanations. Be descriptive, but direct. Compelling, but concise.

Check out our partner resources for guidance as you plan your event and do not hesitate to contact us for assistance at festival@iupui.edu.

Remember, event applications are due Friday, April 20 at midnight!

Partner Resources: http://www.spiritandplace.org/Festival.aspx?access=Partners
Event application link: https://iu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8bHRWNEb4orKheZ


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