The Intersection of Nursing and Spirit & Place

by Karen Lynch, Spirit & Place intern

Being an intern for the Spirit & Place Festival has been an adventure. I have learned about academia, nonprofits, my community, and myself. I first began working with Spirit & Place in the fall of 2016, helping to prepare for the upcoming Home festival; at the time I was an event management major. I was so excited to learn more about the industry of event planning and I was ecstatic to work with an organization who’s so focused on community. Throughout the next year and a half, I would learn the basics of the industry and have plenty of opportunities to network; but the greatest impact this internship has had on my life is that it taught me about my community, its assets and issues, and how to get involved.

I grew up in a town about 45 minutes west of Indianapolis, it is smaller and more rural than Indy and I grew up in a “bubble.” My parents are conservative, white Christians, and I love and respect them more than I can express, but I grew up not knowing the reality of what everyday life looks like to the average person living as a minority or living in poverty. As an intern at Spirit & Place I was able to meet a lot of people and groups whose sole purpose was to serve the underserved, and build platforms for them to improve their lives. Being exposed to these new ideas and people changed my opinion about my community and I realized a passion that I never knew existed; I want to help vulnerable people. There’s a lot of ways to do this, but for me the obvious choice was healthcare. So I took some difficult courses and spent some very late nights studying and applied not once, but twice to nursing school and was finally accepted.

Nursing is a wonderful and difficult profession, and I hope to make a difference in someone’s life in their most vulnerable moments. As a nurse I will take on many roles: caretaker, communicator, sympathizer, and most importantly, I will be an advocate for my patients when they can’t advocate for themselves. My internship at Spirit & Place has given me the foundation I need to succeed in many of these areas, and the rest I will learn along the way, in nursing school and in my career.


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

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

Partner Resources:
Event application link: