Spirit & Place Selection Committee Spotlight


It will be a few more weeks before we officially announce this year’s lineup for this year’s Spirit & Place Festival, but today we’re giving you some insight into how events were chosen. During Indiana’s bicentennial year in 2016, Spirit & Place Festival explores the definitions of “Home” as a place, a space, and an idea. Some submitted events fit exactly with the more literal interpretation of home, but as past Spirit & Place Festival attendees know, the multiple interpretations of the theme is what makes this Festival unique.

Organizations or individuals interested in submitting events for this year’s Festival submitted an application that answers questions related to the design of their event, the goals of the event and collaborators. After those applications are submitted to Spirit & Place, the volunteer selection committee came in to discuss events and make the final decision about event inclusion.

The selection committee is made up of individuals representing a variety of ages, races and professional backgrounds in Central Indiana. Some individuals have been involved with the committee and Spirit & Place for years, while other committee members provide new voices and perspectives. Each event is evaluated on its individual design and how it fit into the Festival as a whole.

According to veteran committee member Heather Hall, “Spirit & Place is a fantastic opportunity for neighborhoods, faith centers, community groups, and arts organizations to creatively collaborate in showcasing their stories within the framework of the festivals theme. I continue to participate in the Spirit & Place selection process because it is a unique opportunity to see Central Indiana communities through the lens of the arts, humanities, and religion.”

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The Festival is a platform for experimentation, celebration and reflection for Central Indiana residents. Committee members took this into account as they chose events as well.

As new committee member Uroosa Khan says, “Spirit & Place … amplifies the Hoosier voice and it is the core and heart of who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re headed. It is a celebration of the light within us. I was honored to serve on the selection committee to help find the brightest of these voices.”

The 2016 Spirit & Place Festival will run November 4-13, 2016. Stay tuned for an official announcement of events that will be included in the 2016 Festival in the next few weeks!


Proud to Play

By Sarah Norman, Arts Specialist, Garfield Park Arts Center

“When did we stop drawing just for the fun of it? Did we lose some part of ourselves when we conformed to coloring inside the lines?”

We are a playful bunch at The Garfield Park Arts Center (GPAC). From hiding toy hedgehogs around the office to blowing bubbles off our balcony, you can expect to find us giggling about something silly happening. We bring this fun-loving attitude to our programs and events.

Our campers learn how to make their own larger-than-life plush germs, our students joke around with us (and bake us yummy food!), and parents can’t stop themselves from joining in when their children are working on a free project in our Arts for All.

At the GPAC, we believe art can be a fun, rewarding experience no matter who you are. How often do you get to go on a Sketch Scavenger Hunt? Or participate in a Chinese Dragon Dance, on a dragon YOU helped design? Preschoolers paint on walls like cavemen, artists doodle creatures on sidewalks, and even the quick visitor can smile about the monkey painted in our family restroom.

“Kids know how to play. They are experts at it. They practice play all the time. They can’t stop.”

There are many ways to think about art. Too often it is seen as something specialized, intangible, or beyond understanding. People shy away from art galleries or cringe when you ask them to draw something. When did we stop drawing just for the fun of it? Did we lose some part of ourselves when we conformed to coloring inside the lines? Picasso once said “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. “

Well, if the illustrious Picasso claims that all children are artists, it must be so. Where do these kids learn to be artists? How do they tirelessly produce work after work? How do they continuously get their artwork shown on the fridge?

The answer: kids know how to play. They are experts at it. They practice play all the time. They can’t stop. They play in theatre camp, manipulating puppets and using goofy voices. They play in music class, stomping and clapping along while their instructor plays the guitar. They play in the art room, drawing very specific animals with stories. It’s this expertise that allows them to create, uninhibited.

Now in its 17th year, the Spirit and Place Festival has chosen “Play” as its theme for 2012. The GPAC is thrilled to be involved, and we hope to see you there, playing like a kid.