Connecting Indiana Communities with HOME

We’re proud to celebrate 21st year of the Spirit & Place Festival on November 4-13!

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2016 is Indiana’s Bicentennial year – the perfect time for Hoosiers to celebrate, explore, and consider the different meanings and dimensions of “home.” To honor this, the 2016 Spirit & Place Festival presents HOME as a place, a space, and an idea through 40 events November 4-13.

Celebrating its 21st year, the Spirit & Place Festival is Indianapolis’ largest collaborative festival that uses the arts, religion, and humanities as a vehicle for shaping individual and community life through 10 days of experiences presented in partnership with upwards of 100 partner organizations. An initiative of The Polis Center, part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the annual Spirit & Place Festival offers performances, exhibits, documentaries, and conversations that aim to spark meaningful discussions among diverse neighborhoods, voices, faiths, and organizations in Central Indiana. In doing so, it serves as a platform for insightful experimentation, celebration, and reflection.

The 2016 Festival centers on a “Home” theme and features events that explore everything from pet ownership to affordable housing, mass transit, art therapy, homelessness, race relations, public health, religion, and home renovations, and more. These inspiring events are presented through the lens of elders and youth, veterans, immigrants and refugees, environmentalists, foodies, musicians and poets, and others. Participating organizations and audiences alike are given the chance to see and celebrate the variety of communities that call Indianapolis home.

During the selection process this year, event submissions that exemplified key traits of the Spirit & Place Festival were nominated for an “Award of Awesomeness.” The winning event will receive a $1,000 award at the conclusion of the festival. A preview of these events, as well as information about this year’s signature events, is outlined below. A full listing of events is available at spiritandplace.org.

SPIRIT & PLACE FESTIVAL 2016 – AWARD OF AWESOMENESS NOMINEES

Moving Stories 

**Bold & Daring “Award of Awesomeness” nominee

Saturday, Nov. 5 — Sunday, Nov. 13 (times vary based on bus schedule)

IndyGo busses & Julia M. Carson Transit Center

$1.75 per ride

A “moving” exhibit—literally!—devoted to the stories and images of what makes Indy home for our community. Presented by Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, Writing Futures at Marian University, CityWrite, IndyGo Transit Ambassadors, and Indianapolis Arts Council. Fare can be purchased online at buy.indygo.net, on a bus, by calling 317-635-3344, or at the Transit Center during retail hours.

I Am Home: Muslim Hoosiers

**Inclusive & Open-Minded “Award of Awesomeness” nominee

Saturday, Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. to Friday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m.

Center for Interfaith Cooperation (1100 W. 42nd St., Ste. 125, Indianapolis, IN)

Saturday, Nov. 12, 10 a.m. — 7 p.m.

University of Indianapolis, Schwitzer Student Center (1400 E. Hanna Ave, Indianapolis, IN)

Photo and audio gallery experience of Muslim Hoosiers sharing what makes Indiana their home. Presented by Muslim Alliance of Indiana and the Center for Interfaith Cooperation. 317-306-1998 or aliya.amin@indianamuslims.org.

Riverside Speaks! Past, Present, and Future

**Rooted in Place “Award of Awesomeness” nominee

Saturday, Nov. 5, 9 a.m. — 4 p.m.

Ebenezer Baptist Church & Rock ‘n Riverside House (1901 N Harding St)

FREE

Riverside Speaks! celebrates a community with a “pop-up museum,” historic recreations and performances, and a church and home tour. Presented by Ebenezer Baptist Church, Indiana Historical Society, Riverside Reunion, Indiana Humanities, Kenyetta Dance Company, and Insight Development Corp. 317-631-5946 or cb212be@gmail.com.

Finding Home: Indiana at 200

**Collaboration “Award of Awesomeness” nominee

Saturday, Nov. 5, 4 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 6, 2 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 12, 5 p.m. & 9 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 13, 2 p.m.

Indiana Repertory Theatre, Upperstage (140 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN)

Tickets start at $25. Order at irtlive.com or by calling 317-635-5252

Multifaceted look at Indiana’s life and times mixes music and history, comedy and drama, fact and fable. Presented by Indiana Repertory Theatre and Indiana Historical Society.

Closing in on the Homestretch: A Community Dialogue on Youth Homelessness

**Socially Meaningful “Award of Awesomeness” nominee

Sat., Nov. 6, 1 p.m. — 4:30 p.m.

Central Library (40 E St Clair St, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE

Film screening and dynamic community dialogue on youth homelessness with the filmmakers of “The Homestretch.”

Presented by Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP), Spargel Productions, Homeless Youth Taskforce, Outreach, Inc., and Stopover, Inc. 317-472-7636 or zalexander@chipindy.org.

Homing the Houseless

**Spiritually Meaningful “Award of Awesomeness” nominee
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m. — 9 p.m.
Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation (6501 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE

Watch the “Road to Eden” and reflect with filmmaker Doug Passon on the connection between homelessness, spirituality, and holiday of Sukkot. Presented by Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, 317-255-6647 or info@ihcindy.org.

Homes Before Highways: Communities Under the Exit Ramps

**Build Community “Award of Awesomeness” nominee

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. — 9 p.m.

Concord Neighborhood Center (1310 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE

Share stories and see photos of homes and businesses destroyed on Indianapolis’ south and west sides by the interstate construction of the 1960s and ‘70s. Presented by IUPUI Department of Anthropology and Concord Neighborhood Center.317-278-4548 or suhyatt@iupui.edu.

Spirited Chase: Something to Write Home About

**Fun “Award of Awesomeness” nominee

Saturday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m. — 3 p.m.

5 Mystery Venues

$9 Per Person, RSVP by Wednesday, Nov. 9 at wfyi.org
This on-the-go program offers the chance to visit five mystery locations to learn what “home” means to the people and places of Indianapolis. Must provide own transportation. Presented by WFYI and its community partners. 317-636-2020 or cweidman@wfyi.org.

The Things They Brought Home: Military Tattoos

**Most Thought-Provoking “Award of Awesomeness” nominee

Saturday, Nov. 12, 3 p.m. — 5 p.m.

Indianapolis Art Center (820 E 67th St, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE

This interactive art exhibition explores the veteran experience, tattoos, and the concept of the “body as home” through photography, writing, and panel discussion. Presented by Indianapolis Art Center, Veterans in Industries and Arts, and Indiana Writers Center. 255-2464 or awalbridge@indplsartcenter.org.

SPIRIT & PLACE FESTIVAL 2016 – SIGNATURE EVENTS

Kick Off Event

The Dog Ate My Homework: Opening Night Event

Friday, Nov. 4, 6:30 p.m. — 8:30 p.m.

Tube Factory artspace (1125 Cruft Street, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE

It’s time to turn in your homework–no excuses! Join us as we kick off the 2016 Spirit & Place Festival with our friends at Tube Factory artspace. Test your knowledge with fun “homework” assignments about Indy, hear the debut of HOMEWORK by spoken word artist Tony Styxx, see exhibit Mari by artist Carl Pope, and learn about Big Car’s partnership with Riley Area Development Corporation and Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership to provide affordable homes for local artists. Presented by Spirit & Place and Big Car.

Signature Event

From the Ground Up: A People-Centered Approach to Community Development

Sunday, Nov. 6, 3 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Kheprw Institute (3549 Boulevard Place, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE

This hands-on workshop explores ways to develop a people-centered approach to community development.

Presented by Kheprw Institute, SEND Working Class Task Force, KI NuMedia, Scarabys Consulting, LLC, and Spirit & Place.317-329-4803 or gentrify@kheprw.org.

Signature Event

An Evening with Elizabeth Strout

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. — 9 p.m.

Butler University, Reilly Room (4600 Sunset Blvd, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE, RSVP by Nov. 7 at spiritandplace.org

Readings and reflections by Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton. Presented by Butler University’s Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series and Spirit & Place. 317-274-2455 orfestival@iupui.edu.

Signature Event

Side-by-Side 

Friday, Nov. 11—13, public exhibit & shared meals (see www.spiritandplace.org for comprehensive schedule)

Friday, Nov. 11, 5 p.m. — 7:30 p.m., artist-led tour, reception & dinner

Friday, Nov. 11, 7:45 p.m. — 9 p.m., artist talk & Matthew’s Voices community choir debut

Roberts Park United Methodist Church (401 N Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE, except for Friday, Nov. 11 dinner – $50. RSVP at robertsparkumc.org

First-ever side-by-side exhibit of sculptor Timothy Schmalz’s “Matthew 25” works partnered with 3-days of side-by-side dinners and fellowship with homeless neighbors, community leaders, artists, and others.

Presented by Roberts Park United Methodist Church, Sculpture by Timothy Schmalz Inc., Waltz Books, and members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.* 317-635-1636 or rpoffice@robertsparkumc.org.

*Check www.spiritandplace.org closer to event for final “presented by” information.

Signature Event

21st Annual Public Conversation

Sunday, Nov. 13, 4 p.m. — 5:30 p.m.

Indiana Landmarks Center (1201 Central Avenue, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE

A sociologist, a sculptor, and others reflect on poverty, homelessness, public policy, and the human spirit. “MacArthur Genius” and New York Times bestselling author Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty & Profit in the American City), sculptor Timothy Schmalz (“Homeless Jesus”) and executive director of the Martin Luther King Community Center Allison Luthe will grapple with the essence of home from their unique perspectives in a discussion moderated by Butler University political science professor Terri Jett. Presented by Spirit & Place, Roberts Park United Methodist Church, and in conjunction with the John D. Barlow Lecture in the Humanities by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. 317-274-2455 or festival@iupui.edu.

For details on all Spirit & Place programs and events, visit www.spiritandplace.org.

 

 

 

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A Familiar but Forever New Journey

Bill Watt

Bill Watt

By Bill Watts

I am a long-distance cyclist.  I ride about 8,000 miles a year, and I have had the good fortune to ride my bicycle in China, in Australia, and in much of Europe.  This past summer, I climbed the Col D’Aubisque, a mountain pass that is often featured in the Tour de France.  The climb was thrilling.

But the most significant and important journey for me is the one I make almost every day, from my home on the near northwest side of Indianapolis to my workplace at Butler University.  Much of my route follows the towpath along the Central Canal.

“I am in my twenty-fourth year of riding along the canal, but I still find it fresh and invigorating.”

I am in my twenty-fourth year of riding along the canal, but I still find it fresh and invigorating.  For me, this journey tells several intersecting stories.

One story is cultural and institutional.  I pass in front of Naval Armory as I make my way to the towpath, and I am always amused to think of this massive structure guarding the White River from any foreign navies that might dare to invade central Indiana.  Soon thereafter, I pass by the stately homes of Golden Hill, safely situated on the other side of the canal.  Then it is the Indianapolis Museum of Art, with its lovely grounds, and its grand building presiding over the White River Valley.

“I think of the Canal as a kind of cultural corridor that connects some of the most important and interesting institutions in the city.”

When I take the wooden underpass under Michigan Road, I always remember Ray Irvin, the former director of the Greenways, first for the city and then for the state, who did so much to develop our system of trails and to make my commuting route pleasant.  Soon after that, I pass by the Christian Theological Seminary, and I admire its architecture and am grateful to the Irwin and Miller families for their contributions to public buildings in both Indianapolis and Columbus.  And, finally, I arrive at Butler, where I am proud member of the English Department.

In this way, then, I think of the Canal as a kind of cultural corridor that connects some of the most important and interesting institutions in the city.

Bill Watt-canalBut the canal also gives us entry into the natural life of the city.  When I was a boy, I remember traveling deep into a forest to see a Wood Duck.  Now, I see wood ducks almost every day, and I am still enthralled by their bright colors and exotic markings.  In the late Fall, I often come upon a Great Blue Heron, who is startled into flight when he sees me, and lands a bit up the canal.  When I come up to him again, he again commences his gawky-but-graceful flight, and I think of him as a kind of guardian angel, guiding me on my daily commute.  I sometimes see kingfishers, beaver, foxes and deer, and I always see turtles.  I love them all.

My journey down the canal is also a personal one.  I remember running into my friend, Scott Swanson, jogging over there, and Jim Poyser, riding his bike, over here, and just a bit further down the path, I fell one slick winter evening and broke my wrist.  It is a path full of memories for me.

I believe that we have a duty to see the world, and, in coming years, I will make a point of seeing as much of the world as I can from the seat of my bicycle.  One of the benefits of travel, though, is that it allows us to see the familiar world to which we return in a new light.  My daily journey along the canal is familiar and comforting, but it is also endlessly surprising and enlightening.

 

Bill Watts is an Associate Professor of English at Butler University.