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!

Know the Flow

By Erin Kelley

The Spirit & Place application asks you to:

Describe the flow of your event. What will the audience actually experience from beginning to end? What will they see, hear, and do? What order will things occur? No dreamy language here! Give us the nuts & bolts details of how you envision your event actually working.

In 250 words, we want to know what the audience will actually and physically experience at your event.

We ask this for two reasons. One reason is to encourage you to thoughtfully consider, from the earliest stages, how you will create a welcoming and inclusive environment from the moment guests hit your door to the moment they leave. We also ask this question so that the Selection Committee can picture in their minds what will happen during your event compared to other events. This helps them curate a well-rounded festival filled with a variety of experiences.

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Here’s a good example from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 2015 application:

Flow: Following an introduction to the historic Hilbert Circle Theatre, participants will be divided into their self-designated groups: performers and audience members.  

Performers will be greeted by Metropolitan Youth Orchestra faculty and members of the MYO (ages 10 – 18) who will sit side-by-side with the participants. Each guest will receive a violin, viola or cello to play for the night. Our guests and their student helpers will take the stage to learn the basics of holding their instruments and playing a few key notes. Guests who are rusty but have played before will be given more advanced parts to match their appropriate skill levels and will receive additional instruction with an MYO faculty member during the rehearsal.

While the performers are on stage rehearsing, their guests will be in another part of the building getting behind-the-scenes insights into the world of professional music making. 

Following a one-hour rehearsal, all will reconvene in the concert hall as orchestra and audience for a performance of the Canon in D on the stage of Hilbert Circle Theatre. Professional violinist and MYO teacher Jesse Hawkins, will perform as soloist. 

In celebration, we will adjourn to the lobby for a toast and reception.

A tool you might use in helping you think through the event space and how it will be used is the “Venue Checklist” we created. Find it on our Partner’s Resource page.


ISO: https://www.indianapolissymphony.org/

Venue Checklist: http://www.spiritandplace.org/spwebresources/2016/PART%206%20Venue%20Checklist.pdf

Partner’s Page: http://www.spiritandplace.org/Festival.aspx?access=Partners