Powerful discussions part of 2018 Festival

The 2018 Spirit & Place Festival will be held from Nov. 2-11. The festival this year will explore the theme of “intersections.” Intersecting lines can be found anywhere from the cross and cloverleaf, to crossroads and connections. They represent collective creativity and deeper understanding, as well as points of division or conflict.

There will be 32 unique events this year that will take place across 27 venues and feature a variety of presenters, speakers and performers. This year’s festival includes a variety of events centered on powerful literature and panel-style discussions. These discussions are intended to inspire conversation and delve into current and historical events that are relevant to citizens across Central Indiana.

Visit the website at www.spiritandplace.org for the full festival lineup, including these discussion events below:


Saturday, November 3, 1:30—4 p.m.
Niki’s Honor: Violence Against Girls & Women Needs to Stop
Presented by author Laila Anwarzai Ayoubi and Nur-Allah Islamic Center
Nur-Allah Islamic Center—2040 E. 46th St.

Through the lens of a native Afghan woman and author of Niki’s Honor, Dr. Laila Anwarzai Ayoubi, this event invites attendees to discover that violence against women is not confined to any one religion, culture, geographic area or age group. Told against the background of the death of a young Afghan girl as described in the pages of Niki’s Honor, the interactive components of this event will deepen understanding of how these abhorrent acts hurt women everywhere.

Sunday, November 4, 2:30—5 p.m.
Reimagining the Spiritual Text through Watercolor
Presented by artists Bianca Dudeck-Mandity and Monica Bergers
Marian University—Library—3200 Cold Spring Rd.
Cost: $10 

This event is a collaborative experience joining the power of words, music and art. Attendees should bring a copy of spiritual text meaningful to them as well as writing materials. Painting supplies will be provided. Participants will be guided through a series of free-writing, discussion, music listening and painting exercises. By exploring inner beliefs, painting techniques, and sounds and music, attendees will broaden their understanding of how a spiritual text can engage multiple senses at once. Participants will leave with an abstract watercolor that expresses their multi-sensory experience of the spiritual. 


Monday, November 5, 6:30—8 p.m.
A Crossroads of Nations
Presented by artist Lauren Ditchley, Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association, A Taste of Philly Pretzels and College Avenue Branch Library
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and Indiana Historical Society —Clowes Court—500 W. Washington St.

Indiana has a rich history predating its 1816 statehood. What is now known as Indiana was inhabited by tribal nations including the Miami, Potawatomi, Wea, Shawnee, Kickapoo and Delaware. Learn from a panel of experts, including Miami, Delaware and Potawatomi voices, on how the St. Mary’s Treaties of 1818 affected Indiana’s first peoples, the future settlement of their land and how and why treaties are still relevant today.


Monday, November 5, 6:30—8:30 p.m.
Where Freedoms Collide
Presented by ACLU of Indiana, Exodus Refugees and Jewish Community Relations Council
Indiana Landmarks—Cook Theater—1201 Central Ave. 

How do we balance minority and majority rights? America’s history is full of intersections where the rights of the minority conflict with the rights of the majority. Where the promise to protect individual liberty conflicts with the promise to protect our communities from harm, foreign and domestic. Join the ACLU for a moderated conversation about the intersection where competing rights, and competing values, must be resolved.


Monday, November 5, 6—8 p.m.
Bringing Science to Life: Medical Ethics & Literature
Presented by Indianapolis Public Library, Indiana Humanities and March for Science
Central Library—Clowes Auditorium—40 E. St. Clair St.

Although 200 years apart, the two books guiding the panel, Frankenstein and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, both explore the intersection of science and literature. One is a horror novel and the other a biography, but both examine human characteristics, emotions and stories of scientific explorations into what it means to be human.


Tuesday, November 6, 7—9 p.m.
Race Matters: Faith & Philanthropy in the African American Community
Presented by Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, Christian Theological Seminary and Mays Family Institute on Diverse Philanthropy at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Christian Theological Seminary—Shelton Auditorium—1000 W. 42nd St.

Featured panelist Starsky Wilson has led congregational activism through his work at Saint John’s Church in St. Louis, including leadership on the Ferguson Commission. Similarly, Brad Braxton, Director of the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, is committed to courageous social justice activism and compassionate interfaith collaboration. Aimée Laramore serves as Philanthropic Strategist for the first PhD program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at Christian Theological Seminary. All three panelists are experienced religious leaders who have navigated the work of philanthropy and social justice in their communities. Hear their stories and learn from their insights.


Wednesday, November 7, 6—8 p.m.
Mapping Lost Intersections
Presented by IUPUI University Library, Indiana Historical Society and Herron School of Art & Design Library
Indiana History Center—450 W. Ohio St. 

Using multiple archival sources, guests are invited to investigate lost, demolished and re-developed Indianapolis intersections. From the relocation of Greenlawn, the city’s first cemetery, to reconstruction of White River State Park, and finally stumbling upon an early 20th century red light district, local library experts will showcase how the Indianapolis built environment has changed over time and consider what this change meant for people then and now. Participants will be guided on how to use digital collections, formulate research strategies when doing local history and will be invited to share memories of lost spaces and places in their communities. 


Thursday, November 8, 6—8 p.m.
Lonesome No More Through Faith Communities
Presented by Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, and National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) FaithNet
Congregation Beth-El Zedeck—600 W. 70th St.

This event looks at the ways in which loneliness is present in religious communities and the strength, structure and support that churches, synagogues and other faith communities can provide. Through this moderated discussion, arts event and book signing, the event will share knowledge and connect people of all faith backgrounds in an effort to curb loneliness. 


Thursday, November 8, 7—9 p.m.
INspired to Give: Women, Faith & Philanthropy
Presented by Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (IUPUI), Center for Interfaith Cooperation, Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis and Indescribable Gift
Indiana Interchurch Center—Krannert Room, 2nd Floor—1100 W. 42nd St.

Hear stories from women of different faith traditions and take part in small group discussions to explore the role faith has and can have on giving. The panelists will share sacred text important to them and engage attendees in using their own stories to continue exploring in interfaith settings and how to fuel a culture of giving. Attendees may also visit with partnering organizations in an exhibit area before and after the event. 


Friday, November 9, 6—8 p.m. (arrive by 5:45 p.m.)
From Auschwitz to Indiana: Medical Ethics through History with Eva Kor
Presented by CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center and Indiana Medical History Museum
Indiana Medical History Museum—3045 W. Vermont St.
RSVP required due to limited seating here.

The intersection of medical ethics, the Holocaust and Indiana’s history with medical malpractice come together in this engaging lecture and panel discussion. The Holocaust is often viewed as a subject removed from the U.S.; in particular the Midwest. This event looks at the connections between medical studies (including eugenics) and how these inhumane experiments actually originated in Indiana and were later used by Nazi doctors. Eva Kor will share her personal story of perseverance after being treated as a subject rather than a human being.


Sunday, November 11, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
23rd Annual Public Conversation
Presented by Spirit & Place, Indiana State Museum, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, IUPUI University Library, IUPUI Center for Service and Learning, IUPUI Office of Research and Administration, IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, IUPUI School of Public and Environmental Affairs, The Polis Center, Centric and Kheprw Institute
Indiana State Museum—650 W. Washington St. 

Featuring Zeynep Tufekci, this year’s Public Conversation will discuss the intersections of social media, politics and our everyday lives. Zeynep Tufekci is a techno-sociologist who focuses on social movements and civics, privacy and surveillance and social interactions. Tufekci’s latest book, Twitter and Teargas, thoughtfully examines both the positive and negative ways digital platforms support the work of social change.

What Kind of Events Does the Festival Want?

Spirit & Place wants unique events that engage the mind and heart. We want events that invite reflection and discussion related to the yearly theme. We want you to partner with others so that multiple perspectives inform all aspects of your event. We want you to help create bridges of understanding. We want you to use the festival as an opportunity to stretch yourself creatively, collaboratively, intellectually, and spiritually.

We want your best. And, yeah, we know that’s a lot!

The Spirit & Place Festival provides you the opportunity to help 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 and meaningful ways all the while elevating the work you and other arts, humanities, religious, and/or community organizations do.

That’s the power of Spirit & Place.

When submitting your event application . . .


  • Be inventive and collaborative. We love to see innovation and risk-taking!
  • Put the theme front and center. Be clear on how your event is connected to the theme and how the audience will experience/reflect upon the theme. (2017 theme is POWER.)
  • Demonstrate your capacity. Challenge yourself to create something unique, but keep it focused enough so that you can accomplish your goals.
  • Remember the arts, humanities, & religion. Use one or more of these disciplines as a vehicle to help you 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 21 at 5p.m.!

LINKS: Partner Resources: http://www.spiritandplace.org/Festival.aspx?access=Partners



What did HOME teach you?


Did you know that over 40 events took place during our 2016 Spirit and Place festival? We were also proud to present five Signature Events: The Dog Ate My Homework featuring a newly commissioned spoken word piece by Tony Styxx, An Evening with Elizabeth Strout  in partnership with the Butler University Visiting Writers Series, the ambitious Side-by-Side programming with Roberts Park UMC, and the 21st Annual Public Conversation hosted by our official 2016 venue partner, Indiana Landmarks.

Even more, nine additional events have been recognized this year for exemplifying the values that make the Spirit & Place Festival special!

Spirit & Place represents a collaboration of congregations, cultural institutions, universities and colleges, schools, civic groups, museums, etc. We’re always seeking to improve, and your feedback at our events is sincerely appreciated.

Take a look at what you had to say about this year’s Festival on Storify:
[View the story “Spirit & Place 2016” on Storify]

Meet the “Award of Awesomeness” nominees

Home Logo Vertical

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.

Nine of those events have been recognized this year for exemplifying the values that make the Spirit & Place Festival special. The winning “Award of Awesomeness” event will receive a $1,000 award at the conclusion of the festival that will be announced at the Public Conversation on November 13. Learn more about each of these events below!


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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.

A full listing of events is available at spiritandplace.org.

Controlling Our Own Food

By Chinyelu Mwaafrika, Kheprw Institute Intern

With the loss of Double 8 foods in our communities last year, the people searched for an alternative means of obtaining affordable produce without having to drive all over creation to access them. From that need, the Community Controlled Food Initiative (CCFI) was born.

CCFI is a community led initiative that was started by the Kheprw Institute shortly after the closing of many Double 8 stores throughout the city. Although initial support for the initiative was small, it has grown exponentially since its inception.

Eulalia Johnson, another member of the CCFI team said, “I was very excited about the food feast and next event I’m going to be even more excited because we’re getting more people.”

CCFI partners with local gardeners/farmers to provide produce, so that not only do community members receive fresh, affordable food, but local growers profit off of their produce which strengthens the local economy.

The amount of money you pay for food depends entirely on your household income. A single person that makes less than $22,000 a year will pay $12 a month and someone making more will pay $25 (EBT/food stamps are accepted). Everyone gets the same amount of food which they pick up at Kheprw Institute on the second Saturday of the month, where they can also participate in a cooking demonstration and a shared community meal.2016-06-15

Mimi Zakem, of the CCFI organizing team said, “The first CCFI Food distribution was just a beautiful thing, and it was really special to partner with a grower from the neighborhood so we had food grown by community, distributed by community, purchased by community, eaten by community. We really have a wonderful grassroots thing going here and we’re excited to keep growing it.”

First CCFI food distribution

First CCFI food distribution

So far, CCFI has tremendous momentum behind it, and from the looks of it they have nowhere to go but up. Paulette Fair, a member of CCFI’s management committee said, “I was so proud of meeting a bunch of residents and community people who came together to bring produce fresh off the farm into our community.”

Tysha Ahmad, another committee member said, “Our goal is to continue to grow so that people can continue to come and be able to pick up healthy food.”