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 . . .

DO:

  • 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.

DON’T

  • 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?

https://storify.com/spiritandplace/spirit-place-2016

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]

Questions about Home

I like questions. I was the child in the backseat of the car who asked their parents every ten minutes “are we there yet?” because mostly I liked to see what kind of answer I would receive. Sometimes my parents would answer me honestly with the time left in our trip, other times they would sigh and exasperated, they would tell me that we were ten minutes closer than the last time I had asked. Quite frequently, my sister would roll her eyes and try to move her body as far away as she could from me and my relentless probing. If I was a child today, my parents would probably have bought me a GPS just to get a break. My sister would have contributed financially.

This questioning nature has perhaps become less obnoxious as I’ve aged but I still find myself asking many questions every day. I think that’s why I like this year’s Spirit and Place theme so much because it has challenged me to come up with endless inquiries about what home means. So, what is home? Is it a place, or a person, or a feeling? Is it a physical house or an emotional state of being? Does it have to be the place where you live or can it be somewhere you feel comfortable like a church, or a park, or a bookstore? On an even more basic level, is it just someplace where you feel safe and protected?

Refugee family at Indianapolis airport - provided by Exodus Refugee Immigration

Refugee family at airport – provided by Exodus Refugee Immigration

The recurring theme that I seem to keep coming back to through all of these questions is welcome. To me, home is where you feel welcome and where you can welcome others. Which, of course, leads me to an entirely new set of questions on how does one do this? How do you welcome others into your home, your city, or your community? Is it through a handshake or a hug, picking a refugee family up at the airport, providing a meal and a bed to a weary traveler, or by having a genuine conversation with others? As for me, I bet you can guess, when I welcome someone, I tend to ask a lot of questions.

I hope you will join me in seeking out answers to these inquiries and more by attending the 21st Annual Spirit and Place Festival on November 4th-13th. Are we there yet?

Katie Bulloff is the Social Media Coordinator and Stewardship Associate at Northminster Presbyterian Church. Along with Exodus Refugee Immigration, The Polis Center, and Yardbox Films, Northminster is pleased to be presenting Refugees Welcome on November 12th from 2-4pm as part of this year’s Spirit and Place Festival.

Home Safe Home

By Jane Hedeen

As the horrifying details of the shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut emerged on December 14, 2012, I sat, hand clapped over my mouth, devastated.

Sandy Hook catapulted me into the gun violence prevention movement. I started volunteering for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and learning more about gun violence.

Often, people ask if I or a loved one have been affected by gun violence. While the answer is “no,” I’m not naive enough to think that it can’t happen to my family.  My daughter will enter first grade this fall; the same grade as the Sandy Hook children.  That stops me in my tracks.

More than two million American children live in homes with guns that are not securely stored. I won’t accept that.  I advocate for better laws to help keep kids safe in their classrooms, but I have learned that here is something immediate I can do to protect children at home.

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Unintentional shootings, which occur when children access an unsecured weapon, are particularly senseless.  A child’s home should be a place of safety and sanctuary, not one fraught with danger because of unsecured weapons.  So far this year, seven unintentional shootings in Indiana have resulted in fives deaths and two injuries. These were all entirely preventable.

That’s why Moms Demand Action developed the BeSMART program.  BeSMART outlines actions everyone — gun owners or non-gun owners — can take to keep our homes safe havens.  In order to save lives, we must Be SMART:

S: Secure guns in homes (and vehicles) by locking them up and storing ammunition separately.  Free gun locks are available through the BeSMART program or, often, your local police department.

M: Model responsible behavior around guns.  Make an informed decision about gun ownership and ensure all adult members of the household are willing to become trained and practice safe storage and handling.

A: Ask about unsecured guns anywhere your children play.  Don’t assume that even trusted friends and relatives practice safe storage. www.besmartforkids.org offers tips on having this conversation.

R: Recognize the risks of teen suicide.  Teens are impulsive and suicide attempts with guns result in death 85% of the time. Read more about warning signs and risk factors.

T: Tell your peers to BeSMART.  Share the concrete things we can do in our own homes and through respectful conversations with others to keep kids safe.

Learn more at www.besmartforkids.org and www.momsdemandaction.org

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots, non-partisan organization that advocates for common-sense gun legislation, such as universal background checks for all gun sales.  The group encompasses gun owners and non-gun owners alike, and believes that the Second Amendment can coexist with common sense laws to keep us all safer. For more information, visit www.momsdemandaction.org.

Death, Dying, & Awkward Conversations

By Lucia Wocial, PhD, RN, FAAN

When I first started telling people about the idea of a Before I Die Festival (April 15—17), I invariably heard an incredulous, “A what???” often followed by, “Don’t you think you should change the name? That’s awkward!”

The topic is absolutely awkward. That is kind of the point. But by explaining our goal is to use what people find comfortable – art, literature, faith, and even food – to spark conversations about death, people start to warm to the idea. In fact, virtually everyone I speak to has a story to tell about death.

BID_LogoGerogioProFinalFew people are comfortable talking about death, even though all of our lives will be touched by it sooner or later. If the first conversation you have about what you want for end-of-life care is when you get bad news from your doctor, it is too late.

There are so many heartwarming stories about how people have beat cancer or survived some terrible accident. It is easy to trick ourselves into believing we don’t have to plan for death. Subconsciously we know we will die but our conscious mind does not want to go there. We believe we will be in control; we will be able to tell people what we want up until the very end.

Because I work in healthcare I know that the majority of people who are dying are too sick to tell us what they want.

If they haven’t had conversations with the important people in their lives, family is left to feel a terrific burden. The greatest gift we can give our families is to tell them exactly what matters most to us should we develop a terrible illness or learn we are dying. In my experience, there is a tremendous sense of peace when patients have shared with their friends and family what they want.

It is sad when people die. It doesn’t have to be traumatic.

Come to the festival and find out just how easy it can be to talk about death.

Lucia Wocial, PhD, RN, FAAN is a nurse ethicist with the Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics as well as an adjunct assistant professor with the IU School of Nursing. Her work with the RESPECT Center is focused on research in palliative and end-of-life communication and training.

 

Before I die . . .

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I want to travel to Southeast Asia.

I want to know I’ve made a positive impact in my community.

I want to finally learn how to poach an egg properly.

Let’s be honest, if we’re going to think and talk about death, daydreaming about all the things we’d like to do be we die isn’t so rough and scary. Talking about wills, do not resuscitate (DNR) orders, advance directives, hospice care, and other end-of-life topics can be rough and scary though.

Although difficult, these are important conversations and Spirit & Place is proud to partner with the IU School of Nursing for Indy’s first ever Before I Die Festival (April 15—17, 2016) as a way to spark dialogue around end-of-life care.

Modeled off of past events in Wales and England, Indy’s Before I Die Festival (the first one to occur in the United States), will feature book discussions, cemetery tours, genealogy workshops, art exhibits, death cafes, and more at locations across the city. A little bit like the Spirit & Place Festival itself, the Before I Die Festival taps into the creative and thoughtful power of several arts, humanities, and faith-based organizations to help us talk about our end-of-life wishes.

At Spirit & Place, we believe in the power of meaningful conversation and in the vital role the arts, humanities, and religion play in helping us make sense of the world and our place in it. This community is filled with talented, smart, and caring people who are eager to help us explore tough issues, including death and dying.

Learn more at the Before I Die website and Facebook page.

By Erin Kelleyerin