Family-fun events part of 2017 Spirit & Place Festival starting Nov. 3

22th Annual Spirit & Place Festival Focuses on POWER Nov. 3-12

WHAT: The Spirit & Place Festival returns in 2017 to explore the meaning behind “power” with 37 unique events throughout 10 days. These events take place across 32 venues with over 70 presenters, speakers and performers on Nov. 3-12. This year’s festival includes a selection of free, family-fun events.

Visit the website at www.spiritandplace.org for the full festival lineup, including the family-fun events below:

EVENT INFO:

Friday, November 3 – 6-9 p.m.

Superhero’s Bash: Opening Night Kick Off!
Presented by Spirit & Place, Harrison Center for the Arts and the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center

Harrison Center for the Arts – Gymnasium, 1505 Delaware St.
Geek out with Spirit & Place as we kick off the 2017 Festival with a Superhero’s Bash! Dress as your favorite superhero or other empowering character you love for a night of games, art, music and fun. Activities include mask designing, photo booths, testing your game-playing skills and more.

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Saturday, November 4 – 11-2 p.m.

The Almighty Pollock Paint Launch Affair

Presented by Garfield Parks Art Center, Ivy Tech Community College Central Indiana and Social Sketch Indy

Garfield Parks Art Center – 2432 Conservatory Dr.

Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) come together in this gloriously messy and thrilling day of paint and catapults. When again will you have the opportunity to create large paintings using paint soaked pom-poms hurled from trebuchets, catapults and slingshots? Join in on this family-friendly event that demonstrates the innovative power of combining the arts and engineering sciences.

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Sunday, November 5 – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

PRESSing Matters: Man vs. Machine

Presented by Arts for Learning, Ivy Tech Community College Central Indiana, Cat Head Press, Indianapolis Art Center and Insight Development Corp. (Indpls Housing Agency).

16 Park Community Center – 546 E. 17th St.

Local printmakers, working with schools and businesses, will hand carve large-scale images onto relief blocks. Ink will then be rolled over the blocks and run over by a steamroller to transfer the images to the cloth. Visitors can take part in hand-printing stations where they can imitate the steamroller process on a smaller scale by creating smaller relief prints that can be taken home.

 

About Spirit & Place:

Celebrating the theme of POWER in 2017, Spirit & Place honors the role the arts, humanities and religion play in shaping individual and community life. Through its November festival, people-centered community engagement, and year-round activities, Spirit & Place links people, places, ideas and organizations to stimulate collaboration, experimentation and conversation. A national model for building civically engaged communities, Spirit & Place is an initiative of The Polis Center, part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Major partners include Lilly Endowment Inc.; Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Bohlsen Group; Indiana Landmarks; The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate; IUPUI; IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; The Polis Center at IUPUI; WFYI Public Media; and more than 200 other community partners and donors. For more information, call The Polis Center at (317) 274-2455 or visit www.spiritandplace.org

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Upcoming Event Features: Family Fun

B3 Home: Bats, Bees, and Birds
Saturday, November 5, 10am—1pm
Garfield Park Arts Center
2432 Conservatory Dr.screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-11-52-48-am
IndyGo: 13 & 22
FREE
317-916-7832 / srobertson99@ivytech.edu.

Presented by Ivy Tech Community College, Garfield Park Arts Center, Arts for Learning Indiana, and Social Sketch Indy

Family-friendly event where participants build and decorate houses for bats, bees, and birds while learning about the importance of these tiny creatures on our ecosystem.

Home is more than just for humans. Our animal, mammal, and insect companions on earth deserve to have their lives respected and researched. With a decrease in “homes” for bats, bees, and birds, our ecosystems and food supplies will dwindle. We need them for our global community!

This family-friendly, all-ages event allows attendees to create art about bats, bees, and birds with teaching artists from ARTFORCE Art Camp and Social Sketch Indy. Everyone will be able to enjoy a community-created exhibition about bats, bees, and birds, art-making activities, educational programming, takeaways from conservation organizations—even beekeepers!, and food and drink (for purchase) by Ivy Tech culinary, Bee Coffee Roasters, and New Day Meadery.

While supplies last, approximately 90 family units will be able to build bat, bird, or bee house with students and faculty from Ivy Tech’s Construction Technology program.

Walk-ins welcome. RSVPs requested at spiritandplace.org.

Finding my Forever Family
screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-11-53-05-amThursday, November 10, 6—9pm
Tube Factory artspace
1125 Cruft St.
IndyGo: 13, 16, 22
FREE, RSVP by Nov. 9 at spiritandplace.org

317-872-5650 x 108 / mferris@indyhumane.org
Presented by Humane Society of Indianapolis and Big Car

Art-fueled, full sensory experience where participants “become” a dog or cat and visit stations to understand life at Indy Humane’s shelter. 

Whether you own animals or love them from afar, IndyHumane invites guests of all ages to step into Big Car’s Tube Factory facility and to gain empathy and understanding for what shelter animals experience on their journey toward finding a forever home.

You begin the journey by choosing the profile card of a dog or cat. As you move through the room, you will stop at stations to learn a little bit more about your animal’s story. Each stop is a customized and interactive experience that will incorporate either some form of art (music, video, graphics, acting, paintings) or ask you to use one of your 5 senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, sound) before moving on to learn another step in your animal’s process. Each animal’s story is unique, so a person can choose to go through the stations multiple times, should they find the experience interesting. At the very last station in the experience, you will receive a current update on how the animal has been doing since leaving the shelter.

Walk-ins welcome, but RSVPs encouraged by Nov. 9 at spiritandplace.org.

Parking may be found along Shelby Street; Cruft Street is reserved for residential parking only.

Poems about Home

By John Sherman

In September 1998, on his last night on our farm, my father slept in the same room in which he’d been born in January 1915. To us and to our neighbors, that was not remarkable. However, when it somehow came up in conversation when I was a student at IU, that my father was sleeping in his birth place, my city friends thought I was making a joke or telling a lie. Their skepticism made me reflect on just how grounded we were in our farm and served as the germination of a life of writing poetry. We were farmers, set apart from the rest of society. Our lives were stable, yet much more complex than the casual passerby would ever imagine.

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I received an Individual Artist Program grant from the Indiana Arts Commission in 2015 to write new poetry, visit schools, and produce a CD. I titled it Home: Stories of a Childhood Told in Poems. I chose Home because it summarized the poems’ topics and I felt a kinship with the 2016 Spirit & Place theme.

Some of the poems in Home are new; others, years ago, resonated with very diverse audiences. I was told that, in spite of ethnic, racial, and/or geographic differences, my poems about my home reflected their own.

On my last day on our farm, loading that final truckload of treasures, including a gigantic cast-iron butchering kettle I am still trying to figure out what I will do with, I stood with my camera, moving slowly in a circle, shooting what became a panorama that captures the quiet farmhouse, the distant barn, the creek, and the October trees barren of leaves. I had it made into one of my large-format posters with an accompanying poem describing two childhoods there: my father’s and mine, different, yet so very similar.

Though I have been to Jay County many times since then, I cannot drive by the farm. No longer do I crest the hill to the west, looking suddenly on the white farmhouse in the distance, made golden by evening light, with the expectation of good food, hugs, conversation, and, one hoped, gossip. For what is home without the occupants who made it so? No matter where I lived in the U.S. or overseas, I often wrote poems about that farm. It remains such a part of me. That’s why I cannot bear to see it, devoid of the loving parents, the laughter, my strong attachment to every tree and fence post, the corn to the west, the soybeans to the south.

Home.

Sanctuary by Rabbi Aaron Spiegel

When considering this essay, I figured a rabbi should have religious places that hold special if not sacred value, so I thought of the synagogue of my childhood where I learned  (or at least they tried to teach me) the rich traditions of Judaism. I thought of the shul where I davened (prayed) with my grandfather. I thought of the synagogues I have been  privileged to serve. I thought of the myriad places in Israel that have historical and religious significance to Jews. And I thought of the synagogue where my children became bar and
bat mitzvah.
And while all these places brought fond memories, none felt inspiring. I panicked. How could I write an essay on inspiring places when, while important and meaningful, none  jumped out as truly inspiring? Then I realized all had a common trait that was inspiring —people. It wasn’t the synagogue of my childhood that was inspiring; it was Mr. Shapiro who taught me that learning Torah could move me to be a better person. It wasn’t davening in my grandfather’s shul that was inspiring; it was seeing my grandfather’s non-judgmental piety, in the face of so much personal tragedy, that inspired me. It wasn’t leading a congregation that inspired me; it was the privilege of being with people as they experienced the ups and downs of their lives that inspired me. It isn’t the synagogue where my children became full members of the Jewish community that is inspiring, it is their acceptance of their place in the community and the love of friends and family that  inspired me.
Jewish tradition holds that there are only two things holy in a synagogue—the Torah and the people. The building, while important, is just a building. Crossing the threshold into the synagogue does not take one from the world of the profane into the world of the sacred any more than crossing the threshold of an office building. What’s really important are the people whom we seek to inspire and who, in turn, will inspire us.
When the second Temple was destroyed in 79 ACE, the community faced a conundrum. How could they maintain a sense of Judaism without this thing, this structure, as the central focus of their faith? In their inimitable wisdom, the rabbis transferred the power of the Beit Hamikdash, house of sanctuary or holiness, to the home—the Mikdash Me’at or little temple. Parents became the new priests and children their charges. While synagogues became and remain important, they are so primarily because they offer a place to congregate, to be together as a community.
In his book Shopping Malls and Other Sacred Places, Lutheran theologian Jon Pahl writes that new institutions have usurped churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques as our revered spaces. For me as a Jew, it’s not that these places compete with synagogues for our souls; it’s that we have forgotten how to be in community. Instead of seeking inspiration from one another, we search for it in experiences. Life has taught me that the experience of inspiration is not found merely in congregating with others, but in forming relationships. Martin Buber was clear that it is when we acknowledge the humanity of others in our relationships that we experience God. Judaism says that it is loyalty to the teachings of the Torah that is the measure of the faith of the Jew, and not loyalty to an institution. Jewish spirituality centers on being inspired by others. Which is better: the focus on finding the spiritual in the synagogue or in life’s journey? I am not convinced that  either is better, but that personal spiritual growth requires both. It is our tradition to explore the Divine in places other than the synagogue, especially in the home. The concept of Mikdash Me’at, the sanctuary of home, is a cornerstone of Jewish spiritual practice.
However, it is also our tradition that prayer in a group is more powerful than alone. It is not happenstance that a quorum, minyan, is required to recite certain prayers, particularly those that are most personal. It is not that God hears better in groups, it is that we hear better in groups! Our connection to God is through our connection to each other.
Therefore, the synagogue provides the space where the sacred can congregate, where people can come together with Torah and live the experience of Judaism. After all, what are we worshiping? It’s not the building, the chairs, the walls, or the aron ha’kodesh;
we are worshiping our aliveness and our connection with the Divine.
Buber also said, “Next to being the children of God our greatest privilege is being the brothers of each other.” That inspires me!
Aaron Spiegel Rabbi, Information Technology Director, Indianapolis Center for Congregations Sanctuary

John Green on Play

In 2012, author John Green, wrote an guest blog on the theme PLAY. However, his blog describes our HOME so beautifully, we decided to post it again. Enjoy!

Continue reading

The Medical Home

By Dr. Mary McAteer

Spirit & Place allows our community to explore one yearly theme through a variety of lenses. With this year’s theme being “home,” The Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics would like to take the opportunity to educate families about an aspect of home they might not be familiar with: the medical home.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents should be accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective. It should be delivered or directed by well-trained physicians who provide primary care and help to manage and facilitate all aspects of pediatric care. The physician should be known to the child and family, and should be able to develop a partnership of mutual responsibility and trust with them. These characteristics define the “medical home,” and stand in contrast to care provided through emergency departments, walk-in clinics, and other urgent-care facilities. Though such care is sometimes necessary, it is more costly and often less effective.

A medical home is not just a building or place – it extends beyond the walls of a clinical practice. A medical home builds partnerships with clinical specialists, families, and community resources. The medical home recognizes the family as a constant in a child’s life, and emphasizes partnership between health care professionals and families. A medical home is where everyone in the office knows your name when you call, welcomes you, and encourages your input. It is a place where your family’s priorities and traditions will be respected, and your child is able to express his feelings, even when it takes time. Further, if needed, a medical home helps you get connected to other health care professionals or community resources and stays with you through the journey.

strong kid

When you have the healthiest child on your block and your family is humming along in wellness, your medical home can help you with routine health screenings, safety information and sports physicals. There are many sources of information that are confusing and may not be rooted in solid science, and your doctor can help put new or controversial information into perspective. When a child goes to school and is not functioning in a given area, your doctor can help narrow down the concern and chart a course to assist you. If a tragedy befalls a family member, or a tragedy within the community hits a child especially hard, having a trusted professional to talk to may offer valuable support.

Where this model shines the brightest is with our children who have special health care needs. When a child receives care through multiple providers, or has more complex needs at school or at home, a medical home that provides a central location and oversight for all the child’s health needs and information can be a valuable asset. The concept of the medical home introduces a pediatrician’s voice into the conversation, and fosters relationships that allow a doctor to help advocate that while a child may need a special form of care, he or she is still capable of succeeding socially and academically.

Many people consider their home a place of comfort and security – a place where they can be open and honest and not feel threatened. That feeling should extend to your family’s doctor’s office. It should be a place you feel safe and secure, and a place where you feel comfortable enough to talk about anything that might be affecting the health of your family. A medical home, where you can establish a lifelong relationship with a team of care providers, is the ideal place to find this atmosphere.

INAAP is an organization of over 800 pediatricians throughout Indiana who are committed to improving children’s health through collaborating with each other, advocating for health care policies, and using dependable resources of science to disseminate good medical advice. We meet every month, discussing action items to improve children’s health care, writing articles, hosting medical meetings, and interfacing with lawmakers and other health policy experts. We work within the American Academy of Pediatrics, the originator of the medical home concept. For further resources, check out http://www.MedicalHomeInfo.org, or contact our Executive Director, Chris Weintraut at cw@inaap.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.