Powerful storytelling, films and interactive events 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. The festival this year has events with powerful storytelling aspects. These events are interactive and allow attendees to share their story with the community.

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

EVENT INFO:

Sunday, November 4, 1:30—3 p.m.
Two Truths & a Lie: The Intersection of Fact and Fiction
Presented by Indiana Historical Society; American Indian Center of Indiana, Inc.; and Kennedy King Memorial Center
Indiana History Center—450 W. Ohio St.

It is tempting to think history is nothing but names, dates, and deceased subjects. Not true! In reality, history is a dynamic subject constantly evolving as historians find new sources. But how do we discern what is true when sources sometimes deliberately lie to us? When do we slip from fact to fiction? Through the guise of a lighthearted game, this event will challenge participants to examine the intersection of fact and fiction through rounds of storytelling and source interpretation that the audience gets to vote on.

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Sunday, November 4, 4—5:30 p.m.
A Dance of Wisdom Tales and Tunes
Presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Spiritual Center
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church—100 W. 86th St.
Cost: $10

A blend of metaphors and “wisdom tales,” like the tale of Naked Truth and Parable, will be discussed while incorporating music. These tales will encourage attendees to reflect on their own personal histories and faith as a way to clarify their thoughts and beliefs.

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Monday, November 5, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Hummus & Happiness
Indiana Interchurch Center—1100 W. 42nd St.
Presented by CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Muslim Alliance of Indiana, Jewish Community Relations Council and the Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hummus & Happiness is an event that encourages our audience to consider how film and food can create spaces for the exploration of complex issues and diverse viewpoints. Guests are invited to a hummus-tasting competition, where you can sample (and then vote on) hummus recipes from around the world, prepared by local hummus-makers, who will share their narrative and the story of their recipe. The winner will be announced after the film screening of “Life and Hummus,” followed by a short panel discussion and audience Q&A.

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Wednesday, November 7, 6—8 p.m. (Purple Line)
Saturday, November 10, 9—11 a.m. (Blue Line)
Sunday, November 11, 1—3 p.m. (Red Line)
Presented by IndyGo, Marian University Writing Center, and IndyReads
Stories of Indianapolis Transit
Various Meet-Up Locations 

This interactive and on-the-move storytelling event features transit riders on the busses they use. Participants will meet at one of three different locations depending on the day. Each workshop focuses on a different rapid transit corridor that will be in operation by 2022. Attendees will then hop on a bus to hear from transit users and others before settling in for a storytelling workshop at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center. At the Transit Center, participants will craft their own community-focused tales. Bus fare is included with registration.

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Thursday, November 8, 6:30—8:30 p.m.
Jewish and . . .
Presented by Jewish Community Relations Council, Storytelling Arts of Indiana, IndyFringe and Indianapolis Public Library
Central Library—Clowes Auditorium—40 E. St. Clair St.

Jewish and . . . features several short talks by members of the Jewish community whose identities intersect with other groups. The sharing of personal narratives is a powerful way of presenting the vast, and often unrecognized, diversity within the Jewish community. Hear about the experiences of these community neighbors, ask questions and help build bridges of understanding.  

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Saturday, November 10, 3 – 6 p.m.
Convergence: Connecting our Shared Experience through Performance and Prose
Presented by Stacia Murphy, Kheprw Institute, INAZ Dezign, Oldsoul Entertainment, Bringing Down the Band, IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute, and The Church Within
The Church Within—1125 Spruce St.

The Indianapolis artistic community is a diverse group of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. Featuring many local artists, attendees will reflect on the convergence of artistry, culture and tradition through poetic prose, rhythmic dance and visual storytelling. Spoken word, visual art, dance and music will intersect during this event to showcase stories of historically silenced communities and the power of unity. It will also include a hands-on learning portion and time to interact with the performers.

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Music, theater events in the 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 will feature several events with music or theater performances. Music and theater are forms of expression that can inspire conversation and create a community identity. Spirit & Place will host events with performance aspects from Nov. 4-11.

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

EVENT INFO:

Sunday, November 4, 5—7 p.m.
Pain & Purpose: The Intersection of Parenting and Addiction
Presented by Fairbanks, Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition, IU School of Health and Human Services and 24 Group
IUPUI Hine Hall Auditorium—875 W. North St.

Debuting in the Spirit & Place Festival, Pain & Purpose by Lauren Briggeman of Summit Performance Indianapolis explores the grief, heartache and pain of watching loved ones trapped in addiction. It also gives hope by revealing the joy, serenity and spiritual connections made in recovery. Audience Q&A to follow performance.
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Sunday, November 4, 4—5:30 p.m.
A Dance of Wisdom Tales and Tunes
Presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Spiritual Center
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church—100 W. 86th St.
Cost: $10

A blend of metaphors and “wisdom tales,” like the tale of Naked Truth and Parable, will be discussed while incorporating music. These tales will encourage attendees to reflect on their own personal histories and faith as a way to clarify their thoughts and beliefs.

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Monday, November 5, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
The Score Awakens
Presented by Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Indy Lightsaber Academy
Hilbert Circle Theatre—45 Monument Circle
Cost: $5 

The Score Awakens showcases the intersection between music and story by exploring the role John William’s score has in creating the iconic Star Wars universe. Indy Lightsaber Academy will demo how the music inspires epic battles, and everyone will get to learn some sci-fi swordplay.  

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Friday, November 9, 1—3 p.m.
Listening for How We Hear
Presented by Hear Me Project and Pin Bureau
Pin Bureau—Community Room—325 S. College Ave.

Music speaks to us all, but in different ways. We seem to just naturally know and accept this. How can we apply this attitude and skill when listening to each other? This event offers a brave space for civic dialogue through the power of asking questions. Participants will experience listening to the same piece of music together – it could be anything from Kendrick Lamar to Bach – and then ask each other how and why the music affected them.

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Sunday, November 11, 1—3 p.m.
Where Time Ends and Eternity Begins
Presented by Colette Abel, Butler University Jordan College of the Arts, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Meridian Music Company and Encore Orchestral Strings
Butler University—Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall—4600 Sunset Ave. 

The crowning piece of the program, Oliver Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, was written and premiered while Messiaen was imprisoned in a concentration camp, Stalag VIII, and was inspired by the Book of Revelations. Framing this composition are works by Heinrich Biber (Crucifixion Sonata), Cecil Burleigh (Ascension Sonata) and James MacMillan (Kiss on Wood), all treating the crucifixion theme.

Intersections in Performance/Life: A glimpse of artist and teacher Gerry Trentham

By Lani Weissbach, MFA

With others, how are we transformed, imprisoned, or set free, by our habit selves, our natural and constructed environments? Can we embrace the unknown to learn beyond division (of culture, art form, nationhood)? How do we, together, in our individual distinctiveness, negotiate with integrity in order to share resources and life, not only as human nature, but Nature’s human?” 

 — Gerry Trentham

When I first saw Gerry Trentham perform, he wasn’t doing any fancy tricks. He was pushing a squeaky wheelbarrow loaded with tree branches across the stage, pausing only to acknowledge the humor of the moment by looking directly at the audience and sharing a giggle with them. At that moment, I thought, “I gotta spend as much time in this guy’s presence as possible.”

My calling in life has been to teach, create, connect and transform through the art of dance/movement. From the early, formative years back in the late 1980’s to the present, I’ve been incredibly blessed to have many brilliant teachers. I only call a few of them mentors – teachers who continue to inspire me and help me discover my path. Gerry is definitely one of them. His artistry appeals to my love of contradiction, unapologetic presence (no matter how messy,) and poetic processes that move us into deep and revelatory places. Indeed, something profound happens with this kind of work – as a participant or audience member – that defies definition and is utterly compelling.

Although Gerry’s entire 30+ year international career has been devoted to dance and theater, (perhaps we can say his work is the quintessential intersection of those forms,) there’s a lot more to it than that. Gerry’s creative work and teaching is truly an original approach to performance, blending “written/spoken poetic text, dance, human gesture, sound, music, and visual and media art” in a way that is both striking in the moment and resonates deeply over time.   He describes his teaching as “sourced in his art-making and his eternal interest in his own and others’ potential presence in performance.”

This November, Indianapolis will have the unique opportunity to experience Gerry’s work firsthand. The Indianapolis Movement Arts Collective (IMAC), NoExit Performance and Indy’s District Theatre have invited Gerry Trentham to be a featured presenter for a two-week interdisciplinary residency from November 4th – 18th, 2018, with generous support from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. Gerry’s residency this fall is the inaugural OPEN Indy event, an annual IMAC and NoExit Performance collaboration designed to bring top-notch interdisciplinary teachers and artists to our community for training geared toward all levels of experience, from the novice to the professional.

The programming during the two weeks this November speaks directly to this year’s Spirit and Place theme of intersection, as it is designed to connect our theater, dance, vocal performance and visual arts communities and to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration in the region. Gerry will lead a series of workshops that introduce artists of varied disciplines to each other’s community and to interdisciplinary practice. But the theme of intersection doesn’t end there. This project encourages sharing not only between disciplines but between nations. Gerry is the artistic director of lbs/sq” based in Toronto, and senior director of the company’s Fulcrum Project (for which I am an associate artist.) His Indy residency will help to foster a bi-national exchange and dialogue between our two cities and nations, encouraging us to find new ways for both American and Canadian artists to share their vision and markets.

“Sharing our artistic practice is more necessary than ever if we are to survive the current political climate that does not celebrate the arts as a necessity to building healthy communities,” Gerry says.

There is going to be something for everyone with OPEN Indy, so get out your calendar and plan to bring your OPEN, curious mind!

Workshop Experiences: There will be two community workshops for the beginner/mixed level, and two for more advanced performers. For information and to register, visit: www.indymovementarts.org

Performance Experiment: Sign up to participate in a one-of-a-kind opportunity! With Gerry as our guide, we will co-create a performance piece that integrates trained and untrained performers alike. The piece will be part of the Residency Performance on November 16-17, 2018, described below. For more information and to register, visit: www.indymovementarts.org.

Residency Performance: In a shared show with local artists, Gerry will perform Yellow Scale, a 40-minute solo from his full-length work Four Mad Humours, which earned him a Toronto Dora award in 2011. Performances will take place at the District Theatre on Friday & Saturday, November 16-17, 2018. For tickets, visit: http://www.indyfringe.org/theatre-show/open-indy-district-theatre

Lani Weissbach serves as Director of Artist Residencies and Embodied Learning for the Indianapolis Movement Arts Collective (IMAC) and teaches a variety of workshops and classes throughout the region. For more about Lani, please visit: www.laniweissbach.com.