GENTRIFY: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly wraps up

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-10-20-13-amWhat do Fountain Square, Downtown, Mapleton Fall Creek and Fall Creek Place have in common? Change: new trails, freshly paved roads, newly renovated homes, and new breweries and restaurants have recently popped up in these corners of the city. Neighborhoods may be wondering: How has this happened and who will reap the benefits of these amenities? Are our communities being gentrified block by block?

Gentrification is a real economic and cultural force acting on Indianapolis’ urban neighborhoods, which are predominantly low-income and many predominantly African- American. According to Indianapolis census data compiled by governing.com, the number of census tracts gentrifying quadrupled from 1990-2000 to 2000-2010 (defined by percentage increases in home value, education attainment and median income).

It can be difficult to have honest conversations about the “G word” because of how mired it is with issues of class, politics, race, and human impact. With this in mind, Spirit & Place and the Kheprw Institute partnered to launch Gentrify: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, a series of community discussions that explored the impact and ramifications of gentrification above and beyond displacement.

Further supporting Spirit & Place’s 2016 exploration of the word HOME, this 8-part series kicked off Sunday, February 28th at Kheprw Institute with the first discussion: “Can it Happen Here? The Flint, Michigan Water Crisis.” Attendees explored gentrification through health and environmental issues in the community.

Each event in the series encouraged discussions of engaging topics from various angles, including but not limited to: education, culture, race, class and power, food, and global perspectives.

About KHEPRW INSTITUTE
Kheprw Institute is a community organization that empowers youth through mentorship, leadership and critical thinking through after-school programming, internship and community forums. Learn more: kheprw.org

Connecting Indiana Communities with HOME

We’re proud to celebrate 21st year of the Spirit & Place Festival on November 4-13!

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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.

Celebrating its 21st year, the Spirit & Place Festival is Indianapolis’ largest collaborative festival that uses the arts, religion, and humanities as a vehicle for shaping individual and community life through 10 days of experiences presented in partnership with upwards of 100 partner organizations. An initiative of The Polis Center, part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, the annual Spirit & Place Festival offers performances, exhibits, documentaries, and conversations that aim to spark meaningful discussions among diverse neighborhoods, voices, faiths, and organizations in Central Indiana. In doing so, it serves as a platform for insightful experimentation, celebration, and reflection.

The 2016 Festival centers on a “Home” theme and features events that explore everything from pet ownership to affordable housing, mass transit, art therapy, homelessness, race relations, public health, religion, and home renovations, and more. These inspiring events are presented through the lens of elders and youth, veterans, immigrants and refugees, environmentalists, foodies, musicians and poets, and others. Participating organizations and audiences alike are given the chance to see and celebrate the variety of communities that call Indianapolis home.

During the selection process this year, event submissions that exemplified key traits of the Spirit & Place Festival were nominated for an “Award of Awesomeness.” The winning event will receive a $1,000 award at the conclusion of the festival. A preview of these events, as well as information about this year’s signature events, is outlined below. A full listing of events is available at spiritandplace.org.

SPIRIT & PLACE FESTIVAL 2016 – AWARD OF AWESOMENESS NOMINEES

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)

FREE

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)

FREE

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)

FREE

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)

FREE

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)

FREE

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.

SPIRIT & PLACE FESTIVAL 2016 – SIGNATURE EVENTS

Kick Off Event

The Dog Ate My Homework: Opening Night Event

Friday, Nov. 4, 6:30 p.m. — 8:30 p.m.

Tube Factory artspace (1125 Cruft Street, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE

It’s time to turn in your homework–no excuses! Join us as we kick off the 2016 Spirit & Place Festival with our friends at Tube Factory artspace. Test your knowledge with fun “homework” assignments about Indy, hear the debut of HOMEWORK by spoken word artist Tony Styxx, see exhibit Mari by artist Carl Pope, and learn about Big Car’s partnership with Riley Area Development Corporation and Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership to provide affordable homes for local artists. Presented by Spirit & Place and Big Car.

Signature Event

From the Ground Up: A People-Centered Approach to Community Development

Sunday, Nov. 6, 3 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Kheprw Institute (3549 Boulevard Place, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE

This hands-on workshop explores ways to develop a people-centered approach to community development.

Presented by Kheprw Institute, SEND Working Class Task Force, KI NuMedia, Scarabys Consulting, LLC, and Spirit & Place.317-329-4803 or gentrify@kheprw.org.

Signature Event

An Evening with Elizabeth Strout

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. — 9 p.m.

Butler University, Reilly Room (4600 Sunset Blvd, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE, RSVP by Nov. 7 at spiritandplace.org

Readings and reflections by Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton. Presented by Butler University’s Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series and Spirit & Place. 317-274-2455 orfestival@iupui.edu.

Signature Event

Side-by-Side 

Friday, Nov. 11—13, public exhibit & shared meals (see www.spiritandplace.org for comprehensive schedule)

Friday, Nov. 11, 5 p.m. — 7:30 p.m., artist-led tour, reception & dinner

Friday, Nov. 11, 7:45 p.m. — 9 p.m., artist talk & Matthew’s Voices community choir debut

Roberts Park United Methodist Church (401 N Delaware St, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE, except for Friday, Nov. 11 dinner – $50. RSVP at robertsparkumc.org

First-ever side-by-side exhibit of sculptor Timothy Schmalz’s “Matthew 25” works partnered with 3-days of side-by-side dinners and fellowship with homeless neighbors, community leaders, artists, and others.

Presented by Roberts Park United Methodist Church, Sculpture by Timothy Schmalz Inc., Waltz Books, and members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.* 317-635-1636 or rpoffice@robertsparkumc.org.

*Check www.spiritandplace.org closer to event for final “presented by” information.

Signature Event

21st Annual Public Conversation

Sunday, Nov. 13, 4 p.m. — 5:30 p.m.

Indiana Landmarks Center (1201 Central Avenue, Indianapolis, IN)

FREE

A sociologist, a sculptor, and others reflect on poverty, homelessness, public policy, and the human spirit. “MacArthur Genius” and New York Times bestselling author Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty & Profit in the American City), sculptor Timothy Schmalz (“Homeless Jesus”) and executive director of the Martin Luther King Community Center Allison Luthe will grapple with the essence of home from their unique perspectives in a discussion moderated by Butler University political science professor Terri Jett. Presented by Spirit & Place, Roberts Park United Methodist Church, and in conjunction with the John D. Barlow Lecture in the Humanities by the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. 317-274-2455 or festival@iupui.edu.

For details on all Spirit & Place programs and events, visit www.spiritandplace.org.

 

 

 

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Guest Post: At Home Everywhere on Earth

By Carol Johnston Carol.Johnston

CTS Director of Lifelong Theological Education

A few years ago I met an African American boy who had lived in a high-crime neighborhood all his life and whose home was hardly less chaotic than the streets. He was participating in a meeting at a large wealthy church where almost everyone present was white. A place far from his own “home.”  Yet, though in an alien place surrounded by white strangers, he was completely unintimidated.  He spoke without hesitation and asked some of the most insightful questions of anyone at the meeting.

This young man had been mentored at the Kheprw Institute where he had experienced a sense of “home” that was about being seen for the gifted human being he is. He had been encouraged to develop and share his gifts. He’d also been taught to view the earth as his home—a place to be embraced and cared for. As a consequence, he carried a sense of “home” inside him and could be “at home” wherever he went.

From a faith perspective, I would assert that this young man has been nurtured in a healthy spirituality—one that had helped him realize wherever he lives, it is infused with a divine presence and care that can be accessed.

When this experience of home is present, you discover divine care is present everywhere. Wherever life takes you, you can carry the sense of security of home inside you.

Most faith traditions affirm that the whole of creation is home because the world and everything in it, including each of us, is infused with the loving care of the Creator. As the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning puts it, “Earth is crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.”

This is the reason people of every faith are trying to wake us up to the danger of environmental destruction, especially climate change. We believe that the Earth is our home, and that it is imperative for the sake of all life to care for it.

We are working to help shift ways of life that work against nature’s creativity and endanger all life to ways of life that learn from the divine wisdom embedded in nature and work with it for the benefit of all. My Christian faith affirms that the whole Earth is the sacred realm of divine creativity and love, and that we are all loved, gifted, and interrelated in this web of life.

Whenever and wherever any of us can experience this love and affirmation of our gifts, and affirm the same for others, we are doing the work of creating home for each other. This fThen we can be at home everywhere, and join in the work of healing and repairing “this fragile earth, our island home,” as an Episcopal prayer puts it.