Risk Recap: The Puzzling History of Will Shortz

Event name: The Puzzling History of Will Shortz

willIn one sentence, describe the event.: Puzzle-making behind the scenes

How would you describe your risk-taking personality or lack thereof?: My risk-taking personality ebbs and flows — Sometimes I feel I take risks much more than others around me; other times I feel like a scaredy cat. Lately I feel like more of a risk taker. 🙂

What was the most memorable and/or meaningful aspect of the event?: The audience interaction was so awesome at this event! It was a sold-out, standing room only crowd, and The New York Times puzzle-maker Will Shortz involved the entire audience in word games and puzzles, splitting them into teams. Perhaps most memorable was when an 11-year-old girl solved a 25-word puzzle with only one letter!

What’s one thing you learned about risk that surprised you?: I was further enlightened to the fact that the notion of “risk” and “risky” things differs for everyone.

Each year’s Spirit & Place theme influences the next year’s theme. Through the lens of this year’s theme of “Risk,” what types of events do you anticipate for next year’s theme of “Journey”?: I anticipate events that highlight the actual “journeys” — the ups and downs, obstacles and achievements – of both well known and everyday risk takers. Taking risk is one thing, but observing where it takes you, whether it’s months or years later, is what makes things interesting.

RISK RECAP- $20K: A Competition About Race

We polled our festival attendees for their feedback on our ‘risky’ events and here’s what one of our fans had to say about Spirit & Place Festival’s Opening Night event – $20K: A Competition About Race

f40ae3ad-f3ea-46b1-aac7-e067df826df0In one sentence, describe the event: Four finalists vying for a $20k prize as they present their daring idea on changing notions of race in Central Indiana.

How would you describe your risk-taking personality or lack thereof?: My risk-taking personality — as of late — has been quite palpable. Traditionally I identify as someone whose risk-taking personality ebbs and flows with the people I’m surrounded by, current life and work situations, or the desire to try new things versus remain at a temporary standstill.

What was the most memorable and/or meaningful aspect of the event?: The most memorable aspect of this event was definitely the announcement of the winner. It was so neat to see these four finalists present something they’re so passionate about pursuing and furthering, but it was so impactful to see Javier Barrera achieve this and hear the cheers from the crowd as he took home the prize. It was particularly awesome to be involved with the final selection from an audience perspective.

What’s one thing you learned about risk that surprised you?: I learned that risk comes in all different colors, from all different backgrounds, and at all different times of life. Essentially, the risk is packaged differently for everyone.

Each year’s Spirit & Place Festival’s theme influences the next year’s theme. Through the lens of this year’s theme of “Risk,” what types of events do you anticipate for next year’s theme of “Journey”?: In this case I foresee a follow-up event that focuses on where the winning organization is with the development of their proposed project, and the journey they have been able to take through the prize they earned from the risk they took.