Spirit & Place: IUPUI collaboration explores concept through series of programs

It’s time for the annual Spirit & Place Festival, a community project managed by The Polis Center at the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. The festival opens today.

Much as IU Bloomington’s Themester plans events and opportunities surrounding a specific theme, the annual festival at IUPUI explores a specific concept through a series of programs. This year’s theme is “risk,” following up on last year’s focus on “play.” The festival’s mission is to stimulate conversation, community building and civic action through creative collaboration among the arts, religion and humanities.

“The Spirit & Place Festival is all about creative collaboration,” Spirit & Place Festival director Pam Hinkle told Art at IU. “More than 100 community organizations — arts and cultural institutions, faith-based organizations, educational and civic institutions — work together to create original ‘never-before-seen’ programs each year that explore the annual theme. Spirit & Place requires these programs be the result of collaboration, which results in an opportunity for organizations to partner outside their usual framework and expand their capacities; the opportunity to look at community issues and ideas through multiple lenses and interdisciplinary approaches; and a richer and often deeper program experience for the public.”

A complete list of festival events is available online. This year’s signature series events includes the chance to vote for one of four innovators to receive a $20,000 award to implement their idea to reshape notions of race in central Indiana and a public conversation featuring Scott A. Jones, chairman, CEO and co-founder of ChaCha; Sarah Fisher, professional race car driver and team owner; David Baker, jazz performer, composer and educator; and Phil Gulley, Quaker pastor and author.

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