The 2019 Spirit & Place Festival will celebrate, explore, challenge and reflect on the meaning behind revolution and evolution, creating the unique theme of R/Evolution. The goal of this year’s theme is for participants to explore the idea of change in the world, whether it’s a sudden change, like a revolution, or a gradual change, like evolution. The selected festival events will give the community a chance to reflect on and discuss the various changes that have happened over time, are happening now, and that still need to happen.
Now in its 24th year, the Spirit & Place Festival continues to be Indianapolis’ largest collaborative festival that uses the arts, religion and humanities as a tool for shaping individual and community life through 10 days of events designed with community partners, individuals and communities.
There will be 32 unique events this year that will take place across Indianapolis and feature a variety of presenters, speakers and performers. This year’s festival includes many events centered around panel-style discussions over powerful topics. These discussions are intended to spark conversation and explore current and historical events that are relevant to citizens of Central Indiana.
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 end of the festival. A preview of these events, including the festival’s opening night plans with the Harrison Center and McGowan Hall, is outlined below:
- Opening Night
Friday, November 1, 6-9 pm
Harrison Center, 1505 N. Delaware St.
Friday, November 1, 9-11 pm
McGowan Hall, 1305 N. Delaware St.
Soak in some local art and enjoy First Friday with us at the Harrison Center. Check out a new exhibit by Kyle Ragsdale, grab something to eat at a food truck or a beer from Sun King, and participate in other fun activities! Afterwards, head down the street to McGowan Hall for a Spirit & Place after-party featuring live music, local art and a cash bar.
McGowan Hall is a Community and Events Center formerly run by the Knights of Columbus (who still call McGowan home!). They have been hosting First Friday after parties featuring live jazz by pianist Christopher Pitts since 2018. A private club, families are welcome and a cash bar and snacks will be available. Doors open at 8 pm if you’d like to arrive early!
Award of Awesomeness Nominees:
- Songs of Revolution
Saturday, November 2, 6-9 pm
The Church Within, 1125 Spruce St.
Music and revolution have a long history together. Join us as we sing together to explore this history and examine how “songs of revolution” have changed over time. Featured artists and presenters include Indy Justice Choir, David Anderson Hooker, Spiritual Gangsters, Edison School for the Arts, Douglas Peach and Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters.
Presented by All317HipHop, Indy Justice Choir and The Church Within.
- Spirited Chase
Saturday, November 2, 9 am-2 pm
WFYI, 1630 N. Meridian St.
Spirited Chase is a unique event offering participants the opportunity to renew their spirit through discovering new people and places in our community. Each mystery partner organization has been selected based on their connection to the transformation of our city and the individuals who live in it. At each mystery destination, participants will engage in a brief interactive program as they learn about the many ways these people, places, and programs are affecting change and transforming, evolving, and revolutionizing our community.
- This Far by Faith: A Journey Toward Racial Justice
Monday, November 4, 7-8:30 pm
St. Luke's Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St.
Four faith communities invite congregants and the wider community to examine how they are progressing when it comes to matters of racial justice. Participants will be invited to share ways to advance in this racial justice work.
- Antisemitism: The Evolution of the Longest Hatred
Monday, November 4, 7:30-9 pm
Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, 600 W. 70th St.
Historian Deborah Lipstadt, an internationally-renowned expert on the Holocaust, will address the evolution of antisemitism as a paradigm for other forms of bigotry and hate.
- A Faith Leader and a Scientist Walk into a Bar
Tuesday, November 5, 6-8 pm
Books & Brews South Indy, 3808 Shelby St.
Let’s talk science and religion over beer! Using theatrical improvisation techniques, you’ll be given the chance to take on the persona of a scientist, faith leader or “everyday person” and then practice empathy-rooted communication strategies. All backgrounds, faiths, traditions and practices welcome!
Presented by IUPUI/IU School of Medicine Communicating Science Program; The daVinci Pursuit; Center for Interfaith Cooperation; March for Science; and IU Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society.
- Agitation and Stagnation: Class and Health in America, 1919-2019
Wednesday, November 6, 6-7 pm
Indiana Medical History Museum, 3045 W. Vermont St.
Rooted in drama of Indiana’s homegrown revolutionary, Eugene V. Debs, this interactive panel discussion will explore how class affected health outcomes 100 years ago and how it continues to affect outcomes today.
- Cey More with Art: Art in Cultural R/Evolution
Thursday, November 7, 6-8 pm
Central Library – Auditorium, 40 E. St. Clair St.
Cey Adams, Creative Director of Def Jam Recordings, will discuss his career during the event. Local musicians and visual artists will participate in the talk to explore art’s impact, and they will perform and create demos and displays of their work throughout the library.
Presented by The Indianapolis Public Library and The Kheprw Institute.
- Herstory: A Prenatal-Postpartum Pop-Up Museum
Saturday, November 9, 1-4 pm
Carriage House Apartments East Community Center, 10174 Tinton Ct.
Celebrate and create with grassroots leaders in maternal and child health as they create a pop-up museum aimed to educate on community efforts to improve birth outcomes. This event honors the vital relationship between healthy communities and healthy pregnancies.
- The Evolution of Sci-Fi Fandom
Sunday, November 10, 2-3:30 pm
Center for Inquiry Indiana, 350 Canal Walk, Ste. A
Sci-fi fandom is evolving to be more diverse, but, as seen in recent Twitter harassment of Star Wars actors, not everyone reacts well to change. A panel of experts moderated by Starbase Indy CEO Lisa Meece and featuring Gal's Guide to the Galaxy founder Leah Leach, fantasy and horror author Maurice Broaddus, LGBTQ+ Youth Group Trainer Candice Gary, and cosplayer Michelle Mussoni will discuss how we got here and where we are going.
Presented by Starbase Indy, Gal’s Guide to the Galaxy, Center for Inquiry and Indiana Youth Group.
- (W)rites of Passage: Moving Beyond Incarceration
Friday, November 8, 7-9 pm
The Church Within, 1125 Spruce St.
Hear the voices of currently and formerly incarcerated men and women presented through readings that explore life beyond incarceration. How does one “evolve” beyond the walls? And what do you do to grow as a person within the walls? After the readings, there will be a facilitated discussion with a Q&A session.
Presented by Inside Out Prison Exchange Program, Indiana Prison Writers Workshop and Indiana Women’s Prison History Project.
About Spirit & Place:
Celebrating the theme of R/Evolution in 2019, 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; The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate; IUPUI; IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; The Polis Center at IUPUI; and more than 200 other community partners and donors.