What shall we talk about this year?Posted by Laura Danielson on Jun 18, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments
“How do you pick your annual themes?” That’s the most frequent question I get about the Spirit & Place Festival.
Selection of the annual theme is a thoughtful process that engages many stakeholders and many questions. Is the theme relevant to the community as a whole and to individuals? Is it specific enough to create focus yet broad enough to invite creative programming? Does it provide opportunities for both celebration and provocation? These are just a few questions from our rigorous selection rubric.
This summer the festival team is ruminating on future themes that will carry us into our 20th anniversary in 2015 as well as Indiana’s bicentennial in 2016.
Since looking forward inevitably leads to looking back, I’ve been combing through old festival catalogues (dating back to 1996). My chest swells with tremendous pride when I see the breadth and depth of opportunities the festival has offered to help us explore, celebrate, and challenge what it means to be in community with one another (check back next week for an interactive story map of selected events).
From the start, the festival has harnessed Central Indiana’s assets to reveal— and shape—civic vibrancy by mobilizing innovative ideas and forging new connections and directions that create positive change. Through the arts, the festival uses the language of metaphor to explore sometimes difficult ideas. Through the humanities, the festival illuminates the distinct and common narratives of the human condition. Through religion, the festival embraces the values of compassion, fairness, hospitality, and service that fuel our life in community.
As we look ahead, Central Indiana faces many challenges, ranging from waterway reclamation and public transportation to education reform and neighborhood development. In 2016, we will celebrate 200 years of statehood.
What shall we talk about together? What part of our shared history offers signposts for the future? How shall we work together to sustain this place in which we live, love, work, and play? Let me know (email@example.com) what theme you think will usher in new connections and new directions that build stronger and more inclusive communities.
–Pam Blevins Hinkle, Director, Spirit & Place Festival