Spirit & Place Festival celebrates 25th year with origin stories

Spirit & Place Festival celebrates 25th year with origin stories

The 2020 Spirit & Place Festival will celebrate the theme ORIGINS in a combination of virtual and socially distanced events this year through Nov. 15. The theme ORIGINS will focus on how origin stories of all kinds shape us as individuals and a society. From indigenous and faith-based origin stories to historical discussions of our shared past, tales told by recent immigrants and new art inspired by the theme, festival events explore what it means to live in community with one another.

This year’s festival will explore topics through various event structures including panel speakers, discussions, concerts, performances, activities, film screenings, storytelling and community conversation. Each festival event will give the community a chance to reflect on and discuss the various origin stories that resonate with them and consider how our emergence as a species and a nation may shape our understanding of race, class and gender.

Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Spirit & Place Festival continues to be Indianapolis’s largest collaborative festival that uses the arts, religion and humanities as a tool for shaping individual and community life. This year the festival has expanded to 11 days of events, designed with community partners, individuals and communities to bring ORIGINS to Indianapolis.

Visit the website at spiritandplace.org for the full festival lineup, including these discussion events below:

Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 14 & 15, 1-3:30 p.m.

Indy Art & Seek: The Experience

Various communities in Marion County


Art & Seek is a citywide public art project running through May 2021. Download the KIB app, OtoCast and during Spirit & Place Festival weekends meet with local artists and learn about the origins of their neighborhood-based installations. This is an outdoor event occurring Nov. 14 and 15 from 1 – 3:30 p.m. Up to four artists will be featured each day and at select times they will give short presentations at their installation sites.

This year’s festival will explore topics through panel speakers, discussions, concerts, performances, activities, film screenings, storytelling and community conversation. (Submitted image)

Friday, Nov. 13, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Beyond the Big Chop

Virtual Event


How and why does hair shape our sense of beauty and identity? How can we keep our hair, and ourselves, healthy by controlling the ingredients we use on our hair? Through a pre-recorded lecture and virtual interactive session, this event welcomes all but emphasizes the culture and care of Black hair. Supply kits to make homemade products during the virtual event are limited, so please RSVP soon!

Saturday, Nov. 14, 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Spirited Chase

Various stops around the city

$9/per person

This fan-favorite is back! While the traditional group “mystery tour” of Indianapolis treasurers has been modified, Spirited Chase will still provide participants a chance to seek out new destinations while learning about the origins of some if Indy’s neighborhoods and the organizations that serve them.

Sunday, Nov. 15, 4:30 – 6 p.m.

25th Annual Spirit & Place Public Conversation

Virtual Event


Do we have it within ourselves to begin a genuine journey of reconciliation? One where the harms caused by systemic injustice are truthfully acknowledged and the work of repair can begin? Join theologian and poet Pádraig O’Tuama and local spoken word artist and activist Manon Voice as they explore the relationship between poetry, faith and reconciliation.

About Spirit & Place:

About Spirit & Place:
Celebrating the theme of ORIGINS in its 25th year, 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 connects central Indiana residents through creative events, community conversations and skill-building opportunities aimed at launching innovative experiments, amplifying invisible stories, and sparking radical collaborations. A national model for building civically engaged communities, Spirit & Place is a collaborative community initiative housed in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Funders include Lilly Endowment Inc.; Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Bohlsen Group; The Indianapolis Foundation (a CICF affiliate) and more than 200 other community partners and donors. For more information, contact festival@iupui.edu, (317) 274-2462, or visit spiritandplace.org.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please keep an eye out for updates on changes to programming.

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