Information on the 2014 Public Conversation will be posted in late spring.

A Look at Last Year ...

18th Annual Spirit & Place Public Conversation: RISK

A Spirit & Place Signature Series Event
Sunday, November 10, 5:30-7:00 PM
At Central Library in the Clowes Auditorium (40 E. St. Clair St.)

Eavesdrop on a spontaneous conversation between four of Indiana’s nationally-known risk takers who will chat with each other about the role of RISK in individual and community life. They’ll consider questions such as: How does our city and state embrace or repel risk? How to the arts, humanities, religion, business and civic organizations contribute to a risk-taking culture? What is the best way to explore risk-taking? What “risk-stories” in Indiana should be celebrated or challenged? Is it fair to conclude that Hoosiers are afraid to take risks?

Speakers include Scott A. Jones, Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of ChaCha; Sarah Fisher, professional race car driver and team owner; David N. Baker, iconic jazz performer, composer, and educator; and Phil Gulley, Quaker pastor and author. The conversation will be moderated by Kevin Armstrong, President of Methodist Hospital Foundation.

Motus Dance will also present Call to Risk at this closing festival event.  

Scott JonesScott A. Jones is an American inventor and serial entrepreneur. He attended North Central High School, and graduated with honors from Indiana University in 1984, receiving a bachelor of science degree in computer science. At the age of 25, he co-founded his first company. At Boston Technology, he obtained patents for technologies that now enable telephone companies worldwide to offer voice mail on a massive scale. Subsequently he founded Internet-based music service company Gracenote, now utilized by Apple, Yahoo, and Sony. Gracenote services are accessed globally at the rate of 24 billion times per year by applications such as iTunes. This company was sold to Sony in 2008 for $260 million. Presently he is chairman, CEO and co-founder of ChaCha, today's leading free, real-time answers service

Sarah FisherAt 19 years of age, Sarah Fisher became the youngest woman to qualify for the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. She became the first woman to win a pole position for a major open-wheel race when she qualified fastest for the 2002 Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Her lightning-quick lap of 221.390 mph remains the fastest lap on record at that track. After compiling the most Indianapolis 500 starts of any woman in history, Fisher struck out as a team owner in the IZOD IndyCar Series when she formed Sarah Fisher Racing in 2008. The team scored its first victory in October 2011 with driver Ed Carpenter, and Sarah became the first female team owner to win a race in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Philip Gulley is a Quaker pastor, writer and speaker. American Profile Magazine says, “Gulley’s stories get at the heart of the simple joys, stranger-than-fiction humor, and day-to-day drama of small-town life.” He has written 17 books and received two Emmy® Awards for his work hosting "Porch Talk with Phil Gulley” and “Across Indiana.” His books include the acclaimed Harmony series of novels chronicling life in the eccentric Quaker community of Harmony, Indiana, and the bestselling Porch Talk series. Other writings include the memoir I Love You, Miss Huddleston: And Other Inappropriate Longings of My Indiana Childhood; If Grace Is True and If God Is Love, co-authored by James Mulholland;  followed by If the Church Were Christian and The Evolution of Faith which propose a fresh direction for Christianity. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by his alma mater, Christian Theological Seminary.

David Nathaniel Baker, Jr. was born December 21, 1931 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is Distinguished Professor of Music and Chairman of the Jazz Department at the Indiana University School of Music. An award-winning performer, composer, and educator, he is the recipient of many honors, including the National Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame Award, the National Endowment for the Arts American Jazz Masters Award, the Indiana Historical Society’s Living Legend Award, and an Emmy Award for his musical score for the PBS documentary For Gold and Glory, about African-American race car drivers in the 1920s. He is the conductor and artistic director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and has performed all over the world with bands that featured Quincy Jones, Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, and Lionel Hampton. His compositions, which include jazz, symphonic and chamber works, total more than 2,000 in number. 


 Questions? Call 317-278-3623 or email

Special thanks to our sponsors:

wfyi     SAJ Foundation Indianapolis Library