November 5-15, 2020

How does reality come into existence? Whether striving to understand the Earth’s creation or the roots of buried assumptions in our own hearts, humans have often looked back to beginnings – to the preciousness of the past – to make sense of the present. 

If it weren’t for the search to uncover life’s mysteries, would the humanities – history, law, ethics, languages, philosophy, etc.–even exist? Without origin stories and myths, would the world’s religions be able to help us wrestle with our moral purpose? As naturally creative creatures, we know early humans used the arts (from cave wall paintings to ritual dance and sacred sounds) to declare and celebrate the stories of their origins. 

Spirit & Place invites you to examine how origin stories and myths help us wrestle with morality. How cultural and social biases influence the formation, interpretation, and impact of origin stories and how these stories have collectively shaped us. Whether exploring the founding of a faith, city, or favorite superhero, we invite you to share (maybe even re-imagine!) the origin stories that matter to you. Which stories of genesis, birth, and transformation fuel your soul and provide spiritual growth? How might the arts connect us more deeply to our origin stories? How did our emergence as a species, and a nation, shape our understanding of race, class, and gender? 

 Festival Application Guidelines & Process Interested in pitching your own idea for the 2020 Spirit & Place Festival? Check out the application guidelines .

All applications must be submitted via the online portal by midnight on FRIDAY, MAY 1 (newly extended deadline!)

Questions about application process? Need help brainstorming ideas, partners, or venues? Contact us!! We'd love to meet with you to learn about your ideas. Just email 

A prospective applicant meeting was on Feb. 19. Contact Program Director Erin Kelley (festival or 317-274-2462) to learn about additional video conference call opportunities scheduled throughout the spring aimed at helping you craft the best application possible.

Festival Events
Need event ideas? Check out the most recent festival line-up from 2019 here.
Support Spirit & Place 
Your gift counts twice this year! Lilly Endowment will match 100% of your gift this year until we meet our $400,000 matching gift goal! Make your gift today! Donate by clicking here. Please select "Spirit and Place Fund" from the drop down menu.

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Thank You!
We couldn’t make the magic happen without these key contributors as well as all the donors, volunteers, and community partners who make Spirit & Place possible.

Lilly Endowment

Bohlsen Group
Indianapolis Foundation The Polis Center