Explore a wide range of interesting thoughts on this year's theme!


Religion has always played a significant role in the history of our nation. But many stories around the origins have yet to be told. From Thomas Jefferson’s cut-and-paste bible, to our country’s first printed hymnal, the Smithsonian’s Religion in Early America exhibit introduces Americans to the religion’s first days in this country. Listen to this NPR interview from 2017 to learn more

Black Lives Matter
It is important we understand the origins of one of the most influential and impactful social movements in American history, Black Lives Matter. And it is also important we keep digging into the history of why #BLM is so meaningful. Now more than ever, many Americans are acknowledging that police violence against Black Americans is an epidemic. The friction between Black communities and the police have existed since the inception of police. Learn more about the origins of the police and how Black communities have been affected in this NPR piece.

Black Art Matters!
Black Art in America is a multimedia company based in Georgia with a mission to mission to document, preserve and promote the contributions of the African American arts community. Explore the origins of Black Art history and the ways in which it has grown, transformed, survived, and brought joy with "A Very Abbreviated Version of Black History History." 

Festival Events
Each event in the festival has its own unique story. Here is just a sampling of a few and what (or who) inspired them! 

The Origins of Creativity by E.O. Wilson inspired Congregation Beth El-Zedeck's same-named event. Kirkus Reviews describes the book as “a concise, thoughtful exploration of how human understanding will be enhanced by “a humanistic science and a scientific humanities.” Dig deeper into the intersection of art and origins of creativity during challenging times with this Time article on How Art Movements Tried to Make Sense of the World in the Wake of the 1918 Flu Pandemic.

The Central Indiana Land Trust's event, A Giant in her Field, showcases the story of botanist E. Lucy Braun. While in high school, E. Lucy Braun started her collection of pressed plants. At the time of her death, she collected nearly 12,000 specimens. Discover more about the work of this amazing botanist and ecologist. 

Like many cities in America, Indianapolis was shaped by redlining maps, which color-coded areas based on desirability for mortgage lending, and decided who did and did not receive a loan from the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation. It has been more than 80 years since the city was redlined, but what Indianapolis looks like today is a consequence of that. Read more about the redlining in Indy here, take a look at redlining maps here, and RSVP for the Indiana Historical Society, Living the Legacy here

The ORIGINS theme inspired violinist Colette Abel to curate a concert that explores the origins of three faiths. In In the Beginning: Three Spirits, Three Myths, Three Faithsmusical selections aim to take listeners on a journey of overlapping myths, magic, legends, and spiritual beliefs. Listen to some of the masterpieces now!

          Biber’s Rosary Sonata “Annunciation” 
          Augusta Reed Thomas’ “Rumi Setting” 
          de Falla’s “Pantomime” and "Ritual Fire Dance
          Szymanowski’s "Mythes"      

Staff Book Recommendations
We think you might like ...
Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, Adrienne Maree Brown 
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters, Priya Parker, 
In the Shelter, Padraig O'Tuama
Why Religion? A Personal Story, Elaine Pagels
You're More Powerful Than You Think, Eric Liu
Citizen, Claudia Rankine
Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop, Guthrie Ramsey