Spirit & Place provides a platform for the community to use the arts, humanities, and religion to explore a yearly theme. Organizations of all sizes and/or individuals are invited to pitch ideas through an application process. (The deadline is typically in May.) Event creators are responsible for securing their own speakers, performers, venues, etc.
A Selection Committee comprised of fellow community members (not Spirit & Place staff) select which events make it into the festival based on a set of criteria including inventiveness, audience engagement, strength of collaboration, and theme connection.
Spirit & Place supports those selected for the festival by providing event coaching services, worksheets, check lists, general marketing support, and other resources, including a $200 event stipend. Additionally, up to five events are nominated for a $1,000 Award of Awesomeness prize that is given out at the conclusion of the festival.
Download the 2023 Spirit & Place Festival Application Guidelines today and don’t forget to check out our other resources below, especially the narrative examples and application prep sheet, which includes the narrative questions.
Questions about the application process? Email email@example.com.
Technical questions about the online application? Check out this FAQ.
Before beginning the online application, please download this application prep sheet to review the application questions and other information you will need to supply.Application Prep Sheet
From catchy titles to how to best think about the arts, humanities, and religion, we have tips for you!Application Tips
What makes a well-written Spirit & Place Festival application? Download examples from past applicants who knocked it out of the park!Narrative Examples
November 2-12, 2023
2023 Theme: NOURISH
Every living thing needs nourishment.
Seeds need fertile soil so that they might sprout. Those sprouts become crops that then need sunshine and rain to thrive. Animals need plants and other animal life to consume so that they might live to reproduce and continue the cycle of life.
We humans? We need nature’s bounty to sustain life too. But we also need music. And dance. And poetry, literature, faith, art, stories . . . and each other. Nourishment is more than sustenance. Nourishment is what is necessary for us to grow and be healthy not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually.
Check out our Theme Prompts to help you wrestle with ideas.
March & April 2023
Learn more about Spirit & Place, the festival application process, and meet others interested creating festival events. Although encouraged, attendance is optional and not required to apply to the festival. One-on-one meetings are available too!
Visit our Events Calendar to register today! Five options are available: March 29 at 10am or 4pm, April 6 at 12pm, or April 13 at 10am or 5pm. The same information is presented each session and includes Q&A time.
Application Portal Opens
Applications must be submitted online.
May 7 at midnight
Festival Meetings & Event Essentials
July through September
If selected for the festival, event partners will need to attend a required meeting in early July and then meet a series of summer deadlines related to supplying promotional images, registration links, event copy, and other “event essentials.”
Click the button below to better understand the festival workflow.Festival Timeline: Key Dates & Meetings
Spirit & Place Festival event partners agree to the following. Please download the entire agreement and let us know if you have any questions.
These are just some of the ways Spirit & Place supports its festival event partners.
The Spirit & Place Festival is a celebration of arts, humanities, and religion in community life. It is a platform for experimentation and a space to cultivate new relationships, catalyze civic engagement, amplify unheard voices, and uncover community solutions. The festival is an inclusive arena that often delves into difficult dialogues while embracing the idea of “adventurous civility.”
In other words, the festival is not a platform to preach to your choir, a podium from which to proselytize, a placeholder for existing events, or a mere marketing tool for your organization. Please read about Spirit & Place’s values to learn more.Limitations & Restrictions
A team of community reviewers—not Spirit & Place staff— representing various disciplines, faiths, races, genders, and backgrounds evaluate festival applications based on the following criteria. This makes the Spirit & Place Festival not only community-created, but community-curated!Selection Criteria
Let’s be honest. Creating an event for the Spirit & Place Festival takes a lot of time, energy, and, in some cases, money. We strive to make the festival accessible to all applicants and, since 2015, have been moving away from a “pay to play” process to one in which we now support festival events with a $200 stipend.
We know this isn’t much and encourage applicants to find sponsors and donors for their projects. (Just note financial contributors do not count as “collaborating partners” in terms of your application.)
You may also seek grant funding for your events and suggest exploring opportunities with organizations such as the Indiana Arts Commission and Indiana Humanities.
Spirit & Place also provides a $1,000 Award of Awesomeness at the conclusion of the festival to the event that best:
Up to five events will be nominated by the Selection Committee and a team of judges will evaluate the events during the festival. Depending on available funding, Spirit & Place will try to make runner-up awards available.
“Red Flags” the Selection Committee will give lower scores on include:
A native Hoosier, Kelley completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology and history from Ball State University and earned her master’s degree in public history from IUPUI. As the Program Director for Spirit & Place, she oversees the annual Spirit & Place Festival by working with 100
Spirit & Place
IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI
425 University Blvd., CA 003B
Indianapolis, IN 46202
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