"Spirit & Place Festival director Pam Blevins Hinkle wants people to know that living generously can be a simple thing.
She says, “It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the needs and cares of the world, and there are so many daily acts that can transform the world.”
“Living Generously” is the theme of this year’s civic celebration of arts, humanities and religion from the Polis Center Nov. 2-18.
• Latino high school and college students offer their stories in Saturday evening’s “Loz Invenzivlez: Our Invincible Youth,” sponsored by El Puente. The bilingual event features a video of local children of immigrants speaking about their lives, followed by a community conversation exploring where to go from here. Organizers hope to raise awareness and empathy for Latino youth and their parents.
El Puente volunteer Kathy Souchet-Moura says, “Sharing stories is what brings community together.”
Noting that immigration is a hot topic right now, Souchet-Moura cites the negative press and “stereotypical stories” about immigrants. “I don’t think we’ve had enough immigrants speaking for themselves,” she says.
“Loz Invenzivlez: Our Invincible Youth takes place Nov. 3, 5-7 p.m. at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
• The free Sunday afternoon Public Conversation, always a highlight, this year brings three luminaries of generosity to Butler’s Clowes Hall. The discussion will again be moderated by Indiana author Scott Russell Sanders. Speaking on the theme will be Nathan Dungan, founder and president of Share Save Spend, an organization dedicated to the financial health of youth and adults; Indianapolis native Patty Stonesifer, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and Sweet Honey in the Rock founder Bernice Johnson Reagon, Ph.D., a longtime activist for justice.
According to Spirit & Place board member and University of Indianapolis faculty member Michael Cartright, “Bernice Johnson Reagon is a remarkable person whose life has spanned the civil rights movement, an academic career at American University where she’s a distinguished professor and her work at Smithsonian Institution as curator for African-American sacred music. Not to mention her work with Sweet Honey in the Rock … We are very fortunate to have her.”
Reagon, whose sold-out “Songtalk” performance conversation will share songs of the African-American freedom struggle, is “all about transgenerational passing on of wisdom,” Cartright says. “She has been quite clear over the years that it’s important to be generous in passing on the wisdom accrued over the generations.
“Living Generously: A Public Conversation” takes place Nov. 4 from 2-4 p.m.
• At “Small Change, Huge Difference,” a panel will explore how gifts of time, money or advocacy make a difference in the lives of real people. Indianapolis Public School Superintendent Dr. Eugene G. White will join Carol Q. Cosby, retired director of the Social Action Networks for Disciples Home Missions, and the Rev. Johnny Wray, director of the relief and development program of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Church administrator Sandy Heidenreich says the free event should show the endless possibilities inherent in small acts. “When there’s so much disaster, a person may begin to feel like what [they] do is so small, it can’t really matter. We would hope that people would understand that little things add up. What might appear to you to be a small gift will have a ripple effect.”
“Small Change, Huge Difference” takes place Nov. 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Central Christian Church, 701 N. Delaware St.
• The Indianapolis Flute Fest, featuring guest artists Walfrid Kujala and James Pellerite, will be a day-long event filled with workshops, master classes, recitals and exhibitors from across the country. Kujala played with the Chicago Symphony from 1954 to 2001 and teaches at Northwestern University. Pellerite is former professor of flute at Indiana University and will be featured in a lecture/performance on Native American flutes. In short, if you dig the flute, this day is yours. It takes place Nov. 3 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Hilbert Circle Theatre. To learn more go to www.indyflute.org. Registration fees are $20 for Greater Indianapolis Flute Club members, or $30 for nonmembers. The cost includes a ticket to the concert by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m.