Get on board


"Get on Board

During previous Get on Board events, more than 1,000 leadership volunteers hooked up with local nonprofits, according to Theresa Rhodes, Lacy Leadership Association executive director. Thursday, as part of the Spirit & Place Festival, the event is once again set to galvanize volunteer power for community organizations.

Rhodes says that over the years it’s become clear that many civic-minded community members were unaware of the variety of issues targeted by local nonprofits. This “depth and breadth” of opportunities will be obvious to anyone talking with representatives from some 70 nonprofits, on hand from 4 to 7 p.m. to discuss their missions, goals and volunteer opportunities.

The day begins with an 8 a.m. keynote address by William P. Ryan, author of Governance as Leadership: Reframing Nonprofit Boards. Ryan is also presenting a workshop, which is booked, but his free keynote is open to the public. Registration is required for the keynote and Get on Board, both at the Indiana Historical Society.

More information/registration: or 317-634-2423, ext. 124.

Living Generously One Paycheck Away

One Paycheck Away, Indianapolis’ only by-the-homeless, for-the-homeless advocacy group, will host a Spirit & Place event at 7 p.m. Thursday at Lockerbie Central United Methodist Church. Panelists will share stories of living on the street as well as strategies for ending homelessness.

According to Lockerbie pastor Chad Abbott, with the July closing of Lighthouse Mission and the barricading of a downtown bank building where 100 homeless people lived, area churches and service organizations have been flooded with people who need help. “The voice of One Paycheck Away is extremely important for that reason alone,” he says.

Thursday’s panel will discuss not only the practical aspects of finding people homes, jobs and food, but also the generosity of empowerment. Abbott notes that the church and organization are committed to hearing homeless people’s stories, embracing their talents and not giving up on them. “It’s really about … getting out of their way and letting their gifts shine,” he says.

More information: 317-637-2716 or

Climate Change and Faith Communities

Faith communities will explore how to take action on global warming Saturday morning at First Congregational Church-United Church of Christ.

Nancy Dickinson, First Congregational’s Green Team chair, hopes that participants will return to their congregations with a clear idea of their next step, wherever they are in the process of “greening” their faith communities.

After a presentation by two local pastors, three churches will share how they have responded to climate change. Breakout sessions will allow further discussion. Environmentally-focused artwork by Indianapolis Art Center instructor Farideh Peacock will be on display, along with information about eco-positive actions.

More information: 317-257-5397 or

Hidden in Plain Sight

Talent from surprising sources is the focus of Saturday’s Hidden in Plain Sight, a coffeehouse hosted by Broadway United Methodist Church, according to Zawadi Exchange’s Marc MacAleavey. Poetry, dance, jazz, drumming and Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts) are among the offerings by members of the Mapleton-Fall Creek community and the congregation.

Performances will be interwoven with conversations about what it means to live generously and how to find the hidden treasures in one’s own community. In Mapleton-Fall Creek’s case, Zawadi Exchange is dedicated to discovering and linking up people with similar passions. Artists discovered by the organization will be among those showcased Saturday.

MacAleavey hopes to inspire people to “think differently about where they’re looking for talents in their neighborhoods.” He says, “My broadest expectation is simple, and that’s for people to start talking to one another.”

Hidden in Plain Sight will be offered at 7 p.m. Saturday at Broadway United Methodist Church. More information: 317-924-4207 or

Dilate Your Mind: Documentary Selections

Two films that bridge the divides across generations and across religious lines are presented in the NUVO-sponsored Dilate Your Mind: Documentary Selections at the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival.

Look Us in the Eye: The Old Women’s Project documents the activism of three San Diego women who call themselves “Pissed Old Women Engaged In Revolution” (POWER).

Born Again will resonate with “anyone who has ever experienced fundamentalism,” according to director Pamela Powell. The film covers several viewpoints within a family divided by fundamentalism, ultimately ending in healing.

“We want people to leave inspired or maybe with a different perspective than they may have had before,” she says, “and certainly to know they’re not alone.”

NUVO Presents Dilate Your Mind: Documentary Selections will screen at 3 p.m. Sunday at Landmark Theatres, Keystone at the Crossing. More information:

Living Green: Living Generously With Earth

Living sustainably, with future generations in mind, involves both environmental consciousness and generosity. This ethic is the subject of Living Green: Living Generously with Earth, hosted by First Congregational Church-United Church of Christ on Monday.

Kim Ort, deputy director of sponsoring organization Earth Charter Indiana, says, “For some, stewardship of Earth is a calling; for others, it’s a drive.” The central question of this Spirit & Place event is how to live generously without stressing the Earth’s carrying capacity.

Describing their journeys will be a diverse panel of religious, business and community leaders, including local environmental activist Anne Laker. Other presenters are Dr. Carol Johnston, director of Lifelong Theological Education at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis architect Bill Brown and Improving Kids’ Environment Executive Director Janet McCabe of the Green Sanctuary movement.

The discussion starts at 7 p.m. Monday. More information: 317-925-9297 or

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping

Judith Levine’s “year without shopping” was a timely undertaking for several reasons, according to Naomi Tropp, Ann Katz Festival of Books coordinator. The author will appear at the Jewish Community Center Laikin Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday as part of the book festival.

Tropp notes that people are increasingly concerned both about their budgets and the environment. “That’s exactly why [Levine] did this experiment,” she says, “because she was very concerned about the state of the environment, and she felt she was overspending.”

Levine will describe what it’s like to spend a year forgoing all purchases except the most basic necessities. Her talk, like her book, will likely be as humorous as it is enlightening, Tropp says.

More information: or

Save Canal Park Public Forum

A grass-roots citizen group is calling for more public debate on the fate of a downtown green space. Canal Park Advocates, a group dedicated to preserving the one-acre area across the canal from the Indiana History Center, will host a community forum Tuesday to allow for public comment.

According to organizer Clarke Kahlo, the forum is needed because despite two development proposals, the Indiana Finance Authority has not scheduled a public hearing. “The way they structure the traditional public hearings,” he says, “typically it’s the 11th hour, after the decision has been made in chambers.”

Canal Park Advocates will forward recordings of the event to Mayor Peterson and Gov. Daniels with a goal of presenting citizen concerns well in advance of a final decision.

The Community Forum will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Canal Room at Marriott’s Residence Inn, 350 W. New York St. More information: 317-283-6283 or

Building Bridges of Understanding: The Faiths of Abraham 101

Moving beyond mere tolerance to mutual respect is the goal of a primer on Abrahamic faiths to be presented Nov. 18 by Bridging the Gap Inc. at Zionsville United Methodist Church. Through a panel discussion and small group conversations, the event seeks to bring followers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism to a new understanding of their shared history.

Organizer Gayle Mayne says she herself was surprised when she first learned of the commonalities among the three monotheistic religions. “These were the very same stories, the very same characters I grew up with,” she says. “Why all the fuss, why all the wars all these years?”

Mayne notes that this topic is increasingly urgent given the religious conflicts dominating the world stage. “Every day the common ordinary citizens of any country of the world want to have peace,” she says.

More information: 317-466-0114 or 317-989-9457.

Festival of Peace

The closing weekend of Spirit & Place contains a smaller festival celebrating the intersection of generosity and peace. Formerly Snow Goose Global Thanksgiving, the Festival of Peace occurs Nov. 17-18 at the Church Within, located in Fountain Square.

Global Peace Initiatives Executive Director Linda Proffitt says the weekend will focus on peace as more than just the absence of conflict. Events include an open mike night and “drum circle of unparalleled proportions” as well as a potluck meal shared in the spirit of thanksgiving.

“It’s about putting the intention out there and celebrating the good that does exist,” she says.

More information: 317-222-1556 or

Cajun/Creole Culture: Lessons in Hospitality

Between great eats and lively stories from legendary Yats owner Joe Vuskovich, Thursday evening promises to warm bellies and hearts at North United Methodist Church.

Organizer Jill Archibald, calling Vuskovich “a model of hospitality,” says the Spirit & Place event will explore how Cajun/Creole culture’s strength is its intentional inclusiveness.

“What really intrigued me about this is if you look at Cajun/Creole history and how the culture grew, their identity was formed by embracing diversity and welcoming the people around them, rather than trying to isolate themselves or exclude others,” she says.

Vuskovich, who has variously been described as “larger than life” and “a small tornado” in these pages, will give attendees a generous taste not only of Cajun food, but also of Cajun culture and storytelling. True to form, all this is offered free of charge. The event takes place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8.

For reservations, call North UMC at 317-924-2612.