Public Conversation History 

Did you know the first Public Conversation in 1996 featured Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, and Dan Wakefield in a conversation at Clowes Memorial Hall about the relationship between "spirit" and "place?" 

BIG thanks to the visionary partners who helped to launch this first event and 20 more wonderful years!
The Polis Center's Project on Religion and Urban Culture
Butler University's Writer's Studio
Christian Theological Seminary
Indiana Historical Society
Indiana Humanities
Indianapolis Public Library
Madame Walker Theatre Center
Marian University
Martin University
University of Indianapolis
2nd Globe

20th Annual Public Conversation:     New Dreams for Indy

Information about the 2016 Public Conversation will be posted by September. Visit again soon!

Sunday, November 15, 2015   
Congregation Beth-El Zedeck
600 W. 70th Street
Indianapolis, IN 
Presented by Spirit & Place, Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, Paradox Dental Center, and Goldstein Financial Advisors with special thanks to Big Car for pre- and post-conversation art activities.

Discover what Indy’s emerging artists, entrepreneurs, religious leaders, and others dream for the future of our city.

The Spirit & Place Festival was born out of a “public conversation” between Kurt Vonnegut, Dan Wakefield, and John Updike in 1996. These three literary giants explored the connection between the arts, humanities, and religion and the role the places we come from shape us—and how we in turn can shape those places.

Twenty years later, we’re shining a light on emerging voices and talent in our community by asking some of Indianapolis’s newest leaders to share their thoughts on our city’s current state as well as its future. What are their dreams and frustrations with Indianapolis today? What role do they see for the arts and humanities in shaping Central Indiana? How are religious congregations striving to make an impact and shape our city’s future?  What does pla600ce-making mean for this generation of leaders and how can they—and the rest of us—work to achieve positive collective impact over the next twenty years?

Place-making art activities by Big Car, DREAM inspired remarks by best-selling author Dan Wakefield, and celebratory toast to 20 years of community impact by Spirit & Place also included!

Public Conversation Speakers:

Marshawn Wolley is the board president of The Exchange--a young professionals organization of Indianapolis Urban League. He also served as the Director of Emerging Business and Community Outreach for the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee and is currently the Director of Partner Relations for Visit Indy.

The Director of Governmental Affairs at the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council, David Sklar, is a past-president of the statewide Indiana Coalition on Human Services and is a leading advocate on various public policy issues including human service funding, poverty, public education, and immigration.

Rev. Anastassia Zinke of All Souls Unitarian Church in Indianapolis was ordained in November of 2013. She previously served in a variety of pastoral functions in Maryland, Washington D.C., and Massachusetts. A newer religious voice in Central Indiana, Rev. Zinke is passionate about social justice causes, community service, and “embracing the adventure life.”

The first executive director to serve at Groundwork Indy, Phyllis Boyd is an artist, urban designer, and landscape architect. Her work at Groundwork Indy focuses on community-based strategies for revitalizing neighborhoods with emphasis on youth employment, green spaces, brownfields, and healthy communities.

Kevin Armstrong, president of Methodist Health Foundation, will moderate.


Special thanks to our sponsors!