2017 Polis Center Annual Report 2017 Polis Center Annual Report - Page 16

1 6 | C O R P O R AT E A N N U A L R E P O R T Ebenezer Baptist Church for its event, Riverside Speaks, which brought together the neighborhood’s past, present and future. • Notable products and original materials created because of the festival: >A story map documenting the lives of local refugees created by The Polis Center. >A “how-to” on creating school or community center programs that honor the earth. >A script created by The Sapphire Theatre Company that facilitates dialogue on the moral injury experienced by veterans. Community Engagement & Capacity Building • New collaborations brokered by Spirit & Place will have lasting impact on several organizations and the communities they serve. For example, we helped the South Eastside Working Class Task Force move from two years of conversation to action. With our coaching, they won a $1,000 grant from Indiana Humanities’ All IN Block Party program and partnered with a local school to create an event exploring the Appalachian roots and history of their community. More than 125 students and their families participated. • Homes Before Highways: Communities Under the Exit Ramp, coordinated by anthropology professor Sue Hyatt in the School of Liberal Arts, was an Awesomeness Award nominee in the festival (building community category) that brought attention to a little-known community that has now been displaced by highways. Significantly, one of the participants (who also attended the Gentrify series) was inspired to begin the Babe-Denning Working Class Task Force. • A year-long discussion series called Gentrify: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly drew over 400 community members. This youth-facilitated event addressed issues ranging from cultural classes to the difference between equitable development and economic development. Each discussion featured local voices and national experts (via Skype) with robust public discussion. This effort included an online resource document, received front page coverage from The Indianapolis Recorder and NUVO, and launched an independent community task group called From the Ground Up, which continues to discuss relevant issues. • The Civic Challenge partnership with Indiana Humanities reached 89 people and featured: >ALL IN for Civic Health, which shared non-partisan information and resources tied to voter registration and voting. >Project on Civic Reflection workshop on civic reflection dialogue practices, which uses a short text, object, or video to prompt conversation about underlying values, beliefs, and assumptions. • The Before I Die Festival, the first such festival in the US, was a project of the IU School of Nursing that was powered by Spirit & Place. The Spirit & Place program director consulted on the festival framework; connected the school with cultural, humanities, and civic organizations; drafted the project timeline and project director job description; and helped build the school’s capacity for public events. This festival occurred April 15-17, coinciding with National Healthcare Decision Day, and reaching 784 attendees through 27 events that explored how we approach death and dying. Events included book and film discussions, cemetery tours, art exhibits, pop-up “death cafes,” and more, plus a resource guide. • Darrell Nicholson, Clinical Assistant Professor of Architectural Technology at IUPUI, asked the Spirit & Place community engagement director to recommend a creative and challenging capstone project for his class. We connected them with The Learning Tree and Indy Parks, which were exploring the possibility of converting an old fire station for community use. Nicholson’s class took on the project, creating more than 20 options for consideration. This positive experience led Nicholson to engage a second capstone class in another redevelopment project (a 100+ year fire station in a different neighborhood). Both projects will serve as stable neighborhood anchors and significantly impact the quality of life for local residents. Budget and Funders The operating budget for the festival was $359,598, including in-kind services valued at $53,940. Major funders included Lilly Endowment Inc.; Allen Whitehall Clowes Charitable Trust, Inc.; Bohlsen Group; The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate; Christel DeHaan Family Foundation; Christian Theological Seminary; and IUPUI, among others. 16