The Spirit and Place Festival is a ten-day event that brings together art, religion, and the humanities to tackle play from all angles. During the festival’s run, November 2 – 11, you’ll find playful events to suit any interest. You can make your own musical instrument, paint, dance, attend a lecture on child psychiatry, or drop in to one of several GAMESpots around the city for a casual game. If you like fun, you’ll find an event or 12 you’ll want to check out.
One of the highlights of the festival is the last event, the 17th Annual Spirit & Place Public Conversation. It’s a chance for our community to come together and talk about how the concept of play features into our personal lives, our professional lives, and our city. The panel discussion features game designer Jane McGonigal, comedian and Baptist minister Susan Sparks, and Grammy-winner and cellist David Darling.
It’s pretty easy to see where comedy and games fit in with the theme of play, but cello music? To an outsider, it can seem like a serious, even stodgy instrument. Not so, according to David, a native of Elkhart, Indiana and Indiana State University graduate. “Even though I am classically trained, I was always interested in making up music, or improvising, and so from the time I discovered that there was jazz, I was tremendously interested in this form in which you had a chance ‘to play.'”
You can see that playful influence in his eclectic musical style. There’s a sense of discovery to his music, like every note is a surprise to himself as well as to the audience.
You can hear David’s thoughts on creativity, spirit, and play at the Public Conversation, Sunday, November 11 at The Toby in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The event is free, though there is a $5 charge to park on the grounds of the IMA. If you can’t make the conversation, there are 40 other events to check out.
Get out there, get engaged, have fun. Go play.