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Spirit and Place Festival's Opening Weekend will Feature Legendary Tattoo Artist, Renowned Health Experts


October 31, 2011

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The opening weekend of the annual Spirit & Place Festival is kicking off with four events reflecting on this year’s theme of “the body.”  The weekend will feature legendary tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle, the Butler University Chamber Dance Ensemble and a discussion panel with renowned health and wellness experts.

Spirit & Place, the city’s largest week-long collaborative festival, takes place November 4-13, 2011.

Now celebrating its 16th year, the Spirit & Place Festival is an extensive civic celebration engaging upwards of 20,000 people throughout central Indiana in dozens of programs presented by more than 100 organizations. Spirit & Place is a community project managed by The Polis Center, part of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Its mission is to promote community engagement, appreciation for diversity, public imagination and creative collaboration among arts, humanities and religion.

Events scheduled for this weekend include:

@Work @Rest @Play – Nov. 4 and 5

The Butler University Chamber Dance Ensemble will explore the movement vocabulary of bodies at work, rest, and play as they perform in public places downtown, responding to and interacting with viewers and passersby. This interactive event will illustrate the constant expression of individuals through their personal movement. The event is free to the public and will begin at 12:15 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4 at City Market and 12:15 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 5 at Circle Centre Mall Food Court.

First Friday with Spirit & Place – Nov. 4

First Friday with Spirit & Place, the festival’s opening night event, will reveal a sampling of the full festival’s programs and activities. Held at the Harrison Center for the Arts as part of IDADA’s monthly First Friday event, the evening will feature “Costumerie” by artist Kyle Ragsdale, and “Memories in the Making” by people with Alzheimer’s disease. IUPUI student athletes will masquerade as living sculptures, and visitors can also enjoy the Blue Monkey Sideshow, among other surprises. First Friday with Spirit & Place is free to the public and begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4.

Honoring the Body in Life – Nov. 5

While religious and spiritual traditions offer a number of answers to the question of how we view our bodies, it is also answered in the way we live our daily lives. Second Presbyterian Church will offer a panel discussion with three experts, revealing practical advice on how to daily honor the body. The panel will feature author and television host Sara Snow, physician, professor and author Dr. Gene Harker, and Ralph Reiff, St. Vincent Hospital’s Director of Sports Medicine and Sports Performance.

The panel begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5 in the church sanctuary. The event is free, and RSVP is required by Nov. 2 at 317-253-6461 ext. 354 or .

Deep Ink: Tattoo Legend Lyle Tuttle – Nov. 5

Iconic tattoo artist and historian Lyle Tuttle, who has received tattoos on six continents and has tattooed celebrities such has Janis Joplin, will converse on stage at the Indianapolis Museum of Art about the fascinating questions, stories and cultural traditions surrounding this universal body art. All are invited to join in on Tuttle’s discussion with local tattoo artist Dave Sloan as they discuss the connection between spirituality and tattooing, and Tuttle’s own “body suit.” Special guest Junii Salmon, a San Francisco tattoo artist, will also discuss the Japanese wood block inking tradition. Presented by the IMA, the Eiteljorg Museum and the Naptown Roller Girls, the event begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Tickets are $8 for the public and $5 for IMA and Eiteljorg members.

Major financial contributors for the festival  include Lilly Endowment Inc.; the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, BohlsenPR; H. Wilbur Hardacre Charitable Trust Inc.; The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of CICF; Marian University; IUPUI; IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; IU School of Medicine; North United Methodist Church, University of Indianapolis, and Wishard Health Services, as well as more than 200 other community partners and donors.

For details on all 45 Spirit & Place programs and events, call The Polis Center at (317) 274-2455 or visit