INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Five Indiana communities have been selected to host a Community Conversation customized to meet their region’s most critical needs. This is the fourth year for the series, convened by Indiana Humanities and the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University.
Selected regions and topics include:
• Elkhart County: Working together: collaboration and regional community development
• Dubois County: Quality of place: arts, education, environment
• Kosciusko County: Working together: collaboration and regional community development
• Wayne County: Quality of place: arts, education, environment
• Trenton Natural Gas Field 20-County Region: Quality of place: arts, education, environment (The 20-county region includes: Adams, Blackford, Boone, Decatur, Delaware, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Howard, Huntington, Jay, Jennings, Madison, Miami, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Tipton, Wabash, Wells)
“These communities have all acknowledged a critical need and a desire to address the issue through respectful, civil dialogue,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. “We are looking forward to working with each of them to create a unique event that convenes a diverse group of community stakeholders in order to share ideas, debate options and create an action plan.”
The Bowen Center for Public Affairs and Indiana Humanities will work with local partners to:
• Convene a regional conversation among community leaders and citizens from public, private and non-profit sectors.
• Evaluate possible solutions for addressing community challenges and discuss best practices.
• Provide regions with access to resources, technology, and expertise in the creation of solutions to regional problems.
• Provide ongoing consultation.
Several statewide partners have committed to lending their expertise and support to the Community Conversation series, including:
• Association of Indiana Counties
• Community Based Projects, Ball State University
• Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities
• Indiana Association of Cities and Towns
• Indiana Chamber of Commerce
• Indiana Farm Bureau
• Indiana Grantmakers Alliance
• Indiana Landmarks
• Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs
• Indiana Office of Tourism Development
• Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick
• Jeffersonville/Clark County NAACP
“By providing an open forum that promotes collaboration and innovation, these conversations really can serve as catalysts for change,” said Sally Jo Vasicko, co-director of the Bowen Center for Public Affairs. “In the past four years, the Community Conversation has been the instigator for many communities to take action—from Orange County’s beautification project to a merger of competing downtown organizations in Greensburg.”
The cost of the speakers, planning and promotion will be covered by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs, Indiana Humanities and event sponsors. After the meeting, the Bowen Center for Public Affairs will provide additional consultation as needed. Details, including dates and locations, about each Community Conversation are still being determined.
About Indiana Humanities
Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. As a convener, leader and partner, Indiana Humanities promotes the public humanities and engages Indiana’s community of minds to create stronger, more vibrant communities. Learn more at www.indianahumanities.org.