Community Conversations

Community Conversations

Cities, counties and regions across Indiana are encouraged to apply for a facilitated workshop in their community that could help them better understand their past and prepare for a monumental event in their future – Indiana’s Bicentennial.

Each year, Indiana Humanities and the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University hold a Community Conversations series designed to help communities tackle challenging issues. The focus of the  series for the next three years will be Bicentennial 2016: The Next Indiana.

The 2013 deadline to apply is March 15.

If selected, communities will develop a local steering committee and meet with Indiana Humanities and the Bowen Center for Public Affairs to create a customized program to be held in summer or fall, 2013.

The goals of the Community Conversations will be to:

  • Convene regional conversations among community leaders and citizens from public, private and non-profit sectors to better understand the community’s past and future;
  • 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 to continue to address these challenges.

The workshops vary by community and audience. They are typically a one-day workshop that spans several hours, beginning in the morning and concluding in mid-afternoon.  However, they can also be a two-hour event with a keynote speaker, a mobile bus tour, or anything in between. A nominal fee can be charged to participants to cover the cost of meals and materials. 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 workshops, The Bowen Center for Public Affairs will provide additional consultation as requested.

Regions must submit a proposal by March 15 to Dr. Vasicko at or:

Dr. Sally Jo Vasicko, Co-Director
Bowen Center for Public Affairs, North Quad 294
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana 47306

The following information should be included in the proposal:

  • Name and contact information of lead community partner
  • List of partner organizations and contact person for each organization (It is recommended that applicants include a broad range of community organizations that will play a role in the planning and implementation process.)
  • Three potential dates from June 1, 2013 through November 30, 2013
  • Answers to the following questions:
    • Why is this topic an important one to the community?
    • How will better understanding your past help position your community for the future?
    • What do you want to accomplish during the session?
    • Applicants will also need to identify a follow-up strategy for after the conversation and provide a name and contact information for the person leading the follow-up session.

Communities will be selected and notified by mid-April, 2013.

Visit for more information, or contact Dr. Vasicko at 765.285.5875.

Over the past four years more than 20 Indiana regions have been selected to participate in the Community Conversation series, which is aimed at helping the community build on its strengths and meet its challenges.