Archive for the ‘seminars’ Category

Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar Festival, July 29-31, 2016

July 24, 2016 Leave a comment

Brown County Visitors Center in Nashville, Indiana. staff photo, (c) 2009, all rights reserved.

By Aubrey Sitzman
Brown County CVB

Some of the country’s finest fingerstyle guitar players will return to Brown County at the end of this month for the fifth annual Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar Festival. From a world-class competition and concert to guitar workshops led by the pros, July 29-31, 2016, are sure to be three days of pickin’ perfection.

A weekend filled with toe-tapping fun, guests will be dazzled by the art of fingerstyle playing and the sheer talent of top guitarists.

Festivities will get underway on Friday, July 29 with a free Friday Night Kick-Off Party from 7 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. This year’s opening party is bigger and better than ever. Not one, but two stages of music will be running at the Brown County Inn in the Corn Crib Lounge and in the Town Hall Room.

Not only will guests be treated to performances by nationally-ranked acoustic guitarists, but local favorites Cari Ray & The Loaners as well. The Pine Room Tavern also will have live strumming on Friday night, including past Fingerstyle Festival winners, such as Kade Puckett, along with other guitar greats. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at both locations.

The tunes will continue on Saturday, July 30, with the Festival’s main events: the competition and concert. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Brown County Playhouse, 40 of the country’s top fingerstyle guitarists will battle it out for a grand prize and bragging rights as the best during the Fest’s competition. Spectators are sure to be amazed by the skill flowing from the fingertips of this year’s competitors.

At 7:30 p.m. the top three finishers from the day’s competition will take the Playhouse stage during the evening concert, delighting guests with their pickin’ prowess. Nationally-acclaimed father/son duo Tim and Myles Thompson will then deliver a show stopping performance of their own. The evening concert also will feature Michael Kelsey, who is ranked among the top 100 guitarists in the world!

All-day passes, which include admission to both the competition and concert, are available for $22.50. Guests can upgrade their ticket to VIP status for $32.50. VIP tickets include admission to the competition and concert, as well as a swag-bag valued at $50 and reserved seating at evening concert. All-day and VIP ticket holders will receive a wristband allowing them to come and go at their own leisure. Evening concert only tickets also are available for $17.50. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Brown County Playhouse or online

That’s not all! To cap off a weekend filled with great music, guitar workshops will be offered on Sunday, July 31. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Brown County Community Foundation, eager guitarists will be able to learn the ins and outs of fingerstyle fun from experts Lance Allen and David Youngman, two of the top players in North America.

From strumming for beginners and intermediate level techniques to guitar competition tips and strategies, workshop-goers will learn how to perfect their pickin’ game. Workshops are $20 per class and can be paid upon arrival.

A complete list of workshops and additional details can be found online at

Experience the world of fingerstyle firsthand at the Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar Festival, July 29-31 in Brown County. It is sure to be a finger pickin’ good time!

For more information on the Indiana State Fingerstyle Guitar Festival, please visit or call 812-750-0257.

Free Teacher Workshop at the Indiana History Center, Feb. 5, 2016

January 23, 2016 Leave a comment


By Rachel Hill Ponko
Indiana Historical Society

Registration is underway for the first free teacher workshop presented by the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) and Indiana Humanities in 2016. The one-day workshop, celebrating the state’s Bicentennial, takes place Friday, Feb. 5, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Dr. James H. Madison, noted historian and coauthor of Hoosiers and the American Story, will give the keynote address. Participants will receive a free copy of the book, designed as a supplemental text for grades eight through 12. It explores Indiana examples of topics taught in U.S. History classrooms, such as Native Americans, westward expansion, the Civil War, industrialization and Civil Rights, just to name a few.

Another highlight of the event involves the IHS resource, The website allows teachers and students to both view and create time-travel “journeys” by grouping together images on a particular subject. New journeys added in the past year include James E. O’Donnell, Hoosier Hero; Christmas at L.S. Ayres; the Goodrich Family; Indiana’s 1816 Constitution; and Indiana’s 1851 Constitution.

The event is geared toward grades eight through 12, but fourth grade teachers who want to learn more about Indiana history are also welcome. Select age-appropriate materials for fourth grade students will be provided. Space allowing, media specialists, teachers of other grades/subjects and other K12 school personnel may also enroll in the program.

All participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance, reflecting six hours of professional development, which may be submitted for Professional Growth Points (PGPs), as well as lunch and a gift card to help offset travel expenses. IHS will also reimburse schools or districts for substitute teacher fees, in order to allow teachers to attend.

Educators can register online now through 5 p.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at This program is made possible by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. For more information about the workshop and other IHS programs, call (317) 232-1882.

About the Keynote Speaker

Dr. James H. Madison is the Thomas and Kathryn Miller Professor Emeritus of History, at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he began teaching Indiana history three decades ago. An award-winning teacher, he has also taught at Hiroshima University (Japan) and the University of Kent (Canterbury, England). Madison serves on the boards of Indiana Humanities and the Indiana Historical Society, and is a member of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. He is the author of several books, including Eli Lilly: A Life, 1885–1977 (1989); A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America (2001); Slinging Doughnuts for the Boys: An American Woman in World War II (2007); and World War II: A History in Documents (2010). His most recent book, Hoosiers: A New History of Indiana (2014), is co-published by Indiana University Press and Indiana Historical Society Press.

Indiana Master Naturalist Program, Mar. 12-May 14, 2015

February 21, 2015 Leave a comment
Railway Garden at Taltree Arboretum & Gardens.

The Railway Garden at Taltree Arboretum and Gardens. Photo provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism and used with written permission.

By Maddie Grimm
Taltree Arboretum & Gardens

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is hosting a spring Indiana Master Naturalist program. This hands-on learning experience and volunteer service opportunity teaches students about the native landscape and local wildlife of Northwest Indiana. The course includes sessions on botany, zoology, geology, water ecology and wildlife conservation taught by area experts.

“Anyone can become a master of nature with this all-inclusive series,” said Maddie Grimm, Director of Education at Taltree Arboretum & Gardens. “Beyond learning, students will put their knowledge to work by performing 30 hours of community service to earn their program certificate.”

The ten week course begins Thursday, March 12 and runs through Thursday, May 14, 2015. Classes are held on Thursday mornings. The course cost is $100 and it is open to adults age 18 and over. Participants should dress for the outdoors, whether rain or shine. To register, visit where you can print an application, or call 219-462-0025.

The Indiana Master Naturalist program is sponsored by the Resource Conservation & Development Councils, Indiana Soil & Water Conservation Districts, Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and Indiana Department of Natural Resources. For more information,

Taltree is located at 450 W County Road 100 North near Valparaiso, Indiana.

TEDxIndianapolis 2013 at Hilbert Circle Theatre, Oct. 22

August 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Hilbert Circle Theatre

Hilbert Circle Theatre. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Lisa Sirkin Vielee
On behalf of TEDxIndianapolis

Organizers recently announced the full speaker line-up for TEDxIndianapolis 2013. In total, 22 speakers’ names were revealed, including 10 national speakers and the Los Angeles-based emcee. The speakers will bring both local and international perspectives on innovation across disciplines to TEDxIndianapolis 2013, to be held October 22, 2013, at Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis.

“We purposefully selected speakers who reflected the Mix It Up theme of the event,” said Jim Walker, executive director of Big Car and the TEDxIndianapolis organizer. “These speakers offer distinct views on literacy, healthcare, art and design, discrimination, education, refugees, invention, poverty, business and technology. These talks will offer big ideas we can apply in all disciplines and industries.”

The TEDxIndianapolis 2013 speakers include:


  • Davy Rothbart (California) – The Surprising Ways Our Questions Connect Us


  • Jeb Banner (Indianapolis) – Everything I Needed to Know About Business I Learned from Being in a Band
  • Gary Benenson (New York) – What We Learn from Bad Design
  • Rosan Bosch (Denmark) – Design as a Tool for Development
  • Rodney Byrnes (Indianapolis) – Holistic Revitalization
  • Catherine Chalmers (New York) – Collaborating with Insects
  • LaShawnda Crowe Storm (Indianapolis) – Building Community One Stitch at a Time
  • Patti Digh (North Carolina) – Title Pending
  • Michael Flaherty (Indianapolis) – Spinnovation: Investigating Our Domestic Revolutions
  • John C. Havens (New York) – Shift the Impact of Modern Technology
  • Matt Hunkler (Indianapolis) – The Truth About Transformation
  • Steven M. Johnson (California) – Mental Mixers for Imagining Future Products and Scenarios
  • Tasha Jones (Indianapolis & Atlanta) – Poetically Remixing Classic Literature
  • Jeffrey Kline (Carmel) – Your Face Tells if You are Sick!
  • Christian Long (Ohio) – Wonder by Design
  • Doug McColgin (Carmel) – Your Neighbor Has Your Breakthrough
  • Jim Poyser (Indianapolis) – D’earth! Our Climate Crisis in Poyspective
  • Chad Priest (Indianapolis) – The Impact of Thinking Across Disciplines
  • Florian Riviére (nowhere) – Open Your World
  • Andrés Tapia (Illinois) – Why Diversity is Upside Down
  • Risë Wilson (New York) – Title Pending
  • Kristin Wright (Indianapolis) – The Power of Welcome

More information about each speaker can be found at

Tickets for TEDxIndianapolis 2013 at Hilbert Circle Theatre are now on sale. Tickets are $75 with lunch and $65 without and can be purchased at

TEDxIndianapolis 2013 producing partners are Big Car, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, International School of Indiana, and Indiana Humanities. The event is sponsored by Wayne Zink, title sponsor; Lumina Foundation and The Heritage Group, mixer sponsors; and visionary sponsors, CICF, Indy Chamber, NUVO Newsweekly, Efroymson Family Fund, a CICF Fund, WFYI, and Well Done Marketing. Additional support is provided by the Indiana Historical Society, Gracie Communications, Green BEAN Delivery, Apparatus, The Strategy Forums, Rainmakers Sparks, Sycamore School, Bohlsen Group, Netlogx, Centric, KA+A, Midwest Language Services, Spirit and Place, New Balance Shoe, and The Learning Architect Group. 

Speaker line-up and presentation titles subject to change.

About TEDx

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at

Editor’s Acknowledgement: Gracie Communications.

Women, Wisdom and Wellness Conference, Aug. 16

July 23, 2013 Leave a comment
JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.

JW Marriott Hotel. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Lori Plummer
WFYI Public Media

Begin your personal journey to wellness and serenity by joining WFYI Public Media for its 2013 Women, Wisdom & Wellness conference presented by St.Vincent Women’s Services and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield on Friday, August 16, from 8:30 am to 2 pm at the JW Marriott (10 S. West Street) in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Individual tickets are $40 each. Reserved tables for ten are $500. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 317-614-0464. Event proceeds will benefit WFYI Public Media’s mission to enrich the community through its award-winning programs and lifelong learning services.

“Through our wealth of multi-media services, community partnerships and rich educational resources, WFYI Public Media remains steadfast in its commitment to promote healthy lifestyle choices to Hoosier women and their families,” said Jeanelle Adamak, WFYI’s Executive Vice President of Support Services. In 1998, under Adamak’s visionary leadership, WFYI first introduced its unique concept for a daylong conference and community-wide educational initiative designed to educate women about their personal health and well-being.

This year’s Women, Wisdom & Wellness conference highlights will include more than a dozen breakout sessions, information booths, a luncheon keynote, a lovely commemorative tote bag, sponsor gifts and an on-site boutique area featuring an assortment of jewelry, accessories and other fun items.

Julie Schnieders, an accomplished nurse practitioner and the voice of St.Vincent’s health information service, “338-4-her,” will lead you on your journey to wellness. As conference emcee, Schnieders will offer insights on timely women’s health topics and entertain attendees with her unique brand of humor.

Linda Larsen, a witty and gifted motivational speaker, author and on-stage actress, will deliver this year’s luncheon keynote. Larsen will share her powerful story about how she went from making headlines as a kidnap victim to using her frightening experience to help inspire and empower women across the globe.

In conjunction with this year’s theme, “Happy, Healthy Hearts,” free health screenings will be offered for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and BMI. If a test indicates a high risk factor, individuals will receive follow-up counseling from St.Vincent professionals. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about and take the “Healthy Habits Promise”— four simple, healthy habits that can reduce a woman’s chances of a cardiovascular event by nearly 40%. These healthy habits include: avoiding tobacco; reducing BMI; consuming at least five fruits and vegetables daily; and engaging in aerobic exercise three or more hours per week.

WFYI’s Women, Wisdom & Wellness conference is presented by St.Vincent Women’s Services and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The featured sponsor is Fifth Third Bank. Additional support is provided by Urology of Indiana, Sam’s Club, Indy Dental Sleep, Whisper Hearing Centers and Honors Beauty College/Tricoci University of Beauty Culture.