• Rachel Hardy

Feed Your Self

You have interests outside what you do for a living. You earn a paycheck to pay bills and pay for a few distractions, but are you also doing something you love or that fulfills you? I was lucky enough to participate in two separate such moments in one day.

Three things that are most important to me are: Celebration, Representation and Equity. Those are listed in no particular order, but I do think where there is one there should be at least one of the other.

The first event I was lucky enough to attend was the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival.

I experienced the festival as a working sponsor because at 4am the day before, it dawned on me I was available to capture video of this festival, which raises funds for IYG. (I’ll whip the captured video into a promotion for the 20th anniversary next year!) This film festival is a celebration. It’s a celebration of a community who doesn’t see enough representation in typical mainstream media/film/outlets. At this film festival there was Celebration and Representation in a space where oftentimes the world says Nuh-uh.

The second event that spoke to my Self was “Solutions and S’mores” offered by Spirit and Place. This particular gathering shone a spotlight on women’s incarceration, Project Lia and Bellfound Farm. Unlike the film festival, which I knew a little about and knew organizers, this experience was pretty much cold turkey. This popped up as a Facebook event; I had been following Project Lia on Facebook for a few months, but I’d never heard of Bellfound Farm.

The crowd of 30-40 people screened a very powerful film from 2003, that still, all these years later, offered honest punch-you-in-the-gut interviews with women who told their stories of childhood sexual abuse and neglect which led to their troubled teens, their sad and bad adult decisions, drug abuse and their incarceration following these events. The cycles they were in, the cold exploitative prison system, and even how they are treated as second-class prisoners compared to incarcerated men, were explained to this small crowd. While this was a bleak film, I was there among like-minded people who want to change the prison system or at least change the direction of those women released from the system to provide them hope and skills. The discussion time with new people was far too short, and I believe we all could have gone all night, learning more about Project Lia and Bellfound Farm, how to assist them and how to change the direction of arrests, bail, and prison.

Everyone’s heart|soul|spirit needs something a little different. What nurtures your Self isn’t necessarily found on social media or streaming services. Sometimes you have to actually go to a physical destination. Sometimes you actually have to move off your comfy couch. Sometimes you’re lucky that what feeds your little black heart intersects with work life!

Ethereal starburst mechanical flowers are suspended from the museum's entrance ceiling.
Newfields entrance offers this beautiful art installation by artist collective Studio Drift, which seemed to represent my warm fuzzy feelings for what I experienced this day.

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