Local artist to create art work for the Positive Place Initiative, “One Book, Many Voices”

Local artist to create art work for the Positive Place Initiative, “One Book, Many Voices”

Award-winning local artist, India Cruse-Griffin, will create a community art piece in conjunction with the county’s Positive Place Initiative and Indiana University East’s “One Book, Many Voices” project to be unveiled in January 2013. This large piece will consist of three to four panels that can either stand alone or be combined to present a unified vision.  Just like the community of Wayne County itself, the work will be comprised of individual pieces that while powerful on their own, are even more impactful when combined and functioning as a whole.

Community members may contribute to the piece by dropping off a paper-based product (photographs are fine) at the locations listed below by Friday, September 14. People are also invited to include a brief story about the contribution when they drop it off.  These are some questions designed to aid the storytelling process: What is important or meaningful about this contribution? Why do you wish to include this as part of the community art piece? Why is this contribution significant to you? Why is it important that you contribute to this project?

Community participation in this creative process is critical to the goals of both the Positive Place Initiative and the “One Book, Many Voices” project.  According to Fredricka Joyner, associate professor of business administration and organization behavior at IU East, a key goal of Positive Place is to create an inclusive conversation about residents’ feelings of attachment to the community.

“It is our hope that through conversation we will discover new ways to engage each other and to work together to strengthen the community,” Joyner said.

Katherine Frank, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at IU East, said the addition of the storytelling element to this project allows people to lend their voice to the process.

“The ‘One Book, Many Voices’ project encourages people to listen and communicate and to learn about themselves, others, and the places where we live, work, and play through the storytelling process. Storytelling builds knowledge and confidence and helps lead to action,” Frank said.

India Cruse-Griffin was chosen for this project due to her strong reputation as an artist, deep ties and commitment to Wayne County, and unique style that is rich in layers, depth, and complexity. Her artist statement reveals the story of herself as an artist, foregrounds her own call to action, and explains her fit for this project:

Art is my most enduring achievement; at its best it reveals my human nature. It exposes all my flaws, as much as my creative beauty; art is the soul of who I am. Growing up in Richmond Indiana, being from a large family and a small community, life opened my eyes at an early age as to how families function and people interact.  Life forced me to be honest with myself. Art secured my knowledge of which I am and finds me that unique balance that allows me to be me. Art opened my heart, my feelings, and my soul to something beyond my personal truth. I want my viewers to walk with me in my footsteps, follow the journey of who I am, then eventually find their selves as a part of my work and see their own lives and my world from which I paint.

“India’s work is well-known in the community as is her love of and service to the area,” Frank said. “India is an artist and teacher, and her art reveals what it means to teach others about one’s practice and the world that influences it. Her work invites people in and asks them to think, care, and act—to have a positive influence on their community. There simply isn’t a more perfect fit for this project in support of our community.”

Drop off locations include:

  • Centerville Senior Center, 111 S. 2nd Street (call for hours of operation)
  • Indiana University East, Library Circulation Desk, Hayes Hall (Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Ivy Tech Community College, Welcome Counter, Johnson Hall (Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m and Sat. 8 a.m.-4 p.m.)
  • Earlham College, Office of Community Relations, Carpenter Hall, Room 100 (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Morrisson-Reeves Library, Circulation Desk, 80 North 6th Street (Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., or Friday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Old National Road Welcome Center Front Desk, 5701 National Road East, Richmond (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., or Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
  • Richmond Senior Center, 1600 S. 2nd Street (call for hours of operation)
  • Western Wayne Senior Center, Golay Center, Corner of US 40 and 1, Cambridge City (call for hours of operation)
  • Work One, 3771 South “A” Street (Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)


  • Paper-based (photographs are fine)
  • Should fit in a regular-size sandwich bag
  • Should not exceed the size of an index card (approximately 3×5 inches)
  • Optional stories should not exceed 250 words and should be included in the bag or attached firmly to the outside.

Please note: Contributions to the project will not be returned nor is it likely that they will appear in the piece in their original or even recognizable form. Copies of photographs are recommended rather than the use of originals.

Stories will not be included in the art piece but may be featured on the Positive Place Initiative or “One Book, Many Voices” website or incorporated into these projects in other ways.

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