A visitor checks out an interactive display at the Indiana Humanities' "Spirit of Competition" exhibit. The traveling exhibit opens Jan. 9 and runs through Feb. 7, 2013 at Valparaiso University Center for the Arts. | Photo provided
◆ “Spirit of Competition” traveling exhibit by
◆ Jan. 9 through Feb. 7
◆ Valparaiso University Center for the Arts
◆ More information: www.spirit-of-competition.org
Updated: January 29, 2013 6:22AM
Competition takes many forms, from national elections to high school basketball rivalries.
The many aspects of humankind’s competitive nature are examined in the traveling exhibit “Spirit of Competition,” put together by Indiana Humanities. The exhibit comes to the Valparaiso University Center for the Arts from Jan. 9 through Feb. 7.
The exhibit examines aspects of competition including civility; rivalry; innovation; passion; and failure. It culls its material from Indiana history, and includes local content geared to each host community, said Brandon Judkins, director of programs for Indiana Humanities.
The “Spirit of Competition” is part of an outreach effort by Indiana Humanities to make its mission as relevant to people as possible, Judkins said, because the humanities can be such an abstract concept.
The organization’s first attempt toward that end was “Food for Thought,” a traveling exhibit concentrating on all aspects of food, from industrial agriculture to folks baking pies in a church basement.
“We decided while competition is slightly more abstract, it is present in everybody’s lives,” Judkins said. “We wanted something tangible and real that could hit all parts of the state.”
The hands-on exhibit, which includes a series of short video documentaries and several interactive components, began touring the state earlier this year. Content includes a segment on sports rivalries and unique school mascots, including the Hobart Brickies, as well as the successes and failures of Col. Eli Lilly, founder of the pharmaceutical business that bears his name.
It is currently in Warsaw, home to a huge orthopedics industry, and will head to Vincennes after its time in Valparaiso, Judkins said.
The exhibit offers the ability to engage as many different groups as possible, including school groups, senior citizens, the business community, and VU students, said Barb Young, president of the Porter County Community Foundation, which is partnering with VU to bring the exhibit here.
“We thought it was a wonderful opportunity,” she said.