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Keira Amstutz '91 Combines Culture, Cuisine and Conversation

May 29, 2011

98260May 29, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — "At Indiana Humanities, we believe that meaningful change begins with conversation, and real conversation results from a blending of different knowledge, perspectives, opinions and passions," writes Keira Amstutz, president and chief executive officer of Indiana Humanities, in the Indianapolis Star. "Like a great recipe, a good conversation embraces a variety of flavors, combines the common with the unexpected, and allows disparate ingredients to merge, mingle and complement each other."

Amstutz, a 1991 graduate of DePauw University, offers an essay on "Chew on This," an event sponsored by her organization, which recently brought together about 150 people at nine ethnic and international restaurants in Indianapolis' Lafayette Square area. 

"As they shared dishes and sampled new flavors, the diners agreed that, whatever the cause, the emergence of the neighborhood as a global marketplace is good for the area and for Indianapolis," Amstutz notes. "Asked how the city could help these independent businesses thrive and encourage the area's growth, diners dove into the conversation with gusto."

Those attending the event included "writers, artists, lawyers, engineers, nonprofit employees, young professionals and more," according to Amstutz. "As a result, the conversation sparkled with diverse opinions. Visions grew from amalgams of varied viewpoints, and ideas sprang from unexpected collaborations. Did we emerge with a concrete and clear action plan for making the Lafayette 74730Square area a thriving dining destination? No. But we welcomed into that area people who otherwise might not have ever gone there. We helped area residents experience new cultures through the cuisines of other nations. And we launched conversations that we expect to continue and flourish."

Read more at IndyStar.com.

Amstutz previously served as chief counsel and director of policy for the City of Indianapolis. She led the city's successful Cultural Development Initiative, a public-private collaboration launched to elevate the city's cultural profile. Learn more about her in this previous story.

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