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2020 EPIC-N Conference Community Visit

This year EPIC-N and conference hosts are planning a new way to experience the community impact of the EPIC Model!

During your stay, you’ll get to know Bloomington, an eclectic city nestled in southern Indiana known for its thriving arts and cultural scene and incredible cuisine. You will also have the opportunity to travel across the Indiana Uplands region to get an on-the-ground view of the center’s partnerships. At the conference attendees will have the option to visit one of two rural communities – Orange County or Greene County Indiana – where the Sustaining Hoosier Communities (SHC) initiative has had deep impacts. Each visit includes presentations from a diverse group of community partners about their experience with the EPIC-Network model through SHC.

If you choose to visit Orange County, you’ll visit Paoli. A town of 3,600 set in the hills of the Indiana Uplands, Paoli is the home to SHC community partners focused on improving public health and strengthening the food system. Enjoy lunch and a panel at Lost River Market and Deli, the local food consumer cooperative, and see other important project sites and community destinations. During the sessions in Orange County, veteran community leaders will share their answer to the question “you recently finished an EPIC partnership with SHC, now what?”

Attendees should consider attending the Orange County visit if they are a past, or current, community partner looking to learn about how other community leaders navigate an EPIC partnership during and after the engagement.

If you travel to Greene County, you will stop for lunch and panel discussion at the historic Yoho General Store in Solsberry before continuing the conversation at the Tulip Trestle, a transportation engineering marvel tucked away in the forest that also served as a project site. Community partners who worked directly with the projects will share about their experience and give their advice to attendees.

Attendees should consider attending the Greene County visit if they are a new, or current, community partner looking to learn about what preparations they should consider before starting, and finishing, an EPIC partnership.

No matter which visit you choose, you will walk away with insights into the community partner experience and new project ideas. The Center for Rural Engagement and EPIC-Network are excited to offer these community visits for the first time at an EPIC-Network conference.

Orange County Detailed Itinerary

11:00 AM Load the bus. During the ride, Indiana University leaders will share about their EPIC program, the Sustaining Hoosier Communities initiative.

12:00 PM Enjoy lunch and a panel at Lost River Market and Deli, a rural food consumer cooperative. Panelists from the nonprofit and business sectors will talk about their EPIC-N projects, and how those projects were the start of continued relationships and collaborations. Panelists include:

  • Dessica Albertson, HandUp OC
  • Donna Charles, Southern Indiana Community Health Care
  • Katarina Koch, Southern Indiana Community Health Care
  • Kara Schmidt, Black Vulture Project
  • Debbie Turner, Lost River Market and Deli

We will visit various project sites focusing on parks, recreation, and arts, before visiting the historic West Baden Springs Hotel. A discussion of asset-based community development will follow.

Returns to IU in time for 6:30 PM award dinner.

Greene County Detailed Itinerary

11:00 AM Load the bus. During the ride, Indiana University leaders will share about their EPIC program, the Sustaining Hoosier Communities initiative.

12:00 PM Stop for lunch and panel discussion at the historic Yoho General Store. Speakers from the government and nonprofit sectors will share about their experiences launching an EPIC-N partnership and managing their EPIC-N projects. Panelists include:

  • Brianne Jerrels, Greene County Economic Development Corporation
  • Richard Nichols, Greene County Veterans Affairs
  • Rita Sharr, Tulip Trestle Community Restoration Inc.
  • Mark Stacy, Linton Farmers’ Market
  • Mayor John Wilkes, City of Linton

After the panel, travel to the Tulip Trestle—a transportation engineering marvel tucked away in the forest, connected to two EPIC-N projects—on the way to the Shawnee Theatre, where community partner Jack Terrel will talk about his collaborations with Indiana University.

Lastly, visit Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area to hear from faculty member Bill Brown about his EPIC-N project preparing to connect the City of Linton to the tremendous natural asset.

Returns to IU in time for 6:30 PM award dinner.