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Fostering curiosity, education and empathy by exploring the controversial and the provocative.

The Year at Interchange: The Summit

Interchange is for problem solving. It’s delving into the gray area and learning to understand different points of view. In 2015, 50 artists, activists and entrepreneurs gathered to get down and dirty with issues such as racism, human trafficking, throwaway kids, marijuana, police and community relationships, sex education, renewable energy and Veterans/PTSD.

It’s a big list.

We attracted religious advocates and atheists, non profit organizations and successful businesses. There were human rights activists, artists and politics from all sides.

The conversations were interesting to say the least.

To give you a feel for how the summit started, everyone closed their eyes, and were asked to take one step backward if they agreed, and one step forward if they disagreed to a series of statements such as:

  • “I assume that the playing field is level.”
  • “I assume that the free market is essentially good.”

After about 20 statements, everyone opened their eyes and was paired with the person furthest away from them for some one on one time.

How about that for a conversation starter?

We captured the experience in film and interviews and applied graphic story telling and illustration. This is Alex Alviar, illustrating our XChange event and the Summit.

“An interchange is a place on a highway where you leave the road you are on, to take a different direction.  It’s where traffic all comes together and decides which way they want to go. It turns and twists and goes over and under.  I think that is what we do at Interchange, except instead of traffic it’s ideas and passions and beliefs and expectations and stereotypes and fears. It’s our life’s “highway.” It’s where people that may never “pass” each other in everyday life, come together and share our journeys. It is a safe place to explore where we are going, how we will get there and the different routes that we can choose to take.” -Debbie Schenk

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photos by: Missy Short Photography, Depictive Photography, Andrew Martin, Hayes Novich

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