IDEA Conference


Each year on the first Saturday of March, Muncie Action Plan, Shafer Leadership Academy, and the Office of Community Engagement at Ball State are proud to partner for a day of supporting the development of our neighborhood leaders at our annual Neighborhood IDEA Conference! Over 100 of Muncie’s most active local leaders gather to listen, learn, and meet like-minded individuals to share ideas and best practices.

2019 was one of our best years yet!  Congratulations to everyone who won an award or door prize, and we hope to see you again in 2020!

Check out some of the great resources from this year’s conference!

2019’s tracks:


  1. An Education-First Community – Ken Hudson & Frank Scott
    The Whitely Community Council (WCC) is a neighborhood association representing the Whitely Community, located on Muncie’s east side. WCC values shared information and opportunities that improve lives with an overarching goal of building an integrated education cycle for all ages that aligns schools, home, and the community. Learn how Whitely’s leadership and residents have developed partnerships to help reach this goal of being an “Education-First Community.” 
  2. Next Muncie and the Live Learn Neighborhood – Traci Lutton, Bruce Rector, & Vicki Veach
    Next Muncie works to advance economic development initiatives and neighborhood revitalization projects. With values rooted in collaboration, the Next Muncie team provides guidance to make the most of available resources and funding while relying on residents to engage and contribute energy and ideas to foster transformation. Learn how Muncie’s McKinley neighborhood is being re-imagined as a Live-Learn neighborhood, bringing together partners in education and housing to catalyze projects that will build place, quality of life, and momentum for new investment. 
  3. Community Engagement Council Panel – WaTasha Barnes Griffin, Michael Hewitt, Daniel Stallings, & Yvonne Thompson
    Leaders among the Muncie Community Schools’ Community Engagement Council will discuss fundraising goals and its new efforts to support students, parents and teachers and the need for caring and devoted volunteers. The panel will be moderated by Aimee West.

Neighborhood Planning

  1. Building a Community Website – Kate Elliott
    The importance of an online presence for your community, making it user friendly and relevant for both current members and potential new members. What information is important to have on your website, etc 
  2. Strategies for Successful Membership Drive – Alena McKenzie
    Sharing CVCNA dues drive strategy. Parameters used in determining the strategy, communications and implementation. Importance of tracking your data. Emphasis on community building. Analysis and evaluation of the progress, adjusting the strategy. Making projections for the future. 
  3. Grant Writing 101 – Donna Brown
    Interested in learning how to write a grant proposal? Get started with this fast-paced overview discussing parts of a proposal, creating a budget, writing tips, and common mistakes.

Neighborhood Partnerships

  1. Participatory Budgeting & the Democratization of Tax Increment Financing – Andrew Dale
    While not a practice of many Indiana municipalities and planning organizations in Indiana, participatory budgeting is a structured process that allows community residents to decide how to spend a portion of the City’s budget to address community needs. While the process can vary a typical participatory budgeting process follows the steps of 1) Idea Collection, 2) Proposal Development, 3) Project Presentations, 4) Defined Community Vote and 5) Implementation and Monitoring of Projects. The session will cover the basics of participatory budgeting and take a deeper dive into how Tax Increment Finance District funding can be used as an additional resource for further community improvement. 
  2. FaceMePorFavor: Murals for Muncie Neighborhoods – Matt Litwin, Victoria Eidelsztein, resident artists of PlySpace
    FaceMePorFavor, a community-centered mural project they are expanding to Muncie and a handful of other cities in the United States. FaceMePorFavor’s goal is to create a visual voice for people who want to share their hopes and dreams, fear and despair. The artists use wheatpaste to adhere painted poster portraits and quotes throughout the city to connect with its people—young, old, immigrants, neighborhood leaders, and the often overlooked communities of Muncie. The content of the neighborhood murals will be curated by Muncie residents with the artists and will reflect the important history, inclusivity, and community of each neighborhood zone. Join us for a discussion with the artists about their work and the FaceMePorFavor project in Muncie. 
  3. Ball State’s Commitment to the Community – Delaina Boyd & Jennifer Palilonis
    Ball State University, under the new leadership team of President Mearns, has developed a new regional Strategic Plan. Members of this team will address Ball State’s relationship with the community of Muncie and seek ways to further develop common goals. 

Community Resources

  1. On the Street: Homeless in Muncie – Sara Renee
    Exploring what homelessness looks like throughout our Muncie neighborhoods. Overview of the Coordinated Entry System, Housing First model, and a down and dirty, general overview of services offered in the Muncie area. 
  2. Addiction Panel – Shon Byrum, Ashley Condon-Soldatt, Eric Hoffman, & Caity Placek
    Opioid and substance abuse in our community has separated over 400 children in Delaware County from their parents. This panel will address the challenges our community faces from the perspective of CASA and treatment providers, inpatient treatment navigation and expertise from Fairbanks and a testimony from those affected by addiction, and those who deal with every day. The panel will be moderated by Aimee West. 
  3. Supporting Seniors and the Disabled – Robby Tompkins
    An often overlooked neighbor is the older adult or person with a disability that you don’t see out walking their dog. Many seniors are homebound or have limited mobility to accomplish everyday tasks in their lives such as grocery shopping, keeping their property looking polished, and getting the crucial support they need when foul weather strikes. In many cases, the individual or couple don’t have a strong support system and you may be the one to connect them to the help they need to stay living happily at home.This workshop will cover how we as neighbors can help support those in need. Topics will include how to meet and identify those who need assistance, the resources available through LifeStream Services and many other non-profit/medical partners, tips on how to connect and to be ready in an emergency to help homebound neighbors, and ideas for helping keep the neighborhood looking good by partnering with groups to help with yard clean-ups for homebound/disabled seniors, helping connect seniors who need repairs, ramps, and other home modifications, as well as to help identify inaccessible sidewalks and areas for future repair and work with us to communicate it to the those that can help.

Lunch Keynote (12:15 – 1:00)
Neighborhood Projects Presentation – Heather Williams and Jenna Ashby
8Twelve’s Small Sparks and MAP’s Neighborhood Based Projects have made a big difference in Muncie’s neighborhoods. From picnics to gardens to comic book clubs, residents are taking charge and making change happen. Learn more about the impact these projects are having and the people who are passionate about improving their neighborhoods.  

Keynote Speaker (2:30 – 3:30)
Meet the Mayoral Candidates
All 2019 Muncie Mayoral Candidates have been invited to share their vision and take questions from Muncie Citizens for IDEA’s Keynote Panel.  The session will be moderated by Aimee West.



Contact Krista Flynn, BSU Office of Community Engagement at

Take a look at the 2018 conference.

The IDEA Conference is brought to you by:

Contributing Sponsors:

Program Sponsor: