Spirit of Monroe County III

The Spirit of Monroe County III DVD cover

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When producer John Winninger set out to make SPIRIT OF MONROE COUNTY III—the latest installment in the Spirit of Monroe County series—he asked himself a simple, central question…

What makes Monroe County special?

“I first came to Monroe County in 1962 for college at Indiana University, and I’ve been here ever since,” Winninger says. “I could have chosen to live in any number of places, but I chose Monroe County. It’s my home. And I wanted to find out what makes it tick, what makes Monroe County the kind of place where people come for a visit, or for school, and end up staying put?”

Where Spirit I and Spirit II explored the history of the county, in part III Winninger documents the present, exploring arts and culture, innovations in science, and the people who make it all happen.

“So much has changed in Monroe County since the late ‘90s, when we made Spirit I and II, from new magazines and theater groups to amazing developments in life science,” Winninger says. “In SPIRIT III we bring the series up to date by showing you what’s happening today, and where Monroe County is headed in the future.”

In part I of the documentary, “Arts & Culture,” Winninger visits the offices of Bloom Magazine, gets a behind the scenes look at the Cardinal Stage Company theater group, samples local delicacies at the Bloomington Farmers’ Market, Oliver Winery and Taste of Bloomington, and visits some of Monroe County’s many seasonal festivals, including the Lotus music festival, Fourth Street Festival, and the Stinesville Quarry Festival.

Part II, “Life Sciences,” surveys some of the most exciting advances in the life sciences, including soy bean research that benefits Indiana farmers and residents, cutting edge proton therapy at the Indiana University Cyclotron facility, and recent developments on heart stent technology at Cook Medical.

In Part III, “Diversity,” Winninger explores the incredible variety of people and institutions that are the heart and soul of Monroe County, from its wide range and variety of area elementary schools to the rich multicultural ethos of Indiana University.

In chronicling the here and now, SPIRIT OF MONROE COUNTY III depicts a region where a flourishing of arts and culture, scientific discovery and ethnic diversity point toward an even more dynamic future.