Archive for November, 2011

Holiday Activities at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

November 30, 2011 1 comment
Horse-drawn wagon ride at Conner Prairie.

Horse-drawn wagon ride at Conner Prairie. Photo provided by Conner Prairie and used with written permission.

By Lynelle Mellady
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

For the first time, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Indiana’s only Smithsonian affiliate, will open its outdoor historic grounds during select daytime hours to present new and exciting holiday activities for families.

Throughout December, families can celebrate the holidays at Conner Prairie during Holidays on the Prairie, which includes new activities and traditional family favorites. New this year is a winter romp outside during the 1836 Outdoor Adventure, where families can help the costumed residents of Prairietown prepare for the holidays, participate in parties straight from the past, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, sing songs and tell stories around the bonfire and delight their senses during a chocolate demonstration and tasting at the Conner House.

Also new this year, families can have dinner with Santa and members can participate in a special breakfast with Santa. Along with new programming, Conner Prairie will also offer traditional holiday favorites such as Conner Prairie by Candlelight and the Gingerbread Village.

Holidays on the Prairie activities begin Dec. 1 and run through Dec. 31 during select days and times. Activities this year include:

1836 Outdoor Adventure – New

Dec. 3, 10 and 17; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$12/adult; $9/youth ages 2–12

Head outdoors during the day to 1836 Prairietown where costumed residents need your help preparing for the holidays. Enjoy the sights from a horse-drawn wagon ride and visit the Campbell home where it’s holiday party time. If you prefer a more raucous party, join the Rowdies as they sing, play games and tell stories around the bonfire and maybe even cause trouble for the other folks in town. Learn how to make a candle for someone special on your gift list, sample a holiday treat from an 1800s-era recipe, treat yourself to a holiday lunch and much more. You can even stop by the Conner House for a chocolate demonstration and tasting and purchase your favorite Indiana-made chocolate treat. Some activities include an additional fee.

Dinner with Santa – New

Dec. 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17; 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. dinner seatings
$18.95/adult ($16.95/adult member); $9.95/youth ages 2-12 ($8.95/ youth member)

Come enjoy dinner with Santa Claus and tell him what you’re wishing for this holiday season. Join Mrs. Claus and her helpers decorate cookies. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Guest Services at 317-776-6006 or 800-966-1836. Some activities include an additional fee.

Members Only Breakfast with Santa – New

Dec. 3 and 10; 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
$14.95/adult member; $7.95/youth member ages 2–12

Enjoy breakfast and a visit with Santa then decorate a gingerbread cookie to take home. Reservations required by calling Guest Services at 317-776-6006 or 800-966-1836.

Gingerbread Village

Dec. 1–31; Tues.–Sat., 10 a.m.-5  p.m. and Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Free with general admission

Overwhelm your senses with the scent of gingerbread as you stroll through a display of gingerbread creations.

Conner Prairie by Candlelight

December 2–3, 9–10, 16–17; Tour start times are staggered between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
$15/adult ($13/adult member); $13/youth ages 2-12 ($11/youth member)
Group pricing available

It’s the night before Christmas and you are in Prairietown helping costumed residents prepare for the holidays. Visit different homes on this family-friendly, 60-minute guided tour. Join the Ullman’s Hanukkah celebration, and meet the German Pennsylvania Santa Claus. Joke with the Rowdies around the bonfire, and join in the dancing, singing and good conversation at the Campbell family party. Reservations are required by calling 317-776-6006 or 800-966-1836.

Bill Hixson’s Holiday Ornaments and More

Dec. 3; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Dec. 4; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
No admission required

Meet Bill Hixson, better known as “Mr. Christmas,” White House decorator since the early 1980s. Purchase a favorite from a vast collection of mouth-blown, hand-painted glass ornaments from Europe, each with its own story. Have him sign the ornament and give it to someone special on your gift list.

Access Pass/Military Discounts

Conner Prairie offers free admission to members of the military and 50 percent off admission for immediate family of military. Discounts are also available for families that are eligible for the Access Pass program, which provides admission for just $1 per family member per visit. You must present the required documentation to receive discounted admission through Access Pass. Military and Access Pass discounts only apply to daytime general admission activities including the1836 Outdoor Adventure and Gingerbread Village.

More Information

Some holiday activities include an additional fee. For more information on cost or to create your special holiday itinerary at Conner Prairie, visit or call 317-776-6006 or 800-996-1836. Conner Prairie will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

December Events at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Indianapolis Museum of Art

Indianapolis Museum of Art. staff photo, (c) 2011, all rights reserved.

By Candace Gwaltney
Indianapolis Museum of Art

The Calendar of Events for December 2011 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art includes:


Permanent Collection Tours

The IMA offers free, regularly scheduled tours of the IMA’s permanent collections for all visitors Tuesdays through Sundays at 1 p.m.; Fridays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.; and Thursdays at 7 p.m. ASL interpreted tours occur each month on the second Thursday at 7 p.m. and third Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tours meet on the Second Floor at the top of the escalator. Assistive listening devices are available by request. For a schedule of upcoming public tour topics, visit:

Special Exhibition Tours

Special exhibition tours of Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection and Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria are available with exhibition admission. Times vary. For a schedule of upcoming tours, visit:

Lilly House Tours

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
2 p.m.

The IMA offers free, regularly scheduled tours of Lilly House, the American Country Place Era home of the late Indianapolis businessman, philanthropist, and collector J. K. Lilly, Jr. Tours meet in the Lilly House lobby.

Meditation Hikes

Every Friday
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Meet at Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion

Each Friday, IMA is the site of Meditation Peace Hikes facilitated by Global Peace Initiatives. In the spirit of mindfulness, the hikes move through the IMA’s grounds, gardens, or 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, sometimes in silence and sometimes with dialogue. Hikes occur regardless of the weather. Tours depart promptly at 5:30 p.m. from the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion. For more information, visit


Noon – 4 p.m.
Star Studio Classroom

Free drop-in visitor art making is available in the Star Studio classroom each Saturday. Work with a teaching artist and make your own piece of art inspired by the exhibitions and ideas on display at the IMA. Projects are designed to be accessible and fun for museum visitors of all ages and levels of experience making art. Star Studio is open for self-guided art making during all regular IMA hours.


Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection

December 2, 2011–February 12, 2012
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
Noon–5 p.m. Sundays
Allen Whitehill Clowes Gallery in Wood Pavilion
$8 Public, Free for IMA members

The Eugene and Clare Thaw Collection of North American Indian art comprises more than 800 masterpieces of Native American art spanning more than 2,000 years. This exhibition features more than 80 of the most outstanding works of art drawn from this collection, now held at the Fenimore Art Museum. The exhibition highlights the beauty and virtuosity of each piece, presenting it as a milestone of creativity and individual artistic expression. The exhibition also reveals the extraordinary range of art produced by Native American cultures. While the works of art are enormously diversified in type, style, and use of materials, they exude a consistent appreciation of the power of the natural world in human affairs and the universal appeal of beautifully realized works of art. This exhibition is organized by the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

The Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yūsaku

November 11, 2011–April 1, 2012
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
Noon–5 p.m. Sundays
Thompson Gallery, Hurwitz Gallery and Appel Gallery

The Indianapolis Museum of Art will present the first large-scale exhibition of works by Tawara Yūsaku, a contemporary Japanese artist known for his highly energetic brushstroke. Universe Is Flux: The Art of Tawara Yūsaku will feature works inspired by Tawara’s belief that the universe is unstable and constantly changing. Executed primarily in ink on paper, his works use the cumulative effect of many brushstrokes to create powerful and expressive works, apparent in even his smallest 3 in. x 5 in. paintings. Although Tawara avoided representational art, many of his paintings recall traditional ink landscapes or other forms in nature. Tawara saw all existence as composed of vibrational energy, made up of wavelike forms he called “hado.” Fundamentally based on Buddhist thought, Tawara translated his vision of reality into paintings with intense visual impact. Highlights of the exhibition include several renditions of the Japanese character “ichi,” which means “one.” Traditionally executed in a single stroke in calligraphy, Tawara painted these ichi with his method of layering innumerable brushstrokes. Featuring 77 works, Universe Is Flux will introduce audiences in the United States to this artist’s unique philosophy and its impact on his paintings. The exhibition will feature works created in the 1990s, following Tawara’s several decade hiatus from painting, as well as pieces created just before his death in 2004.

FLOW: Can You See the River?

Through February 26, 2012
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
Noon–5 p.m. Sundays
Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion and 100 Acres

Mary Miss’ project titled FLOW: Can You See the River? reveals important and unique elements of the White River water system through a series of installations at stopping points along the river and the canal, engaging visitors and increasing awareness of the watershed and the role that it plays in the life of the city and its inhabitants. The project is the first new work to be commissioned for 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park since the Park’s opening in June 2010. Miss’ installation in the IMA’s Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion serves as an introduction to her expansive project outside the museum’s walls. In a continuation of Miss’ tagline for FLOW—“All property is riverfront property. The river starts at your door.”—visitors can utilize a large map covering the floor of the Entrance Pavilion to locate their homes in relation to local bodies of water. Miss’ indoor installation makes visceral the environmental impact of everyday actions of Indianapolis residents, by illustrating the watershed in relation to homes and demonstrating how easily the White River and other bodies of water can be impacted by the daily activities of locals.

Brian McCutcheon: Out of this World

Through March 4, 2012
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
Noon–5 p.m. Sundays
McCormack Forefront Galleries

Comprised entirely of new works commissioned by the IMA, Brian McCutcheon: Out of this World crafts a story that unfolds throughout the entire exhibition. Created to mimic a children’s book narrative, the exhibition explores the Mercury and Apollo space programs in relation to contemporary culture. Visitors encounter the first work of the exhibition upon entering the IMA’s Pulliam Family Great Hall, where the base of a currently untitled “flight path” sculpture is sited. Consisting of a curvilinear metal track, the sculpture traces the imagined trajectory of a toy rocket. With the “launch pad” on the IMA’s second floor, the sculpture extends three stories before “landing” in the McCormack Forefront Galleries. Within the galleries, Out of this World continues to evolve as an imaginative narrative, including the launch, space travel, and lunar landing, before arriving at the theme of the splash down—the return to reality at the conclusion of the exhibition.

Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria

Through January 16, 2012
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
Noon–5 p.m. Sundays
Hulman Pavilion, Floor 3
$8 Public, Free for IMA members

Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria presents a glimpse of the extraordinary artistic accomplishments of Ife, the legendary royal city-state of the Yoruba people during the 12th-15th centuries. Technically and visually the artworks of Ife, including near life-size heads and figures of humans in terra cotta, bronze, and copper, are among the most remarkable in the world. This landmark exhibition of African art brings together for the first time these celebrated works, resulting in a display of more than 100 objects that present a fascinating depiction of Ife.

Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria is co-organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, and Fundación Botín, Santander, Spain, in collaboration with the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria. The exhibition has been supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities. Conservation at the Spanish Patrimony Conservation Centre is supported, in part, by Fundación Botín.  Locally, the exhibition is underwritten by a grant from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation.

Material World

Through February 6, 2012
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
Noon–5 p.m. Sundays
Paul Textile and Fashion Arts Galleries

From court dress to couture, the objects in Material World feature extravagant ornamentation of textiles and personal adornment from cultures around the world while highlighting the significance of textiles in displaying wealth, status and power. The exhibition showcases items adorned with luxurious materials including gold and metallic threads, beads, shells, mirrors, semi-precious stones, bones, fur and feathers, ranging from a Buddhist bone apron to Dior and Chanel couture pieces, spanning several centuries to the present day.

The Old Masters
Through December 31
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
Noon–5 p.m. Sundays
Conant Galleries

The Old Masters provides a quick tour of the history of printmaking from 1470 to 1800 through a selection of 51 of the finest examples from the IMA’s collection of Old Master prints. Works by Dürer, Goltzius, Callot, Rembrandt, and Goya, among others, show how the graphic arts developed as an important form of personal artistic expression. 


We Were Here

Thursday, December 1
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (continuous showings)
DeBoest Lecture Hall
(2011, dir. David Weissman, 90 mins.)

On World AIDS Day, view a film that takes a deep, reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco, and how the city’s inhabitants dealt with the unprecedented calamity.  Five people who survived describe how the AIDS epidemic challenged everything they knew about themselves and their adopted hometown.  The film explores what was not so easy to discern in the midst of it all – the parallel histories of suffering and loss, and of community coalescence and empowerment.  We Were Here speaks to our societal relationship to death and illness and the importance of community in addressing unimaginable crises with compassion and determination.  Writes Mike LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle: “[The film] has the force of a great war documentary…if any movie can bridge that distance between those who were there and those just hearing about it, it’s this one.” Closed Captioned.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Wednesday, December 28, 2 p.m.
Thursday, December 29, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Friday, December 30, 7 p.m.
DeBoest Lecture Hall
$9 Public, $5 IMA members
(2010, dir. Werner Herzog, 90 mins.)

From acclaimed documentary filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man) comes a film about the earliest human impulses for visual expression.  Herzog’s cameras penetrate the nearly inaccessible Chauvet Cave in France, home to the most ancient drawings known to have been created by humans—over 30,000 years ago.  Our eyes linger over images of bison, horses and big cats depicted in ecstatic motion in this cave of drawings that may represent, in Herzog’s words, “the origin of the soul.” Writes Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times: “A sacred space where the human and the mystical effortlessly intertwine, and we are in Werner Herzog’s debt for that great gift.” Closed Captioned.


A History of Beads

Thursday, December 8
7 p.m.
The Toby

Beads have been used throughout history and around the world as charms, status symbols, religious objects, and media of barter.  Lois Sherr Dubin, author of The History of Beads: From 100,000 B.C. to the Present, explores the power and purpose of these symbolic objects in indigenous American cultures, in relation to the IMA exhibition Art of the Americans: The Thaw Collection and the Nigerian beading tradition as well, visible in another IMA exhibition, Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria.

Emerging Voices in Indianapolis Design

Thursday, December 15
6 p.m.
DeBoest Lecture Hall

Join members of the IMA Design Arts Society for presentations by local designers who share their recent projects and aesthetic approaches.  Presenters include architect/designer Adam Buente of ProjectionOne, product and graphic designer Tom Renk, and painter Matt Eickhoff.  Architect Donna Sink will host the evening’s presentations.


Art of the American Indians: The Thaw Collection Opening

Thursday, December 1
6-8 p.m.
Pulliam Family Great Hall and Allen Whitehill Clowes Gallery
$35 public, $25 IMA members

Be among the first to preview this extraordinary exhibition. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and a special performance by the Miami Nation of Indiana’s Twigh Twee Singers. Purchase tickets by November 23 at or call 317-955-2339.

Christmas at Lilly House

November 12–December 31
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
Noon–5 p.m. Sundays
Lilly House

Lilly House will be decorated in the style of the 1930s and 1940s, when Christmas cheer often had to overcome Depression-era budgets or wartime shortages. See how familiar motifs such as trees, wreaths and evergreens are enlivened with refreshing touches of new fashions in this historic home.

Christmas at Lilly House Open House

Thursdays, December 8 and 22
5:30–8:30 p.m.
Lilly House and IMA Greenhouse

Hundreds of flickering luminaria in the gardens transform the landscape of Oldfields into a winter wonderland. Visitors can warm up inside Lilly house, an American Country Place-era home, featuring holiday décor from the 1930s and ’40s—and enjoy a hot beverage and pause to hear live seasonal music. At the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse, attendees can shop for a special gift in a festive atmosphere.

IMA Member Night

Thursday, December 8
5:30–9 p.m.
Nourish Café
Free (For IMA members only)

Every second Thursday of the month, bring your friends and family after work to unwind and enjoy all that the IMA has to offer. Stop in at Nourish Café for happy hour, check out our signature member drink of the night and take advantage of your discount. During Member Night, we also offer an exclusive tour to members and their guests. December’s tour theme is: Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Warm up inside the museum with a special tour of works from our permanent collection. For reservations, email

Holiday Hullabaloo
Thursday, December 8
5–9 p.m.
Museum Store, Greenhouse Shop and Lilly House Christmas Shop

Enjoy a spectacular evening of holiday shopping and festivities at the IMA Museum Store, Greenhouse Shop and Lilly House Christmas Shop. Find a unique gift for a loved one or shop for an extra special something to deck the halls for holiday parties to come. The evening features special promotions available only during Holiday Hullabaloo and complimentary gift wrapping. IMA members will receive a 20% discount on all purchases during this event.

Winter Solstice

Thursday, December 22
5:30–8 p.m.
IMA Grounds

Enjoy a special outdoor presentation by the Indiana Ballet Conservatory, ice carving, hot drinks, art-making, holiday décor at the Lilly House and last minute shopping at the IMA. Free parking.


Indianapolis Museum of Art: Free
Lilly House: Free


11 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays
Noon–5 p.m. Sundays
(Lilly House closes at 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, except Dec. 8 and Dec. 22.)


Visitors are charged a flat fee of $5 to park in the IMA’s underground garage or in the large surface lot. IMA members receive free parking in the garage or on the large surface lot by scanning their IMA membership cards; and visitors who purchase more than $50 worth of merchandise at the Museum Store or the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse Shop also receive free parking. More than 170 free parking spaces are available in outlying lots at the Museum, including the 100 Acres parking loop.


For regularly updated information about IMA exhibitions, programs and events, visit


The Museum Store and the Gallery Shop offer souvenirs, books, handcrafted jewelry and Museum reproductions. The Greenhouse Shop includes a retail garden shop and display area. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sunday noon–5 p.m.


The IMA strives to be accessible to all visitors—physically, emotionally and intellectually. The Museum building and Lilly House are accessible for wheelchair users, strollers and rollators. To borrow a wheelchair, stroller or rollator, visit the IMA box office on the first floor. Open captioning and assistive listening devices available.  ASL interpretation is available during select public programs. Service animals welcome. Family restrooms and nursing mothers room available. Visitors may request ASL interpretation for any program by calling 317-923-1331 at least three weeks prior to the event. For more information, visit


Open during Museum hours, Nourish Café serves a variety of fresh, healthy and seasonal options sourced from local vendors whenever possible. The menu includes hand-crafted soups and salads, artisan sandwiches, pasta dishes, snacks, to-go items, vegetarian and children’s options, and a barista service offering gourmet coffee and other hot beverages. The Café staff will accommodate special dietary needs.


The Stout Reference Library is a non-circulating research library that is open to the public. The collection includes more than 40,000 books and museum publications, plus more than 150 art-related magazines. Call 317-923-1331 for more information.


The Davis LAB is an interactive space where IMA visitors may view original video content on, read the IMA blog, check out IMA images on Flickr, become an IMA fan on Facebook and learn more about the Museum via four computer stations and a theater-style area outfitted with large-screen projection and lounge furniture. Visitors to The Davis LAB are encouraged to offer feedback by rating videos and leaving comments on the IMA blog.


Designated a National Historic Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Oldfields–Lilly House & Gardens is an elegant 26-acre estate located on the grounds of the IMA. At the heart of Oldfields is Lilly House, the mansion that was once the home of J.K. Lilly Jr., the late Indianapolis businessman, collector and philanthropist. Lilly House is an historic house museum and has been restored to its 1930s splendor. Oldfields’ magnificent gardens and grounds were designed in the 1920s by Percival Gallagher of the famous landscape architecture firm Olmsted Brothers. A 10-minute orientation video is available.


Adjacent to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and comprised of woodlands, wetlands, meadows and a 35-acre lake, 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park is one of the largest museum art parks in the country and features the ongoing commission of site-responsive artworks. 100 Acres presents art installations and programs that focus on the unique relationships between contemporary art and the natural world.


In 2009, the IMA acquired Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana, through a generous donation by members of the Miller family. One of the country’s most iconic examples of mid-century Modernist residential architecture, it was designed by Eero Saarinen, with interiors by Alexander Girard, and landscape design by Dan Kiley. The property is the fully realized expression of a modern mid-twentieth-century residence set within an equally important garden. The IMA recently completed a restoration of the house and opened it to the public for the first time in May 2011. Tours are offered daily Tuesday through Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m., and Sundays at 1 p.m.; visitors should arrive at the Columbus Visitors Center at least 30 minutes before their scheduled tour time. Miller House is closed Mondays. Due to limited capacity, advanced reservations are strongly encouraged; tickets are available online at and at Tickets are $20 per person. To order by phone or to book a group tour, visitors may call (800) 468-6564.  Miller House and Garden is owned and cared for by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Tours at Miller House and Garden are made possible through the Columbus Area Visitors Center.  Miller House and Garden is made possible through the generosity of Members of the Miller Family, Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Foundation and Cummins Foundation.  The inaugural year of Miller House and Garden is sponsored by Herman Miller.

Downtown Indianapolis “Give-Back” Guide for the Holidays

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment
Dill Chips at Scotty's Brewhouse

Dill Chips at Scotty's Brewhouse. staff photo.

By Brittany Smith
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

‘Tis the season to give back and what better place to do so than downtown Indianapolis? From charity events to toy drives and volunteer opportunities, consider this your Downtown guide to giving.

Give and let live this holiday season

  • Nothing says the holidays like Jimmy Stewart in the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life. Bring your friends and family Downtown to view this classic movie on the big screen.  In the spirit of giving, you’ll definitely earn your “angel wings” Dec. 1!  All proceeds will benefit Downtown Beautification, helping to keep your city clean, green and vibrant!
  • Grant a Hoosier child’s wish come true at the Hyatt’s Christmas in the Kitchen dinner Dec. 12. The unique holiday food extravaganza benefits Indiana Children’s Wish Fund.

Sharing is caring

  • Join Scotty’s Brewhouse Downtown in collecting toys for Riley Hospital for Children now – Dec. 9. For every donation, a guest will receive a free order of Scotty’s popular dill chips (see photo above). After cleaning up the dill chips, be sure to order the Riley Red Wagon Hot Cocoa, $1 of every cocoa purchase will be donated to Riley’s.
  • Purchase a toy at one of Downtown’s stores and give the gift of “play” to a Central Indiana child at RTV6’s Toy Drive on Monument Circle Dec. 16 from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • In Indianapolis, many of our friends, neighbors, and relatives are hungry. Together, we can help. Join the City of Indianapolis Front Porch Alliance in the fight against hunger! Bring a case of food for Pack the Pantries: A Case for Giving to a Gleaners Food Bank location. Gleaners Food Banks will distribute the donations to local food banks. For more information, visit

Get your hands on Downtown

Several Downtown organizations depend on volunteers for daily operations. Put your cooking skills to use for the good of others in the Second Helpings, Wheeler Mission Ministries, and The Salvation Army Women and Children’s Shelter’s kitchens. The Ronald McDonald House and Salvation Army also offer many volunteer opportunities. For more charity opportunities, visit

Visit for more information including Downtown parking and maps, as well as a complete calendar of Downtown Indianapolis events.

Holiday Shows at the Madame Walker Theatre Center

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment
Walker Theatre

Historic Walker Theatre on Indiana Avenue. staff photo.

By Malina Jeffers
Madame Walker Theatre Center

The Madame Walker Theatre Center winds their 2011 Season down with two holiday shows and a partnership with the Asante Childrens Theatre. On the heels of a fabulous performance by the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Naptown Nutcracker begins December 2nd with a sold-out student matinee at 11am and an evening performance at 7pm. Naptown Nutcracker, performed by Beyond the Pointe Dance Company, is choreographed by Nicole Hargro. Beyond The Pointe’ was founded in 2001 by Artistic Director, Ms. Nicole Hargro. “We consider it a high honor and distinction to be embraced by an institution with the legacy and continued importance of the Madame Walker Theatre Center,” explains Hargo.

More show times for Naptown Nutcracker are available at Tickets are $10 in advance.

On Friday, December 9th, audiences will once again fill the seats at the historic Walker Theatre for Asante’s Kwanzaa Community Choir Concert. The holiday concerts feature the Kwanzaa Community Choir and a dance production number to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.  Prep4Life participants will perform a story theatre piece entitled Three Little Pigs Move to the Avenue. Additionally, the Theatre’s Artistic Director, Deborah Asante, will perform a tribute to cultural anthropologist and writer Zora Neale Hurston. The Asante Children’s Theatre program is under the direction of Artistic Director, Deborah Asante and Musical Director, Vincent Howard.

As the final show in the Madame Walker Theatre Center’s 2011 Cultural Arts Season, sponsored by IUPUI, Black Nativity is Indianapolis’ show to see in December. Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity has performed at the Walker in the past but not within the last several years. This year’s production celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Black Nativity by taking this dynamic musical back to its original form.  Directed by Indianapolis native, Sherri Brown- Webster, this moving gospel stage-play consists of a diverse range of actors and singers including 7 local pastors. “The city of Indianapolis will stand in awe of this powerful, unforgettable production. With a cast of 35, Black Nativity is sure to become Indianapolis’ newest holiday family tradition,” explains Brown-Webster.

Black Nativity is the joyous account of an historic event that occurred 2,000 years ago. It’s a celebration that tells the original story of the Nativity in scripture, verse, music and dance. Based on the Gospel of St. Luke, combined with the poetry of Langston Hughes, this song-play touches a special chord in the hearts of all. Tickets are on sale now at the Madame Walker Theatre Center box office and on for $10 in advance.

The Madame Walker Theatre Center, an internationally recognized National Historic Landmark, preserves and builds upon the entrepreneurial and philanthropic legacy of its namesake by celebrating the best of African American culture and performance arts, by nurturing youth through arts education and by providing a welcoming venue for arts programming and entrepreneurial activities for all cultures in our community and nation.

Find out more at

Hanukkah Celebration at Carmel Community Playhouse, Dec. 4

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Carmel Community Playhouse

Carmel Community Playhouse. staff photo.

By Christopher Barnthouse
Carmel Community Players

Carmel Community Players, Carmel’s oldest community theater group, will host what it is calling the largest Hanukkah Celebration in Hamilton County outside a synagogue with two December 4 concerts by Indiana University’s premier mixed a cappella group, “Hooshir,” and “Indy Klez,” a group of professional musicians who specialize in Jewish and eastern European music.  The concerts, at 3 pm and 7 pm, will be performed at the Carmel Community Playhouse, 14299 Clay Terrace Boulevard, Suite 140, in Carmel.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the community to see two unique musical groups in an extremely intimate setting,” Chris Barnthouse, CCP’s World Music Series producer, said.  “Both groups have performed at the playhouse this year and they wowed their audiences.  Having them perform together on the same stage is going to be amazing.”

While members of “Indy Klez” and “Hooshir” have attended each other’s concerts and are familiar with each other’s work, this is the first time they have appeared together.

“Both groups told me that they have always wanted to perform together but never had the opportunity to do so,” Barnthouse xplained.  “We already had a commitment from “Hooshir” to perform in December, and, as luck would have it, “Indy Klez” had an open date.  We booked them both immediately.”

Barnthouse pointed out that both groups perform music that is suitable for all ages.

“Hanukkah at the Playhouse” will be held at Carmel Community Playhouse, 14299 Clay Terrace Blvd, Suite 140, Carmel, Indiana.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, online at, or by calling the Carmel Community Playhouse  box office at 317-815-9387.