Celebrate Black History Month in Downtown Indianapolis
By Amanda Dorman
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
February is Black History Month and whether you want to celebrate by enjoying special live performances, educational activities or unique exhibits, Downtown Indy offers a great array of options (and many are free).
Indiana Historical Society’s Black History Challenge
Until Feb. 28, take the Indiana Historical Society’s Indiana Black History Challenge online for a chance to win one of several prizes, including a Downtown weekend getaway grand prize. The first 5,000 entrants will receive two tickets to the Indiana Experience, 30 players will receive four tickets to see the Indianapolis Indians and 15 people will win a pair of opening night tickets to see the Memphis at Clowes Memorial Hall. While you’re at the Indiana Historical Society, explore The Legacy of Civil Rights in Indianapolis exhibit and view original documents and iconic Indianapolis photographs from the 1960s.
Meet the Artists at Central Library
From Jan. 29 – March 22, the Central Library will house Meet the Artists XXVI, displaying the works of locally-prominent African-American artists. Meet the artists and enjoy an evening of cultural entertainment during the Meet the Artists Gala Reception Feb. 8 from 5:45 – 10 p.m.
Sankofa Black Heritage Festival
The Indiana State Museum will kick off its annual Sankofa Black Heritage Festival (see image above), Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The festival showcases art, history and culture from West African and Hoosier African-American perspectives. Performance-based arts closely align with Black History Month themes that explore the African-American experience, both past and present.
Madame Walker Presents
Children ages 6 and up and their families are invited to the Lilly Theater at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for Madame Walker Presents Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. and Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. Learn about African American history in Indiana and see a dynamic theatrical performance celebrating the lives of Madame C. J. Walker and Levi Coffin.
Listen to live music
Art & Soul – a celebration of African-American arts and artists in Indiana – returns to the Indianapolis Artsgarden with performances beginning Jan. 31 and running through the end of March. Catch the Art & Soul Celebration Launch Event with special guests Amos Brown from Radio One and a performance by Toy Factory. Performances will continue throughout the month featuring Tony Styxx, Bashiri Asad, the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and many others. All Art & Soul events, including the kickoff celebration, are FREE.
Catch a FREE Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performance at Hilbert Circle Theatre Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. for the annual Celebration of Black History Concert. Conducted by Kevin McBeth, a 30-year veteran in music ministry, this year’s program includes a variety of classical works, hymns, spirituals and music from prominent African-American composers. Local MC Tony Styxx will also join in the celebration and perform a song from his recently-released album.
The Cabaret at the Columbia Club celebrates Black History Month with Broadway star Chester Gregory in his award-winning show The Eve of Jackie. Catch this performance Feb. 14 & 15 at 8 p.m.
For more Black History Month events, visit: www.indydt.com/blackhistorymonth.cfm