Archive for the ‘museums’ Category

Civil War Dinners at Benjamin Harrison Home, July 24

July 19, 2014 Leave a comment
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. staff photo, (c) 2014, all rights reserved.

By Kelly Young
On behalf of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is serving up its popular Civil War Dinners on Thursday, July 24, 2014, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy an authentic dinner experience with  “General Benjamin Harrison” and members of his “Aide-de-Camp” during this unique and interactive event.

Rather than sheet-iron crackers, canned foods and dehydrated vegetables that soldiers rationed and ate, guests will enjoy fine wine, hors d’oeuvres and a full dinner. The event begins in the Carriage House and includes a tour of President Benjamin Harrison’s home.

Civil War Dinner with “General Benjamin Harrison and members of his “Aide-de-Camp”

Thursday, July 24, 2014

6:30-9:30 p.m.

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, 1230 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, Indiana

$75/per person, $150 per couple or $1,500 sponsored dinner for 20

Information: or 317-631-1888


About Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

The Benjamin Harrison Home, a 16-room Italianate style house, was constructed by Harrison in 1874 and is a National Historical Landmark recognized by the United States Department of the Interior. The non-profit organization is dedicated to increasing public understanding of, appreciation for, and participation in the American system of self-government through the life stories, arts and culture of an American President.

Editor’s Acknowledgement: Baise Communications.

Ian Weaver’s ‘The Black Knight Archive’ at iMOCA, Aug. 1-Oct. 18

Black Knights Seal

Black Knights Seal. Image provided by iMOCA and used with written permission.

By Shauta Marsh
Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA)

Artist Ian Weavers’s The Black Knight Archive, Chapter I: Migration creates a fictional version of history of one black community. Weaver’s Black Knights are part medieval knight, part Black Nationalist – who have, ostensibly, lived within the “Black Bottom” community, circa 1940s. The work centers on the Near West Side of Chicago, a large multi-ethnic community, and, specifically, the “Black Bottom” section of the Near West Side where black residents once lived. Much like Indianapolis’s Indiana Avenue District, various parts of the Near West Side of Chicago and the Bottom were destroyed to construct an expressway and a university; as a result, the community lost much of its history.

“The works will reinforce the role of the object as iconic, a conduit for memory and history,” says Weaver. Opening August 1, 2014, 6-11 p.m. at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) The Black Night Archive will run through October 18, with the hours of Thursday-Saturday 12-7 p.m.

Weaver is constructing a fictive history for the Black Bottom community using a variety of fake elements: handmade museum vitrines, handmade maps and documents of the community, various faux sculptures and textiles, as well as installation and audio components.

Weaver’s Black Knights used political, social, and guerrilla tactics to fight for the survival of the community.

“The project speaks not only to the nature of the loss of this particular community’s history, but also to the larger concept of how we, as individuals, communities and societies construct our own narratives, identities, and memories through our commemorations,” says Weaver.  “These histories tell stories that occupy specific time periods, but (because of the subjective nature of memory and history) also travel backward and forward into and out of our own time.”

The first chapter commission by iMOCA in this installment will explore the migration of the Black Knights to Black Bottom, U.S.A.

The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 1043 Virginia Avenue in Fountain Square. For more information, visit, or call 317-634-6622.


Ian Weaver (b. 1970) is a Chicago-based visual artist and Instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in the Painting and Drawing, Contemporary Practices, and Art Education departments.  His work, interdisciplinary in nature, is concerned with how we – as individuals and communities – construct our own identities and memories through our ceremonial observations (“commemorations”), the objects we construct, and those that we archive.  He received his M.F.A. in Visual Art from Washington University in St Louis.  His exhibitions include a survey of work (2004-2011) at the South Bend Museum of Art, as well as solo shows at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO, and Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL.  Group exhibitions include shows at the Illinois State Museum, Springfield, IL; and the Kemper Art Museum and White Flag Projects, both in St. Louis, MO.  He has been a recipient of numerous residencies, including Yaddo and the Millay Colony, both in upstate NY; and Ragdale, Lake Forest, IL.  His awards include grants from Artadia and the Joan Mitchell Foundation, both based in NY; the Illinois Arts Council; and the Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, IL.

Indiana History Center Concerts on the Canal…and more

'Concerts on the Canal' at the Indiana History Center

‘Concerts on the Canal’ at the Indiana History Center. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Amy Lamb
Indiana History Center

There are plenty of ways to enjoy downtown Indianapolis in the summer, and the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is offering several—its time-honored favorite Concerts on the Canal, popular Museum Nights on the Canal programming and Sunday hours in June and July. The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, home of the IHS and the Indiana Experience, is located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis, along the picturesque, historic CentralCanal.

On Thursday evenings this summer, the IHS will host some of the area’s best performers. The concert lineup includes a diverse selection of musical styles, from jazz, blues and classic rock to big band, swing and the Great American Songbook. Local and regional favorites like The Woomblies, The Flying Toasters, Cynthia Layne, The Cool City Band (featuring Shannon Forsell and Laney Wilson) and Jessie Brown are just a few of the acts on this season’s schedule.

Concerts take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays from May 29 to July 31, in addition to IHS’s annual Independence Day Bash on Friday, July 4, which will start at 5 p.m. with the Indianapolis Municipal Band and feature King James and the Verses.

Guests are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages to Concerts on the Canal, but food service is also provided in the HistoryCenter’s Stardust Terrace Café and at an outdoor grill, both operated by Hoaglin To Go. All alcohol must be purchased on-site, and a cash bar will be offered. No pets and no smoking are allowed on the Plaza. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the History Center’s parking lot.

Seating can be purchased on the Kruse Family Stardust Terrace in tables of eight ($45/$40 IHS members) or four ($35/$30 IHS members), and single-seats at the community table ($10/$9 for IHS members). Free seating is available across the canal on the grassy knoll. The 2014 Concerts on the Canal series is presented by The Indiana Rail Road Company, in partnership with the IUPUI Department of Music and Arts Technology.

For concert dates in June and July, IHS’s Museum Nights on the Canal will offer free Indiana Experience admission, as well as hands-on activities and extra entertainment, from 4 to 8 p.m. Indiana Experience admission will also be free on July 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum Nights on the Canal is presented by Citizens Energy Group and The Glick Fund, a CICF Fund.

Guests are also invited to take advantage of Sunday hours in June and July, when the History Center will be open from noon to 5 p.m. and offer additional programming. IHS is also proud to be part of the Blue Star Museum Program and extends free year-round admission to members of the active military and their families.

To reserve a table in advance or for more information, call the IHS at 317-232-1882 or visit

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programming.

Indiana Historical Society’s 2014 Concerts on the Canal Schedule

May 29 – The Woomblies (Popular Motown, soul and rock)

June 5 – The Flying Toasters (High-energy dance favorites)

June 12 – Hopkins and Miller (Jazz of the 1920s and 1930s)

June 19 – Seth Jenkins and the Tides featuring Michael Beck and Dane Dye (Eclectic music from the 1950s to today)

June 26 – Cynthia Layne (R&B and jazz)

July 3 – Carmel Brass (Patriotic tunes)

July 4 – Indianapolis Municipal Band (Patriotic tunes and marches, 5 to 6:15 p.m.) and King James and the Verses (Classic rock and blues, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

July 10 – The Cool City Band featuring Shannon Forsell and Laney Wilson (Music of the Lounge Era)

July 17 – Deb Mullins (Cabaret with a mix of standards, bluesy jazz and pop)

July 24 – David Mannell with Laura Hammer-Erhart and Becky Barton with special guest John Alvarado (Classic music of Spain and Latin America, standards of musical theater)

July 31 – Jessie Brown (Country, rock and soul)


Museum Nights on the Canal and July 4 Programming

Hop, Skip and Jump (June 5, June 12 and July 24) – Meet up with your friends and learn how to salsa dance and do the swing and the foxtrot. Take a 30-minute lesson at 5:15 p.m. or 6 p.m.

Banding Together (May 29, June 19 and July 31) – Bring friends and coworkers – or come alone – to the History Center at 5:15 p.m. for a networking event to participate in improvisational activities and get to know new people.

Eleven for Eleven (July 10) – Did you know the Indiana 11th Regiment, formed during the Civil War, inspired the name of our city’s new soccer team? Learn 11 fun facts about the Indy Eleven and meet members of the team from 5 to 6 p.m.

Picturing Your Way Through History (June 26 and July 17) – Take a new look at the stunning architecture of the History Center through two interactive sessions at 5:15 p.m. or 6 p.m. Scope out creative shots to share on Instagram or even create a Vine.

What’s Red, White and Blue All Over? (July 3) – Is wine really good for you? Join us for a special wine and cheese tasting from 5:15 to 6 p.m. and hear what a member of the medical community has to say about the benefits of social time with friends and libations that serve you well.

Hoosiers Helping Hoosiers (July 4) – As you celebrate our country’s birth, spend a day here and find out how you can help others in our community.


Cool Sundays Programming

Racing Through History (June 1, June 15 and July 27) – Using toy cars, race on a track like no other in Indianapolis for a chance to win tickets to another favorite Indianapolis pastime, an Indianapolis Indians game.

Recipes Gone By/Recipes Made Anew (June 8, June 29, July 20) – Join us as we taste and explore dishes from Indiana’s history and make them new. We are pulling recipes from our collections and having local chefs interpret them with contemporary flare and local ingredients.

Snappier Pics (June 22 and July 13) – Tired of taking photos that don’t turn out? Learn from The Indianapolis Star photographers how to take the best possible photos from your smartphone

Hoosiers Helping Hoosiers (July 6) – As you celebrate our country’s birth, spend a day here and find out how you can help others in our community.

For more information, visit, or call 317-232-1882.

China’s Terra Cotta Warriors at the Children’s Museum

Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. staff photo, (c) 2011, all rights reserved.

By Leslie Olsen
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, transformed into a vibrant, authentic, Chinese experience with two extraordinary, interactive exhibits that opened last Saturday, May 10, 2014.

China's Terra Cotta Warriors at the Children's Museum

China’s Terra Cotta Warriors at the Children’s Museum. Photo provided by the Children’s Museum and used with written permission.

Rare and priceless Terra Cotta Warriors, buried for centuries in China, settled comfortably into the world’s largest children’s museum following years of planning and preparation on both sides of the ocean. Now, it is time to call members of this army to attention in the only place they will be seen in the United States in 2014, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Terra Cotta Warriors: The Emperor’s Painted Army, directly from Shaanxi Province explores the science behind this vast tomb complex with its estimated 8,000 life-size clay soldiers and other ancient artifacts believed to have been ordered by China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, to protect him in the after-life.

This “Eighth Wonder of the World” as many call it, was discovered in 1974 by farmers digging a well in search of water. Since then, very few of the Terra Cotta Warriors have been released from China at any one time. Eight of the magnificent soldiers, along with 118 additional other authentic artifacts (some gold and bronze) are featured in this interactive exhibit that encourages visitors of all ages to become investigators.

Scientists are confident Emperor Qin’s underground statues were originally vibrantly painted; but as they are unearthed, the colors vanish before the eyes of the archaeologists. Children and families will learn what causes the paint disintegration, and what new technology is used to preserve it. The engaging exhibit runs from May 10, 2014 through November 2, 2014. Learning more about Chinese culture, tradition and modern living is what visitors can expect when they explore Take Me There:® China.

In one of the largest exhibits exploring contemporary China ever produced in the U.S., visitors will “fly” over the Great Wall of China, “land” in Beijing and embark on a journey through modern life in the world’s fastest-growing nation.

Terra Cotta Warrior

Terra Cotta Warrior. Photo provided by the Children’s Museum and used with written permission.

Visitors will explore daily life and the celebrations of Chinese families through the arts, music, language, transportation, housing, food, tea culture, calligraphy, ancient Chinese medicine, and the preservation of giant pandas.

During the next three years, this exhibit will enthrall visitors with always changing live performances and demonstrations by Chinese artists demonstrating martial arts, music, calligraphy, shadow puppetry and much more.

“By having these two exhibits open simultaneously, we will offer visitors the opportunity to explore some of the most historically valuable artifacts in history via the Terra Cotta Warriors, while nearby experiencing modern day China and its connections to its extraordinary past. We find there is intense interest about China as the most populous country in the world as it rapidly evolves into one of the leading global manufacturing countries,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

“Our two great countries are now working together to build a new model of relationship characterized by no confrontation, no conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” said H.E. Cui Tiankai, China ambassador to the United States. “The real foundation for this relationship lies in mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples. And nothing could better help us reach that goal than cultural exchanges, especially learning and knowing more about each other between the children of the two countries.”

For more information about The Children’s Museum, visit, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy, and YouTube, or call 317-334-3322.

Things to do in Indianapolis, May 12-18, 2014


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