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$6.5 Million Renovations at Angel Mounds in Evansville @indianamuseum

December 16, 2022 Leave a comment

By Marc Allan
Indiana State Museum

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Angel Mounds State Historic Site will undergo a two-year, $6.5 million transformation to better share the story of the Native American people of both the past and the present, thanks to $4 million in funding from the state of Indiana and a $2.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Between now and October 2024, the interpretive center will be closed, and a new experience will be installed that focuses on the lives of the Native American people who lived on the land that is now the historic site. The project is being planned in collaboration with researchers and historians from today’s Native American nations and the IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

During renovations, the outdoor space will remain open to the public at a reduced cost of $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for youth (ages 3-17), and Angel Mounds staff plans to offer more outdoor programming during the revamping of the site.

Angel Mounds, which is located on the banks of the Ohio River, is one of the best-preserved, pre-contact Native American sites in North America. Built between A.D. 1000 and 1450, the town was occupied by more than 1,000 people who were part of the Mississippian culture, and included earthen mounds built to elevate important buildings.

“Our goal is to engage visitors in an experience focused on the real people, places and things that lived and worked at this site,” said Cathy Ferree, president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. “The new experience is an opportunity to utilize knowledge, artifacts and tools to bring the Angel Mounds State Historic Site forward with what we learn from our collaborations with Native American nations. We also have an opportunity to upgrade amenities in the visitor center to make the site more comfortable for all who visit and use the site.” 

Michele Greenan, director of archaeology for the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, will be among those creating the new visitor experience. She said the previous exhibit at Angel Mounds “was outdated and lacked any input from Native American historians.” Site Director Mike Linderman said he is “looking forward to incorporating all the research conducted over the last 10 years.” 

The Angel Mounds State Historic Site currently features an interpretive center, re-creations of Mississippian buildings and a working reconstruction of the 1939 Works Progress Administration archaeology laboratory. The 500-acre non-archaeological portion of the site contains a nature preserve with hiking and biking trails.

“This is a huge opportunity for us and the state of Indiana,” Ferree said. “Angel Mounds has always been one of our most visited sites because it has such great significance. This project allows us to produce an authentic experience in collaboration with the people whose story it will tell.” 

The $2.5 million Lilly Endowment grant is part of its Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative, a nationwide effort to encourage museums and other organizations to develop exhibitions and education programs that fairly and accurately portray the role of religion in the U.S. and around the world.  The Indiana State Museum is one of 16 organizations being funded in the latest round of grants through the initiative.

For more information, visit the Indiana State Museum website at https://www.indianamuseum.org/historic-sites/angel-mounds/.

Meet an Indiana Tourism Pro at Visit @HendricksCounty

December 2, 2022 Leave a comment

Visit Hendricks County CEO Celebrates 20 Years in Tourism Role


Jaime Bohler Smith

By Josh Duke
Senior Manager of Content and Communications
Visit Hendricks County

DANVILLE, IN (December 1, 2022) – A Hendricks County tourism professional, who has spent two decades putting the county on the tourism map, celebrated her 20th year with Visit Hendricks County this month.

Visit Hendricks County Executive Director/CEO Jaime Bohler Smith’s work has made a difference locally in terms of destination development and job creation, and she has positioned herself and Hendricks County as a leader in the state for tourism.

“Jaime is consistently providing counsel to other destination executives in the areas of fiscal responsibility, community relations and marketing,” said Carrie Lambert, Executive Director of the Indiana Tourism Association (ITA). “We are simply a stronger industry because of Jaime’s influence.” 

Smith joined Visit Hendricks County in 2002 and has grown the organization to more than $3 million in tax collections while working her way up from serving in sales, marketing and communications to her current role as executive director/CEO which she has held since 2014. 

Her humble beginnings in tourism included fulfilling the catering orders for the Capital Improvement Board of Managers for Marion County (CIB) — meetings where she now sits as a member of that same board — to delivering guided bus tours of Brown County State Park during her time at the Brown County CVB. She also was recently recognized as the Indiana Tourism Association’s Member of the Year, one of the highest honors that organization gives and was a two-time finalist for Indy’s Best and Brightest.

Her other roles include current President of the ITA having previously held the offices of Vice President and President, chairman of the ITA’s Government Relations committee and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Tourism, Event and Sport Management at IUPUI.

Under her leadership, Hendricks County tourism continues to thrive in tracked metrics including overnight hotel room stays and visitor spending. That success correlates directly to boosting the local economy and developing a vibrant community as research has shown if you build a place where people want to visit, it becomes a destination where people want to live and work.

Her love for Hendricks County runs deeper than tourism though. She was born and raised in Hendricks County and returned in 2002 after living in various Indiana communities early in her career. She now lives in Pittsboro with her husband Scott to raise their family, which includes son Connor and daughter Paige. She has served on the Hendricks County Senior Services and Hendricks County Parks and Recreation Board of Directors and many other local organizations. 

She’s also a member the Board of Directors for the Tri West Youth Football and Cheer Organization, the Pittsboro PTA and volunteers for various Hendricks County 4-H clubs and activities.

“I have the unique perspective of promoting and developing the community I grew up in so I’m sure my 15-year-old self would be shocked to see me today working in my hometown,” Smith said.  “I am proof that Indiana and Hendricks County can offer a quality place to visit as well as live, work, raise a family and so much more.”

The Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc. d/b/a Visit Hendricks County attracts visitors to the county by promoting and developing tourism, which stimulates economic growth and enhances quality of life. Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/VisitHendricksCounty and become a fan for updates and reminders, contest info and much more. You can also follow us on Twitter @HendricksCounty or get updates by following or subscribing to our tourism blog at VisitHendricksCounty.com/blog. For more information, visit our website at VisitHendricksCounty.com or call (317) 718-8750.

(AroundIndy.com congratulates Jaime on completing 20 years as a true pro in Indiana tourism!)

New Sales Manager at Visit @HendricksCounty

August 16, 2022 Leave a comment

By Josh Duke
Senior Manager of Content and Communications
Visit Hendricks County

DANVILLE, IN (Aug. 15, 2022) Visit Hendricks County (VHC) has hired a new team member as the organization continues to bolster its reach to be a resource for residents, a partner to local attractions and an avenue to encourage visitation and drive local economic development.

Stone Miller (see photo) will serve as VHC’s new Sales Manager. An Indiana native and graduate of Grace College, he has spent his career thus far in outside sales with a stint in tourism as a fishing guide in Montana.

“I knew right away when I met Stone that he needed to work in tourism, and I’m excited to welcome him to our team,” said Visit Hendricks County CEO Jaime Bohler Smith.

As Sales Manager, Miller will focus on building relationships with meeting and event planners, serving as a liaison with hotel and venue management in Hendricks County, providing client support and service for public events to encourage more vendor participation and ticket sales and directing consumer sales for the social market including weddings, reunions and more.

“I grew up in a small town not far from Hendricks County, and I’ve always felt that Indiana is a special place,” Miller said. “I’m happy to be working for a company with a mission to connect people with the best Hendricks County has to offer.”

The Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc. d/b/a Visit Hendricks County attracts visitors to the county by promoting and developing tourism, which stimulates economic growth and enhances quality of life. Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/VisitHendricksCounty and become a fan for updates and reminders, contest info and much more. You can also follow us on Twitter @HendricksCounty or get updates by following or subscribing to our tourism blog at VisitHendricksCounty.com/blog. For more information, visit our website at VisitHendricksCounty.com or call (317) 718-8750.

Visit Hendricks County Seeking Writers, Photographers, Videographers

April 22, 2022 Leave a comment

By Josh Duke
Visit Hendricks County

DANVILLE, IN (April 26, 2022) –Visit Hendricks County is seeking area residents who love to write, take photographs, make videos or any or all the above to join its Hendricks County Insider team.

Visit Hendricks County’s blog, the Hendricks County Insider, has provided tourism-related insider information about the county since the site launched Nov. 1, 2011.

After a decade of remarkable success including more than 2,000 subscribers and growing, and readership that exceeds 250,000 page views annually, Visit Hendricks County has decided to seek additional paid contributors.

“I have been blogging for Visit Hendricks County for about 10 years, and it has been an adventure that I wouldn’t trade for the world,” said Eric Ivie, a Hendricks County Insider team member. “Meeting new people, learning about their extraordinary talents and business ideas, discovering new local events and attractions, exploring hidden gems and finding ways to bring those local businesses, events and attractions to light is a very rewarding experience.”

Applications and more information can be found at VisitHendricksCounty.com/Insider. Previous blogging or writing experience for blogger applicants or photography or videography experience for vlogger applicants is preferred but not required

Residents of Hendricks County or adjoining counties including westside Indy also are preferred.

The Hendricks County Insiderblog provides first-person storytelling to complement Visit Hendricks County’s mission to promote Hendricks County and all its activities and attractions. 

Residents and visitors can subscribe to the blog for free and become a Weekly Insider at VisitHendricksCounty.com/Newsletter

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Five Fort Wayne Tips for January 2022 @visitfortwayne

December 1, 2021 Leave a comment

By Emily Hill
Visit Fort Wayne

Five tips for things to do in Fort Wayne in January 2022

  1. All American Outdoor Expo at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
    January 7-9, 2022
  2. “Under The Big Top” Circus Garden at the Botanical Conservatory
    January 8 to April 17, 2022
  3. Savor Fort Wayne Dinner Specials at Participating Restaurants
    January 12-23, 2022
  4. Broadway at the Embassy Theatre: Cats
    January 24-25, 2022
  5. Winterval winterfest in downtown Fort Wayne
    January 29, 2022

For more information about lots more upcoming events and things to do in Fort Wayne and Allen County, visit https://www.visitfortwayne.com or stop by the Visitor Center at 927 South Harrison Street in downtown Fort Wayne.

Allen County Event Listings on AroundIndy.com: https://aroundindy.com/Allenco.php