Indianapolis Cultural Sites
Walker Theatre Center
DESCRIPTION: This monumental building was completed in 1927 by the daughter of Madame C.J. Walker, America’s first Black millionaire; this wonderful museum displays photos and memorabilia from Madame C.J. Walker and her children. One historic treasure is a Hobart Mixer used to blend ingredients for a wide variety of products. There is a small bar is open after theatrical events – turns out it sits above a historic basement restaurant. The theatre, is by any measure a stunning architectural achievement, so much hand detailing of African themed art d’objects adorning the walls. The detailed monkeys in the theatre are the prize of admission alone; the center also provides office space for Black service organizations. New Artists Productions, a black repertory theater company founded in 1990, performs original musicals and contemporary dramas germane to urban life here – there is no better time to visit.
ADDRESS: 617 Indiana Avenue, Indianapolis, IN MAP
DESCRIPTION: Living history exhibit featuring craft and heritage workshops, special events, and museum store, monthly Freetown Village dinner features 1870s style family meal, entertainment and interaction with the performers. It is located in Madame Walker Theatre Center.
ADDRESS: 625 Indiana Avenue, Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN MAP
DESCRIPTION: Indiana African-American Experience features 4 performance stages and exhibits dedicated to Indiana’s African-American history, including the legacy of Indy’s African-American race car driver, Charlie Wiggins, known as “The Negro Speed King” and “Say It Loud,” focusing on the Civil Rights Movement in Indiana from 1960 – 1968, where you can observe a re-enactment of Robert F. Kennedy’s speech to an Indianapolis crowd on 4 April 1968 – the day Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated; another exhibit showcases images and interactive video that illustrate African-American history from the early 1800s to the present; admission to theater included with museum admission price; Mon-Sat 9a-5p, Sun 11a-5p; Indiana State Museum
ADDRESS: 650 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN MAP
Crispus Attucks Museum
DESCRIPTION: Housed in the former Crispus Attucks School, which opened in 1928; features 4 galleries and 70 exhibits highlighting the colored school’s history, achievements by Crispus Attucks High School graduates, a Basketball Hall of Fame and the history of the African Diaspora;
ADMISSION: FREE admission, donations welcome
DAYS & HOURS: Mon-Fri 10a-2p
ADDRESS: 1140 Martin Luther King Street, Indianapolis, IN MAP
Indiana Black Expo Headquarters
DESCRIPTION: After attending the P.U.S.H. Expo in Chicago, a few religious and civic leaders in Indy decided to establish an Indiana based Black Expo based on the need to create an avenue to display positive African-American ideas and thus founded the Indiana Black Expo in 1970; this organization hosts one of the largest African-American cultural events in the nation. Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration showcases events focused on the arts, religion, business, economics, education, politics, sports, entertainment and youth activities. Their annual event is held at Indiana Convention Center/RCA Dome and features a music festival, UniverSoul Circus, Employment Fair, Health Fair, National Youth Summit & Rites of Passage, Amateur Boxing Tournament, Kid’s World and more. Other programs such as the Youth Video Institute, Summer Celebration, Coca-Cola Circle City Classic, various scholarships and We Can Feed the Hungry have contributed to the community for decades.
ADDRESS: 3145 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN MAP
PHONE: 800-556-4639 or 317-925-2702
Ransom Place Museum
DESCRIPTION: This museum showcases local African American history and community events; starting point for the “Heritage Tourism Corridor” tour.
ADDRESS: 830 Martin Luther King Street, Indianapolis, IN MAP
Asante’s Children Theatre
DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1991 by Deborah Asante, it has blossomed into a 30-member group. Call for their performance schedule
ADRESS: performs at various locations throughout Indy.
Indiana Museum of African American History
DESCRIPTION: Dedicated to collecting, documenting, preserving and educating the public on the history, life and culture of African Americans in Indiana and beyond in this 120,000-square foot museum entities. Discovery themes of the museum will encompass Indiana Remembered, a rich portrait of African American family traditions and folkways, including a genealogy research center. Indiana’s African American Musical Legacy with celebrates the lives of Indiana musicians and musical legacies. Indiana’s African American History, a multi-media presentation reflecting the historical and dynamic influence of African Americans in Indiana’s history is the highlight. The venue also encompasses a 400-seat performing arts center and genealogical research component.
ADDRESS: White River State Park, Indianapolis, IN MAP
PHONE: 317-875-5500 architects