February is Black History Month and Downtown Indy is offering a full lineup of events. Whether you want to partake by enjoying special live performances, educational activities or unique exhibits, Downtown Indy is the place to be.
A Celebration of African-American art and artists in Indiana
Jan. 28 – Feb. 25
Art & Soul, Downtown Indy’s celebration of local African-American arts and artists, returns to the Indianapolis Artsgarden this winter with performances from musicians, dancers, poets and visual artists. Performances begin Saturday, Jan. 28 with the Art & Soul Kickoff featuring the Griot Drum Ensemble, a jazz tribute to Mr. Obama, an inspirational dance performance by Krash Krew Dance and an art exhibition by Featured Artist Tiffany Marie Parker. All Art & Soul events are FREE!
The Cay at IRT
Jan. 28 – Feb. 26
Catch the play The Cay at Indiana Repertory Theatre through Feb. 26. Based on an award-winning children’s novel, The Cay tells a heartfelt story of a privileged young white boy and a resourceful old black man trapped on a tiny island in the Caribbean. Overcoming hardship and prejudice, this tale of struggle and survival reminds us that friendship has no boundaries. Stick around after the play to listen in on a post-show discussion.
Meet the Artists at Central Library
Jan. 31 – March 26
The Central Library hosts Meet the Artists, displaying the works of prominent local African-American artists in a wide array of mediums. Art lovers are encouraged to meet the artists and enjoy an evening of free cultural entertainment – including African drumming, dancing, gospel music and soul, a fashion show and spoken word artists – during the Meet the Artists Gala Reception Saturday, Feb. 11 from 5:45 – 10 p.m.
FREE admission at The Children’s Museum
Feb. 2 from 4 – 8 p.m.
Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. for President’s Day.
Visit the Children’s Museum for a special Target Free Family Night and enjoy free admission. The museum is also free on President’s Day. Check out the all-new immersive Beyond Spaceship Earth exhibit, explore the work of real scientists at Dow AgroSciences ScienceWorks or learn the stories of Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White, three inspiring children who fought discrimination and made a difference in the world. Starting Feb. 4, take a ride down the Chocolate Slide!
Additionally, celebrate Black History Month with vignettes exploring the lives of legendary people who played a significant part in American history from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s. Vignettes will feature a performance of Levi Coffin, known as the “President of the Underground Railroad”, and Madam C.J. Walker, an astute businesswoman and the first black female millionaire. A post-performance discussion will give families an opportunity to interact with actors. Public Performances are Feb. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 at 11:30 a.m. in the Power of Children Gallery.
Madam Walker story
Feb. 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Learn the story of Madam C.J. Walker, America’s first woman self-made millionaire as told from a unique point of view. The Madame Walker Story, presented by Freetown Village, brings Walker’s vibrant story and history to life. As a part of your experience, you can visit the Walker Heritage Center and see many of the artifacts and memorabilia of Madame Walker and the Walker Theatre. Admission is FREE.
A night with the ISO
Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
For its annual Celebration of Black History Concert, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra offers a free performance to honor the significant impact of African-American musicians on the cultural life of Indianapolis and the nation. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and IMPD Officer Christopher Wilburn will accompany the ISO, singing with the orchestra in his Hilbert Circle Theatre debut.