Monday, October 31, 2011

Election Day on Delaware Street Circa 1888

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site will re-create a different type of political campaign -- one conducted on the front-porch of Harrison’s Delaware Street home. Join us for "Election Day: LIVE from Delaware Street" on 8 November.

Benjamin Harrison (pictured) won the nomination of the Republican Party with a series of more than 80 front-porch campaign speeches. Visit the home where those speeches were made, and stand in the spot where Harrison officially accepted the nomination of the Republican Party on a live re-enactment tour that will transport you back to the year 1888.

Visitors will see the excitement building as Harrison’s family and household staff gear up for the run for President. Actors portraying General Harrison, his wife Caroline Harrison, the butler, cook and seamstress will greet guests as they tour from room to room of the house at 1230 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis.

Tours for "Election Day: LIVE from Delaware Street" run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. 8 November, beginning every half hour at the front door. Adult tickets are $10; children ages 5-17 are $5.

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, 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.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Exodus Refugee Immigration Marks 30 Years

Indy’s largest refugee resettlement program is celebrating its 30th anniversary. From 6 to 9 p.m. Friday (4 November) you can view the handicrafts of local refugee artisans and participate in the First Friday Art Gallery Tour at Exodus Refugee Immigration, 1125 Brookside Avenue, Indianapolis.

Admission is free, but, as notes, Exodus always welcomes donations of cash or in-kind contributions.

Please let Laurie Cuellar know you're coming by email or call 317:921-0836 by Tuesday (1 November).

Exodus is an independent, non-sectarian 501c3 not for profit agency based in Indianapolis. It's part of a network of affiliates that work with Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program and Episcopal Migration Ministries in the resettlement of refugees from all over the world representing many faiths, cultures and languages.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

From Verizon Wireless to Klipsch

Outdoor amphitheater Verizon Wireless Center in Noblesville will be renamed Klipsch Music Center under a new sponsorship agreement between speaker manufacturer Klipsch Group Inc. and venue owner Live Nation Entertainment, reports

Terms of the agreement, effective today (27 October), were not disclosed. Company officials are scheduled to make an official announcement about the sponsorship later this morning at the amphitheater.

The 24,000-capacity concert venue, which opened in 1989 as Deer Creek Music Center, became Verizon Wireless Center in 2001 under a sponsorship agreement that expired this year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spirit & Place: The Body

The 16th annual Spirit & Place Festival set for 4 through 13 November celebrates the body.

From choreography and dance to visual art and tattoos, this year's 45 events offer experiences in celebration of the 2011 theme.

Some highlights:

Explore the movement of bodies @Work @Rest @Play as Butler University dancers perform over the lunch hour 4 and 5 November.

Take in a thought-provoking discussion at Deep Ink: Tattoo Legend Lyle Tuttle at the Indianapolis Museum of Art 5 November.

The leading global dance institution and ballet company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, joins Downtown at the Madame Walker Theatre 10 November.

Humor intertwines with passion at Theatre on the Square’s performance of Birth, a play that examines the miracle of childbirth and the power of motherhood 8 November.

Step up in style at these events by donating a new pair of children's athletic shoes (sizes 10-4) to support the work of Samaritan's Feet in Indianapolis and beyond.

The Spirit & Place Festival is a civic celebration engaging upwards of 20,000 people throughout central Indiana in dozens of programs presented by more than 100 organizations. Its mission is to promote community engagement, appreciation for diversity, public imagination and creative collaboration among arts, humanities and religion.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Children's Museum Announces Top Toys for 2011

Each fall, The Children’s Museum Store invites kids to test out the newest toys and vote on their favorites for the upcoming holiday season.

The 2011 winners are (in no particular order):

• Darda Fireball Climb - pictured (Ages 4+)
The World’s Fastest Motorized Cars! This race car and track set is completely kid powered! No batteries or electricity required. Just wind the car and watch it zip through the loops and twists!

• Flying Turtle (Ages 3-12)
The best toy for active play, kids have a blast zipping around on the flying turtle! But since it is entirely kid powered, they get a ton of great exercise at the same time!

• Playmobil Pirates Prison w/Ship (Ages 4+)
This fun Pirate themed set from Playmobil includes large pirate ship, small row boat, island, prison, and all the people and accessories you need to create an amazing imaginary world.

• Water Wizard (Ages 3+)
The water wizard lets you draw and create over and over again using only water! As the screen dries the images disappear leaving it ready for another amazing creation.

• Laser Pegs 3D Lite Board (Ages 7+)
This is the Ultimate Laser Pegs Kit - the world's only lighted construction set! The 3D Lite Board gives you 40 power connectors on one board so you can build anything you can imagine.

• Barbie “Jam with Me” Rock Star Guitar (Ages 3+)
Jam with Barbie with this toy electric guitar. Connect your MP3 player to jam along with your own tunes, take the guitar challenge and play along with Barbie, or just freeplay to create your own awesome songs!

• OgoBild Pod (Ages 6+)
A brilliant combination of active and constructive play. Ogo Bild Pods lets your child build giant structures like bouncing balls and forts.

• Perplexus Original (Ages 6+)
Perplexus Original is a bendy, trendy, can’t put it down challenge! With plenty of twists, turns, and barriers between start and finish, this puzzle ball will leave you perplexed!

• FyrFlyz (Ages 8+)
Create amazing light shows by spinning, swinging and twirling your FyrFlyz.

• Barbie Giant Activity Floor Pad (Ages 3+)
This complete activity set includes crayons, marker, paints, paintbrush, scissors and glue stick along with 40 fun fashion activities!

Adults in need of holiday gift ideas for the children in their lives can make purchases from the Kid-Tested, Kid-Approved list and The Museum Store holiday toy catalog both in the store or online. Shipping is available for both in-store and online purchases and gift wrapping is available.

(Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Indianapolis)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Life and Death in 19th Century Indiana

"Reflections on Life and Death in 19th Century Indiana" is the topic for the fall presentation of the Forensic Science Lecture Series to be held from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Wednesday (26 October) in the Indiana Medical History Museum, 3045 Vermont Street Indianapolis.

Dr. John Langdon, professor of biology and associate dean in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Indianapolis, will speak on how cemeteries and related documents help reconstruct the facts of life (and death) for pioneer families and their descendents.

And, yes, his lecture is open to the public free of charge.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Interfaith Luncheon

The annual interfaith luncheon sponsored by the Muslim Alliance of Indiana takes place at noon 28 October in the Indianapolis Hilton Hotel, 120 West Market Street, Indianapolis.

For further information please Kat Lai or Charlie Wiles.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

An Oral History of Irvington

The launch of a new digital collection featuring an oral history of the Irvington neighborhood will highlight the 10th anniversary celebration of the Irvington Branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, 5625 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, set for 5 November.

Visitors can hear interviews of Irvington residents recorded from the late 1970′s through the mid 1980′s, conducted as part of an Indiana State Library-sponsored oral history project, and view written transcripts of the interviews that have been digitized and added to the library's online digital collection.

Throughout the afternoon, individuals can participate in a current oral history activity by recording a 15-minute interview with a family member, friend or neighbor at the "Hear a Story" station. Staff from Big Car will record the interviews and produce a CD copy to take home.

Lectures on the value of oral histories will be presented by David G. Vanderstel, Ph.D., a Marion County historian and assistant editor of the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis (11 a.m.), and Steve Haller, Senior Director of Collections & Library at the Indiana Historical Society. (1 p.m.).

From 1 – 4 p.m., book sales and signings by Bookmamas Book Shop will feature local authors William Gulde (Irvington in 1910: A Year in the Life of an Indianapolis Neighborhood), Julie Young (Historic Irvington), Christine Johnson (Nocturne: A Claire de Lune Novel) and Sherri Wood Emmons (Prayers and Lies).

(And, a tip of the hat to for alerting this Indianapolis Observer about the event.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Anderson Trading Indy for Dallas

Maxwell Anderson is stepping down as director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art to lead the Dallas Museum of Art, reports

Anderson, 55, will be leaving 31 December.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CNBC: The 10 Emptiest US Cities

2. Indianapolis, Indiana

Rental vacancy rate: 13.5%
Homeowner vacancy rate: 5.2%

The capital of Indiana is also one of the emptiest major cities in the country, according to data from the Census Bureau. The 5.2 percent home vacancy rate in Indianapolis ranks it fifth in the country, while the 13.5 percent rental vacancy rate places it 10th. With these levels, the city is more vacant than nearly every other major U.S. metro area. [Emphasis added]

Yes, folks, we're worse off than Detroit (it's #8). Check out the whole story here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Indy "500" Winner Dies in Crash

Dan Wheldon, a racecar driver from England who won the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race for the second time last May, died yesterday in a fiery 15-car accident early in a 300-mile IndyCar Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, reports the New York Times.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Indy’s National Food Day Event

Bet you didn't even know there WAS a National Food Day, eh? Well, check out the celebration of same set for 7 p.m. 24 October in Earth House, 237 North East Street, Indianapolis.

Promised are delicious food and great conversation at a community potluck that includes dishes prepared by representatives of various community gardens and urban farms in Indianapolis.

At 7:30, panelists will discuss a diverse array of food issues, including food culture, social justice, nutrition, and extending the growing season with hoop houses and cold frames.

There's more at the Facebook page of the Indianapolis Food, Farm & Family Coalition.

(Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Food, Farm & Family Coalition)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Walk Indianapolis

Local architects and tourism officials have combined forces to create self-guided walking tours of downtown Indianapolis, highlighting buildings of architectural and cultural significance, reports

Titled Walk Indianapolis, the effort is a joint project of The American Institute of Architects Indianapolis, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and urban analyst Aaron Renn.

There are two tours: Monuments & Memorials, focusing on the city’s many war memorials and public buildings of architectural importance; and Downtown Venues, highlighting sports venues such as Victory Field and Conseco Fieldhouse, and significant structures in White River State Park.

Detailed information about the tours is available online. Audio tours are available for download from the website, through the Visit Indy app, or via iTunes.

Walk Indianapolis began more than two years ago as the brainchild of Renn, writer of the Urbanophile blog, who wanted to spotlight the city’s war memorials, reports

He partnered with the ICVA and local architects to create the monuments tour. AIA Indianapolis joined the effort after planning to produce a walking tour of the city for Super Bowl XLVI visitors this winter.

(Photo courtesy of Walk Indianapolis)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Carrie Newcomer in Indy Saturday

According to Provocate, Quaker-Hoosier music legend Carrie Newcomer (pictured) will release her new CD Everything Is Everywhere and perform live to benefit the Interfaith Hunger Initiative at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (15 October) in Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis.

The new release features Carrie’s collaboration with Indian sarod players Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan, who will be joining Carrie on stage for the show, as well as Grammy-nominated percussionist Jim Brock and Gary Walters.

Tickets are $20 at the door.

All profits from the Everything Is Everywhere project will go to the Interfaith Hunger Initiative, an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization bringing together two dozen faith communities in the Indianapolis area who work together to end child and family hunger. IHI work to create a system of access to food through pantries in central Indiana and schools in foreign countries, feeding and supporting thousands of children and families.

(Photo courtesy of Carrie Newcomer)

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Making Indiana Home"

The next session in the Indiana Town Hall series, "Making Indiana Home", takes place 10 November in the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street,Indianapolis. Admission is free.

A reception from 6 to 7 p.m.includes an information fair and tours of "You Are There 1950: Making a Jewish Home", followed by the 7 p.m. panel conversation.

The panel will highlight the stories of displaced persons and refugees who have made Indiana their home after fleeing from persecution. Representatives from the National Council of Jewish Women, Catholic Charities and The Immigrant Welcome Center will discuss the work their organizations have done and continue to do in serving those who are striving to make a new life.

This is a Spirit & Place Festival event co-presented by the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis.

(Photo courtesy of "You are There 1950: Making a Jewish Home")

Friday, October 7, 2011

Yemeni Journalists to Visit IUPUI

Five women's rights advocates and journalists from Yemen will discuss international human rights law education, research and advocacy for women's right to freedom of expression and political participation with Prof. George Edwards at 2 p.m. 11 October in room 351 (Faculty Lounge) of the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.

The U.S. Department of State is sponsoring the Yemeni women's visit under its International Visitor Leadership project on "Young Leaders: The U.S. Political Process." Faculty, students, staff and members of the public are welcome.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fight Night Indianapolis

"Vintage Vegas Fight Night" takes place 5 November in the Conrad Indianapolis, 50 West Washington Street, Indianapolis.

It begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails, a silent auction and Vegas games, and continues with dinner, a live auction, boxing exhibition and dancing. Requested attire? Sinatra-esque!

Sponsored by the Christamore House Guild, the event showcases the Christamore House Boxing Program. Proceeds benefit the various programs of Christamore House, a multi-service center in Indy's Haughville neighborhood. Last year's event raised $95,000.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Indy Baroque

The next performances during the 2011-12 season of IndyBaroque Music take place 7-10 October featuring the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra performing "Back Project VI". John Abberger is conductor.

First up is 7:30 p.m. 7 October in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, followed by 1 p.m. 8 October in the Athenaeum, 1 p.m. 9 October in Marian University, (time tba) 9 October in St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Columbus, and 7:30 p.m. 10 October in the Fine Arts Center at the University of Indianapolis.

For tickets and information, go online or call 317:808-2224.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Victorian Villains" on the Old Northside

Are you ready for a crash course in criminal science investigation as well as an opportunity to study some of the most nefarious villains of the Victorian era?

Later this month, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site presents Victorian Theater by Candlelight’s "Victorian Villains" by resident playwright James Trofatter.

As part of this progressive play, a modern day "Dr. Watson" guides guests through the home of the 23rd President of the United States, where nefarious criminals such as Lizzie Borden, Sweeney Todd, H.H. Holmes, Jack the Ripper and others have briefly taken up residence. Learn more about their dastardly deeds and atrocious acts as you progress from room to room of this historic mansion.

"Victorian Villains" takes place 14, 15, 21, 22 and 23 October. Performances begin every half hour starting at 6 p.m. with the last performance beginning at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and starting at 3:30 p.m. with the final performance beginning at 6 p.m. on the last day, a Sunday. Adult ticket prices are $10 and students ages 6 to 11 are $5. Reservations are required; call 317:631-1888.

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, a 16-room Italianate style house, was constructed by Harrison in 1874.

(Image courtesy of Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Youth and Social Justice

The first session in this fall's Indiana Town Hall Series, "Youth and Social Justice", takes place 6 October in the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis.

It begins at 6 p.m. with a reception and information fair, followed at 7 p.m. by the panel conversation.

Sheila Seuss Kennedy, professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, will discuss the historic nature of social justice in American democracy.

A conversation-focused panel featuring local youth and youth organizations will then examine what social justice means in today’s world. This moderated discussion will be led by Dr. David Craig, IUPUI Religious Studies, and will feature student-activists with the Latino Youth Collective as well as representatives from the Marion County Commission on Youth and other organizations.

Admission is free.

Future sessions are 10 November and 1 December.