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Take part in celebrating Black culture and history year-round in the Circle City; from the annual BUTTER Art Fair in September to Juneteenth celebrations over the summer, Madam Walker's legacy, to the myriad of Black-owned restaurants. This February, to honor Black History Month, Indy's cultural institutions gather to recognize the vibrant Black culture in the Circle City.
Support local artists, innovators, and creators and join in on the number of special events and curated exhibitions happening in February to honor Black History Month. The Indianapolis Arts Coincils 27th Annual Art & Soul celebration returns in this month, showcasing Black art and music in Indianapolis. With a theme this year of “Kings and Queens,” Indy Arts Council’s largest public program will consist of three marquee events this February. For more performing arts, visit the Madam Walker Legacy Center on February 10 for the Discovering Broadway's "Five Points" Musical Concert. Set in New York City in 1863, amidst the tumult of the Civil War, the story follows Willie Lane, a young African American performer at the famed Almack’s Dance Hall, and John Diamond, an Irish immigrant and former jig champion. To celebrate the visual arts, explore We. The Culture: Works from the Eighteen Art Collective at Newfields. The exhibit, curated by GANGGANG, features the eighteen artists behind the letters of the 2020 "Black Lives Matter" mural along historic Indiana Avenue. For an interactive experience, visit Selfie WRLD, an attraction devoted to the art of personal photography. This month, Indianapolis-based artist Rockland Page is featured in the space, whose art tells the story of Black leaders and entrepreneurs.
Indy not only has a rich history of black culture, but a thriving black-owned business scene today. Support your favorite local shops, restaurants, artists, and entrepreneurs this month and beyond. Browse our guide of Black-owned restaurants in the city, or peruse the Black Dolla Dining Days, offering discounts from February 26 through March 11. The program is a subsidiary of Black Dolla Indy, an initiative to promote Black-owned businesses.
From early Black settlements of the 1820s, to stops in Indianapolis along the Underground Railroad, Black history played an essential role in the growth of Indianapolis. The Indiana Avenue District was the commercial and social hub of Black Indianapolis where some of the hottest jazz spots in the Midwest drew the likes of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.
Indianapolis Black culture scene is thriving, and not just in our food, festivals, or history. The real measure of Black culture in Indy is the people who are out in the community, making things happen. Hear from Indy Like a Local features on their favorite places in the Circle City, read personal stories from our residents about celebrating Black culture in Indy, connect with Indy's Black leadership, and follow along with your go-to itinerary with our Trip Ideas.