Cultural Attractions Honoring African-American Heritage

From early black settlements of the 1820s, to stops in Indianapolis along the Underground Railroad, African Americans have played an essential role in the growth of the city. 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. 

Attractions

Indiana Avenue Cultural District

Indiana Avenue

Indiana Avenue anchors the district stretching between the Central Canal and White River, where history, music, restored neighborhoods, and spirituality come together to showcase Indianapolis’ rich African-American heritage. Indiana Avenue offers art galleries, artist studios, historic attractions, unique restaurants, museums, parks, and public art.


Madame Walker Theatre

Madam Walker Theatre

America’s first female self-made millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker, enriched the lives of millions when she developed a line of beauty products specifically for African American women in the early 1900s. Tour or take in a Jazz on the Avenue performance at the Madame Walker Theatre Center, a National Historic Landmark.


Dr. Martin Luther King Park and Landmark for Peace Memorial

Landmark For Peace - MLK Indianapolis

Senator Robert Kennedy gave a speech in Indianapolis the night Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Visit the poignant Landmark for Peace Memorial that pays tribute to that historic occasion, the two men, and the difficult time in our nation’s history.


Follow the North Star at Conner Prairie

Follow the North Star

Experience an unforgettable journey as a slave seeking freedom via the Underground Railroad with Conner Prairie’s Follow the North Star program. Intense, challenging, and emotional.


Power of Children at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Power of Children

See bravery through the eyes of Ruby Bridges, the first grader who attended the newly desegregated schools of New Orleans in 1960. The largest children’s museum in the world explores art, culture, science, and history in a way that appeals to the kid in all of us.


African Art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

African American Art

Explore an extraordinary collection of African jewelry, tapestries, artifacts, sculptures, and contemporary installations at one of the nation’s premier art museums.


Indiana State Museum

Legacy Theatre

Through permanent exhibits and The Legacy Theater, visitors develop a sense of understanding and admiration for African American history in Indiana and beyond.


Indiana Historical Society 

Historical Society

From the Civil War and Indiana’s role on the Underground Railroad, to the legacies of Madam Walker and others, explore Indiana’s rich history via interactive exhibits, historic images, manuscripts, artifacts, and more.


Crispus Attucks Museum

Crispus Attucks

Located in the city’s former segregated school for blacks, the Crispus Attucks Museum tells remarkable stories about segregation and Indianapolis natives like Oscar Robertson who broke through racial barriers in sports.


The Cabaret

The Cabaret - Indianapolis

Captivating artists perform in an intimate venue while guests enjoy classic cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.


Ransom Place Historic Neighborhood

Ransom Place

The neighborhood named after Freeman Ransom, a prominent black lawyer who managed the legal affairs of Madam CJ Walker, was once the heart of the city’s 1830s-era African American community. Many of the historic homes remain intact today.


Kuaba Gallery

Kuaba Gallery

This contemporary art gallery features paintings, sculptures, and mixed media works by local, national, and international African American artists.


Indianapolis Central Library Center for African American Literature and Culture

Black Literature A new initiative of the Indianapolis Public Library celebrates the literary and cultural contributions of African Americans in Indy and elsewhere. Located inside the beautiful, historic Central Library.


Mari Evans Mural on Mass Ave

Mari EvansAccomplished poet Mari Evans called Indy home, and her legacy is honored with a three-story mural along Massachusetts Avenue in the Mass Ave arts district.

Jazz Masters of Indiana Avenue Mural

Jazz Mural

Along Indiana Avenue, a street that buzzed with nationally and internationally renowned jazz musicians, you’ll find a mural adorning the side of a music shop and featuring jazz greats like Wes Montgomery, Jimmy Coe, Slide Hampton, and others who developed their craft in Indy.


Freetown Village

Freetown VillagePowerful living history dinner theater depicts life in 1870, five years after the Civil War. Enjoy an evening featuring period food, games, and entertainment.
Asante Children's Choir
This youth development organization enriches the lives of the performers and audience members with empowering messages.

Art & Soul

During the month of February, the Indianapolis Artsgarden's signature program is Art & Soul, an annual celebration of African American art and artists in Indiana. Art & Soul kicks off Black History Month each year for Indianapolis, and features a diverse lineup of music, storytelling, dance, and visual art.



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