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Eiteljorg Museum Acquires Multi-Million-Dollar Art Collection December 15, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Arts, Arts/Culture & Attractions, Culture & Attractions.
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Indianapolis – The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is proud to announce the gift of the Helen Cox Kersting Collection of Southwestern Cultural Arts, a multi-million-dollar collection of nearly 800 objects, including the best of Southwestern pottery, jewelry and other objects. The collection will be the basis of a forthcoming book and an exhibition in 2010.
“It is difficult to overstate the significance of this collection to the field of Native American art and specifically to the Eiteljorg Museum. The Helen Cox Kersting Collection is profoundly important to both,” says John Vanausdall, president and CEO, Eiteljorg Museum. “This stunning group of objects will expand the breadth and depth of the Eiteljorg’s holdings of Southwest materials to a dramatic degree and will enrich the museum visitor’s experience for generations to come. We are grateful for Helen’s generosity, and her trust in the Eiteljorg Museum to be the steward of her life’s work and passion.”
Helen Cox Kersting and her collection:
Helen Kersting is a native of Belleville, Illinois and a graduate of the Millikin University School of Music (Decatur, Illinois) and attended the Juilliard School of Music (New York City) debuting with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein. A mezzo soprano, she went to the Cologne, Germany Opera on a four-year contract, met and married Dr. Hans Joachim Kersting and resided in Cologne until her husband’s death in 1999.
Kersting is a devoted collector of the best of Southwestern pottery, jewelry, weavings, baskets and other Native American objects. She began collecting as a child, on travels to the American West with her parents.  Throughout her life, she has developed knowledge and a strong sense of connoisseurship
The Kersting jewelry collection of over 300 items includes belts, boxes, rings, bracelets, necklaces, pins, earrings, bolo ties, hair pins and cufflinks. There are pieces older than the use of artist signatures or hallmarks whose origins are still being researched. Zuni examples by master artists Leo Poblano, Leekya, John Gordon Leak and Dan Simplicio are notable. Many of these examples came originally from the historical collection of trader C. G. Wallace. Among the great jewelers represented in the collection are Charles Loloma, Carl Clark, Vernon Haskie, Denise Wallace,  and many others. Elegant silver and turquoise examples abound and there are many high art pieces in silver and gold with opal, coral, diamonds, and other materials.
Kersting has been very focused in the creation of her pottery collection of nearly 400 items. A number of prehistoric coiled jars came from her parent’s acquisitions of the 1920s and 1930s, along with quite a few baskets. Historic period San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Zuni, Zia, Santo Domingo, Cochiti and Maricopa pieces ad significantly to the Eiteljorg collection. While the Eiteljorg has a few pots by Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso, the Kersting collection includes an expansive grouping of Maria’s work in different forms and colors, several with her potter son Popovi Da. Kersting has systematically collected the work of extended families of potters and the list of major pieces reads like a blue book of Southwestern potters. Included are Sarafina, Nampeyo of Hano, Paqua Najo, Gloria Kahe, Les Namingha, Rainy Naja, Dora TsePe, Mary Cain, Margaret Tafoya, Tammy Garcia, Autumn Borts, Daisy Hooey Nampeyo, Steve Lucas, Sharon Naranjo Garcia, Joy Navasie, Jacob Koopee, Helen Cordero, Virgil and Inez Ortiz, Desideria, Tonita Roybal, Susan Folwell, Grace Medicine Flower, Nathan Youngblood, Nancy Youngblood, Roxanne Swentzell, Rondina Huma, Tony Da, Jody Naranjo, Carmelita and Carlos Dunlap and many others.
Kersting, who currently lives in Arizona, says, “I have pursued my search for the final custodianship of my cherished Native American collection for a couple of years. The objects always meant very much to my late husband and me. I’d like to tell you of the extraordinary generosity of my German engineer, in whose memory I gift this collection, of his willingness to fly to the US almost every vacation, of spending large sums of money for the acquisition of things originally outside his European and even technical sphere. It is no wonder this intimacy of collecting-devotion earns a special future where it can demonstrate it character and content and be a learning tool of Native Art history for years to come. Simply, I felt and feel all of my hopes could be fulfilled by the Eiteljorg with its vigorous ‘young museum’ mentality.”
The acquisition of the Kersting collection represents a watershed moment as the Eiteljorg Museum celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2009 and looks toward the future.
Says James Nottage, Eiteljorg Museum vice president and chief curatorial officer, “What makes the Kersting collection so valuable and unique is “that it demonstrates both tradition and innovation in Southwestern native arts by providing important examples from multiple generations of individual families of artists. Through their magnificent work we gain better understanding of how their tribal cultures have survived and thrived.”
President John Vanausdall adds, “With acquisition of the Kersting Collection, the museum will devote more energy to collecting and interpreting traditional contemporary arts of Native North America. Through artist in residence programs and our annual Indian Market and Festival, we are bringing living traditions to the museum. As a result of Helen Kersting’s generosity, we can present objects that bear testimony to on-going and developing traditions.”
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. The museum, which opened in 1989, is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call (317) 636-WEST (9378) or visit www.eiteljorg.org.


500 Festival receives 12 awards from the International Festival & Events Association September 16, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Arts/Culture & Attractions, Events.
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INDIANAPOLIS – The 500 Festival announced today it earned 12 industry honors from the International Festival & Events Association (IFEA).  The awards were distributed this past Wednesday during the IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony held at the IFEA’s 53rd Annual Convention in Boise, Idaho. 

“This is a great achievement for our entire organization and all of our constituents, to be recognized by industry peers,” said Kirk Hendrix, President and CEO, 500 Festival. “This also serves as motivation as we get ready for our 53rd season of producing world-class events and programs for our community.”

Each year, the IFEA recognizes outstanding examples of quality and creativity in the promotional programs and materials produced by its 2,400 member festivals and events around the world. Over 1,400 entries were submitted this year from the world’s top festivals and events. The 500 Festival received the following honors:

Gold Pinnacle Award:

  • Best Event Invitation: Regions 500 Festival Snakepit Ball, presented by Cindy and Paul Skjodt (Designed in cooperation with Williams Randall Marketing Communications)

Silver Pinnacle Awards:

  • Best Full Length National TV Program: 2008 IPL 500 Festival Parade on ESPN2 (Produced in cooperation with IMS Productions)
  • Best Radio Promotion:  2008 IPL 500 Festival Parade (Produced in cooperation with Cumulus Radio)
  • Best Sponsor: Marsh Super Markets; Associate Sponsor of the 500 Festival Volunteer Program and OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon and  presenting sponsor of the 2008 500 Festival Mini-Marinarathon
  • Best Other Merchandise: OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Finishers Medal

 Bronze Pinnacle Awards:

  • Best Volunteer Program: 500 Festival Volunteer Program 
  • Best Organizational Website: www.500festival.com 
  • Best Event/Organization E-Newsletter – OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon Newsletter 
  • Best Miscellaneous Printed Materials: Regions 500 Festival Snakepit Ball, presented by Cindy and Paul Skjodt, Guest Goodie Box (Designed in cooperation with Williams Randall Marketing Communications) 
  • Best Media Relations Campaign: 2008 500 Festival “Fuel the Dream” campaign 
  • Best Pin or Button (by an event): American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day Pin (Produced in cooperation with Indianapolis Motor Speedway)    
  • Best Promotion Publicizing an IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Award Win: Promotion of 2007 Best Volunteer Program win

“We would like to congratulate all of our Pinnacle winners for their outstanding entries into this year’s competition,” said IFEA President & CEO, Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE.  “The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards represents the hallmark of excellence in the festivals and events industry.  Entries in every budget category, from every corner of the globe, allow us to recognize the best in our business while raising the standards and quality of media promotions and events across the board.”

Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as Walt Disney Company, FL;  The Pasadena Tournament of Roses, OR; Portland Rose Festival, OR; Greeley Independence Stampede, CO; Hawaii Tourism Authority, HI; The Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville, KY; Memphis in May, Memphis, TN.  International contenders included such diverse event organizations as International Festival Lent, Slovenia; Ottawa Bluesfest, Canada; The Hague Festivals, The Netherlands and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.   Entries included posters, merchandise, websites, print and broadcast ads, volunteer programs, community outreach programs, and many other categories.

Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, The International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) is a non-profit membership organization with members spanning 40 countries and 5 continents, and offers the most complete source of ideas, resources, information, education and networking for festival and event professionals worldwide. Visit the IFEA website at www.ifea.com for additional details.

Contact: Brandi Davis-Handy
(317) 614-6128

Public Invited as City Leaders “Kick Start” MotoGP Week Leading up to the Red Bull Indianapolis GP September 8, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Arts/Culture & Attractions, Events.
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WHAT:  As Indianapolis prepares to host the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP this weekend  at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,community leaders and city officials will gather to showcase the many signature events happening during this high-profile week. The “Indy Kick Start Celebration” will celebrate the plans and activities to host and service thousands of national and international motorcycle racing enthusiasts and visitors.  

This very visual, public kick-off event will bring together event organizers for Indy’s weekend celebration of motorcycles, speed and culture.  Hundreds of motorcycles will parade onto Monument Circle from South Meridian Street led by the talented and dynamic Red Bull Rookies Cup Riders.  Following remarks, event organizers will be available to showcase such cornerstone events as:

  • Red Bull Indianapolis GP Pit Walkabout, qualifications, and support races and events
  • Red Bull Broad Ripple Street Party (Thursday evening, 9/11)
  • XDL Sportbike Freestyle Championship Round 4 (Friday evening, 9/12 near Veterans Memorial Plaza
  • Motorcycles on Meridian (Friday and Saturday evenings, 9/12-13 – “see and be seen” atmosphere)
  • Lucas Oil Indy Mile AMA Flat Track Grand National (9/13 at Indiana State Fairgrounds)
  • Plus info on other major city events happening this week and weekend

 Opportunities will also exist for the public to get up-close to professional motorcycles racers
WHO:  Greg Ballard, Mayor of Indianapolis 
            Joie Chitwood, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
            Tamara Zahn, Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
            Bob Schultz, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association
            Event Organizers for all motorcycle events in Indianapolis this week
WHEN:  Tuesday, September 9 
                        11:30 a.m.  – Event commences
                        11:45 a.m.  – Motorcycles arrive onto Monument Circle
                        11:55 a.m.  – Officials’ remarks
                        Through 1 p.m.-  Motorcycle exhibits, music on the Circle, food booths, etc.
WHERE:  Monument Circle – Southside

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Bob Schultz, ICVA, 317-639-4772

                                 Ron Green, IMS, 317-492-6480





The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Extraordinary Collaboration Results in 2009 Egyptian – Indianapolis Showcase June 2, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in Arts/Culture & Attractions.
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“Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” and new Children’s Museum permanent exhibit featuring Egypt to open in Indianapolis in June 2009

INDIANAPOLIS – What began as a joint effort with world-renowned archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, the National Geographic Society and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to produce a new traveling exhibit in 2002 has developed into an extraordinary partnership with Egypt’s First Lady Suzanne Mubarak and the real “Indiana Jones” of modern Egypt, Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Egypt.

As a result, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will host Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs for four months beginning in late June 2009; the museum will open a new $8 million permanent exhibit Global Perspectives featuring modern Egypt, also opening in June, 2009; and the museum will continue its successful collaboration with the country of Egypt to ultimately develop a new children’s museum in Cairo.

Treasures from King Tut’s tomb and other Pharaohs and Notables to be showcased
Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs will present more than 130 matchless treasures from the tomb of the celebrated pharaoh King Tut and additional ancient sites to visitors of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis from June 2009 through the end of October 2009. Nearly 4 million people visited an earlier King Tut exhibition, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs during a four-city U.S. tour from 2005 to 2007.

Dr. Jeffrey Patchen, president and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, “Our ability to secure this magnificent exhibit in Indianapolis evolved through our ongoing partnership with Dr. Zahi Hawass.”

New Global Perspectives exhibit offers interactive experiences of modern-day Egypt
When it opens in June 2009, the new Global Perspective exhibit will allow visitors to “arrive” in modern Egypt and experience city and rural life with all of their traditions and celebrations. Visitors will have the opportunity to shop in a modern marketplace, understand how the environment and its care are crucial to modern Egyptians, participate in a traditional Egyptian celebration, and learn about Egyptian music and artistic traditions.

John Lechleiter, president and chief operating officer for Eli Lilly and Company, said, “Global Perspectives will be a powerful, invaluable opportunity allowing millions of families to feel they have left Indianapolis and are actually participating in the daily life of a new culture. “The exhibit will foster understanding in a way that goes far beyond textbooks, television or even the Internet.”

Planning for the new $8 million 13,000 square-foot international changing exhibition space started in 2003. Global Perspectives opens in June 2009. Every two to three years, the exhibition’s focus will change to another culture.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis helps design new Suzanne Mubarak Children’s Museum in Cairo
In commenting on the collaboration between The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the planned Suzanne Mubarak Children’s Museum, First Lady Mubarak said, “The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is giving us a wonderful message and service for family-oriented museums. We do hope that we’ll be able to gain and learn and share the experiences of your museum, and in a sense, enrich our own museum.”

Mubarak is known throughout Egypt for her dedication to children, libraries and women’s issues, and she views revising the current children’s museum as an extension of her work and commitment on behalf of children. She said, “We want to share with Egyptian children and make them understand there are other cultures and values out there; but at the end of the day, we all share the same values. We want to care for each other, love each other and live in a peaceful world. And that is our message.”

Hawass said, “Mrs. Mubarak would like this museum to be the best for children and families, and this is why we need The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.” The new Suzanne Mubarak Children’s Museum will be the beneficiary of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ approach to family learning across the sciences, arts and humanities. The new museum is being planned on the site of an existing children’s museum that is 15 years old.

Patchen and Jennifer Pace-Robinson, Vice President of Experience Development and Family Learning The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis are serving as exhibit design advisors and continue to meet with Mubarak and Hawass to discuss proposed exhibit themes. Patchen and Robinson have also reviewed preliminary plans for the architecture and exhibit layout at the new museum and early designs including a ground floor exhibit based around three seasons with a hands-on area, activities table and a touch screen.

“It was such an honor to be invited to meet with Her Excellency,” Patchen said, “We are extending our reach far beyond the boundaries of the United States to benefit the children of Egypt. Sharing The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ approach to family learning with Her Excellency, touring Egypt to assist in the creation of a permanent exhibit here that shows Egyptian life today in Global Perspectives, and having the King Tut exhibit in Indiana is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Tutankhamun: The Golden King and The Great Pharaohs is organized by National Geographic, AEG Exhibitions, and Arts and Exhibitions International, with cooperation from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. Global Perspectives, a permanent exhibit developed by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is made possible through funding from The Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation and The Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Donna Lolla
Director of Public and Media Relations
(317) 334-4003
(317) 363-9840