Our media relations team can respond quickly to your requests. Please contact director of marketing and communications, Bert Beiswanger via email at or call 317.275.1317, public relations manager, Bryan Corbin via email at or call 317.275.1315 or communications coordinator, Hyacinth Rucker via email at or call 317.275.1388.


by User Not Found | Mar 19, 2015

For Immediate Release

For More Information
DeShong Perry-Smitherman
PR Manager

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Eiteljorg Shaded Terrace

Newly-shaded gardens create space for community fun and learning

(Indianapolis) March 19, 2015 –The area of the Indianapolis Downtown Canal that winds through White River State Park will soon have a brand new look and more opportunities for accessible learning and entertainment. Before summer, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art will unveil a shaded feature along the waterway. The dramatic structure, fashioned with four, towering, triangular canopies, will transform the Christel DeHaan Family Terrace into an active space—a respite for the casual stroller and a place to enjoy music, storytellers, hands-on family activities and more. 

The $400,000 project is made possible by the Efroymson Family Fund, a Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) fund; The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate; and the Steve Cagle Family. The newly-named Steve Cagle Family Gate, marking the entrance to the gardens from the Canal, will serve as a gateway to community engagement.

“The Downtown Canal is central to the vibrancy of our city,” says John Vanausdall, the museum’s president and CEO. “As part of the Indianapolis community, the Eiteljorg wants to play a larger role in making the canal come alive.”

Vanausdall adds that the shaded gardens will also help the museum better live out its mission.

“Through regular programming—most of it open to the public at no cost—we hope to attract people walking along the Canal into our gardens to explore sculpture, take a snack break, maybe listen to music or storytellers,” says Vanausdall. “Our hope is that those visitors will learn more about us and be encouraged to visit again in the future.”

The shade feature is comprised of four, 60-by-30-foot sails atop 10 structural beams, ranging in height from 20 to 30 feet. It was designed by Jonathan Hess, principle of Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf, who also designed the Eiteljorg’s Southwest-inspired building more than 25 years ago as well as the museum’s 2005 expansion. F. A. Wilhelm Construction Co., Inc., is the general contractor for the shade project, which is  facilitated by several other Indiana-based companies, including McComas Engineering. Construction is scheduled to begin in April.

The perfect place for (spring and) summer fun

Thanks to a grant from The Margot L. and Robert S. Eccles Fund, a fund of the CICF, the newly-shaded Christel DeHaan Family Terrace will come alive with activities for families and visitors of all ages this summer, including many FREE opportunities to experience art, education and entertainment. From June 3 to Aug. 5, the museum will be open until 8 p.m. every Wednesday, allowing more time for guests to enjoy the exhibit, Gold! Riches and Ruin, and experience activities along the Canal, including gold-panning, music, storytellers, poetry readings, art projects and more. (Canal activities are free. General admission will be charged for entrance to the museum and the Gold! exhibit.)

Other events on the DeHaan Family Terrace:

June 20
Juneteenth 150th Anniversary Celebration (Free admission inside and out)
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Indianapolis community is invited to the Eiteljorg to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, a commemoration of African American emancipation that began in Texas. The will include music, talks, interpreters, dance, theatre, children’s art and Western-themed activities, displays, food, vendors and more.

June 27, 28 
Indian Market and Festival (Fee)
Join us for a weekend celebration of Native American cultures through art, music, dance, demonstrations, food and more. Featuring Native performers and more than 130 artists from more than 60 tribes, Indian Market and Festival is a one-of-a kind cultural experience.

July 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 
Jammin’ in July (Free admission outside)
Hear local bands each Wednesday night until 8 p.m.

July 4 
Outdoor art activities and music for families (Free admission inside and out)

June 16, 17 & 18 and July 14, 15 & 16  
Art classes for kids featuring Miami and Anishinaabe artists (Fee)
These unique classes will introduce children to Indiana’s Native cultures through sto-rytelling, songs, dance and art-making activities. Pre-register by calling 317.275.1310.

July 11  
Jorgstock (Fee)
Hang out along the Downtown Canal and enjoy some of the city’s best indie bands, great food and drink.

Aug. 1   
WestFest (Fee)
Campfire smoke. Horses. Leather. Music. Cowboys. The sights and sounds of the West will surround visitors at this family festival.

For more information on these and other Eiteljorg events, visit

The Eiteljorg Museum 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 is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park, at 500 West Washington, Indianapolis, IN 46204. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call 317.636.WEST (9378) or visit


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