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.

Eiteljorg Museum’s Cowpokes & Cocktails raises money benefitting education programs

by | May 03, 2017

Western-themed fundraiser brought in $160K to support arts for youth

INDIANAPOLIS -- On Saturday, April 29, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art hosted an unforgettable, unique charitable event, Cowpokes & Cocktails, benefitting the Eiteljorg’s education and programs departments. The event was held at the newly-renovated Lucas Estate Party Barn in Carmel. Tickets sold out and more than $160,000 was raised.

The high-end, Western-themed fundraiser included exquisite food, a cocktail contest, dancing, entertainment and a silent and live auction. Former Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl champion punter Hunter Smith emceed the event, and his country-rock group, the Hunter Smith Band, entertained guests.

“We are extremely excited about the success of Cowpokes & Cocktails,” Nataly Lowder, vice president for advancement at the Eiteljorg Museum, said. “It was a wonderful, fun-filled evening with a strong purpose: ensuring all children have the opportunity to learn at the Eiteljorg Museum. We’ve laid a strong foundation for this event for years to come, and we’re already looking forward to the next Cowpokes & Cocktails fundraiser on Saturday, April 28, 2018.”

Five bartenders representing the Libertine Liquor Bar, LouVino, Livery, Stella and Sangrita Saloon competed in a best cocktail contest, vying for a $500 cash prize. Attendees were given two votes to cast. Olivia Patterson of Sangrita Saloon was the winner with her cocktail, The Thai Tourist.

The event was the first to be held in the Lucas Estate Party Barn since its recent renovation. It’s the same venue where the late Nancy Irsay held many gala events. Guests decked out in Western attire hit the dance floor Saturday night in their Stetsons and cowboy boots.

Proceeds from Cowpokes & Cocktails help sustain the Eiteljorg’s educational efforts to bring arts-related programming to visitors. It allows the museum to provide art supplies for school groups and art-studio days, and schedule artists for special weekend events such as Juneteenth, WestFest and Day of the Dead. Proceeds also support Artists in Residence who interact with students in classrooms, as well as obtaining educational materials for the Resource Center in the museum’s R.B. Annis Western Family Experience.

“All children should experience art regardless of socio-economic status,” Lowder added. “Cowpokes & Cocktails allows that to happen at the Eiteljorg Museum. We’re greatly looking forward to this being an annual fixture within this community. Our guests had a wonderful evening to support a good cause, and we are already planning for next year.”

About the Eiteljorg 

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 Eiteljorg is located on the Central Canal in White River State Park, at 500 West Washington St., Indianapolis, close to downtown hotels. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call 317.636.WEST (9378) or visit


Media Contacts:

Bert Beiswanger
Director of Marketing and Communications
Eiteljorg Museum

Bryan Corbin                                      
Public Relations Manager                  
Eiteljorg Museum                               

Hyacinth Rucker
Communications Coordinator
Eiteljorg Museum

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