Celebrate Black History Month with these local events

From art shows and concerts to movies, here are five events where you can join others in celebration of Black History Month in Indy.
Woman with her hands in the air

Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, is annually observed during the month of February. In 1915, American historian and educator Carter Godwin Woodson set the foundation for what we now observe as Black History Month. Carter saw the lack of acknowledgment, representation, and recognition of Black Americans’ accomplishments, and wanted a change.

In 1926, Woodson launched a “Negro History Week” to bring attention to his mission and help school systems focus on incorporating African American History into their curriculum. Many years later in 1976, President Gerald Ford announced that Black History Month would be a nationally observed holiday. As we take time this month to recognize all the accomplishments both past and present of Black Americans, let us also remember that Black History is American History.

1. Legacy: Celebrating Black Voices

February 3rd – 25th at the Garfield Arts Center

Garfield Park Arts Center presents Legacy: Celebrating Black Voices Feb. 3-25 written on a black and white image with a headshot of an African-American woman in the middle.Celebrate Black History Month at the Garfield Park Arts Center while exploring artwork by local talent. At the 7th annual exhibition, you can expect paintings, drawings, mixed-media pieces, sculptures, and other art forms by Black artists. The exhibit opens on February 3rd and will remain on display through February 25th.

2. Meet the Artists XXXV Masters exhibit and Gala

February 1 – March 25 at The Indianapolis Public Library, Central Library

Meet the Artists poster "FREE and open to the public" in the top left corner.Celebrate local artists, fashion designers, authors, musicians, and comedians for the 35th Anniversary of this event. The opening gala reception will feature special guests Steve “Scoop” Jefferson and Karen Campbell, and the gala includes youth workshops and entertainment, too.

3. ART & SOUL, A Festival of Black Art & Music

February 3rd – 25th, various locations

Art & Soul poster abstract poster with and African-American woman smiling while holding her hand up to her face.

Presented by the Indy Arts Council, Art & Soul has helped to advance the careers of black artists in Indianapolis for 25 years. On February 3rd there’s a Festival Kickoff at Gallery Space; on February 8th there’s a featured artists’ showcase at the Jazz Kitchen; and on there’s a celebration at the Artsgarden.


February 2nd The Children’s Museum

Various colorful artwork displayed behind a glass case. Create collaborative art with members of Indianapolis’s members of the EIGHTEEN art collective as well as listen to spoken word performed by Alyssa Gaines, National Youth Poet Laureate. In addition to this one-time event, The Children’s Museum has year-long programming celebrating Black History. Learn more HERE.

5. FREE MOVIE TICKETS available for King Richard, Hidden Figures & The Great Debaters

February 4th – 21st, Kan-Kan Cinema & Brasserie

Cinematically celebrate Black History Month with free tickets to 3 important films showing at Kan Kan. Watch “The Great Debaters” on February 4th; “Hidden Figures” on February 11th; and “King Richard” on February 21st.


Jalysa King is the Sales Maven of Indy Maven and the author of the book “When I Grow Up I Can Be Anything.”

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