Celebrate Black History Month With These 6 Local Events

From art shows and concerts to poetry readings, here are six 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 around 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 5th – 26th at the Garfield Park Arts Center

A flyer for Legacy: Celebrating Black Voices

Celebrate Black History Month at the Garfield Park Arts Center while exploring artwork by local talent. You can expect paintings, drawings, mixed-media pieces, sculptures, and other art forms by Black artists. The exhibit opens on February 5th and will remain on display through February 26th.

2. Music at Butler: A Jubilee! Black History Month Arts Celebration

Feb. 18th at 7:30 p.m. at Schrott Center for the Arts

A flyer for the Butler Jubilee event

This free student production is a true celebration of blackness and black history. This event will be full of dance, stories, and musical performances including opera, jazz, poetry, and all things Black art, and will also be livestreamed in case you can’t catch it in person. 

3. Black History Month Celebration: Arts for Lawrence

February 24th at 6:30 p.m. at the Theater at The Fort in Fort Harrison

A flyer for the Lawrence celebration

A partnership between the City of Lawrence and Arts for Lawrence, this Black History Month Celebration will honor the past while celebrating the future of black culture. Expect music, dance, storytelling, and more.


Feb 26th from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. at PHIRI ART GALLERY

PHIRI Art Show flyer

Experience a night for local artists to share their gifts including a display of artwork for sale, poetry, and live music. Bonus: This is also an opportunity to meet and network with like-minded creatives in the Indianapolis area.


5. Black History Month Exhibit

February 5th – March 3rd, with immersive events every Saturday in February from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. at Global Village Welcome Center

A flyer for the Global Village Welcome Center Black History Month event

Indy’s Global Village Welcome Center is hosting one of the Indiana Historical Society’s traveling exhibits, “Local Speech, Global Reach,” which will highlight the historic moment in Indiana that took place on April 4th, 1968, focusing on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. In addition, a supplemental Black Heritage exhibit from the Global Village Welcome Center will focus on local, unsung heroes and “sheroes” of Black History.


A current exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

A boy at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Looking for a way to celebrate with your kids in a fun and educational environment? The “Baseball Boundary Breakers” exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis features trailblazers in the sport, including a section focusing on the history of Black players and their achievements in the face of adversity. Featured players include Jackie Robinson, “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron, and Indianapolis native Oscar Charleston.

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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