What a joy it is to walk out into the Lilly Hall and see the History Center buzzing with activity. Visitors to the now-open Indiana Experience can be seen enjoying the interactive stations in Destination Indiana, listening to music in the Cole Porter Room, using the telescopes to explore the graphics in Lilly Hall, learning to mend paper in the History Lab, and stepping back in time in any of our three You Are There experiences. It is so nice to see all our hard work paying off giving visitors a new way to experience our rich state history.
No time to rest on our laurels, however. The exhibitions staff came to work following the opening and faced a long list of upcoming projects, and is now busy at work strategizing our approach. Up next? A brand new exhibit to be debuted in the Cultural Arts Pavilion at the Indiana Black Expo! In addition, we face the daunting task of creating three new You Are There experiences that will replace those currently on display. Look for brand new reasons to come visit as early as February of 2011.
One project in particular required our immediate attention, and has proved to be far more interesting than I originally imagined. The Indiana Historical Society is creating a traveling exhibition celebrating the bicentennial of the first successful steamboat voyage down the Ohio River, a joint project between IHS and the Rivers Institute at Hanover College. The story of the 1811 journey of the New Orleans from Pittsburgh down the Ohio River is fraught with tales of danger, disaster and colorful characters, all set against the backdrop of one of the more dramatic years in Indiana?s history. Look for more information soon on how to bring this traveling exhibit to your own community!