Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society will present its 2010 Indiana History Outstanding Event or Project Award to the Eckhart Public Library Centennial Celebration Committee at its annual Founders Day Dinner on Dec. 6. The presentation will take place at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.
The Indiana History Outstanding Event or Project Award is made annually to an organization for an exceptional educational event or history project implemented during the past year, either one-time or ongoing, and relating to that organization’s mission. Examples include reenactments, publications, innovative media usage, exceptional teacher training and displays/exhibitions. Fundraising events and building restorations may be considered as a part of a larger history education event or project but will not be considered as stand-alone nominations.
In 1910, construction began on the Eckhart Public Library in Auburn, Ind., thanks to the generosity of local philanthropist Charles Eckhart. In January of 2010, the library launched a yearlong celebration of its rich history by offering programs and activities designed to educate and entertain the community as well as foster a respect for the library’s ongoing mission of promoting literacy.
The celebration—“One Gift, A Century of Literacy”—was organized by EPL’s Centennial Celebration Committee and has included lectures on the library’s founding, an original program featuring a re-enactor portraying Mr. Eckhart, a play called “Mr. Eckhart’s Penny,” which was written expressly for the centennial by a noted local playwright, musical events and a summer walking tour of homes of early library organizers. Numerous educational materials, including a calendar with historic library photos, were also developed.
As another part of the centennial effort, the library launched an extensive project to research artwork acquired by and donated to the library over the decades, and students were invited to create posters celebrating the centennial. Also this year, the Auburn Arts commission paid respect to EPL by temporarily placing a sculpture depicting a life-sized artist working on a painting of EPL, created by American sculptor J. Seward Johnson, outside the library.
For more information on Founders Day, as well as other programs and events of the Indiana Historical Society, call (317) 232-1882. Information is also available at www.indianahistory.org.
Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; and provides youth, adult and family programming.