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IHS Will Honor Indiana Living Legends at Gala

June 16, 2011

Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is pleased to announce that director David Anspaugh, writer Angelo Pizzo, Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian and arts leader Joyce Sommers will be honored at the annual Indiana Living Legends Gala, which will take place at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center on July 29, 2011. The History Center, home of the IHS and the Indiana Experience, is located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Each year, the IHS honors extraordinary Hoosiers for their statewide and national accomplishments in a variety of areas and disciplines. This year’s honorees were selected from more than 150 nominations by a selection committee, which is chaired by IHS trustee Patricia Curran and includes civic and corporate leaders, volunteers and other IHS trustees.

The gala also serves as a fundraising event that assists the IHS in fulfilling its mission to be Indiana’s Storyteller™ by providing programs and resources throughout the state. In addition to the generous corporate sponsorship of OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. and Fifth Third Bank, individuals and companies are invited to support the IHS mission by attending the event.

The black-tie event will begin with a cocktail reception with the Living Legends at 6 p.m., followed by a gourmet dinner at 7 p.m. The program, led by master of ceremonies Mike Ahern, will take place at 8 p.m. and will be immediately followed by desserts and coffee.

Tickets can be purchased individually or by table—cost to attend is $250 per person or $2,500 for a table of 10. Interested attendees may purchase patron-level tickets for $350 per person or $3,500 for a table of 10. All but $75 of each ticket price is a tax-deductible gift in support of IHS statewide educational programs.

In-kind sponsors of the 2011 Indiana Living Legends Gala include Hoaglin Fine Catering, Monarch Beverage Company, Printing Partners and The Empty Vase. For additional information or to receive an invitation, please contact the IHS Development Department at (317) 233-6578 or visit

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. The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, home of the IHS and the Indiana Experience, is located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.


For more information, images or to schedule an interview, contact Amy Lamb, Media Relations Manager, at (317) 232-1878 or

2011 Indiana Living Legends

David Anspaugh

Film, television, and commercial director David Anspaugh is a native of Decatur, Ind. Following graduation from Indiana University (Bloomington), he continued his studies at the USC Graduate School of Cinematic Arts. In 1980, Mr. Anspaugh began his television career as a producer on NBC’s groundbreaking series, “Hill Street Blues,” and it was with this show that he began his directing career. During his tenure with the show, he was the recipient of three Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, The Peabody Award and two NAACP Black Image Awards. He also received two nominations from The Directors Guild of America for Best Direction of One Hour Drama, winning that award in 1983. He went on to direct episodes of “Miami Vice” and earned a third DGA nomination for his directorial work on the acclaimed series, “St. Elsewhere.”

Anspaugh made his feature film debut with the iconic 1986 movie Hoosiers, written by his friend and fraternity brother Angelo Pizzo. Hoosiers, inspired by the story of the Milan High School basketball team that won the state championship, earned an Independent Spirit nomination for Best Director of First Feature. He again teamed with Mr. Pizzo on Rudy and The Game of Their Lives in a genre they have mastered – against-all-odds sports dramas based on true stories. His additional television and film credits include Fresh Horses, Moonlight and Valentino, four primetime “Movies of the Week,” three network pilots, and more than 50 commercials. His most recent film, Little Red Wagon, inspired by a true story about a young boy who turned into a homeless youth advocate, is in post-production. Mr. Anspaugh received the 1991 Indiana Governor’s Arts Award and was named a Sagamore of the Wabash. He lives in California and has two daughters.

Angelo Pizzo

Angelo Pizzo is an American screenwriter and film producer, best known his work on Hoosiers and Rudy. Mr. Pizzo grew up in Bloomington and attended Indiana University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in political science. He attended film school at the University of Southern California.

Mr. Pizzo began his film and television career with Warner Brothers Television in the story development group and then moved to Time Life Films. After serving as vice president of feature film productions, he teamed up with friend and fraternity brother David Anspaugh to create Hoosiers. Hoosiers was named best sports film of all time by both ESPN and USA Today. They later worked together on Rudy and The Game of Their Lives. His latest project is Paz, a film about boxer Vinny Paz’s extraordinary comeback.

After living in California for 30 years, Mr. Pizzo moved back to Bloomington. He is an avid IU basketball supporter and season ticket holder. Mr. Pizzo received an honorary doctorate from Franklin College and was named a Sagamore of the Wabash. He serves on the board of the Heartland Film Festival, Kinsey Institute and the New Harmony Writers’ Project. Mr. Pizzo has two sons.

Bill Polian

Bill Polian is in his 13th season as president of the Indianapolis Colts. A keen judge of talent respected throughout the National Football League, Mr. Polian’s expertise has transformed the Colts. In a 2009 vote of his peers, he became the first six-time winner of the Executive of the Year award from The Sporting News.

Mr. Polian started as a scout for Kansas City in 1978 where he stayed for five years before moving to Winnipeg, helping build a team that won two CFL titles before he moved on to a USFL position. Mr. Polian joined Buffalo in 1984 as pro personnel director and was soon promoted to general manager, leading the Bills to three Super Bowl games. He served as vice president of football development for the NFL in 1993 before a stint with the Carolina Panthers.

Since Mr. Polian’s 1998 arrival in Indianapolis, no team has had more playoff appearances than the Colts, with two Super Bowl appearances, including a win in Super Bowl XLI. Mr. Polian serves on the NFL Competition Committee, Diversity Committee, Management Council Senior Executive Committee and is Chairman of the College Relations Committee. He and his wife, Eileen, have four children and six grandchildren.

Joyce Sommers

Joyce Sommers is president emeritus of the Indianapolis Art Center and served as its president and executive director from 1976 to 2009. She is the longest-running leader of a major Indianapolis cultural organization as well as the first and only woman to head such an entity until the 1980s.

Ms. Sommers was an active civil rights worker in the 1960s and 1970s and headed up the Indianapolis office for UNICEF in the mid 1970s. After starting as a volunteer with what was then the Indianapolis Art League, Ms. Sommers went on to lead the drive to build the Indianapolis Art Center and ARTSPARK, both designed by fellow Living Legend Michael Graves. Realizing the transformative power of art in the lives of those who are challenged physically, mentally and/or socioeconomically, she initiated many outreach efforts, including the award-winning ArtReach program, and also created cultural exchanges with Africa, Brazil and China—both of which influenced the Art Center’s mission and vision.

Named 2001 Fundraising Executive of the Year by the Indiana chapter of the American Society of Fundraising Professionals, Ms. Sommers also received a Torchbearer Award from the Indiana Commission for Women and a Touchstone Award from Girls Inc. She is a member of the Herron Dean’s Advisory Board and has been a member of the Contemporary Art Society study group at the Indianapolis Museum of Art since 1976. She served as a Martin Luther King Community Center executive committee member and on the boards for Arts Education Northwest and Arts Indiana magazine. She is an emeritus member of the Spirit and Place Advisory Board and a past president of the Indianapolis Consortium of Arts Administrators. Indianapolis Business Journal put her on its list of Most Influential Women in 2008. She has four children and eight grandchildren.

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