Take a Bite of Indiana History

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When and Where:
Saturday, November 13, 2010 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
at Indiana State Museum

650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204

Indianapolis 1908

$5.50 if pre-registered by November 10, regular museum ticket cost on day of event

Event Description:

This event is an appetizing adventure through the Hoosier story. Families, teachers, and adults of all ages will become “food historians” as they travel through learning stations, explore food’s influence on economics and society during a docent-led tour, discover food’s role in community and faith during teacher-developed activities, and share common experiences with personal food traditions. Participants then continue the investigation in their own community’s food history and what it can bring to the Indiana table.

Food provides a familiar narrative for telling Indiana’s story, answering questions about nourishing Hoosiers, and sustaining the cultural, economic, and social identities that fill Indiana’s table. In order to provide participants with personal perspective, Indianapolis' Near Westside will serve as a microhistory. Places traditionally associated with food, such as congregations, community centers, and eateries, reinforce Haughville’s continually transitioning culture. Gathering their stories provides human examples, such as African Americans' need for civil rights in public spaces and Slovenian neighborhood philanthropy. Gleaning images from past community events will encourage discovery about Hoosiers’ artistic, entrepreneurial, and generous nature with food, regardless of culture.

As docents lead this tour, they encourage participants to look for food clues in the artifacts, photographs, artwork, and text along the way. Docents will ask individuals to share their findings to questions such as, “In what ways did food influence the Hoosier economy?” and “How did events in the 20th century impact the ways Hoosiers ate?” Participants will also interact with hands-on history during teacher-developed activities that incorporate photographs and other primary resources from the Haughville communities. By reflecting on interview excerpts with people of various ages and cultures who have lived in Haughville, participants can share and compare their own food memories. Finally, everyone celebrates food’s historical place in Indiana with tasty treats from the L.S. Ayres Tea Room.

HENI and ISM want our greater community to interact through food-focused activities as a starting point for sharing history regardless of our ethnic, racial, or social differences. Food does not equalize history; in fact it complicates many of the devastating ecological, cultural, and racial conflicts in history. Our need for sustenance, however, allows us to share similar stories that celebrate our differences and encourages us to question historical choices from the perspective of human need. During this event, participants will engage with people of multiple ages and from varying backgrounds to discover food in Indiana’s past, culture, and daily life. HENI and ISM want participants to continue this discovery, so we will provide ideas for investigating local food history through family genealogy, classroom activities, organizational projects, and social media conversations.