News Release: Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival won’t take place in 2020, postponed to 2021

Top Native American art and cultural event sidelined due to public health emergency

INDIANAPOLIS – Due to the ongoing public health emergency, the 28th annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival will not take place June 27-28 as scheduled. The weekend-long fine art market and cultural festival that draws thousands of visitors to downtown Indianapolis will pause for this year but will resume in 2021, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art announced today.

“Postponing the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival to 2021 was a painful decision since the market is central to the museum’s mission and many participating Native American artists had wanted it to take place this year. In light of the ongoing public health emergency that prompted the museum’s temporary closure, we must look first to the safety of visitors, artists, volunteers, employees and our community,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “It is unknown whether city and state restrictions on large public gatherings — necessary as they are — can be lifted in time to conduct the market in summer 2020; so postponing to 2021 is the most responsible option.”

Since 1993, the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival has been one of the preeminent summer cultural events in downtown Indianapolis; it builds support for today’s Native American artists and creates opportunities for collectors to connect with artists and for families to learn more about Indigenous cultures. Each June on the weekend following Father’s Day, the Eiteljorg has hosted more than 100 artists from more than 50 Native American or First Nations cultures. Artists present artworks from multiple disciplines, including jewelry, pottery, basketry, beadwork, carvings, paintings, weavings and cultural items, and can enter their works into a juried art competition. Visitors from across the region meet the artists on the beautiful museum grounds and purchase their art.

The 28th annual Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival had been scheduled for Saturday June 27 and Sunday June 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Because the Eiteljorg Museum is temporarily closed until further notice due to the COVID-19 public health situation, the public is encouraged to check the museum’s website and its social media for the latest updates. Mindful of the fact that the market is important to artists’ livelihoods, the Eiteljorg Museum is exploring ways of connecting potential art purchasers with Indian Market artists’ websites; check soon for details.

Planning and organizing Indian Market and Festival is an ongoing project throughout the year. Part of the market’s appeal is the opportunity for visitors to interact with artists, learning about and purchasing their art. The museum’s senior management along with co-chairs of the Indian Market Task Force concluded that social distancing measures would inhibit the artist interaction and make an art market festival experience difficult to execute.

Native American music and dance performances and cultural presentations are an important part of Indian Market and Festival. This year’s scheduled entertainers included award-winning vocalist-guitarist Joanne Shenandoah (Wolf Clan member of the Iroquois Confederacy, Oneida), Bizhiki Culture and Dance Company, Native American reggae-rock band Innastate and storytelling performer Randy Kemp (Choctaw/Mvskoke-Creek/Euchee). In rescheduling the Indian Market and Festival to June 26-27, 2021, Eiteljorg staff will attempt to re-book the same performers, where possible.

The Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival is one of the top Native American art markets in the nation. For artists to be eligible to participate, all entries must be made within the past two years by the artist entering the piece. Artists are chosen through a juried selection; and entries must be available for purchase during the market. To ensure authenticity of artwork, all artists must provide documentation confirming they are members of a state or federally recognized tribe under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

Advance ticket sales had not yet begun for Indian Market and Festival, so there are no admission fees to refund. Longtime market-goers who had planned to attend in 2020 are encouraged to visit the personal websites and social media accounts of their favorite artists and purchase art from artists directly, and also check the Eiteljorg’s website and social media for more Indian Market information.

About the Eiteljorg Museum
A cultural pillar for more than 30 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of and the Indigenous peoples of North America and of the American West by telling amazing stories. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.



Media Contacts:
Bryan Corbin
Public Relations Manager

Bert Beiswanger
Director of Marketing and Communications

Hyacinth Rucker
Digital Communications Manager

Museum Info

Monday – Saturday:
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Noon – 5 p.m.

500 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204