In 2016, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art embarked on a far-reaching new vision for the museum, launching an ambitious effort called Project 2021. It includes these key goals: Completely reimagine the museum’s major galleries. Focus intently on the Indigenous peoples of the Great Lakes region. Expand and renovate the most popular parts of the museum. Raise $40 million in cash and planned gifts for the museum’s endowment to support telling the amazing stories of the West and Native Americans in more significant and impactful ways.
Telling Your Stories
The Eiteljorg is truly a place of amazing stories. From the diverse narratives of the West to the Indigenous cultures of North America, the Eiteljorg always has been a place to tell these stories and how they tie into many cultures. They are stories of the past. They are stories of the present. They are your stories.
Watch the video to learn more about Project 2021 and hear stories from our communities.
Become Part of the Story
The museum now is in the home stretch of a $55 million capital / endowment campaign that is funding transformational changes to the museum’s galleries and programming spaces to provide visitors a more culturally enriching experience. We are at 98.5 percent of our goal, and we need your help to raise the final 1.5 percent! Through December 2022, gifts of all sizes will help the Eiteljorg tell amazing stories for generations to come.
- Progress To Goal 100% 100%
Explore Project 2021
One of the things we’re most proud of at the Eiteljorg Museum is the way we include communities in developing projects with us, whether it’s an exhibition, program, or event.
The Eiteljorg finds its purpose in the art, history, and cultures of the American West and Indigenous peoples of North America. But that’s just a stepping stone to a larger mission to bring diverse peoples from our communities together, educate, and bring understanding to our shared heritage in impactful ways.
A Place of Inclusion
The Eiteljorg is a place of inclusion. It’s a place that represents the potential for conversations that we can have with the other. The Eiteljorg is about representation of all people and especially with Native people, I think. They’ve done a great job of giving us a platform to share a voice and to share our stories.
– Steven Yazzie (Diné / Laguna Pueblo), 2021 Eiteljorg Fellow, Denver, Colorado
To Educate The Community
Eiteljorg means community to me. It means unity, embracing – not just one culture but several cultures. It’s great to embrace and celebrate and learn about history, and the Eiteljorg is making a huge impact to educate the community. The Eiteljorg is willing to step up to the plate. They’re willing to take the risk. They’re willing to embrace other people. It’s important that the community continues to support it, donate and volunteer.
– Tammy Cooper, community leader, Eiteljorg Juneteenth Community Celebration collaborator
A Cultural Center
The Eiteljorg is a cultural center. It’s a place where all people locally come, but it’s also one of the best representations of who Indianapolis is and wants to be. This is the center of community cultural programming in the city. This is the place that community groups feel like they are welcomed to come and celebrate who they are. I’m really proud of that.
– Ernest Disney-Britton, Vice President for Community Impact and Investment, Arts Council of Indianapolis
Meaningful Discussions and Events
We track each year people from Chicago, New York, LA, throughout Canada, throughout Germany, throughout the UK; they come to Indianapolis and a must-see is the Eiteljorg. It’s something that we’ll never take for granted because the Eiteljorg represents what’s best in Indianapolis, and that’s art and culture, that’s diversity, inclusivity, that’s a thriving art scene.
– Chris Gahl, Senior Vice President, Visit Indy
The Opportunity to Grow
I’m from Mexico and there is a lot of Mexican heritage in the West. I’ve seen families bringing their kids to Día de Muertos at the Eiteljorg, and there’s joy in their faces. The parents are joyful to be in the museum, being able to go throughout the museum, being able to see our program, being able to have their kids do our activities. I’m very grateful for the Eiteljorg Museum giving me the opportunity to grow.
– Eduardo Luna, Arte Mexicano en Indiana, Nopal Cultural, Eiteljorg Día de Muertos collaborator
A Center of Conversation
I think the Eiteljorg is one of the true gems of our arts and cultural community; not only the breadth and depth and importance of the collections, but their role as a cultural center — as a center of conversation, as a center for exploration, as a center for partnership and all the dimensions of diversity, equity, inclusion and access that it represents and I think exemplifies our community.
– Julie Goodman, President and CEO, Arts Council of Indianapolis
When I think about the museum and why I continue to give my time, talents, and treasures, it’s because that value of forward thinking aligns with who I am personally. It is about an openness and telling the stories of people who might feel like they’re generally on the outside looking in. I think the future of museum-going is this idea of giving credit to the original authors of the story.
– Jasmin French, Senior Manager for Program Development, Ethics and Compliance, Cummins Inc.
All New Native American Galleries
The Eiteljorg completely re-envisioned and reconstructed the second floor Native American galleries, reinstalling Native artworks in a multi-sensory, state-of-the-art space to create a more contextual experience told through the voices of Native Americans.
Help fund a project in the new Native American Galleries!
Nina Mason Pulliam Education Center
The transformation of the canal level will create immersive spaces in the family discovery area and focus on five diverse families of the contemporary West. It will provide new and refreshed activities and technology for visitors of all ages. The Education Center will also be home to the Cagle Family Gateway to Learning that includes a multitude of education resources, including a nursing room and a quiet room for families with young children.
Event Space: Allen Whitehill Clowes Sculpture Court
The museum’s busiest, most utilized event and programming space and one of the very best event spaces in Indianapolis will be expanded to increase the Eiteljorg’s education and programming offerings, as well as host larger rental and catered events.
Western Art Galleries
The museum’s Western Art Galleries, including the Art of the West gallery and the Gund Family Gallery, were fully reimagined and reinstalled in 2018, with new engaging family interactives, an authentic look at diverse stories in Western art, and a new video wall greeting visitors near the museum entrance.
Thanks to generous donors and strong participation, many of the Eiteljorg’s goals have been achieved. Take a look at how far we’ve come, and explore the timeline of what’s in store.