“If These Walls Could Tell” Celerbates Indiana Landmarks

Indianapolis is filled with Historic Landmarks. If each house, museum, office building or church could tell the story of their architectural lives, Hoosiers would learn a lot about their homeland. Unfortunately, these buildings can’t speak for themselves. Instead Storytelling Arts of Indiana and Indiana Historic Landmarks present “If These Walls Could Tell,” a series of stories told in and centered on vintage buildings.

Each evening of storytelling invades a different Historic Landmark, illuminating the history (real or imagined) of each space. First up, the Central Avenue Methodist Church plays host to these storytelling series on Friday, April 29 from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Tickets are $12 for Indianapolis people and $10 for members of Indiana Landmarks and donors to Storytelling Arts of Indiana.

The Central Avenue Methodist Church was once the largest Methodist congregation in the entire state of Indiana. This spiritual community found itself thrust into the political realm, as it became influential in creating and developing the Circle City. Though this organization is now closed, the legacy it left on Indy is unforgettable.

Established in 1877, the building merged together the North Street, Trinity and Massachusetts Avenue Methodist Episcopal Churches. The building itself arrived at its famed location at Central Avenue and 12th Street in Indianapolis downtown after being rolled on logs through the city. In the heart of one of Indianapolis’ first suburbs (now known as the Old Northside), the church was built in a Romanesque Revival style with red brick trimmed by Indiana limestone.

From 1917 to 1927, under the leadership of Pastor Orien W. Fifer, the church became active in making community improvements. The church became a cultural center for the entire area, regardless of religion. This Friday, April 29 Sally Perkins will kick off the first event at the Indiana Landmarks Center (beside its grand opening) with “Hugged By These Walls.” Perkins dug through 120 years of archives and memories from 25 church members to craft the story of a century of change and a determined people who “learned to love their neighbors as themselves.”

The performance will take place in the Grand Hall and former sanctuary of the Central Avenue Methodist Church. In addition, surviving members of the church will be honored and given the opportunity to share their personal stories. The event will be followed by a reception in the Cook Theatre and former Sunday school wing of the church.

Sally Perkins received the Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowship in November of 2009. Since then she has been featured at the Indianapolis Zoo’s Scary Stories for Families. In addition, she tells stories at the Riley Hospital for Children.

Don’t miss this exciting Indianapolis event on Friday, April 29 to kick off the new life of the Indiana Landmarks Center. Celebrate Indianapolis history at the new Indianapolis not for profit, Indiana Landmarks. Learn about your Hoosier hometown one building at a time with Indiana Landmarks. This Indianapolis event is also sponsored by Storytelling Arts of Indiana. Grab dinner before the show at any of these scrumptious Indianapolis restaurants. Afterward, grab a drink or two at any of these refreshing Indianapolis bars.

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If These Walls Could Tell Series
Hugged By These Walls
Friday, April 29, 2011
7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Tickets: $12 for Adults, $10 for Indiana Landmarks member and donors to Storytelling Arts of Indiana

Indiana Landmarks Center
1201 Central Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202