Lots to Do at the 43rd Annual Black Expo Summer Celebration

black-expo-license-plate-logoOne of Indianapolis’ most celebrated events is upon us once again. For the 43rd consecutive year, the Annual Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration will take place from July 11 through 21 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, as well as other nearby locations.

This year’s celebration began on July 11 with an evening ecumenical service, which was held at the Light of the World Church on Michigan Road.

black-expo-gatheringSince it debuted on June 19, 1971 some notable celebrities have passed through Black Expo, including the Reverend Jesse Jackson, former Boston Celtics’ Bill Russell and John Mackey of the Baltimore Colts. This year’s celebration is no different.

Black Expo will honor Emmy Award-winning director, producer, writer, and actor, Spike Lee, with its “Outstanding Achievement” award at the Summer Celebration corporate luncheon, which takes place on July 19.

Other celebrities will include actor Billy Dee Williams, R&B group “The O’Jays,” and actress/singer Tisha Campbell-Martin. Grammy-Award winning R&B artist, Jill Scott, will perform Saturday, July 20 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 8pm. Oh, and Indianapolis Colts star Reggie Wayne will host a charity basketball game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Fun Things to Do at the 2013 Black Expo

The 2-day IBE Film Festival will feature 8 different films by black filmmakers, including “The Lower 9: A Story of Home,” a film that highlights the plight of Hurricane Katrina victims; “Colored My Mind,” a docu-feature about autism staring actress Tisha Campbell-Martin; and “Missing Pieces,” a documentary takes looks at fathers who are providing the love and attention that is so desperately needed in their children’s lives. The IBE Film Festival starts Saturday, at the Indianapolis Musem of Art’s Tobias Theatre on 4000 N. Michigan Road.

cultural-arts-pavilion-black-expoThe Cultural Arts Pavilion is a three-day exhibition in which emerging and established professional artists and published authors display their works, many of which are offered for sale. It is a great opportunity to engage with the artists. Interactive activities will include Freetown Village, Asante Children’s Theatre, and other fun projects. Other features will include “Negro Leagues Baseball Museum: Times, Teams, & Talent Traveling Exhibit” and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s exhibit “AFROS: ‘A Celebration of Natural Hair’.” The exhibition takes place at the Wabash Corridor of the Indiana Convention Center on Thursday, July 18, 2013.

fun-zone-black-expoA Family Fun Zone offers the perfect environment for fun and adventure on Day 1 of the Black Expo, and will include a special educational area called “Kenya’s World.” Other fun things include the Pacers Fan Van, a Colts PLAY60 Obstacle Course, the Marion County Public Library Bookmobile, St. Florian Center, dancers, performing artists, face painting and lots more. The Fun Zone takes place from 12:00pm – 8:00pm.

Phelco Technologies’ Tech Street Powered by Duke Energy Description is a techie’s dream-come-true, with gaming stations that put gamers’ skills to the test. Cool game systems and other tech gear will be available at the Tech Street, in addition to a DJ and music.

Mortorcycle Park & Ride - Black ExpoThe Motorcycle Ride & Park on Georgia Street kicks off at noon.

This event is designed to benefit the Fallen Bikers Fund, a charity organization dedicated to raising money to benefit the families of loved ones involved in serious motorcycle accidents.

Staging for the ride begins at 11am at the northwest end of Layfayette Square Mall, where groups of 10 bikers or more will setup shop in a 10′ x 10’ tent. There is room for a maximum of 600 bikers and 15 tents.

Motorcycle accidents claim the lives of hundreds of Hoosiers each year. The Motorcycle Ride & Park on Georgia Street event is the prefect opportunity to have fun and contribute to a worthy cause.

reggie-wayne“Saving Our Youth” is a celebrity basketball game that will be hosted by Colts star Reggie Wayne, together promoter and local radio personality Amp Harris. The event is designed to call attention to the issues that affect the city’s youth, as well as to educate the local community on what steps can be taken to the reduce violence, gangs, truancy, and juvenile incarceration.

The game begins takes place Saturday, July 20, 2013 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on 125 S. Pennsylvania Street. It is sponsored by Indiana University, Novo Nordisk, and Managed Health Services.

Event Info

  • July 11-21, 2013
  • Location: Indiana Convention Center, 100 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis
  • Website