Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History A living experience in African American history!
Let me tell you about a place. A symbolic place with no walls. A place that represents the living history of African Americans. That place is Freetown Village. Learn African American History through educational programs that come to you.
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Freetown Village, Inc. is a living history museum without walls. The trials, triumphs, and daily life of African Americans are presented through theater, storytelling, folk crafts, heritage workshops, music, day camp, and special events. The town of Freetown Village is a symbolic community representing many of the predominantly African American settlements scattered throughout Indiana during the post-Civil War years. The residents of Freetown Village are composite characters of the approximately 3,000 men, women and children identified on the 1870 Indianapolis census. The geographical focus is in the old Fourth Ward, the oldest African American settlement in Indianapolis and the oldest land development of the City of Indianapolis. In 1870, five years after the Civil War ended, towns grew and prospered. Many who were former slaves discovered a new-found freedom and control over their lives. African Americans could now be paid for their work, purchase land, attend school, be legally married and not be separated because of slavery. Freetown Village was first conceptualized in 1982 by Ophelia Wellington out of her desire to teach African American history. With a small planning grant from the Indiana Humanities Council, this former educator organized a group of historians, educators, and arts/culture leaders to plan and implement a two-month pilot project at the Indiana State Museum in the fall of 1984. The pilot project consisted of two vignettes, a seamstress shop and a barbershop. The vignettes were comprised of actors/interpreters performing monologues at scheduled times. The success of the pilot project led to the development of the permanent exhibit in 1985. The opening was celebrated with local television and radio personalities portraying Freetown Village "residents". Funds from the Indiana Arts Commission helped to staff the exhibit. That exhibit closed in 2001. Since 1982, Freetown Village has presented programs throughout the state of Indiana and to the contiguous Midwestern states reaching well over 1,000,000 children and adults in small and large communities. Programs have been presented in schools, churches, libraries, museums, theaters, centers, parks, hotels, offices, gymnasiums, parades, homes, and for almost every time of event or occasion.

Mission: Freetown Village mission is to educate the public about African American lives and culture in Indiana through living history performances, the collection and preservation of artifacts, exhibits, and allied programs.

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
12/10/2019

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

Thanks FOX59 News for inviting us on this morning to talk about our upcoming 12/7/19 holiday production!  There's still ...
12/04/2019

Thanks FOX59 News for inviting us on this morning to talk about our upcoming 12/7/19 holiday production!

There's still time to get tickets http://bit.ly/2mdu0xh

Looking for something to do with the whole family?  Take advantage of our #CyberMonday discount  (CYBER5) and join us 12...
12/01/2019

Looking for something to do with the whole family? Take advantage of our #CyberMonday discount (CYBER5) and join us 12.7.19 for our annual holiday performance!

It's Small Business Saturday!  Time to support local small businesses, especially the arts!  Get your tickets now for ou...
11/30/2019

It's Small Business Saturday! Time to support local small businesses, especially the arts! Get your tickets now for our annual (with a few new twists!) holiday production. Special discount (use code SmallBiz) available for our 7:00 p.m. show! http://bit.ly/2mdu0xh

Thanks   Tina Cosby for keeping us connected on AM 1310 The Light!  If you missed our Executive Director Ophelia Welling...
11/28/2019
2019 Freetown Village Celebrates Christmas: A Family Tradition

Thanks Tina Cosby for keeping us connected on AM 1310 The Light! If you missed our Executive Director Ophelia Wellington and Artistic Director Kimberly Janelle shared info about our 12/7/19 holiday show, (check out the interview here http://bit.ly/2qHhHMo) and then be sure to get your tickets here - http://bit.ly/2mdu0xh !

A Freetown Village Holiday Celebration! Freetown Village Celebrates Christmas promises to inspire as it explores the significance of family and cultural traditions during this holiday season. Set in the 1870s in an African American community, the play celebrates the richness of community, the spirit...

Thank you to all of our guests and sponsors who helped to make our 6th Annual "Making a Difference Award" Dinner a succe...
09/19/2019

Thank you to all of our guests and sponsors who helped to make our 6th Annual "Making a Difference Award" Dinner a success! See you next year!

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
09/19/2019

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

Special thanks to one of our newest sponsors, Stuart Mortuary, Inc., for their support of this years event!  We still a ...
09/13/2019

Special thanks to one of our newest sponsors, Stuart Mortuary, Inc., for their support of this years event! We still a few tickets left if you'd like to join us to recognize our 2019 honorees. bit.ly/2lSdIcN

Join us on September 17, 2019 as we recognize Dr. Leonard Scott and our other honorees who are “Making a Difference” in ...
09/11/2019

Join us on September 17, 2019 as we recognize Dr. Leonard Scott and our other honorees who are “Making a Difference” in our community. bit.ly/2lSdIcN

In addition to his thriving dental practice Scott Dentistry, he is the founder and CEO of Tyscot Records, the oldest black-owned and operated gospel recording company in the United States.

As part of our “Making a Difference” Award, we’ve collaborated with Storytelling Arts of Indiana to record part of his life story. It’s a way of helping to preserve our history and it’s archived at the Indiana Historical Society

Indianapolis Public Schools Indiana University School of Dentistry

Our 3rd honoree is Myla Eldridge. As the first African American to serve as Marion County Clerk, she is playing a pivota...
09/05/2019

Our 3rd honoree is Myla Eldridge. As the first African American to serve as Marion County Clerk, she is playing a pivotal role in helping Marion County make the transition from precincts to vote centers. Voting shouldn’t be difficult, and she and her team are dedicated to removing barriers to make the experience easy, free, and fair to everyone.

Join us on September 17, 2019 as we recognize Myla and our other honorees who are “Making a Difference” in our community. http://bit.ly/2lSdIcN

As part of the “Making a Difference” Award, we’ve collaborated with Storytelling Arts of Indiana to record part of her life story. It’s a way of helping to preserve our history and it’s archived at the Indiana Historical Society

League of Women Voters of Indiana Indianapolis Public Schools Marion County Election Board

It’s one thing to complain about “these kids today”, it’s another to do something about it.  Our second honoree IMPD Off...
09/04/2019

It’s one thing to complain about “these kids today”, it’s another to do something about it. Our second honoree IMPD Officer Deon Harris knows first hand from his own childhood the impact a single mentor can have. In his role as Program Coordinator with the OK Program of Indianapolis , he has the chance to invest in young people, helping them to see opportunities beyond their challenging circumstances.

Everyone has a story, and we're glad to share part of his with you.
Join us on 9/17/19: bit.ly/2lSdIcN

IMPD News National OK Program

Meet Venita Moore, one of the Owners and Managing Principals of Engaging Solutions, LLC. She also serves as the Vice Pre...
08/30/2019

Meet Venita Moore, one of the Owners and Managing Principals of Engaging Solutions, LLC. She also serves as the Vice President of the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of Commissioners, a position she does not take lightly. She represents three generations, (her mother and her daughter are also IPS alumni), and is dedicated to ensuring future generations will continue to have access to quality public education.

As part of our “Making a Difference” Award, we’ve collaborated with Storytelling Arts of Indiana to record part of her life story. It’s a way of helping to preserve our history and it’s archived at the Indiana Historical Society.

Everyone has a story, and we're glad to share part of hers with you. Join us on 9/17/19: https://bit.ly/2lSdIcN

Indiana CPA Society Circle City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
08/01/2019

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
08/01/2019

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

Registration is now open for our 2019 Summer Camp. Six weeks of new friends, learning, and fun! Spaces are limited, so r...
03/14/2019

Registration is now open for our 2019 Summer Camp. Six weeks of new friends, learning, and fun! Spaces are limited, so register now! FMI: www.freetown.org

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
01/26/2019

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

On behalf of our cast, many thanks to our Event Sponsors, Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Citizens Energy ...
12/10/2018

On behalf of our cast, many thanks to our Event Sponsors, Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Citizens Energy Group, Arthur Jordan Foundation, and Arts Council of Indianapolis for their support of our annual holiday show. We'd also like to acknowledge our venue partner, Pastor James C. Anyike of Scott UMC.

As we continue to preserve and share local African American history and culture, please join our supporters by making a tax-deductible contribution today! 1982 - 2018: Celebrating 36 Years! www.freetown.org

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
12/10/2018

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
12/10/2018

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

It’s almost showtime! Freetown (is getting ready to) celebrate Christmas!
12/08/2018

It’s almost showtime! Freetown (is getting ready to) celebrate Christmas!

The 2018  ASALH Annual Conference was held in Indianapolis last week and we were honored to be a part of the festivities...
11/09/2018

The 2018 ASALH Annual Conference was held in Indianapolis last week and we were honored to be a part of the festivities.

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
10/17/2018

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

10/05/2018

It's almost time for #PreEnactIndy! We'll be there Oct 6th, 10 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., providing interactive, roving theater performances. Stop by the Freetown Village "barbershop" (16th & Yandes), and be sure to check out the vintage race cars (16th Street garage) and learn about the legendary African American race car driver Charlie Wiggins from his "niece".

Thank you Carol E. Ben-Davies for becoming our 1,000th fan!
08/12/2018

Thank you Carol E. Ben-Davies for becoming our 1,000th fan!

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
08/09/2018

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
08/03/2018

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

After 21 years at 625 Indiana Ave, we are moving to the Julia Carson Center, 300 Fall Creek Prkwy N.D. while the Madam W...
07/07/2018
FV move from the Walker Bldg.

After 21 years at 625 Indiana Ave, we are moving to the Julia Carson Center, 300 Fall Creek Prkwy N.D. while the Madam Walker Building is undergoing renovation. Moving is so much work and stressful, but often necessary. Have to coordinate with the phone company, the post office, the copier folks, the movers, the volunteers, the insurance company, ... EVERYBODY, get supplies, sort, shred, discard, donate, pack up, and on and on and then you forget something. In the long run, it is worth it. We have a lot of great memories in the Madam Walker building and truly enjoyed working with the Walker staff. In the meantime, if we don't get back with you right away, have mercy, were are still packing and unpacking, sorting etc. and summer camp is still going on.

12 new photos · Album by Ophelia Wellington

The marbles are running! The marbles are running! Well, not yet, but they will during our summer camp marble run. Help u...
06/22/2018

The marbles are running! The marbles are running! Well, not yet, but they will during our summer camp marble run. Help us get ready and bring us you cardboard tubes before July 3rd!

06/16/2018
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Celebrating #Juneteenth today once again at Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Freetown Village Singers with Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History performed in front of a packed room today. Click on the link below to get a taste of their amazing performance. #Juneteenth

Check out our June - July events including performances at Johnson County Public Library (Indiana), Muncie Three Trails ...
05/31/2018

Check out our June - July events including performances at Johnson County Public Library (Indiana), Muncie Three Trails Music Series, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis !
FMI: bit.ly/2Ha0lJU

Now that we're finally experiencing spring weather, summer is just around the corner!  Classes are filling up quickly, s...
05/01/2018

Now that we're finally experiencing spring weather, summer is just around the corner! Classes are filling up quickly, so register now before it's too late! Six weeks of new friends, summer learning, and fun!
FMI: www.freetownvillage.org

Museums are an essential part of our community!  We join the American Alliance of Museums in thanking Senator Joe Donnel...
04/23/2018

Museums are an essential part of our community! We join the American Alliance of Museums in thanking Senator Joe Donnelly for being one of the 40 senators to sign this year's OMS letter, and for supporting Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History. #museumsadvocacy

Field trips are a vital part of our summer learning experience. Thanks to sponsors like Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Tr...
04/20/2018

Field trips are a vital part of our summer learning experience. Thanks to sponsors like Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, we will continue to connect campers to our community with weekly cultural excursions.
FMI:www.freetownvillage.org

For over 20 years,  Lilly Endowment, Inc. has supported our efforts to provide a safe and enriching summer learning expe...
04/18/2018

For over 20 years, Lilly Endowment, Inc. has supported our efforts to provide a safe and enriching summer learning experience for children in Indianapolis. Thank you for your long standing commitment to our educational programs! FMI: wwwfreetownvillage.org

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
04/13/2018

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo

Between Spring Break and the tax deadline is......Early Bird Summer Camp registration!  Register now before the 4/6/18 d...
04/03/2018

Between Spring Break and the tax deadline is......Early Bird Summer Camp registration! Register now before the 4/6/18 deadline! FMI: www.freetownvillage.org

Registration is now open for our 2018 Summer Camp. Six weeks of new friends, learning, and fun!  Spaces are limited, so ...
03/19/2018

Registration is now open for our 2018 Summer Camp. Six weeks of new friends, learning, and fun! Spaces are limited, so register now! FMI: http://bit.ly/2IBPjiP

Pop Quiz: Who was Sarah Breedlove? After our recent performance, these 4th - 5th graders can now help you out if you nee...
03/19/2018

Pop Quiz: Who was Sarah Breedlove? After our recent performance, these 4th - 5th graders can now help you out if you need to 'phone a friend'! https://t.co/z4eSKjX0ts

Congratulations Vop Osili and thank you and Maggie A. Lewis for providing positive examples of servant leadership for ou...
02/20/2018

Congratulations Vop Osili and thank you and Maggie A. Lewis for providing positive examples of servant leadership for our summer campers. We know that you will continue to “Make a Difference” for our city!

We're looking for a few people to join our camp family! Adult candidates must be enthusiastic, creative, and have a genu...
02/19/2018

We're looking for a few people to join our camp family! Adult candidates must be enthusiastic, creative, and have a genuine interest in the development of children.

Candidates must be able to commit to 6 full weeks, Monday through Friday (June 11 – July 20, 2018). The work schedule is 35-40 hours per week between the hours of 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

FMI: http://bit.ly/2HtBAtH

02/16/2018
FV Singers "Michael Row the Boat Ashore"

Thank you Indy Parks and Recreation for including us in your February events! We enjoyed performing for your seniors group, and even more so when they joined in!

WICR and Arts Council of Indianapolis are recognizing arts organizations each month this year, and we are honored to be ...
02/08/2018

WICR and Arts Council of Indianapolis are recognizing arts organizations each month this year, and we are honored to be the February recipient!

Let us know if you hear our promotional campaign on "The Diamond (88.7 FM)" this month!

Getting ready for today's performances.
01/15/2018

Getting ready for today's performances.

On behalf of our cast, many thanks to our Event Sponsors, Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Arts Council of ...
12/14/2017

On behalf of our cast, many thanks to our Event Sponsors, Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Arts Council of Indianapolis, Indiana Arts Commission, and Madame Walker Theatre Center for their support of our annual production. We'd also like to acknowledge our venue partner, Pastor James C. Anyike of Scott UMC.

As we continue to preserve and share local African American history and culture, please join our supporters by making a financial contribution today! 1982 - 2017: Celebrating 35 Years! www.freetownvillage.org

"It's beginning to look a lot like....Christmas! The set is in place, our cast is fine tuning their lines, and we're loo...
12/07/2017

"It's beginning to look a lot like....Christmas! The set is in place, our cast is fine tuning their lines, and we're looking forward to seeing you at either our 2:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. performance! Tickets are available www.freetownvillage.org or call for more information. See you on Saturday!

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300 Fallcreek Pkwy N. Drive, 5th Floor
Indianapolis, IN
46205

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