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.

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.

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".

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
09/17/2018

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

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!

We're just one week away from our annual holiday show "Freetown Village Celebrates Christmas"! Get your tickets now for ...
12/02/2017

We're just one week away from our annual holiday show "Freetown Village Celebrates Christmas"!

Get your tickets now for our 2:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. performances. FMI: www.freetownvillage.org

Madam C.J. Walker - Trailblazer. Entrepreneur. Activist.  Take a break from holiday shopping and check out our (free) Fi...
11/29/2017

Madam C.J. Walker - Trailblazer. Entrepreneur. Activist. Take a break from holiday shopping and check out our (free) First Friday character vignette, "The Madam Walker Story", which brings part of her vibrant story to life! #IndianaHistory FMI: www.freetownvillage.org

Freetown Village: A Living Experience in Black History's cover photo
11/03/2017

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

Madam C.J. Walker - Trailblazer. Entrepreneur. Activist. Make plans to start November with an engaging history lesson. S...
10/26/2017

Madam C.J. Walker - Trailblazer. Entrepreneur. Activist. Make plans to start November with an engaging history lesson. Stop by on 11/3/17 and check out our (free) First Friday character vignette, "The Madam Walker Story", which brings part of her vibrant story to life! #IndianaHistory FMI: www.freetownvillage.org

Happy 100th Birthday Indianapolis Public Library! Enjoying the festivities with Counsillor Vop Osili and "Madame CJ Walk...
10/07/2017

Happy 100th Birthday Indianapolis Public Library! Enjoying the festivities with Counsillor Vop Osili and "Madame CJ Walker".

Start October with an engaging history lesson. Make plans to stop by on 10/6/17 and check out our (free) First Friday ch...
09/29/2017

Start October with an engaging history lesson. Make plans to stop by on 10/6/17 and check out our (free) First Friday character vignette, "The Madam Walker Story", which brings her vibrant story to life! Trailblazer. Entrepreneur. Activist. #IndianaHistory FMI: bit.ly/2fW1nP5

We had a great time at our 4th Annual "Making a Difference" Awards Dinner recognizing our 2017 honorees Vop Osili, Dr. K...
09/21/2017

We had a great time at our 4th Annual "Making a Difference" Awards Dinner recognizing our 2017 honorees Vop Osili, Dr. Karen Dace, Elizabeth Gore, and Rodney Reid!

Many thanks to our Event Sponsors, IUPUI, Allen Whitehill Clowes Foundation, Arts Council of Indianapolis, Indiana Arts Commission, and Table Sponsors Steward Speakers,Ncnw Indpls Indiana Section, Indianapolis Public Library, and RLR Associates, Inc. for their support.

As we continue to preserve and share local African American history and culture, please join our supporters by making a financial contribution today!
www.freetownvillage.org #IndianaHistory

09/18/2017

We're just one day away from recognizing the contributions of 4 local honorees at our 4th Annual "Making a Difference" Awards Dinner! Show your support and join us in tomorrow's celebration! http://bit.ly/2v7FO2D 😀

In the 1800's there were over 30 African American settlements in Indiana. Lost Creek Grove, northeast of Terre Haute in ...
09/18/2017
Lost Creek open house shares undertold story

In the 1800's there were over 30 African American settlements in Indiana. Lost Creek Grove, northeast of Terre Haute in Vigo County, was one of them. It was established in 1831, and was near a stop on the Underground Railroad. #IndianaHistory

The Lost Creek Restoration and Preservation Foundation opened their doors to the public Saturday afternoon to show off a piece of Vigo County history and tell the tale of their

It's almost that time!  On 9/19/17, we will host our 4th Annual "Making a Difference" Awards Dinner to honor Dr. Karen D...
09/15/2017

It's almost that time! On 9/19/17, we will host our 4th Annual "Making a Difference" Awards Dinner to honor Dr. Karen Dace, Elizabeth Gore, Vop Osili and Rodney Reid for their accomplishments and contributions to the community. If you haven't already gotten your ticket, we still have a few available - join us! http://bit.ly/2v7FO2D

Woot - woot!  Thank you for your support!  Now on to our next milestone of 1,000 "Likes"!
09/15/2017

Woot - woot! Thank you for your support! Now on to our next milestone of 1,000 "Likes"!

Happy 100th Birthday Indianapolis Public Library! Thank you for your support, and we're looking forward to the birthday ...
09/14/2017

Happy 100th Birthday Indianapolis Public Library! Thank you for your support, and we're looking forward to the birthday festivities next month, including the Center For Black Literature & Culture Grand Opening!

Speaking of festivities, if you haven't purchased your ticket for our 9/19/17 event, we still have a few left. http://bit.ly/2v7FO2D

Thank you to Regina Majors and the women of  Ncnw Indpls Indiana Section. We appreciate your continued support! If you h...
09/13/2017

Thank you to Regina Majors and the women of Ncnw Indpls Indiana Section. We appreciate your continued support!

If you haven't purchased a ticket yet for our 9/19/17, we still have a few left bit.ly/2v7FO2D

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

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