The Indiana Historical Society will offer free admission on Jan. 21 as it honors and celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day-long celebration, presented by IndyGo.
The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, home of IHS and its Indiana Experience, is at 450 W. Ohio St., in downtown Indianapolis.
Throughout the day, guests will celebrate the life and legacy of King with special hands-on activities and performances from the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, storyteller Deborah Asante, students from Building Blocks Academy, and dancers from Traci's Urban Dance Jamm Studio.
Prior to the start of the entertainment in the afternoon, IHS will provide guests with the opportunity to watch coverage of President Barack Obama's inauguration in the Basile Theater. Donations to Gleaners Food Bank will be accepted, and IndyGo will be on hand to distribute bus schedule information and answer questions throughout the day.
Included with free admission for the day is the IHS's award-winning Indiana Experience, which uses cutting-edge technology and interactive elements to bring the society's extensive collections to life. Guests can step back into particular moments from recreated historic photographs with You Are There, take virtual time-travel journeys with Destination Indiana, try their hand at conservation work in the W. Brooks Fortune History Lab, and have songs sung live for them upon request in the Cole Porter Room.
The Rose McKee Lanham Gallery on the fourth floor offers a look at IHS collections materials on the Civil War, from the firing on Fort Sumter to the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Stardust Terrace Cafe (operated by Hoaglin To Go) will offer child-friendly cuisine throughout the day.
The celebration also marks the kick-off of IHS's 2013 Indiana Black History Challenge, which invites children and adults to investigate outstanding black Hoosier athletes in a sports-themed study guide, then test their knowledge by taking an online quiz. The challenge is presented by the Indiana Pacers and Teachers Credit Union, and more information is available online at www.indianahistory.org/challenge.
The history center is normally closed on Mondays, but it will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 21. Normal operating hours for the history center, including the William Henry Smith Memorial Library and the Indiana Experience, are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information on this celebration and other IHS events, call 232-1882 or visit the website at www.indianahistory.org.