Family New Year’s Eve

When I was a kid we celebrated New Year’s by staying up late, drinking homemade eggnog, watching the ball drop on TV and listening to my dad usher in the new year by shooting his shotgun into the night sky (while we were safely watching from inside the house, of course). It wasn’t exactly exciting, but it was an annual tradition that I remember fondly.

This picture is from my first Family New Year's Eve on Dec. 31, 2005.

This picture is from my first Family New Year's Eve on Dec. 31, 2005.

Now, however, I have a new tradition, one that makes up for all those years of staying home and staying up late just to watch a ball drop in New York City … I spend my New Year’s Eve at work.

Of course, the idea of working late on New Year’s Eve probably doesn’t appeal to most people – but then again most people don’t work where I do.

First of all, now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of 32, I put much more value on the amount of sleep I get, and the thought of staying up past 10, going out to the bars and rebel rousing just doesn’t cut it anymore (as my single friends can attest to). Plus, who wants to spend $50 on a babysitter and over a hundred on cover charges, drinks and dinner? Not me. Especially not me, when I can work late and live the childhood dream of a rockin’ New Year’s Eve party while simultaneously living the adult dream of being done with it and home in bed by, yep you guessed it – 10 p.m.!

What’s so great about it, you ask? Well, first of all there are stilt-walking jugglers. You heard me – not just stilt-walkers and not just jugglers, but finely-trained entertainers that have dedicated years of practice to combine the two art forms. And I LOVE stilt-walking jugglers. I just wish I were younger, so it wouldn’t seem so weird.

In addition to that, there will be characters (yes, besides me), clowns, face painting, balloons, party hats, dancing and all kinds of fun that culminates at 8 p.m. with a countdown and balloon drop. So every year, even though I don’t technically have to work the event, I ask if I can help out and every year, that’s where you’ll find me. Cheers to new traditions and getting bed early.

Kerry Baugh is a visitor program specialist at the Indiana State Museum.

For information about the Family New Year’s Eve, visit our website.

Great TV Coverage

Its usually a great day in p.r. when you have television stations show up and yesterday we had TWO.  WXIN/Fox59 did their morning show from the museum, along with about 15 children under the age of 8, and despite the fact that there was no anchor on the scene, all went off quite well (well-placed PopTarts helped). 

Then, Santa did a little gig with the local NBC sports guy, Dave Calabro, which will air Christmas Eve (“The 10 Things in Sports I’d Like for Christmas”).  What fun!  This Santa is the real deal…and Calabro got a great ride on the Santa Claus Express train as well!

I’m a firm believer that if you’re good to the media, and give them good ideas and photogenic/intelligent subjects….they will give you good coverage.  We’ve been very lucky so far this season…

Get your caffeine fix here!

The new coffee bar at the Indiana State Museum.

The new coffee bar at the Indiana State Museum.

When you visit the Indiana State Museum, you can now indulge yourself in espresso, mocha, cappuccino, hot tea, hot chocolate or just plain coffee at our new coffee bar on the Canal Level of the museum. And don’t forget the biscotti for dipping … or maybe a blueberry muffin … mmmmm! But we need your help – we don’t have a name for it yet! Something way more creative than “The Coffee Bar at the Indiana State Museum” would be nice. After all, this is coffee we are talking about! Send us a comment with your ideas.

Making Art, One Tile at a Time

Cappi Phillips' Signature Art for the Indiana Art Fair

Cappi Phillips' Signature Art for the Indiana Art Fair

Here it is, as promised! A sneak peak of the Signature Artist piece for the Indiana Art Fair by mosaic artist Cappi Phillips. This picture depicts the mosaic that will be adhered to the side panel of the television. To make her creation, Cappi is using mosaic tiles/glass pieces that are first layed out and glued on fiberglass mesh which will then be adhered to the television, and when dry, will be grouted. It is evident that Cappi will be incorporating images from shows that have been favorites of every generation over the years. Why the pictures you may ask? “The most interesting part of this process was discovering just how much television has had such an influence on our culture. The hardest part about researching and gathering the program images was how many classics needed to be included,” notes Cappi. What show do you think is worthy for Cappi to put in her art?


Abraham Lincoln at the Indiana State Musum

Nearly a year ago the Lincoln Financial Foundation started looking for a good home for its collection of Abraham Lincoln artifacts and documents. That collection just happened to be the world’s largest private collection of memorabilia from the beloved president’s personal and presidential life. This amazing collection of more than 20,000 items includes signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, Lincoln’s wallet, family photos and the chair he sat in for some of his most famous photographs – just to name a few!

At the Indiana State Museum, we are super excited that the Lincoln Financial Foundation chose us (and the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne) to be the guardians of these national treasures!

1864 Campaign Button

1864 Campaign Button

For those who may not know … Abraham Lincoln moved with his family to what is now Spencer County, Indiana, when he was just 7 years old. The Lincoln’s lived in Indiana for 14 years – until young Abe was 21 – and then moved to Illinos, where he eventually became a lawyer, member of the Illinois state legislature, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and, finally, America’s 16th president.

Lincoln’s 200th birthday will be on Feb. 12, 2009! In an extended celebration of his birthday, the Indiana State Museum will debut a Library of Congress exhibition of rare Lincoln artifacts, including our new acquisitions, in 2010.

Kids, Santa, and the Conductor

If you’re feeling low, or if you haven’t been around little kids lately…be sure to schedule in a time for yourself to eavesdrop on some little ones as they talk to Santa or experience a fun Christmas display.  Its intoxicating!  It’ll cheer you up immediately!

This little girl on Santa’s lap opened her eyes wide in wonder and excitement the moment she entered the “Celebration Crossing” exhibit, with its Santa Claus Express train, snowy hills, and pine trees.

“The Conductor” is an amazing ‘animatronic’ guy from The Polar Express (or is he real?), who goes out to help promote the IMAX 3D movie;  its the only place in the state to view the movie this year and after this…the movie will be shelved except for DVD’s.