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John Dillinger and his legendary gang tore across the Midwest between 1933 and 1934, robbing banks, confounding law officials and captivating the American public. Seventy-five years later, DILLINGER! Forging a Hoosier Legend aims to captivate and educate new generations of Hoosiers about America's first and most infamous public enemy. The museum-quality exhibit will feature unique artifacts, photos and documents that give visitors an in-depth look into the life of John Dillinger and what factors led this ordinary Hoosier farm boy towards a life of crime. With the concurrent release of the film Public Enemies, the exhibit will add a rich historical element to the public discourse.
The DILLINGER! exhibit was produced by students from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis with the assistance of Exhibit House through a grant from the IUPUI Solution Center. Historical materials used for the exhibit come from the collections from the Indiana State Archives, the Indiana State Library, the Indianapolis Star, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Features of the exhibit include letters and official state documents pertaining to Dillinger from the Indiana Department of Correction, the Indiana State Police, the Governor's Office, and the offices of the Attorney General and Secretary of State. Materials from the Star include original depression-era photographs and articles about Dillinger and his gang.
The exhibit is free and open to the public beginning Wednesday, July 15 and through December 31, 2009. Exhibit hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern). Two grand opening events will be featured on July 15:
Event 1: Public Grand Opening - Be the first to see this one-of-a-kind exhibit at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis. Free public tours will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until 4:00 p.m. A special forum with Jeff Scalf, great-nephew of John Dillinger, will begin at 3:00 p.m. Mr. Scalf will give a thirty-minute presentation followed by a Q&A session. Other public programs will be scheduled throughout the day.
Event 2: Friends Reception - Join the Friends of the Indiana State Archives for a reception featuring private after-hours tours by the creators of the exhibit and an exclusive viewing of original Dillinger documents, artifacts and photographs during this one-time event. Enjoy wine, hors d'oeuvres, and interesting perspectives with Jeff Scalf, great nephew of John Dillinger. The event is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis. Cost is $20 per person and all proceeds go the Friends of the Indiana State Archives who provide funding for the reception and a portion of the exhibit. Visit http://www.dillingerlegend.org/ to RSVP.
For more information about DILLINGER! Forging a Hoosier Legend, including exhibit hours, public programs, and destination information, visit http://www.dillingerlegend.org/.
Eight Indiana communities were among 269 nationwide selected to host Big Read celebrations between September 2009 and June 2010. Indiana libraries and nonprofits receiving Big Read Grants and include:
Check out The Big Read grant listing to view all recent grantees, including grant amount and project book title. Local programs last approximately one month and include a kick-off event; events devoted specifically to the book (panel discussions, lectures, public readings, etc.); events using the book as a point of departure (film screenings, theatrical readings, etc.); and book discussions in diverse locations and aimed at a wide range of audiences.
The Big Read, a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) initiative designed to restore reading to the center of American culture, provides grants each year to hundreds of organizations in communities of varying sizes across the country. The Big Read brings together partners, such as public libraries and community organizations, from across the nation to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment. Please check The Big Read's website for information regarding future application deadlines, or subscribe here to be informed of initiative updates.
The State Library is available to assist interested public libraries by reviewing your Big Read application and providing helpful suggestions and feedback. Please contact Virginia Vought at 317-234-6550 or firstname.lastname@example.org to take advantage of this free service.