Away from Conner Prairie, interpreter packs house with spirited improv act

Conner Prairie interpreter Jason Adams co-wrote and starred in an IndyFringe Theatre Festival show that was one of the 10-day event’s top 10 shows of the year.

By Katie Arnold
Communications Specialist

Jason Adams is now super famous. During the 2015 season of IndyFringe Theatre Festival, an annual, 10-day theater event, Jason starred in his own show that ended up being a top 10 show this year.

“It went ridiculously well,” said Jason of his newest show, which blends comedy, storytelling, magic tricks and Canadian pride. “There were no empty seats during the run.”

Written with his wife, Erin Carr Adams, the idea for the show came to Jason back in April when he developed an “aggressive magic act” as part of a show with Angel Burlesque. Continue reading

Talent of local artists’ association on display through Jan. 10

Artist Frank Slim’s “Westminster by Moonlight” is one painting on display now through Jan. 30 at Conner Prairie. The exhibit featuring members of the Hamilton County Artists’ Association is showcased on the second floor of the museum’s Welcome Center.

Staff Report

The works of 14 local artists from the Hamilton County Artists’ Association will be on display at Conner Prairie starting Saturday.

Established in 1950, HCAA works to promote and encourage creative art in Hamilton County and provide learning opportunities to study art for all. Anyone can sign up for HCAA classes or attend meetings with featured speakers. Continue reading

Delaware Indian Tribe returns for Woodland Indian School Program and more

146557493.7E2QJiRJEvery year, members of the Delaware Indian Tribe of Oklahoma dance with kids and adults during Dance! Lenape Indian Traditions and the Woodland Indian School Program.

By Katie Arnold
Communications Specialist

Each October, six members of the Delaware (Lenape) Indian Tribe of Oklahoma travel to Conner Prairie to share their heritage with Conner Prairie visitors. This year, these individuals will share their culture through dancing demonstrations during Dance! Lenape Indian Traditions, a public program on Oct. 3. On Oct. 4, they will join guests of Prairie Plates, which will feature Native American-inspired cuisine created by Alan Sternberg, the executive chef of Cerulean Restaurant. And, they will also spend three days with Indiana students during the Woodland Indian School Program.

The Woodland Indian School Program offers groups of students a day-long look into the culture of the Lenape people. Throughout the day, students will attend six group sessions led by our Lenape guests and Conner Prairie staff that discuss different aspects of Lenape history and heritage. Continue reading

Conner Society member shares passion for vintage cars at Festival of Machines

Phil Gumpert displays his 1974 Ferrari 246 GT Coupe at the Vintage Wheels and Wine event in 2014 prior to the inaugural Festival of Machines.

By Melanie Hayes
Communications Specialist

When Phil “Rock” Gumpert bought his first car in the early 1960s at age 19, he had to get an $800 loan. He only had about $80 in his pocket.

Now, decades later, he owns many Ferraris, Porsches and other rare and classic cars. He exhibits them at events and drives several of them in Formula One and Formula Atlantic races.

“I call these cars rolling sculptures because a lot of them are like fine pieces of art,” he said.

Gumpert, chairman and CEO of Tom Lange Global Produce Network, was one of several collectors who showcased classic cars at Conner Prairie’s second annual Festival of Machines and its VIP event, Vintage Wheels and Wine, earlier this month. Continue reading

Staying true to role, interpreter readies for 1′ of hair to be cut — publicly

Conner Prairie interpreter Andrew Barge will have his long locks cut Sept. 19 so that fellow interpreter Sarah Withrow can make hair jewelry, or mourning jewelry, which involves weaving remembrances, like a pendant or watch fob, from a departed loved one’s hair.

By Kim McCann
Guest Blogger

“Here today, gone tomorrow,” they say. But for one Conner Prairie interpreter, it may soon be more fitting to say, “Hair today, gone tomorrow.”

Andrew Barge started at Conner Prairie as a youth interpreter 12 years ago. “My older sister applied for a job here as a youth volunteer,” he remembers. “And you know, being a little kid, you’ve got to do everything your older sister’s doing so I followed in her footsteps. But I stayed interested because this place is awesome.”

He will soon blur the lines between real life and interpretation when more than a foot of the tresses he’s been growing for three years is cut during Conner Prairie’s open hours. Why lose the long locks? And why do so publicly? “There’s no documentation on long hair (for men), at least, not in 1836 in Indiana,” he said. Continue reading