New outdoor nature experience opening at Conner Prairie in July

Construction continues on Treetop Outpost, a new, 10,000-square-foot outdoor nature experience that will open in July at Conner Prairie.

Staff Report

A four-story treehouse offering visitors panoramic views of the forest will be the centerpiece of a new 10,000-square-foot outdoor experience that will open July 1 at Conner Prairie.

Construction on Treetop Outpost began in late October and continues today in the southwest corner of the museum’s grounds, close to the White River. Several activity areas will surround the treehouse, allowing visitors of all ages to engage with natural materials, experience archaeology, build, create nature-based artwork, explore music with instruments and more.

Visitors will enter the treehouse by spanning a suspension bridge or walking up an elevated walkway. A portion of Conner Prairie’s existing nature walk will connect with Treetop Outpost. Continue reading

Conner Prairie seeks part-time interpreters for 2016 summer season

Conner Prairie is looking for the right candidates to fill three interpretation positions for the 2016 outdoor season.

Staff Report

Conner Prairie is currently accepting applications for part-time interpreters for the 2016 summer season. These positions serve as both the costumed, first-person interpreters in our outdoor experience areas, as well as the third-person interpreters who help guests around the park and in indoor exhibits.

Applicants for these positions should be at least 16 years old. The positions are part-time and offer between 24 and 40 hours per week from late March to October. While ability to work all of those months is preferred, college students or others who cannot work the entire time are still encouraged to apply. Pay is hourly.

Below you’ll find descriptions of the three open positions.

Guest engagement interpreter. These interpreters work either in costume or blue shirts and work out in the park as well as in indoor exhibits. Interpreters strive to learn and master interpretive methods in order to provide engaging experiences to visitors. Applicants should be adaptable, outgoing, positive and respectful. They should be able to work on a team and in an outdoor environment. Interpreters help visitors and talk to them every day, so strong people skills are a must. Working knowledge of the historical time periods that Conner Prairie represents is preferred. More information and application available here: Guest Engagement Interpreter Application.

Guest engagement interpreter, early childhood. Qualifications for early childhood interpreters are in many ways the same as the general guest engagement interpreters. However, this position is meant to appeal to applicants specifically interested in working primarily with children ages 5 to 8 in our indoor exhibits, such as Discovery Station and Create.Connect. There is possibility for crossover, including costumed interpretation, for those in this position. Application and detailed qualifications here: Guest Engagement Interpreter, Early Childhood Application.

Historic trades interpreter (blacksmithing and woodworking): The historic trade interpreters provide visitors of all ages with unique, engaging craft and trade experiences. They will serve as interpreters in Conner Prairie’s 1836 Prairietown, as well as take part in implementation of all craft and trade activities and programs. Frequent weekend and holiday work is required. Previous experience in the trade is desired, and can range from novice to advanced. Additional information and application available here: Historic Trades Interpreter Application. 

After applying, qualified applicants will be invited to a group interview during the third week of February. After that, interpreters will be selected, and basic training will take place on Feb. 29 and March 1 and 2.

Nearly 1,000 visitors celebrate life, legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

A group of visitors on MLK Jr. Day at Conner Prairie re-create a peaceful protest and march through the museum’s Welcome Center.

Staff Report

Monday, Conner Prairie enjoyed its annual Martin Luther King Jr. free admission day, along with special programming themed to celebrate the messages of King Jr. and his legacy.

Nearly 1,000 families took advantage of the free day and celebrated King Jr.’s life. Conner Prairie again welcomed Asante Children’s Theatre to perform “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, The Power of Freedom Songs” and a simulation of a 1964 student nonviolent coordinating committee meeting.

The Kids on the Block puppet troupe from the Joseph Maley Foundation also performed “Sticks and Stones,” a puppet show about standing up for others. Continue reading

2015 Year in Review: December

Ellen M. Rosenthal readies for her last day as president and CEO of Conner Prairie on Jan. 4. She has led the museum since 2003. She came to Conner Prairie in 1999, guided it through its quest for independence from Earlham College and changed its operation from a traditional outdoor living history museum to an interactive history park focused on providing hands-on, immersive experiences for all visitors.

The Conner Prairie Alliance announces that it has exceeded $1 million in donations to support the museum since its inception in 1984. All of the funds that the Alliance raises each year come from its operation of the Apple Store at Conner Prairie. In the fall, the store opens for just two months and offers a variety of seasonal treats, most notably hand-dipped, gourmet caramel apples. This season, the store’s 30th one since opening in 1985, the Alliance (below) raised $85,000.


Free admission to Conner Prairie Monday to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Thousands are expected to visit Conner Prairie Monday on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a free admission day at the museum.

Staff Report

Here are activities planned for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a free admission day at Conner Prairie on Monday (Jan. 18):

• Activities throughout the day will focus on Martin Luther King Jr.’s peaceful protests
• Asante Children’s Theater will present an interactive music presentation on freedom songs at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. in Lilly Theater, located on the second floor of the museum’s Welcome Center
• “Freedom Summer 1964,” a simulation of a 1964 student non-violent coordinating committee training session, will be presented at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in Lilly Theater
• The Joseph Maley Foundation Kids on the Block Troupe will present “Sticks and Stones,” a puppet show about how one can stand up to others. “Sticks and Stones” will be held in Woodland North, located on the second floor of the Welcome Center, at noon and 2 p.m.
• A Tree of Dreams will be a display where visitors of all ages can share their dreams in writing. Throughout the Welcome Center, a gallery of images of non-violent protests, past and present, will be on display. In Craft Corner, visitors can add their own piece to a larger collaborative art project in tribute to King Jr.

Conner Prairie’s Welcome Center, which includes indoor experiences Create.Connect and Discovery Station and Craft Corner, will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday. The museum’s outdoor grounds remain closed until March 24.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is one of three free admission days at Conner Prairie this year; the others are President’s Day on Feb. 15 and Smithsonian Day LIVE! on Sept. 24.