Need a gift for the humanities fan in your life? (Or maybe for yourself – we won’t judge!) Check out our staff picks, which include books, getaways, memberships and more.
Indiana Authors Awards Books
Sam Opsahl, Program Associate
Struggling to find a gift for that Hoosier in your life that loves awards season? Find them a good read from our list of the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award winners! With eight books to choose from that cover the literary spectrum from children’s to genre, there’s something for everybody in this year’s Indiana Authors Awards selections. And if you’re hunting for even more good reads, take a deep dive into our Indiana Authors Awards shortlists and fill up your family and friends’ bookshelves this holiday season!
Indiana Landmarks Membership
Grace McDowell, Public History Intern
Indiana Landmarks works to preserve and interpret historic sites across the state through grants and long-term initiatives like their recently-launched Black Heritage Preservation Program. With an Indiana Landmarks’ membership, you can support the revitalization of sites significant to Black Hoosiers’ history and culture. You also get exclusive access to events and discounts on fascinating historical tours of places like the Athenaeum or the City Market Catacombs, which was the setting of 2020 Indiana Authors Awards winner Maurice Broaddus’ novel Pimp My Airship. Indiana Landmarks’ website makes it easy to gift an individual membership for $25 or a dual membership for $40.
Indiana Waterways: The Art of Conservation
George Hanlin, Director of Grants
During the height of the pandemic, five Indiana artists toured the state and painted Indiana’s waterways, creating 100 works that depict dozens of Hoosierland’s rivers and streams—from the mighty Ohio in Vanderburgh County to the tiny Salamonie in Jay County. Museums in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Muncie and New Harmony will exhibit the paintings, and the JMetzger Group has reproduced them in a book titled Indiana Waterways: The Art of Conservation. The limited-edition book is handsomely designed, and the images celebrate Indiana’s natural beauty. But accompanying essays, supported in part by an Indiana Humanities grant, paint a more nuanced picture, calling attention to Indiana’s history of environmental neglect and making an appeal for increased conservation and restoration.
Butler University Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium
Lydia Laker, Kristen Fuhs Wells Communications Intern
Stargazers, poets and hip-hop lovers, this is for you! Enjoy a night observing the stars at Butler University Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium while reading former Indiana Poet Laureate Adrian Matejka’s coming-of-age collection, Map to the Stars. This is the perfect gift for someone who wants a unique, poetic experience under the stars!
Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Membership
Marisol Gouveia, Director of Engagement
For the 19th state enthusiast in your life: Get this Indiana-themed leather travel journal (or any other exquisitely handcrafted journal from the Indiana-based Binding Bee) and pair it with an Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites membership, which includes admission to the museum in Indianapolis as well as 11 other sites across the state. They can consider the beginnings of our state at the Capitol in Corydon, our role on the Underground Railroad at the Levi & Catharine Coffin House and visions of a model community in New Harmony. Memberships start at $75. Explore Indiana!
Stranger Things Inspired Getaway at the Graduate Hotel
Beth Kloote, Office Manager and Development Associate
For the pop culture fans, gift them a weekend away in Bloomington with the Stranger Things suite Upside Down Experience package at The Graduate Hotel. This gift includes exploring the city on a bike with a Polaroid to capture your perspectives. May we suggest a stop along the way at an upcoming IU Arts & Humanities Council event? Or just pretend you’re an extra in Breaking Away.
Michigan City Getaway
Jackie Rodriguez, Communications Manager
For those unfamiliar with northwestern Indiana, Michigan City sounds like a town you’d find in our northern neighboring state. Luckily, this gem is actually nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan in LaPorte County. Plan a beachy getaway for someone you love and visit the Old Light House Museum, walk along the sandy waterfront shores, marvel at the critters and creatures inside the Washington Park Zoo or discover the legacy of Naomi Anderson Brown, Michigan City’s “hometown suffragist,” at Charles R. Westcott Park.
Indiana Writers Center Membership
Lyndsey Blair, Program Associate
Have you or a loved one made a resolution to write more next year? Then an Indiana Writers Center (IWC) membership is the perfect gift to purchase this holiday season. IWC provides a wealth of opportunities to learn about writing in various disciplines (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, playwriting, etc.) as well as connect with writers of like mind. Plus, an IWC membership keeps the Center’s classes and programs affordable for other residents in Indiana.
Indiana State Parks Pass
Keira Amstutz, President and CEO
If you are looking for a way to avoid the crush of after-Thanksgiving shopping, join the Opt Out movement and experience a state park near you for FREE on Friday, November 25. Many parks are offering guided hikes that day including Pokagon State Park near my hometown. While you are there, pick up a 2023 park pass for $50 as a gift for the outdoorsy person on your list.
Tom Streit, Creative Technologist
I usually suggest whatever record Stuart Hyatt put out this year (there’s a reissue of his Grammy-award winning album “The Clouds” that you should look into) but this year I’m encouraging you to spend a little time in one of my favorite cities, Columbus. Grab a friend, a paper shoot camera or smartphone, and explore the architecture downtown. Visit Columbus has all the resources in one place (tours, guides and attractions) but ditch the car and walk around for the best vantages. Make sure to check out Viewpoint Books, ZwanzigZ and have everyone choose a favorite public art installation while in town.
PATTERN Magazine Subscription
Hailey DeWolf, Events Associate
Looking for a gift to give the creative in your life? Get them a subscription to PATTERN Magazine! Not only will their annual subscription include the spring and fall editions of the award-winning publication, but it also will go toward supporting the nonprofit organization’s work to make Indianapolis a world-class destination for culture, fashion, art and music.
frank: sonnets, The Rabbit Hutch and Booth
Megan Telligman, Director of Programs
In addition to Indiana’s own book awards, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, tons of authors with Indiana ties were recognized by big prizes this year. I’d recommend making gifts of any of these award-winning books for the literature lovers in your life. Poet Diane Suess was born in Michigan City and her collection frank: sonnets took home the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle awards for poetry. Winner of the 2022 National Book Award for fiction, Tess Gunty’s debut novel The Rabbit Hutch is set in a fictionalized South Bend, where Gunty was born and raised. For the history-lovers in your life, Karen Joy Fowler’s fictional treatment of the family of John Wilkes Booth in Booth made the Booker Prize longlist this year.
Lee Durham, Digital Production Intern
To secure the everlasting love and adoration of the film buff in your life, consider gifting them a subscription to Indiana’s very own, very cool documentary streaming service – Hoodox! Hoodox works a lot like most video streaming platforms, but it only features nonfiction content either created by Indiana filmmakers, about Indiana stories, or both. If you’re already sold, cool your boots, because it gets better: Hoodox is also a non-profit organization working to build a robust community around documentary film here in Indiana. You can level up and go with a membership, too. These are offered in three tiers and include bountiful, awesome perks (the best one among them being your much-needed support of the Indiana filmmaking community).
Belt Magazine Subscription
Marlena Ratchford, Finance, Grants and Program Associate
A subscription to Belt magazine is essential for any folks in your life who have found themselves rooted and raised in, transplanted to, or otherwise passionately connected to the Rust Belt, the region of the U.S. marred by post-industrial decline. Belt viscerally captures the nuanced life and culture, both beautiful and brutal, of a unique American landscape. The magazine’s essays, poetry, artwork, cultural and politically commentary avoid reducing the Rust Belt to its most tragic realities, and instead, create vivid, complex and moving portraits of communities committed to finding hope and vibrance in the most unexpected places.