From the late 1800s until today, people of Arab descent have made Indianapolis their home. From establishing businesses to working in the fields of health care and education, they have contributed to the cultural vitality, economic growth, and social fabric of greater Indianapolis. Today’s Arab Hoosiers trace their roots to more than twenty Arabic-speaking countries across North Africa and the Middle East.

Organizations across the state can now apply to host screenings and discussions of the film Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History in their classrooms, communities and congregations. To apply, fill out the application form to let us know how you envision the program. If accepted, organizations can receive up to $250 to support program costs.

Arab Indianapolis Film Screenings & Discussions

About the Film

Join author and IUPUI Professor Edward E. Curtis IV and other Arab Americans on their search for their roots in Indianapolis.

Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History, directed and produced by local filmmaker Becky Fisher and shot by Vinnie Manganello, reveals a new chapter in the diverse history of central Indiana. It explores the first Arabic-speaking neighborhood in Indianapolis, the founding of St. George Church in the 1920s, the establishment of a prominent Arab American business on Monument Circle, the service of Arab Americans in World War II, the election of Arab Americans to political offices in the Indiana Capitol, the contributions of Arab Americans to medicine since the 1920s, and the influence of Arab American food on menus across the city.

An official selection of the 31st annual Heartland International Film Festival, Arab Indianapolis: A Hidden History debuted on WFYI Indianapolis on June 16, 2022, and was broadcast subsequently on every other PBS affiliate station in Indiana: WTIU-Bloomington, Oct. 23, 26; WNIT-South Bend, Oct. 24; WYIN-Gary, Nov. 18, 2022. It is currently streaming on the PBS app.

The film was underwritten by the Arab Indianapolis Foundation, Inc., and Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities. It was produced by Fisher Productions in association with Indiana University.

To learn more about the film and other resources, visit the Arab Indianapolis webpage.



Host a Program

Indiana Humanities invites non-profit organizations to apply to bring Arab Indianapolis to their towns, neighborhoods, classrooms and congregations and host discussions about the important topics presented by the film. 

These community screening and discussion programs will see Indiana residents coming together to watch and talk about the film. Indiana Humanities is providing $250 stipends and a robust discussion toolkit to support host organizations in planning a screening and discussion of Arab Indianapolis. Host organizations are asked to develop programs that are free and open to the public, and to fill out a short survey after the screening to let us know how things went.

To apply, review the discussion toolkit, then fill out the application form. We ask that you apply at least three weeks before you would like to host your screening and discussion.


Upcoming Screenings

Host Organization City Host Organization Website Event Date Event Time
IUPUI Multicultural Center Indianapolis https://diversity.iupui.edu/offices/mc/index.html Thursday, April 6, 2023 3:00-5:00 pm
Kan Kan Cinema/Indianapolis Film Project Indianapolis https://kankanindy.com/about/ Thursday, April 13, 2023 7:30 pm
Indy Reads Indianapolis http://www.indyreads.org Sunday, April 16, 2023 2:00-4:00 pm
All Souls Indianapolis Indianapolis http://allsoulsindy.org Sunday, April 23, 2023 12:00-2:00 pm
University of Indianapolis Indianapolis https://uindy.edu/ Monday, April 24, 2023 5:30-7:30 pm
Indiana Historical Society Indianapolis http://www.indianahistory.org Tuesday, April 25, 2023 5:00-8:30 pm
Newfields Indianapolis https://discovernewfields.org/ Thursday, April 27, 2023 7:00-9:30 pm
Hamilton East Public Library, Fishers Branch Fishers https://hepl.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?EventId=66829 Saturday, April 29, 2023 2:00-4:30 pm
St. Paul’s Indy Indianapolis http://stpaulsindy.org Wednesday, May 24, 2023 6:30-8:30 pm
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Indianapolis http://www.stlukesumc.com Tuesday, May 30, 2023 7:00-8:30 pm

Resources for Hosting a Screening & Discussion

Are you hosting a screening and discussion of Arab Indianapolis ? These resources are designed to help you host a successful event!