We kicked off our statewide read of Frankenstein with 580people at the Indiana Medical History Museum on Saturday, Sept. 30 (view pictures). It was a lovely autumn day full of activities that celebrated Mary Shelley’s classic novel. There were Franken yard games and a Franks-N-Steins beer garden; a selfie station and a haiku writing activity; a pop-up exhibit of rare anatomical texts and curatorial talks on objects with the old pathology lab; an art-making station and a theatrical performance.
The main event of the day, though, was a read-a-thon from 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. that began with CBS4 anchor Debby Knox. Indiana Fever player Natalie Achonwa also participated, as did Indianapolis City-County Council Member Vop Osili, Victor Frankenstein (in character thanks to an actor from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis), Indiana Humanities board chair elect Beth Bechdol and her daughter Grace, and more than 40 other Hoosiers, young and old.
Visitors traveled from Angola, Terre Haute and Cincinnati, and some simply walked over from the surrounding neighborhood. Read a recap of the event from the KPC News out of Kendallville.
Highlights of the day included the surprising costumes, the answers to our “Monster or Misunderstood” prompt, the creative haikus and the hearty discussion amongst attendees about the book’s themes and topical importance.
If you’re interested in replicating Frankenfest in your community, you can apply for a $1,000 grant by Oct. 31. (Only open to communities outside of Marion County.) There are also Community Read Grants for $1,000; the deadline is Oct. 31.
One State / One Story: Frankenstein is an Indiana Humanities program and has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and in partnership with the Indiana State Library and Indiana Center for the Book. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.