Need a gift for the humanities fan in your life? (Or maybe for yourself — we won’t judge!) Take a look at our staff picks, which include books, apparel, gummy bears(!) and more.
Megan Telligman, Director of Programs
Do you have a Midwesterner on your shopping list? Consider buying from Belt Publishing! This independent publisher specializes in little-known or overlooked stories from the Rust Belt and Midwest, including some titles of Indiana interest. Belt’s writers present new voices and insights from the region, a must-have for any Midwestern enthusiasts in your life. You can even shop bundles and book club subscriptions to keep the books coming year-round. Visit www.beltpublishing.com for a full list of titles.
National Book Award Title
Lyndsey Blair, Program Associate
Two of this year’s National Book Award finalists have a Hoosier connection. Former Fort Wayne resident Kekla Magoon was nominated in the Young People’s Literature category for her historic account of the Black Panther Party entitled Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People. Laird Hunt was nominated in the Fiction category for Zorrie, a novel about a young woman’s life in rural Indiana during the 20th century. Both titles are great options to purchase for yourself and/or loved ones this holiday season.
Sam Opsahl, Program Associate
Have somebody in your life looking for an experience rather than an item? Get them a membership to one of your local humanities organizations! Not only are memberships vital to supporting Hoosier institutions across the state, but they also give the recipient access to numerous exciting events and activities. Consider gifting a membership to sites like the Indiana Medical History Museum, Evansville African American Museum, Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, or another group in your neighborhood!
An Examined Life: The John Mutz Story
George Hanlin, Director of Grants
In this season of giving, why not celebrate someone who’s given so much to the Hoosier State? In his memoir The Examined Life: The John Mutz Story, John M. Mutz teams with historian Edward O. Frantz to share remembrances of his years in public service, including his time as Indiana’s lieutenant governor and as head of Lilly Endowment, Inc., one of the nation’s largest private foundations. By reading about Mutz’s experiences and insights, readers gain an understanding of how his leadership, civic engagement and philanthropic efforts improved life in Indiana and beyond. It’s an inspiring gift for anyone interested in history, politics, civic affairs, philanthropy and community development.
The Indianapolis Anthology
Marlena Ratchford, Finance, Grants and Program Associate
Showcasing Indianapolis’s vibrancy and diversity in nuanced and surprising ways, The Indianapolis Anthology, edited by the award-winning poet Norman Minnick, makes a thoughtful gift for anyone who calls Indianapolis home or has a soft spot in their heart for the city. The book includes over 50 contributions from journalists, poets, historians, established community voices, and first-time writers who inject new and essential lifeblood into the city’s literary portfolio. The pieces are celebratory but also challenging—and always colorful. A perfect read to conjure warmth and vitality amidst your long, dreary winter!
Indiana Writers Center Membership
Bronwen Carlisle, Programs and Special Projects Manager
Give the powerful gift of creative expression to yourself or your loved one this holiday season with a membership to the Indiana Writers Center, a deeply rich and innovative community of writers and storytellers. Novices fear not! IWC offers classes and workshops for everyone from beginners to accomplished writers in a myriad of disciplines including poetry, fiction, monologues, screenplays, etc. Unique workshops include Making Poems of Our Lives: Mining the Memories and Writing from the Heart: Soulful Creativity. IWC offers eight annual membership levels tailored to your needs and interests, so sign up today and help the writer inside take flight!
Albanese Gummy Bears
Haley Brinker, Public History Intern
Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer this year? Look no further than Albanese Gummy Bears! With an array of delectable flavors and the perfect gummy texture, these adorable little bears are the peak of confection perfection. Whether they’re a discerning candy connoisseur or your favorite sweet-toothed pal, they’ll adore this gummy gift (an Indiana Humanities team favorite!).
Kan-Kan Cinema & Hoodox
Marisol Gouveia, Director of Engagement
If someone in your life loves movies as much as Gollum loves his Precious (or even slightly less), then a membership to the Kan-Kan Cinema might be just the thing for them! Nestled in the Windsor Park neighborhood, this three-screen theater is a space to be spellbound by the silver screen, learn about the history of the medium and be part of a growing community of film lovers. If they’re a documentary aficionado, also check out a membership to Hoodox, a streaming service focused on Indiana-specific nonfiction content. Happy watching!
Trails Companion & Indiana State Parks Pass
Beth Kloote, Office Manager and Development Associate
Know someone who loves the outdoors? Challenge them to visit all 24 Indiana State Parks in one year, with a 2021 Annual Entrance Holiday Gift Pack. Pick the Camping pass or the Inns pass, but don’t pass up the chance to learn about the history of our state parks, which were given as a gift to the people of Indiana on the state’s 100th birthday in 1916!
Wild Geese Bookshop & Bookshop.org
Jackie Rodriguez, Communications Manager
Surprise your favorite literature lover with a gift from Wild Geese Bookshop. Located in a periwinkle blue home near downtown Franklin, Indiana, Wild Geese is sure to carry something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. From trinkets to stationery to the latest bestsellers, their unique assortment of knickknacks can be picked up in-store or online. They also offer a convenient subscription box for the particularly dedicated bibliophile. Pick your genre and each month, a lovely Wild Geese Bookshop package will come your way with a new release for you and a bookish gift. Another great retailer to support is Bookshop.org. They carry a broad selection of titles and give back a portion of profits to independent stores, publications, authors and others who make up the thriving, inspirational culture around books.
The Book of Delights & other Indiana Authors Awards books
Keira Amstutz, President and CEO
Searching for the perfect gift for the book lover on your list? Visit a locally owned bookstore in your area and support an Indiana Authors Award winner or finalist . With eight categories ranging from children’s books, young adult, fiction and non-fiction, there’s something for everyone. I have been personally smitten with Ross Gay’s Book of Delights. Gay lends a poet’s eye to the wonder and complexities of life and is a fabulous gift for anyone on your list.