Nearly 200 years ago, a small group of people decided to create a city on the banks of the White River. In 2020, we celebrated our city’s birthday.
About the Bicentennial
Between June 2020 and May 2021, in the midst of a global pandemic, Indianapolis came together to recognize 200 years of innovation, expansion, and civic pride in the place we call home. The year-long celebration paid proper homage to the creation of Indianapolis, while including all of our city’s most iconic events. Like other Indianapolis milestones, the bicentennial was inclusive of the rich diversity of our city, incorporating local arts, culture, civics, education, and more.
In 1820, the Indiana legislature hand-picked commissioners to locate the state’s new capital as near as possible to the center of the state to take advantage of western migration. The legislature approved the site as the new capital in early 1821, and the name Indianapolis was chosen as a combination of Indiana and the Greek word “polis” for city. The Indianapolis bicentennial celebration reflected on and honor the city’s rich history, and it will embrace what is coming next.
Arts Council of Indianapolis: Celebrating with Public ArtThe Arts Council of Indianapolis will kick off a new chapter for the city’s public art portfolio. Photo: Visit Indy
Arts Council of Indianapolis: Celebrating with Public Art
Indiana Historical Society: Indianapolis History Collecting InitiativeThe IHS will collect and curate resources about the people, places and events that have shaped the city. (Image: Indiana Historical Society, P0607)
Indiana Historical Society: Indianapolis History Collecting Initiative
POLIS Center: Digital Encyclopedia of IndianapolisThe Polis Center at IUPUI will be updating and enhancing the 1994 Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Photo: Visit Indy
POLIS Center: Digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis
WFYI, Ted Green Films, & Banayote Photography: The BuildersWFYI, Ted Green Films (TGF), and Banayote Photography are teaming up to profile 25 “builders” who have helped shape Indianapolis. Photo: Rob Banayote Photography
WFYI, Ted Green Films, & Banayote Photography: The Builders
200 Trees for Indy’s Next 200 Years: Bicentennial Tree PlantingAn opportunity to leave a living legacy for future Indy residents by getting our hands dirty to strengthen the connection between and among people from different neighborhoods, and to build community. Photo: KIB, Inc.
200 Trees for Indy’s Next 200 Years: Bicentennial Tree Planting
Crown Hill Heritage Foundation Bicentennial ToursUnique bicentennial themed tours of Crown Hill Cemetery that will tell the story of Indianapolis, focusing on those who helped shape the history of Indianapolis. Photo: Crown Hill Heritage Foundation
Crown Hill Heritage Foundation Bicentennial Tours