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Page last updated on January 18, 2023 at 5:00 pm

For more information, please contact

Michael Shermis, Special Projects Coordinator, Community and Family Resources, or 812.349.3471


Holly Warren, Assistant Director for the Arts, Economic and Sustainable Development, or 812-349-3534


Dr. Gloria Howell, Chair, City of Bloomington Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, 


Andrew Krebbs, Communications Director, Office of the Mayor or 812-349-3406




A Week of Remembrance Announced to Celebrate African American History in Bloomington through Art and Storytelling

Bloomington, Ind.– The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission is announcing a call for artists and arts groups to create art, and historians and storytellers to activate five historically significant sites in Bloomington during community walks planned as part of MLK Remembrance Week, April 4-8, 2023. This week begins on Tuesday, April 4, which marks the 55th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s tragic and untimely death. 


In an effort to promote and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and promote the acceptance of diversity in the community, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission is planning a week of remembrance and celebration of African American history in Bloomington through art and storytelling. There will be two walking tours to highlight five significant Black history sites across Bloomington. The walks are planned for the afternoons of Thursday, April 6 and Saturday, April 8 (times TBD). The April 6 walk is planned specifically for students at Fairview Elementary. The Commission is seeking historians/storytellers to propose history/story presentations that reflect and highlight the significance of each site, to be read/performed at each site during each walk. At the same time, the Commission is seeking artists and art groups to create artwork or media for each site. The artists will also be available at the sites to discuss the art they produce. The five Near Westside neighborhood sites include:


  • Rev. Ernest D Butler Park, 812 W. 9th St.
  • Banneker Community Center, 930 W. 7th St.
  • Fairview Elementary School, 500 W. 7th St. 
  • Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 302 N. Rogers St.
  • Second Baptist Church, 321 N. Rogers St.


The call for artists/art groups is in partnership with the City of Bloomington Economic and Sustainable Development Department. The call for historians/storytellers is in partnership with the Monroe County History Center. They both will be partnering to create an interactive experience based on national and local Black history.


Request for Artists Proposals is available at Request for Historians/Storyteller Proposals is available at For more information about Remembrance Week and planned events visit   

Contact Special Projects Coordinator Michael Shermis at 812.349.3471 or with any questions.