The Madame Walker Theatre Center held its grand opening on December 26th, 1927. The Walker Building, located on the Indiana Avenue corridor, was the center of entertainment, business and pride for the city's African-American community from the 1920s to the 1950s. Today, 85 years later, the Madame Walker Theatre Center still anchors Indiana Avenue as one of the city's only National Historic Landmarks owned and operated by African-Americans. In celebration of 85 years on Indiana Avenue, the Board of Directors and staff have announced a full week of fundraising events that will entertain, educate and reflect on the future of the historic building.
The Nov. 9 – 15th line-up features one of the original Supremes, Mary Wilson, doing a tribute to the beloved Lena Horne in a project called James Gavin's Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project starring Mary Wilson. The week will also boast a 1927 Flapper Party, Casino Night, an IndyTalks discussion on the future of Indiana Avenue and a day for IPS students to meet "Madam C. J. Walker" (played by Vickie Daniel) and be educated on the legacy of the Center's namesake.
Additionally, the Madame Walker Theatre Center has partnered with Herron School of Art and Design to hold the 1st Annual 2D Design Contest. AIGA Herron is helping to promote a competition among Herron students to submit their interpretation of the Madame Walker Theatre Center's 85th year. The winner will receive:
· Recognition during the unveiling of the design at IndyTalks
· One year of free promotion across all MWTC platforms
· Two free tickets to each 85th Anniversary event
· A T-shirt with design
Details on each event listed here:
Friday, November 9th: 1927 Cotton Club Flapper Party and Casino Night, 7p, $100 per person
The Walker takes it all the way back to 1927 with the grand piano, live band, pearls, hats and tuxedo jackets – it's the Cotton Club! Join us for a casino night with dancing, drinks and hors d'ourves in the Grand Casino Ballroom. Guests will participate in a raffle and items will be available for bid at our silent auction. A limited number of tickets will be on sale after September 14, 2012.
Tuesday, November 13th: Re-Imagining the Future of Indiana Avenue, Donation requested
For much of the 20th century Indiana Avenue was one of Indianapolis' most vibrant cultural sectors. Enjoy a provocative discussion that imagines a new future for this important area and celebrate the Madame Walker Theatre's 85th year.
Wednesday, November 14th: Student Matinee and Q & A with "Madam C. J. Walker"
Students will watch $2 and a Dream by Stanley Nelson. This documentary biography focuses on the life and career of Madame C.J. Walker. She parlays two dollars and a home-remedy hair product into a multi-million dollar business.
Thursday, November 15th: James Gavin's STORMY WEATHER: The Lena Horne Project
Starring Mary Wilson, $75, $50, $30
One of the original members from The Supremes, Mary Wilson performs live on the historic Madame Walker Theatre Center stage presenting many famous numbers by the great Lena Horne. The show has traveled the country to rave reviews. A VIP reception in the Grand Casino Ballroom will follow the show.