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The Indiana Black Expo is a nonprofit organization that hosts events and programs to celebrate black culture.

After being canceled in 2020, the Expo Summer Party is back and celebrating its 50th anniversary.

While much of it is in person, changes have been made to the celebration’s regular programming due to security concerns related to COVID-19, and some of the events will be live.

Here’s what you need to know:

Why the changes?

This year’s summer celebration has been planned with public health and safety in mind, organizers said.

“Because outdoor spaces are safer than indoor spaces, we have decided that most of our events with large gatherings will take place in outdoor venues offering an abundance of space or will be delivered virtually,” explained an announcement from BIE at the end of March.

Due to security concerns related to COVID, the following events have been canceled:

  • Company lunch
  • Exhibition Hall, featuring the Entertainment Stage, Celebrity Basketball Game, Cultural Arts Pavilion, and Amateur Boxing

And these events will be rescheduled at other times of the year:

  • Youth Leadership Summit
  • Job Opportunities Fair
  • Technological zone

Read more:Indiana Black Expo’s summer celebration will return in 2021 – but with changes

When is it?

July 8 to July 18.

Do I have to wear a mask?

According to Bryan Kelley, vice president of community initiatives and marketing, masks are mandatory for participants who are not vaccinated “at any of our sites for the health and safety of all participants.” In addition, people with symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID-19 are urged not to attend events and to “take care and see a doctor as needed.”

What’s on the program?

The full schedule and ticketing information is available at: https://summercelebration.net/calendar-of-events/.

Carolyn Thomas, left, joins others at the rehearsal of the BIE Ecumenical Choir on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at Grace Apostolic Church.  The city's Ecumenical Choir will kick off the Indiana Black Expo 2021 summer celebration during the ecumenical service on Thursday, July 8, 2021.

July 8: Ecumenical service

This year’s ecumenical service will feature guest speaker Pastor Smokie Norful and a city-wide ecumenical choir.

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Cost: Release

Location: Grace Apostolic Church, 649 E. 22nd St., Indianapolis, IN 46202

Faith tested but never broken, the Black Expo choir finds paradise together

July 10: 50th Summer Celebration Gala

The 50th Anniversary Gala celebrates the past achievements of the BIE and raises a toast to the future. The gala will feature entertainment from After 7, and ticket sales will benefit the Indiana Academy of the Performing Arts Black Expo.

Time: 7 p.m. to midnight

Cost: $ 125 per person (sponsorships available)

Location: Indianapolis Motor Speedway – exterior in front of 6th St. Pagoda, Indianapolis, IN 46222

July 12: Conference of minority companies

This year’s conference includes a virtual panel discussion, Moving Beyond Disparity Studies. It’s free but pre-registration is required.

Cost: Release

Location: IBE Headquarters, 601 N. Shortridge Road, Indianapolis, IN 46219

For more information and pre-registration details: https://www.indianablackexpo.com/business-conference-2021/

July 13-15: Indiana University Education Conference

The education conference includes workshops and speeches on equity in education, especially in light of the pandemic. The conference is virtual this year and free. Pre-registration is required.

Cost: Release

For more information and pre-registration details: https://www.indianablackexpo.com/education-conference/

Frank Johnson has his blood pressure checked by Ted Bowrey at the Kroger Pharmacy station during the Black Expo Health Fair at the Indiana Convention Center on Thursday, July 19, 2018.

July 16-18: Black and Minority Health Show

According to the IBE website, the Black and Minority Health Fair is “the world’s largest medical screening event targeting African Americans and minorities.” In addition to over $ 2,000 in free screenings and exams, there will be demonstrations, presentations and an interactive stage.


  • July 16: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • July 17: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • July 18: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: Release

Location: Indiana Convention Center 100 S. Capitol Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46225

July 16: Real Talk Teen Forum

The forum, featuring civil rights activist and former NBA star Stephen Jackson, will discuss issues facing the black community. Jackson will emphasize the importance of raising the voice of young people.

Time: Midday

Cost: Release

Location: BIE Headquarters 601 N Shortridge Road, Indianapolis, IN 46219

Frankie Beverly performs with Maze on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as part of the Indiana Black Expo summer celebration.

July 16: Free outdoor concert

The concert will feature Keith Sweat, Stephanie Mills, Johnny Gill and El Debarge. Seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis and doors open at 2 p.m. Individuals can also stay in their vehicle in the parking lots and listen to the concert on the Lucas Oil radio station (87.9 FM).

Time: 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Cost: Release; VIP seat is $ 50

Location: Lucas Oil Raceway 10267 East, US Highway 136, Indianapolis, IN 46234

July 17: All White Affair

This event stars Dru Hill and Raheem DeVaughn and is hosted by DJ Kid Capri.

Time: 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Cost: In advance: $ 50 for general admission and $ 100 VIP. Prices will rise at the door.

Location: The Pan Am Pavilion 201 S. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46225

July 18: Virtual gospel concert

This virtual concert will be free and accessible to the public. Artists and details to be announced.

Time: 4:00 p.m.

Cost: Release

Contact Serena Puang, IndyStar Pulliam member, at [email protected] Follow her on twitter @SerenaPuang



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