Conner Prairie Recognized as Site of Conscience by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience


Museum recognized for efforts to turn memory into action.

FISHERS, Ind. (Wednesday, January 9, 2019) Conner Prairie has been named a Site of Conscience by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, an organization that encompasses the only global network of historic sites, museums and memory initiatives that connect past struggles to today’s movements for human rights. Sites of Conscience strive to provide safe spaces to remember while enabling their visitors to make connections between the past and present. Conner Prairie is now recognized as one of over 250 members across 65 countries to share these values through action-driven partnerships.

“Since 1974, Conner Prairie has been a destination where people can experience history in a way that books cannot teach, as founder Eli Lilly envisioned,” said Norman Burns, President and CEO at Conner Prairie. “By building on his vision, we are opening doors to a more diverse audience reflective of the local, state and national communities we serve. We are deeply honored the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience has recognized our efforts, and we look forward to maintaining and building upon the award-winning programs that have led us to this moment.”

Conner Prairie Museum is grateful for the support of its Chairman of the Board, Rich Thrapp, and the law firm of Ice Miller LLP for its generosity in bringing this work to fruition.

Conner Prairie, Indiana’s first Smithsonian affiliate, has gained a national reputation as an award-winning museum whose approach to visitor engagement set a bar for the museum field. Conner Prairie’s visitor-centered approach, known as “Opening Doors,” tailors interpretation to guests’ unique interests and learning styles. Building on this philosophy, to open doors to even more diverse audiences, Conner Prairie formed a collaboration with Asante Children’s Theatre and established the Giving Voice Initiative, highlighting African-Americans’ presence in Indiana’s history. Giving Voice programming engages guests with relevant, surprising narratives and civic discourse that connects the past with the present, revealing a more comprehensive view of history.

Through efforts such as these, Conner Prairie and the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience are committed to connecting the past to the present in order to change the world one memory at a time.

As the VP and Chief Program Officer of Conner Prairie, Rich Cooper said, “Conner Prairie is a place where the doors are always open to a diversity of voices and limitless experiences. I am delighted our hardworking staff can claim such an honor, and we are committed to working daily to make our institution even more inclusive.”

Spanning more than 1,000 wooded acres in Central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes more than 400,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute Affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically-themed encounters and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today. Conner Prairie is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization – accredited by the American Alliance of Museums – that relies on grants and philanthropic donations from individuals, corporations and foundations for sustainability and growth. Visit or call (800) 966-1836 for admission dates, hours, ticket prices and opportunities to donate and volunteer.

Founded in 1999, the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is the only worldwide network of Sites of Conscience. With over 250 members in 65 countries, they build the capacity of these vital institutions through grants, networking, training, transitional justice mechanisms and advocacy. These members and partners remember a variety of histories and come from a wide range of settings – including long-standing democracies, countries struggling with legacies of violence, as well as post-conflict regions just beginning to address their transitional justice needs – but they are all united by their common commitment to connect past to present, memory to action. Visit for more information.

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Christine Dejoy
Director of Public Affairs