National Geographic Sacred Journeys exhibit opens August 29th

A new exhibit arrives this week at The Children’s Museum Of Indianapolis. And while the concept may take a moment to grasp, the lasting effect promises to be a worthwhile lesson for visiting families.
Each year, more than 330 million people around the world—from all walks of life—journey to sacred places. Sometimes those concepts and beliefs can be challenging to explain to children. But the National Geographic Sacred Journeys exhibit created by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in collaboration with the National Geographic Society {and funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.} can help open the door for families to discuss what may be most important to them.
Through immersive environments created with stunning photography from National Geographic, families will see images of pilgrimages to places like the Western Wall and Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Golden Temple in Amritsar (Punjab region of India), the Great Mosque in Mecca, and many more. Also discover what kind of religious objects former astronaut and Hoosier native David Wolf took into space and why.


“The sharing of these personal journeys will offer families an opportunity to learn about the customs and beliefs of their neighbors and about religion in America,” says Professor Raymond Williams, Wabash College, who conducts academic research on Hinduism and on the religions of immigrants from India and Pakistan in the United States.
Artifacts from a variety of faith traditions across the world and in your local neighborhood will enrich the experience, including fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls, a stone from the Western Wall, Brigham Young’s trunk, a piece of the Kiswa (a gold-embroidered fabric which drapes the Kaaba in Mecca), the Dalai Lama’s throne and a sand mandala created by Buddhist monks on site as well as a replica of the Shroud of Turin.
This powerful exhibit opens with a few special dates to mark on your calendar:
  • Friday, 8/28: Member Preview Day – members see the exhibit first!
  • Saturday, 8/29: Opening Day – See Tibetan Buddhist monks as they construct a peace sand mandala—an intricate painting with colored sands.
  • Sunday, 8/30: Take part in the third annual Indy Festival of Faiths at Veterans Memorial Plaza downtown from 1–5 p.m. The festival, which is free, celebrates Central Indiana’s diverse religious heritage and includes music, dialogue, wedding traditions, ethnic food, and more.
  • Saturday, 9/19: “The Science Behind The Shroud of Turin Presented by Barrie Schwortz:” Hear from internationally recognized Shroud of Turin expert Barrie Schwortz, who participated in the first ever in-depth scientific examination of the cloth venerated by millions of Christians as the actual burial garment of Jesus Christ. Free with general admission. Advance tickets available Aug. 10.


MORE INFO: National Geographic Sacred Journeys opens August 29, 2015 at The Children’s Museum, located at 3000 North Meridian Street near downtown Indianapolis. The exhibit will be on display through February 21, 2016. Regular museum admission rates will apply. Visit the Museum website for more details or call (317) 334-4000.

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