Firefighters Museum, Storytelling Arts to Receive Funding from Indiana Historical Society

INDIANAPOLIS—The new year is off to a promising start for two Indianapolis-based organizations. The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is awarding Heritage Support Grants to 13 organizations statewide, including the Indianapolis Firefighters Museum and Storytelling Arts of Indiana. 

The Indianapolis Firefighters Museum will receive $49,171 to expand its museum, located at 748 Massachusetts Ave. The facility is the only firefighter museum in Central Indiana housed in an original 1872 fire station. The museum is free to visit, staffed by retired firefighters and funded solely through donations. 

“The Heritage Support Grant will allow us to complete several projects, such as renovating additional space to house a 1941 Indianapolis shop-built fire engine and adding a much-needed children’s area,” said Hank Harris, president of Indianapolis Firefighters Local 416. “With this grant money, we will be able to continue our mission of ‘Preserving the Past, Protecting the Future.'” 

Harris says the fire engine is being donated by Indianapolis City-County Councilor Marilyn Pfisterer, whose late husband, Clyde Pfisterer, was a battalion chief with the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD). 

While it is the fourth round of IHS’s Heritage Support Grants, made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., it will be the first for both the Firefighters Museum and Storytelling Arts of Indiana. 

IHS will award a grant of $26,644 to Storytelling Arts, which is celebrating 30 years of infusing the art and use of storytelling in everyday life. The organization says the funding will be used for its Life Stories Project. As of December 2017, the organization had recorded 156 individuals sharing a life story. 

“The funding will allow us to transcribe 139 of these recordings yet to be done,” said Ellen Munds, executive director of Storytelling Arts. “A clip of each of the completed interviews is available online at” 

There is still time for organizations to apply for IHS’s fifth cycle of grants, but the deadline is fast approaching. Applications for smaller awards of $500 to $4,999 and a mandatory Summary of Proposal for larger grants of $5,000 to $50,000 are due Feb. 1, 2018. 

To be eligible, organizations must be incorporated as nonprofits in the State of Indiana. Organizations should be history related or propose a project that is clearly history focused. Annual budgets must be less than $300,000. 

Guidelines and applications are available at Organizations looking for more information can also call IHS at (317) 232-1882.



Lilly Endowment is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company.

In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and its home state, Indiana.



Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor experiences called the _Indiana Experience_. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.






Adams County Historical Society, Decatur 

Swiss Heritage Society, Berne



Friends of T. C. Steele State Historic Site, Nashville



Daviess County Historical Society, Washington



Elkhart County Historical Society, Bristol 

Friends of the National New York Central Railroad Museum, Elkhart



Syracuse-Wawasee Historical Museum, Syracuse



Friends of the Knox County Public Library, Vincennes



Indianapolis Firefighters Museum and Survive Alive, Indianapolis 

Storytelling Arts of Indiana, Indianapolis



Lew Wallace Study Preservation Society Inc., Crawfordsville



Switzerland County Historical Society, Vevay



Tipton County Historical Society, Tipton

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at

Check Also

Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Double-Fatal Collision North of Hazelwood

Hazelwood – The Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office in addition to the Hendricks County Coroner’s Office …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *