Released October 13, 2020

Indiana State Museum Honored for Its Exhibit on Opioid Addiction

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana State Museum’s exhibit “FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis,” a daring look at the roots of the issue and how we can work together to improve the situation, has won the 2020 Best Practices Award from the Association of Midwest Museums (AMM).

The award, which is given to a cultural institution that has demonstrated thought-leadership through innovative programming and museum practices, will be presented virtually on Nov. 20.

FIX opened in February and will be on exhibit at the Indiana State Museum through Aug. 1, 2021. Entrance to the exhibit is included with paid admission to the museum.

“We were impressed that the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites addressed the subject of the opioid crisis in Indiana head on,” said Gregory M. Wittkopp, director of the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and chair of the AMM Awards Committee. “They not only had the courage to address this timely and sensitive topic, but did it in a thoughtful and empathetic manner.”

The idea for FIX started with Cathy Ferree, the president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, who saw a need to create a community conversation about the opioid epidemic and remove the shame, stigma and isolation surrounding this disease. The exhibit shows how all of us can play a pivotal role in managing this devastating crisis.

“The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is honored to receive this recognition because it demonstrates that museums can bring to life topics like mental health and opioid use to help break down the stigma and the shame that surrounds them,” Ferree said. “If we can take topics that are taboo or not discussed often and invite visitors here to ask questions and seek resources in a safe, non-judgmental environment, we can impact their understanding of one another in hopes of building a stronger community.”

The exhibit humanizes the opioid crisis through personal stories from real people directly affected. Visitors are invited to learn about the biological nature of addiction through hands-on activities, bringing light to the fact that this is a brain disease.

FIX unravels the opioid crisis one step at a time, including the science and biology behind opioid use disorder, our nation’s history with other health crises, and the various roads to recovery. Using a mix of science, multi-media, hands-on interactives and inspiring artwork, the exhibit helps visitors better understand the nature of addiction, how we got here and what we can all do to help change the course we’re on and continue to move our state from crisis to resolution.

The reach of FIX extends beyond the state museum; the museum and many of its 11 state historic sites continue to offer regular NARCAN training to prevent opioid overdoses.

More than 50 community partners joined the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites to make FIX possible, including Next Level Recovery, Ball Brothers Foundation, George and Frances Ball Foundation, Efroymson Family Fund, CVS Health, Jasper Group Brand and Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

For hi-res images of “FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis,” click here:


The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is a statewide museum system with 12 locations, offering visitors a chance to engage with Indiana’s past and present and see how their actions help shape the future. At each location, visitors are invited to explore big questions and create lasting experiences that will resonate long after each visit ends. Whether interested in art or architecture, history or science, there’s something for everyone and every interest. The Indianapolis museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The historic sites are located statewide, stretching from Rome City in northeastern Indiana to Evansville in the southwest.