Released October 30, 2019

Indiana State Museum to open new exhibit on opioid crisis

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 30, 2019) – The United States is in the middle of a crisis that is impacting our families and communities, with Indiana at the epicenter: opioid use disorder.

This February, the Indiana State Museum plans to talk about it.

A new exhibit that has been in the works for more than two years – “FIX: Heartbreak and Hope Inside Our Opioid Crisis” – will be at the museum from Feb. 1, 2020, through Feb. 7, 2021. Working with more than 50 community partners from around the state, the exhibit will explore the many faces of this crisis that affects all Hoosiers.

“Substance use impacts our family, friends and neighbors. That’s why continuing to help more people enter recovery will always remain a top priority,” said Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. “The more we know about the ways it affects people, the better equipped we’ll be to avoid dependence or support someone you love.”

FIX invites visitors to unravel the crisis one step at a time, including the science and biology behind opioid use disorder, our nation’s history with other health crises, personal stories from individuals affected and an area focused on what recovery can look like. Through authentic and trustworthy information, interactive artwork and personal stories, the exhibit will work to build empathy and reduce stigma surrounding opioid use disorder.

“Gov. Holcomb has placed significant resources behind attacking the drug crisis,” said Jim McClelland, Indiana’s executive director for drug prevention, treatment and enforcement. “While there are signs of progress, there’s more ground to cover. This exhibit will inform youth and adults regarding substance use and empower them with the knowledge that there’s hope and healing is achievable.”

FIX is not only an exhibit for adults; it’s an exhibit also designed to engage youth ages nine and older. The exhibit aims to get information and understanding into the hands of these younger visitors with the hope of creating a more informed and strong community.

Hands-on interactives will allow families to explore the real science behind cravings or addictions, and video kiosks will share the real stories from Hoosiers personally affected by the crisis, from varying perspectives. Visitors can go inside a giant fabric brain to learn about how opioids affect the brain and explore a quilt fort created by local artist and person in recovery himself, Philip Campbell. Photos taken just for the exhibit by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Bill Foley will show what recovery can look like around the state.

At the end of the experience, visitors will find resources about the topic so that they know where to get help or where to look if they would like to help find solutions themselves.

“We want our visitors to walk away with the sense that they know more, understand more, and can empathize with people – just like them – who are suffering from opioid use disorder,” said Cathy Ferree, president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. “It is a disease, and understanding that allows us all to move forward.”

Along with the exhibit, programming addressing the crisis will take place at the museum in downtown Indianapolis and the 11 historic sites statewide, from panel discussions to town hall-style meetings. The programming will extend beyond the run of the exhibit, for as long as the communities see a need for them.

“We cannot hide from the numbers that show the depth of the addiction problem in our state,” said Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush, who also serves as co-chair of the National Judicial Opioid Task Force. “We must face them with courage and consider the humanity behind the numbers. The devastating addiction statistics are real people: our family members, our colleagues, our neighbors and our friends.”

A media preview day is planned for Jan. 31. More information will be available in early January. Please contact Hannah Kiefer at [email protected] or 317-234-8146 for more details or to schedule an interview. You can also visit the FIX media center here:

To learn more about the museum’s decision to address this topic in an exhibit, read a blog post from Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites CEO and President Cathy Ferree here:

FIX is supported by Next Level Recovery, Ball Brothers Foundation, George and Frances Ball Foundation, Efroymson Family Fund and CVS Health. 


Indiana Next Level Recovery
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
A Better Life – Brianna’s Hope
Bill Foley, artist
C. Thomas Lewis, artist
Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush
Clarksville Fire Department
Crawfordsville Fire Department
CVS Pharmacy
Dove Recovery House
Eskenazi Health
Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Office
Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition
Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse
Indiana Rural Health Association
Indiana Rural Opioid Consortium
Indiana State Department of Health
Indy Pulse
Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital
Indiana University School of Nursing
IUPUI, Art Therapy Program, offered by Herron School of Art and Design
IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology, Music Therapy Program
Ivy Tech Community College
Laura Holzman and Meredith Brickell, artists
Marion County Board of Health, Dr. Virginia Caine
Montgomery County Superior Court 1, Judge Heather Barajas
Overdose Lifeline, Inc.
Pulse Point
Philip Campbell, artist
Young Actors Theatre
University of Indianapolis


Fairbanks Alcohol & Drug Addiction Treatment Center
Side Effects Public Media/WFYI
Hope Academy
Indiana University School of Nursing
Indiana University School of Social Work

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The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is Indiana’s museum for science, art and culture, offering a place where you can celebrate, investigate, remember, learn and take pride in Indiana’s story in the context of the broader world. Even the building is a showcase of the best Indiana has to offer in architecture, materials and sculpture. Easy and convenient parking is available in the attached underground garage.