MN History Center

345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Directions

Museum

Tue 10 am-8 pm 
Wed-Sat 10 am-5 pm
Sun Noon-5 pm 
Closed Monday (Open 10 am-5 pm Monday holidays year round)
Museum Holiday Hours

Exhibit Pricing

Get Tickets

Library

Tue 9 am-8 pm
Wed-Sat 9 am-4 pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
Library Holiday Hours

Free Admission

Contact

651-259-3000
Contact

2017 Dec 13

 

Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation

Beyond Bollywood, Indian Americans shape the nation banner with decorative image of dancer

Photograph by John Merrell

On view through July 10, 2016

Move past the pop-culture stereotypes of saris, turbans and temples to unveil the deeper story of Indian Americans — from daily experiences to their vital contributions to American life. The exhibit includes artifacts, oral histories, and reflections from Minnesota’s own Indian American community.

 
 
Today, one out of every 100 Americans traces his or her roots to India. In Minnesota, Indian Americans number just over 40,000, making them Minnesota’s second-largest Asian population, after Hmong Americans.
 
Beyond Bollywood tells the story of Indian Americans through three lenses:
 

History and Arrival

Indians aren’t newcomers to Minnesota. Students from India began attending our universities around 1900. Some of India’s brightest minds brought their history, religion and culture to Minnesota in the 1890s and 1920s. But biased immigration laws kept the number of Indians here small.

In the 1960s, everything changed. New laws opened the door to Indians with sought-after skills in medicine, science, technology, and other fields. Some new Minnesotans came here directly from India. Others arrived via Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, or England. Whatever their immigration path, Indian Americans are one of the fastest-growing groups in Minnesota.

Community and Culture

Countless dancers, painters, sculptors, playwrights, actors, musicians, writers, and other artists with Indian roots call Minnesota home. Why? Enthusiastic audiences. Generous support from local foundations and other funders. A supportive arts community that encourages risk-taking and collaboration.

In the 1970s, Indian Minnesotans founded sports teams, launched language schools, and started temples, mosques and gudwara (Sikh places of worship). Entrepreneurs opened restaurants and stores selling Indian goods. New organizations advocated for community interests, and brought people together from different parts of India. Minnesota now felt more like home.

Contributions

Whether they were born here, came as immigrants, or live here for school or work, Indians and Indian Americans influence our state’s culture and economy. In turn, Minnesota offers opportunities and a quality of life hard to find elsewhere.

Indian Minnesotans are innovators in education, science, medicine, and technology, but they also excel in many other fields. Artists with Indian roots help inspire our culture and imagine new worlds. Indian American entrepreneurs generate new ideas and construct useful products. Others improve Minnesota by working in media, government, and nonprofits.

Events

Sunday, June 19
 
Tuesday, June 28
 
 

Indian Textiles Pop-up Exhibit

Detail of Sari fabric

April 30-July 10
Minnesota History Center Cafe

This exhibit highlights Indian textiles and the unique connections between Indian producers and designers and American consumers, from elegant saris to preppy madras and homey calico printed on high-quality cottons and silks. Researched and produced by Dr. Anupama Pasricha of St. Catherine University. 

Field Trips

Students can visit Beyond Bollywood to explore the stories of Indian Minnesotans and experience the profound impact Indian Americans have had in Minnesota and the United States. Included with a field trip to the Minnesota History Center.


Exhibit highlights


Smithsonian logo

Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

MNHS Presenting Partner Dr Dash Foundation
Major Support by Ram and Neena Gada Family and by Nambudiripad FamilyMajor support by Hindu Society of MinnesotaMajor support by Wells FargoMajor support from the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment
Associate Sponsors
Associate sponsor Nath Companies
Associate sponsor IAMAssociate sponsor Reddy Foundation
Associate sponsors Drs. Krishna M. and Kusum Saxena, Ms. Shanti Shah and Mr. Stefan Peterson, and Mandeep Sodhi