History of the 500 Festival Foundation

The 500 Festival Foundation was established in 1996. Ten years later, in honor of the 500 Festival’s 50th anniversary, the 500 Festival Foundation, with support from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, and representatives from the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Herron School of Art and Design, Expo Design and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, commissioned a permanent art structure entitled The Tent. The Tent was created by internationally renowned artist Donald Lipski to celebrate community and volunteer spirit. The Tent is a wind-activated sculpture and was built from tubular stainless steel. It has nearly 500 panels of polished stainless steel and is painted on the outside with 23 bright colors. It is located in White River State Park. 

Today, the 500 Festival Foundation is comprised of civic and business leaders committed to supporting the 500 Festival’s mission to enrich lives and have a positive community impact while celebrating the Indy 500. The Foundation has a specific interest in the advancement of the 500 Festival’s youth initiatives. From college scholarships for Indiana’s brightest college leaders to a free curriculum for our state’s fourth-grade classrooms to a free program designed to combat childhood obesity and teach kids the importance of leading a healthy, active lifestyle – the 500 Festival Foundation’s investments help enhance the education of Indiana’s youth and provide a calendar of community activities that invite the participation of all Hoosiers and showcase Indianapolis on a global stage.