“Team Eva” and 500 Festival team up to commission a mural honoring inspirational Hoosier in larger than life tribute


INDIANAPOLIS – The 500 Festival, a nonprofit organization providing life-enriching events and programs that celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500®, today announced that installation will begin this week on a massive, world-class mural depicting forgiveness advocate, Holocaust survivor and Hoosier hero, Eva Mozes Kor. The mural will be installed on the south wall of the 500 Festival Building, located at 21 Virginia Ave. in downtown Indianapolis. Eva Mozes Kor, who passed away in 2019 at the age of 85, was a survivor of the Holocaust and an internationally known champion of human rights and forgiveness advocate.

The Eva Kor mural project, managed by the 500 Festival Foundation, has the enthusiastic support of Mrs. Kor’s family. Fundraising efforts for the project were led by volunteers from “Team Eva,” a group of individual donors and philanthropic organizations who came together to make the Eva project possible.

The mural will be painted by Pamela Bliss, the Hoosier artist behind the outdoor murals of icons such as Kurt Vonnegut, Reggie Miller and John Mellencamp. The new mural will be one of the city’s tallest portraits, with Kor – 4-foot-9 in real life – to stand approximately 53 feet tall. Work on the new mural started last week and is expected to be completed by the end of November 2020, with a dedication ceremony to follow.

The mural will be based off of a photo of Eva that was taken during one of her many visits to Auschwitz. Everyone driving or walking up Delaware Street, up Virginia toward the Circle, or traveling along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, will be met by the beaming face of one of the most inspirational Hoosiers in history and her signature message of Hope, Healing and Forgiveness. The installation will also include plaques with Eva’s story and life lessons.

“Eva has left an everlasting impact on Hoosiers, our country and our world. This mural will be an enduring reminder of her spirit of forgiveness and love,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb.

“Words cannot adequately express what this mural of my mother in downtown Indianapolis means to me, my father and my sister,” said Dr. Alex Kor, Eva’s son. “On behalf of my family, I would like to thank Ted Green, Dr. John Abrams, Jessica Chapman, WFYI, the 500 Festival, all donors and friends. With tears in my eyes, thank you!”

“We are proud to lead the efforts to make the Eva Kor mural project a reality. Her story inspired countless people throughout the years. We know that this mural will continue to serve as a significant reminder of her legacy and that her smiling face will inspire generations to come,” said Dr. John Abrams and filmmaker Ted Green, lead volunteers for “Team Eva.”

“Eva Mozes Kor was an inspiration and a treasured member of the 500 Festival’s extended family,” said Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival. “Eva’s message of peace, unity and inclusiveness have never been more relevant in our community. Standing at just 4 feet 9 inches, Eva’s personality was larger than life. It only seemed fitting that we use our building as a canvas to pay tribute to her legacy.”

Eva Kor lived in Terre Haute, Ind., for 59 years but was born in the tiny village of Portz, Romania. Eva was 10-years-old when she was imprisoned at Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp where she and her twin sister, Miriam, were subjected to unthinkable medical experiments by Dr. Josef Mengele. The girls fought daily for their own survival until the camp was liberated.

Eva started telling her story to schools in 1978, and in the 1980s she became a vocal advocate for Holocaust survivors. After countless years of anger and grief, Eva Kor made a shocking decision that would come to define her legacy. In 1995, Eva returned to Auschwitz on the 50th anniversary of the liberation to publicly forgive the Nazis. From that moment on, Eva worked tirelessly, dedicating her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope, healing and inclusiveness.

Kor’s never-give-up attitude, advocacy work and signature message of Hope, Healing and Forgiveness made her an international symbol of inspiration. In recent years, Eva Kor was awarded with the Sachem Award, Indiana’s highest civilian honor, and was honored at the Kennedy Center by the Anti-Defamation League. She was named a “Living Legend” by the Indiana Historical Society and has been the focus of several books and two feature-length documentaries, most recently “Eva: A-7063,” a documentary by Ted Green and Mika Brown in partnership with WFYI, which has been broadcast more than 1,000 times across the country. Eva Kor was also named Grand Marshal of the 2017 IPL 500 Festival Parade and served as the Official Pacesetter for the 2019 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Within the 500 Festival’s 60+ year history, Eva Kor is the only person to serve in both of those roles.

For more information about the 500 Festival and our programs and events, please visit 500festival.com. To view a trailer of the movie, “Eva: A-7063,” or to learn more about Eva Kor, please visit TheStoryofEva.com. To learn more about Pamela Bliss, visit https://pamelabliss.gallery.


About the 500 Festival
Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $500 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit 500festival.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Media Contact: Sabrina List, 500 Festival
317.614.6141 | slist@500festival.com