Muncie and Delaware County offer residents and visitors alike world-class entertainment at Ball State University's beautiful Emens Auditorium. Emens' year-round schedule includes acclaimed theater, opera and dance companies from around the world as well as some of today's most popular groups and individual performers. Emens is also the home of the highly respected Muncie Symphony Orchestra. If the stage is where your interests lie, Muncie offers a unique blend of talent for you to enjoy or participate in through the Muncie Civic Theatre, Ball State University Theater's student productions and other local theater companies.
Ball State's campus is also the home of a remarkable collection of more than 9,500 priceless original works of art. Fine art in the heart of Indiana can be found at the Ball State Museum of Art that exhibits paintings, sculptures, prints, ancient glass and other decorative arts from such masters as Rembrandt, Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, and Alexander Calder.
Muncie is home to the Academy of Model Aeronautics and the National Model Aviation Museum. Visitors to the AMA can take the controls of a radio-controlled computer flight simulator or in a less hands-on approach, enjoy the exhibits that span flying history from the 1800s to the present.
Minnetrista Cultural Center and neighboring Oakhurst Gardens are two more jewels in Muncie and Delaware County's attractions crown. You can see, feel, touch and experience the diverse culture of East Central Indiana while visiting Minnetrista, a 55,000 square foot museum offering lifelong learning experiences in art, history and science. National traveling exhibits as well as outstanding examples of local history and art are beautifully showcased in Minnetrista's galleries. The center also offers a variety of concerts, festivals and other activities throughout the year on its nearly 30 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds.
Just down the way from Minnetrista is Oakhurst Gardens, featuring 6.2 acres of flowers, plants and woodland vegetation. The environmental education center was once home to horticulturist and naturalist Elisabeth Ball, the only child of George Ball, one of the five Ball brothers who founded the modern glass jar corporation that bears their name.
The Muncie Children's Museum invites visitors to "come to your senses" and visit their new 29,000-square-foot facility in downtown Muncie where you can "taste, see, hear, touch, and feel," taking a real hands on approach to enjoying the numerous colorful and fun-focused interactive exhibits. The Muncie Children's Museum is housed within the Horizon Convention Center, which underwent a 110,000 square foot expansion in 1996. This state-of-the art facility which boasts over 40,000 square feet of meeting space, hosts meetings, banquets, conferences and conventions of all sizes as well as trade shows and concerts.
The Horizon Center and the nearby Radisson Hotel Roberts are two showcase examples of how Muncie's downtown is being revitalized. Numerous other local treasures like Hoosier-author and Muncie native Emily Kimbrough's childhood home, Ball State University's Christy Woods, which is home to the worlds largest collection of rare and exotic orchids, and Robinson's Jars, home to another unique collection, that of glass jars (you probably won't find a collection like this anywhere else except America's Hometown) add to the community's charm and claim to being one of Indiana's and probably the Midwest's best kept secrets.
Muncie also offers a wide variety of festivals and special events. From the Farm Festival in March and RiverFest in July to the Summer Heat Balloon Championship in August or the Festival of Trees and Light in November, there is always someplace to go or something to do, no matter what time of year it is.
Long before it was a city, the Muncie area was home to the Munsee or Wolf Clan of the Delaware Indians. The Delaware Indians, after whom the county is named, established a tribal town along the White River. Munseetown, from which Muncie took its name, was located within the present boundaries of the city.
When natural gas was discovered nearby in 1886, Muncie attracted industries from all over the U.S. and was the center of glass and steel manufacturing in the state at one time.
Five brothers from the Ball family brought their glass manufacturing plant from New York in 1888 and, until 1998, Ball Corporation's world headquarters were in Muncie. A second wave of durable industrial development occurred after 1910, with the emergence of tool and die and automobile-related industries.
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