Make your home page

Why was the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library vandalized?

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library was vandalized in the early morning hours on Thursday when someone walked by the building and threw a rock through the glass door.

Some at the museum believe the vandalism was related to the organization’s newsletter that went out Wednesday and came out against banning books in Indiana. An Indianapolis police detective was looking for suspects.

Julia Whitehead, founder and chief executive officer of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, said “We are unveiling a petition for military veterans, like myself, to sign to support the reading of books, banned books. We celebrate the reading of banned books in Indiana.”

The newsletter also publicly supported Indy Reads, a business in Fountain Square that recently received a bomb threat over hosting a drag story hour. Whitehead said her organization stands in support of free speech in the way Kurt Vonnegut did.

“As far as the knowledge that someone out there does not like the work we do, well we keep going forward because Kurt Vonnegut was an American soldier, a Hoosier soldier who spoke out for people who don’t use their voices or have the voice to be heard,” Whitehead said.

This downtown museum at 543 Indiana Ave. is a nonprofit, so recovering from the vandalism will be difficult. “Everything with an old building is expensive, and when you’re a small nonprofit it’s really hard to raise a lot of money for things that just pop up that are not in your budget.”

Whitehead and other employees says the experience has been difficult. “It felt scary. It felt like it was very intentional.”

Officer William Young, a spokesman for Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, said a detective was assigned to the case and looking for suspects.