In the Western imagination, India conjures up everything from saris and spices to turbans and temples—and the pulsating energy of Bollywood movies. But in America, India’s contributions stretch far beyond these stereotypes.

From the builders of some of America's earliest railroads and farms to Civil Rights pioneers to digital technology entrepreneurs, Indian Americans have long been an inextricable part of American life. Today, one out of every 100 Americans, from Silicon Valley to Smalltown, USA, traces his or her roots to India. Breakthroughs in business, the arts, medicine, science, and technology, and the flavorful food, flamboyant fashion and yoga of India have become a central part of our national culture.

Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, created in collaboration with the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific American Center (APAC), explores the Indian American experience and the community's vital political, professional, and cultural contributions to American life and history.

Beyond Bollywood
moves past pop-culture stereotypes of Indian Americans to explore the heritage, daily experience, and diverse contributions of Indian immigrants and their descendants in the United States. Weaving together stories of individual achievement and collective struggle, the exhibition uses photography, narrative, multimedia, and interactive stations to tell a uniquely American story, while conveying the texture, vibrancy, and vitality of Indian American communities. Host venues will be able to engage local Indian communities and the broader public in the sharing and preservation of local Indian American history and contributions, alongside national ones.

Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation is an inspirational look at the history and contributions of a community that uniquely merges Indian and American culture.

Follow this exhibition on Twitter! @sitesExhibits #beyondbollywood


Exhibition specifications

Contents 24 wall-hung panels with text, photographs, charts and graphics; display thalis (plates) and trunk; audio station
Supplemental Educational and promotional resources; Hindi translation of exhibition script provided
Participation Fee $2,400 per 10-week booking period, plus outgoing shipping
Size Approximately 150 running feet
Category History & Culture
Security Limited
Shipping Outgoing
SITES Contacts Ed Liskey, 202.633.3142 (scheduling)
Sara Artes, 202.633.3113 (content)
Tour Through January 2019


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Tour itinerary

Opening Closing Host Institution Status
05/02/2015—07/12/2015 Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ Booked
08/01/2015—10/11/2015 Olive Hyde Art Gallery,
Fremont, CA
11/08/2015—01/10/2016 Sonoma County Museum,
Santa Rosa, CA
01/30/2016—04/10/2016 Mathers Museum of World Cultures, Bloomington, IN Booked
04/30/2016—07/10/2016 Minnesota History Center
St. Paul, MN
07/30/2016—10/09/2016 John E. Conner Museum, Texas A&M University, Kingsville, TX Booked
10/29/2016—01/08/2017 City of Raleigh Museum,
Raleigh, NC
01/28/2017—04/09/2017 City of Raleigh Museum,
Raleigh, NC
04/29/2017—07/09/2017 South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC Booked
07/29/2017—10/08/2017   Call for Availability
10/28/2017—01/07/2018   Call for Availability
01/27/2018—04/08/2018   Call for Availability
04/28/2018—07/08/2018   Call for Availability
07/28/2018—10/07/2018   Call for Availability
10/27/2018—01/06/2019   Call for Availability


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Related publications

Beyond Bollywood: Facilitated Dialogue Toolkit

With a grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, SITES and APAC partnered with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience to produce a facilitated dialogue toolkit for inclusion in the Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, exhibition. The toolkit assists venues with the development of exhibit-focused community dialogue programs around themes of immigration, race, and social justice.


Press release

None listed at this time. Please check back again.

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» Exhibition Specifications

» Tour Itinerary

Programs and Events

Exhibition Prospectus

Beyond Bollywood Web

» Toolkit for Creating Dialogue


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I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story

Journey Stories


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