Close this search box.

Thank you to the many volunteers, donors, vendors, community partners, and others who made our Grand Opening and VonnegutFest a huge success! What a great day of meaningful and entertaining programming! We are here to provide our guests a wonderful visit, thanks to you. Indianapolis City-County Council President Vop Osili changed his busy schedule to make sure to be able to attend our event. Thank you, Vop! His entire speech was wonderful, here’s an excerpt:

On a day, in a week, and in a month where I know many will be reaching for their favorite Vonnegut quotes, I’m reflecting today on one of my own. Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “The death of a library, any library, suggests that the community has lost its soul.” And in the anticipation of this afternoon’s events and the opening of this incredible facility, I’ve been wondering—if Vonnegut was right about that, does that mean perhaps the opposite is also true? If the death of a library suggests that a community has lost its soul, does the birth—or rebirth—of a library help a community find its soul? Are we here to cut a ribbon this afternoon? Or are we perhaps here to tap the well of our city’s collective soul?

I’d be hard-pressed to call this afternoon a mere ribbon cutting. As we stand in this spot that brings together the writings and legacy of Kurt Vonnegut with this city’s tradition of jazz, which he loved so much, and this uniquely hometown café, and so much beautiful art inspired by Vonnegut’s own work, I believe we are driving a nuanced and needed tap into the well of Indianapolis’ soul. As Midwesterners, we so often fool ourselves into thinking that culture and art belong to the coasts; we become habituated to looking “out there” for the treasure of talent and overlook our own rich artistic and cultural traditions.

But Kurt Vonnegut always understood the fallacy of that outward focus. “All my jokes,” he once said, “are Indianapolis. All my attitudes are Indianapolis. My adenoids are Indianapolis. If I ever severed myself from Indianapolis, I would be out of business. What people like about me is Indianapolis.”

I am grateful to Vonnegut and this museum and library for helping us all see what is Indianapolis. 

If you were not able to join us this past weekend, please come see us soon. We can’t wait to show you around.

Kathi Badertscher, PhD

Director of Graduate Programs at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Kathi Badertscher, PhD, is Director of Graduate Programs at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Dr. Badertscher teaches a variety of BA, MA, and doctoral courses, including Applying Ethics in Philanthropy and History of Philanthropy. She has participated in several Teaching Vonnegut workshops and is a member of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. Dr. Badertscher has been a guest speaker on ethics in philanthropy, including at the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners – Indianapolis Council; Association of Fundraising Professionals – Indiana Chapter; and Zhou Enlai School of Government, Nankai University, Tianjin, China. In 2019 she received IUPUI Office for Women, Women’s Leadership Award for Newcomer Faculty. In 2019 and 2020 she received the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Graduate Teaching Award.
Dr. Badertscher’s publications include “Fundraising for Advocacy and Social Change,” co-authored with Shariq Siddiqui in Achieving Excellence in Fundraising, 5th ed., 2022; “Insulin at 100: Indianapolis, Toronto, Woods Hole, and the ‘Insulin Road,’ co-authored with Christopher Rutty, Pharmacy in History (2020); and three articles in the Indiana Magazine of History: “A New Wishard Is on the Way,” “Evaline Holliday and the Work of Community Service,” and “Social Networks in Indianapolis during the Progressive Era.” Her chapters on social welfare history will appear in three upcoming edited volumes on the history of philanthropy, including “The Legacy of Edna Henry and Her Contributions to the IU School of Social Work,” Women at Indiana University: Views of the Past and the Future, edited by Andrea Walton, Indiana University Press, 2022 (forthcoming). Dr. Badertscher is also the Philanthropy and Nonprofits Consulting Editor for the forthcoming Digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, edited by David J. Bodenhamer and Elizabeth Van Allen, Indiana University Press, 2021. Dr. Badertscher is an active volunteer in the Indianapolis community. At present, she is a Coburn Place Safe Haven Board Member and a Children’s Bureau/Families First Brand and Marketing Advisor. Dr. Badertscher holds the MA in History from Indiana University and the MA and PhD in philanthropic studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Volunteer With KVML

Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library Volunteer Application

Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions about this application’s content.