Downtown Muncie boasts a vibrant art district, complete with a variety of galleries, monthly First Thursday art openings, demonstrations, classes and educational talks. The annual Arts Walk, on the first Thursday in October, adds select groups from Ball State University for music, dance and fine art demonstrations and performances. Free to the public, these family friendly events include light refreshments and free parking.
Jim Davis, cartoonist and creator of the comic strip Garfield, was born in Marion in 1945 and joined the faculty of Ball State University in 2016 as an adjunct professor. Odd stat: Davis’ first wife, Carolyn, was allergic to cats.
The well-known Ball Corporation that produces glass jars and lids for home canning began its long history in Muncie, starting its operation in 1889. Today, the company is headquartered in Broomfield, Colo.
Muncie was one of 11 charter members of the National Football League that formed in 1905. The Muncie Flyers played in the NFL for 20 years before going bankrupt after the 1925 season.
The NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” ran from 2009-2015, and starred Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, and Rob Lowe. The popular show was about the antics of a fictitious city in Indiana (Pawnee, IN) and their public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their community a better place. The city Pawnee was based off of and has many reference to Muncie. Even the city map was created from the current Muncie map.
Every 15 minutes, 48 custom-made bells covering four octaves ring out across the Ball State campus from Shafer Tower. As the crowning glory of the north end of campus, Shafer Tower rises 150 feet in the air from the middle of McKinley Avenue. The tower is named after Phyllis and Hamer Shafer, members of the Miller College of Business Hall o f Fame and benefactors of the university and Muncie community. The tower is used to play pre-recorded music or music played on an off-site keyboard. For special occasions, a carillonneur can climb the tower where a keyboard attached to cables is used to strike the bells and produce music.