Two Indianapolis philanthropists have donated $500,000 to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. The Indianapolis museum will name its gift shop after Frank and Katrina Basile.

February 17, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Frank and Katrina Basile are known across the city of Indianapolis for their philanthropic support of the arts community. This year the Basiles are continuing their tradition, giving $500,000 to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in honor of the museum's 25th anniversary fundraising campaign — Project Silver Moon. In turn, the museum will rename its retail space The Frank and Katrina Basile Museum Store.

For the Basiles, the idea of becoming the namesakes of the Eiteljorg's store seemed perfect for many reasons: the high quality merchandise, the people who run it, and especially, the opportunity to give back.

“Service is the only rent we pay for the space we occupy on this planet,” said Frank during a recent visit. “Any success or happiness we achieve in this life is only a byproduct of the service we render to other human beings. And that service can be contributions, volunteering, anything to help a nonprofit like the Eiteljorg in its worthwhile mission – a mission that we believe in.”

Eiteljorg president and CEO, John Vanausdall, says the museum is grateful for the Basile’s vision, generosity and friendship.

“Frank and Katrina's passion for the arts and our community are legendary,” he said. “Their gift, a combination of current gifts and planned giving, is a model for others who wish to support the museum in a way that sustains the museum’s needs into the future.”

Frank, who is also chair of the Eiteljorg's merchandising council, says he and Katrina believe in designating “planned gifts” for charities and providing final gifts to heirs and family members. But Frank didn't always have the means to make financial contributions to good causes. He grew up with very little, yet now has the means to give away so much.

“Maybe it was because I grew up poor – in a financial sense – in New Orleans,” he said. “Material things are not that important to me. I don’t need a 10- to 15-thousand-square-foot house. I don’t need a $60,000 automobile. I don’t need two or three summer or winter homes.

“…Much better, that in your lifetime, you look at organizations – or people for that matter –in whose mission you believe in – and designate some or all of it (money) to go in those places.”

Throughout the year, the Basile Museum Store will host book signings, artist meet and greets and trunk shows featuring authentic Western, Southwestern and Native American art, jewelry, pottery, rugs and blankets. It is open each day during regular museum hours.

Pictured: Katrina and Frank Basile

About the Eiteljorg

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western art seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. This year, the Eiteljorg celebrates 25 years of telling amazing stories. The museum’s 25thanniversary is presented by Oxford Financial Group. LTD. The Eiteljorg is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park, at 500 West Washington, Indianapolis, IN 46204. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call 317.636.WEST (9378) or visit

Source: Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

Story Continues Below