Get Involved

Who are the Friends?

People like you—who appreciate Art, History and Nature. The Friends of T.C. Steele, Inc. is a non-profit support group of volunteers, dedicated to preserving and developing one of Indiana’s most scenic and historic places. The diversity of the Friends membership speaks to the variety awaiting discovery, at T.C. Steele State Historic Site. You too can make a difference! Show your support by Becoming a Member.

Restoration Help Opportunity

Help us raise money! Buy bulbs for your home garden at (click the flower for the exact link) and the garden fund will benefit. 25% of the proceeds will go towards helping us restore the Steeles’ 1920s gardens!

Friends of T.C. Steele Board Opportunity

The Friends Board of Directors has openings for individuals who are especially interested in helping to promote and preserve an important Brown County and Indiana cultural treasure.  The historic site is best-known as the place to see and learn about the art and history of T.C. Steele; set amid 211 acres of natural beauty, where visitors can explore hiking trails and restored gardens. The Board welcomes members with broad interests, reflecting the wide range of offerings at the historic site.

The Board supports the historic site in its programming and capital projects, meeting approximately ten times per year. It is currently involved with restoration of the historic gardens depicted in many of T.C. Steele’s paintings.

For more information on this volunteer opportunity:

  • Send a letter of interest to:
    The Friends of T.C. Steele, 4220 T.C. Steele Rd. Nashville, IN 47448
  • E-mail:
  • Phone : 812-988-2785



  • Current student (up to age 25) $15
  • Single $30
  • Family $50
  • Supporting $100
  • Sponsor $200
  • Patron $500
  • Lifetime $1,000

Already a member? Renew or Upgrade Now


  • 10% discount in the Museum Shop; 20% off in your birthday month!
  • Discounts on many site programs and events
  • COMPLIMENTARY Large Studio/House of the Singing Winds Tours (See what’s new or revisit old favorites)
  • 30% discount on membership to the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites that includes admission to all 12 of our locations and the State Museum

A benefit to Friends membership is a 30% discount on membership to the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites that includes admission to all 12 of our locations and the State Museum, and the many other benefits of membership including IMAX vouchers, discounts to other cultural institutions, and reciprocal benefits to more than 300 Science Centers world-wide. Take a look at the ISMHS website for the details of membership advantages and types of membership.



Many of the programs and events our visitors look forward to would not be possible without the help of the Friends. Check our program schedule and plan to attend one of these annual Friends sponsored events.

  • Wildflower Foray (April)
  • Great Outdoor Art Contest (September)
  • Artist in Residence Program (quarterly)
  • Writing, producing and acting in Friends’ Murder Mystery Series
  • Steele’s County Christmas (December)


The Friends launched the Artist in Residence program in 2007 with improvements to La Casita, the Steele’s former Guest Cottage. Are you an artist looking for an inspirational place to create? T.C. Steele State Historic Site offers four residency programs each year, as well as several visiting artist opportunities. The program was developed to:

  • Promote the T.C. Steele State Historic Site and the works of T.C. Steele
  • Cultivate and encourage contemporary fine art and artists
  • Create an opportunity for, and exchange among artists, students and the community with hands-on experiences and personal interactions with working artists.

Artists working in all media are encouraged to apply.

Download AIR Application Guidelines and Procedures

To learn more about our AIR program, please visit


T.C. Steele was the first artist to make a home in Brown County, Indiana, helping to establish what became known as the Art Colony of the Midwest. Today, the Friends continue this tradition by sponsoring local art and nature activities.

  • Brown County Studio & Garden Tour and Back Roads of Brown County Tour
  • Brown County Art Renaissance Weekend
  • Brown County Spring Wildflower Foray
  • Lotus in the Park (Monroe County)


Use and develop your talents in a spectacular setting. Training will be provided. We offer year-round and seasonal volunteer opportunities in these areas:

  • GARDENS:  An exciting opportunity in garden archaeology! Help us restore Selma Steele’s formal garden from the 1910s-1920s to its former glory. Contact Grounds Supervisor Anthony Joslin ( about the many projects planned for this year.
  • TRAILS:  Maintain and make improvements to the site’s five hiking trails, originally developed by the Steeles!
  • PROGRAMS & EVENTS:  Assist with art projects, logistics, photography, publicity and other aspects of event planning and special programs. Contact us at to get involved.
  • TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:  Update website, produce online newsletter, coordinate mailing lists.
  • TOUR GUIDES:  Learn the history of the site and present tours to visitors and school groups.
  • OFFICE:  Greet visitors, answer phones, prepare mailings and other office tasks.
  • MUSEUM SHOP:  Inventory, price, order and display gift shop products.

INTERNSHIPS in Programs and Gardens and Grounds are available Spring, Summer and Fall. If you’re interested in learning more about events and Programs, or Gardens and Grounds, contact Program Developer Cate Whetzel (, or call the site at 812/988-2785.


Contact the site today to see how you (or our family or group) can help continue the legacy left by the Steeles.


Give something lasting to the historic site. Create a memorial or scholarship. Help preserve the Historic Old Oak tree. Improve access to the Formal Garden.

We have so many friends to thank. Recently we’re grateful to St. Agnes for giving the site a greenhouse (to be installed) and Worm’s Way for contributing lights for our greenhouse! Thanks also to the Nashville General Store and Bakery for donating cookies and Musgrave Orchards for donating cider to our Country Christmas event! At our most recent PaintOut, eXplore Brown County, Bear Hardware, and WonderLab Museum donated gift certificates to our Youth first place winners.  Last May, Pygmalion’s Art Supplies (of Bloomington) and PaperTrix and the Ferrer Gallery (of Nashville) gave generous donations of gift certificates for our Festival of Flowers youth winners! If you or your business would like to help, here’s how—make a General Donation, and/or contribute to one of these special funds:


Many of the paintings in the Steele collection cannot be exhibited due to poor condition. Donating to the Adopt-a-Painting fund goes toward restoration of these works. It’s exciting to see a painting come alive through this process. DONATE NOW!

Photos courtesy Barry Bauman,


The Old Oak by T.C. Steele

The Old Oak at the entrance to the historic site

It would have taken a mighty big yellow ribbon to tie around this old oak. The tree shown in Steele’s famous painting was pretty impressive when he painted it over 100 years ago. Contribute $100 to the Tree Preservation Project and receive a beautiful gicleé print on canvas of T.C. Steele’s majestic painting, ‘The Old Oak Tree.’ Funds pay for care by a certified arborist to ensure that the site’s historic trees will last far into the current century. Although this old tree fell at the end of July 2015, the site has many more historic trees that benefit from this fund, including the Lone Wolf tree, the old white oak on the slope by the House. DONATE NOW!


Selma Steele painted her landscapes with plants and seeds, creating the garden scenes seen in some of Steele’s most popular works. Make a general contribution to the ongoing garden restoration or choose a more personal designation:
Deanna Hylton Memorial Garden Fund


Donate in honor of longtime Friends members Margaret and Heydon Franzen. Your contribution will support restoration of structures and artifacts.
Margaret and Heydon Franzen Memorial Preservation Fund


It’s more fun to shop with a friend. You can designate the Friends of T.C. Steele State Historic Site as your charity of choice through Buy for Charity, and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to the Friends organization. Simply go to, make your selections, and designate the Friends.

Does your place of employment have a matching or employee giving program? Please keep the Friends of T.C. Steele in mind when making your pledge.

The Friends of T.C. Steele State Historic Site, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.