NIAM has a home!

Thanks to the generosity of Umang and Paragi Patel, the National Indo-American Museum (NIAM), takes residence at its first “brick and mortar” home at 815 S Main Street, in Lombard, Illinois. The Umang and Paragi Patel Center opens to the public on Saturday, October 16, 2021 with its inaugural exhibition, E/Merge: Art of the Indian Diaspora.

The NATIONAL INDO-AMERICAN MUSEUM builds bridges across generations and connects cultures through the diverse, colorful stories of all Indian Americans.

NIAM Opens its 2nd Exhibition!

Why give to NIAM?

The National Indo-American Museum
Welcomes Executive Director
Tamara Biggs

Marking another significant milestone, the National Indo-American Museum is honored to welcome it’s very first Executive Director, Tamara Biggs into the NIAM family!

“I still remember taking the bus to the St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park for a free art appreciation camp one summer. That really cemented my love for museums. Add to that my wide-ranging curiosity and artistic skills.” – Tamara BiggsClick here to know more.


Livewire- Open Mic @ NIAM

Thursday, August 18, 2022

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Umang and Paragi Patel Center, 815 S Main St, Lombard, IL 60148

Livewire is your Open Mic platform to jam, tell us a story, act your heart out, enthrall with a verse, drop the mic… You bring the talent we’ll bring the cheers!

Date: Thursday, August 18, 2022
Time: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Where: NIAM’s Umang and Paragi Patel Center, 815 S Main St, Lombard, IL 60148

Get your $5 tickets:–open-mic–niam-56540

You’ll have 3 minutes for any kind of spoken word performance- poetry, storytelling, comedy, acting, essay reading, singing, and even music! Not ready to take the mic? Come join the audience and enjoy the show!

This month’s spotlight performer: Palini Ramnarayan

Palini Ramnarayan is a versatile musician with a Music minor from Cornell University. Palini started singing when she was five years old, training in Hindustani classical under Aparna Pai and later Saili Oak. She currently follows the traditions and style of the Jaipur Gharana. Palini performs frequently at temples and community events, and has also worked on collaborative projects with string quartets and collegiate orchestras. She is also a trained Western Classical violinist, composer, and songwriter. Palini played violin in the Cornell Symphony Orchestra for 4 years and served as musical director of her a cappella group, Cornell Tarana, for two years. She is currently on the board of the Association of South Asian A Cappella. Palini is deeply passionate about intertwining her two musical cultures and spreading both genres to new audiences. She currently works as a software engineer in Chicago.

Covid protocols

As of March 1, 2022, following guidance from the CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health, NIAM no longer requires visitors or staff to wear masks.

Individuals displaying flu-like symptoms or who have recently been exposed to the virus are requested to stay home.
We will continue to monitor the situation and revise our COVID protocols as necessary.

For more information visit

Indra Nooyi at NIAM GALA 2019

NIAM’s Gandhi Peace Program

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

The annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event was hosted by the Consulate General Of India, Chicago in association with the National Indo-American Museum (NIAM).

The virtual event was held on Saturday, January 22, 2022 to commemorate the contributions of the Indian Diaspora. Invitees included a few major donors, supporters of NIAM and guests of the Consul General.

The Consul General marked the event by highlighting the journey of the Indian immigrants to the US, their significant role in the larger community and NIAM’s work in documenting their story.

The National Indo-American Museum then showcased a preview of their Oral History Project: First Voices, scheduled to go live in March 2022, which collects these stories, transcribes them into digital formats and makes them accessible to the public.

NIAM’s Oral History project began documenting these histories from 2008, they represent the first wave of immigrants from India to Chicagoland, who came before 1980. These collections also captures voices of people in both, the later stages of life, and the young who have planted firm roots in America.

The final part of the presentation features a brief showcase of NIAM’s year-round calendar of diverse outreach programs and offerings.

About Us

Successful and highly regarded programs and exhibits as well as collaborations with leading Chicago institutions have established the museum’s reputation since its incorporation as a 501(c)3 organization in 2008. In recognition of its role as the first and only institution of its kind in the country dedicated to documenting, preserving and sharing the full spectrum of the Indian American experience in all its linguistic, religious, socio-economic and regional diversity, the museum changed its name from the Indo-American Heritage Museum to the National Indo-American Museum. Click here to know more.

Our Values


Input from across generations, within and beyond the community, keeps us responsive to ideas and issues and true to our grass roots origins. We engage with the elders and with younger generations to document the past and build leadership for the future.


As keeper and teller of stories of an incredibly diverse Indian American community, secularity and inclusiveness are in our very DNA and essential to our existence.


Collaboration, partnership and sharing are key elements that define us as an umbrella organization.


By relating aspects of Indian American history and heritage to contemporary issues and contemporary forms of expression, we aim to keep the stories from the community alive and especially meaningful to our younger audiences.


Ethnic Dialogue

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Taste of India

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Sacred Sites

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Cultural Outreach

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