In 2018, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis plans an exhibit that will focus on letters Ryan White received after his story was told in a TV movie and by the boy himself, on the Phil Donahue show.
These won’t include celebrity correspondence, Collections Manager Jennifer Noffze tells Eltonjohnworld.com. However, the museum does have a Ryan White collection with quite a few special items.
Jennifer says they include a signed Michael Jackson doll that says both ”I love you and ”To Jeannie, I love you, MJ”; a Jackson concert poster; and Elton John 1986-1987 World Tour backstage pass, all of which are currently on display.
Meanwhile, Elton’s Greatest Hits album and photo of Ryan and Andrea White backstage at Elton’s concert on November 1986 are part of the Power of Children travelling show, as is a Jackson tour book.
Developed with the help of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, the Anne Frank Center in New York, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Ruby Bridges, and White’s Ryan family and friends, The Power of Children: Making a Difference is a powerful reminder of how a single individual really can make a difference. Frank’s diary entries, news footage of Bridges being escorted to school by U.S. Marshals, and video interviews with an ill but determined Ryan White exposed to the world the fact that these were kids being forced to deal with dreadful situations, yet finding a way to do so with dignity and grace.
Jennifer Noffze has shared other memorabilia of interest, currently in storage. The goods include:
A Neverland Valley journal and notebook; a shot of Elton and Steve Ford (White’s stepfather) with Ryan and his sister Andrea; and an autographed photo of Elton in a top hat, reading ”To Ryan, with love always, Elton.”
Incidentally, the museum’s permanent collection also happens to contain a unique item, although this isn’t related to Ryan.
Jennifer says they purchased Elton’s black stage mask and hat in 2016.
”The dealer we purchased this from acquired it in Atlanta, Georgia, at a ‘Closet Sale’ (to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation) in 1997. It dates back to the 1970s and it was worn during one of his performances.”