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Education Classes & Events

National Youth Summit on the War on Poverty

Students connect past policy with present-day conditions

On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at noon the Oklahoma History Center will participate in the National Youth Summit on the War on Poverty, an online outreach program organized by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The event at the Oklahoma History Center will link middle and high school students from across the country in an engaging program centered on the history and legacy of the War on Poverty.

Approximately 50 8th- through 12th-grade students will come to the History Center to join in the national discussion with students across the country, after which the conversation will shift to local issues relating to the War on Poverty and its impact in Oklahoma. Local experts will help students think critically about poverty in our state as well as in their local communities.

In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson declared an "all-out war on human poverty," pledging "the most Federal support in history for education, for health, for retraining the unemployed, and for helping the economically and physically handicapped." Yet in September 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 14.5 percent of Americans live below the poverty line. The National Youth Summit will help students to answer questions such as, "How do we assess the legacy of the War on Poverty? Do we need a new War on Poverty? What can and should young people do about this issue?" Students will talk with a panel of experts including Peter Edelman, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University, faculty director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality and a former aide to Robert Kennedy; Marcia Chatelain, associate professor of history at Georgetown University and creator of the #fergusonsyllabus Twitter discussion on teaching history and contemporary events; Melissa Boteach, vice president of Half in Ten and the Poverty and Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress; and Michael Tanner, senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

The Oklahoma History Center is one of five Smithsonian Affiliate organizations simultaneously hosting Regional Youth Summit Conversations with local activists, scholars and youth. Affiliate summit sites enable young people from across the country to participate in the conversation originating from Washington, D.C., allowing them to submit questions for the national panel through the webcast's online chat and via video conference. Teachers can contact Rachel Kellum at 405-522-0793 or rkellum@okhistory.org to register their students for the Regional Summit. Participants can visit http://americanhistory.si.edu/nys to register and find more information.

The National Youth Summit was designed by the National Museum of American History to provide students with an opportunity to share their views and debate an issue, and the program aligns with the Common Core Standards for Speaking and Listening. Panelists and the audience will explore the history and legacy of the War on Poverty and contemporary approaches to addressing poverty and economic inequality. The program also will focus on the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future. Classroom teachers and other participants will receive a conversation kit, designed to provide ideas for leading discussion topics in age-appropriate ways. The project is funded by the Smithsonian’s Youth Access Grants and the Verizon Foundation.

Homemade Music: Cigar Box Guitars

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Be a part of Oklahoma's rich musical heritage! Musicians from Oklahoma have influenced American popular music for over 150 years, and many of them learned to play on homemade instruments like cigar box guitars and gourd banjos. Participants in this class will make their own three-string, slide guitar from cigar boxes and other materials. The instructors will then help members of the class learn to play their new instruments. The cost for the class is $75 and includes all supplies. The class is from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. and is limited to fourteen people, ages 13 and up with adult supervision. For more information on the class or to register please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Beginning Southeastern Moccasin Class

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Join the Oklahoma History Center in making traditional Southeastern soft sole moccasins taught by Mary HorseChief on Saturday, May 9. The class runs from 12-4 p.m. and costs $100 per person. Lunch is included. Registration is required and limited to twenty people. For more information or to register please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Lafayette Live!

May 14-15, 2015

Benjamin Goldman will portray Marquis de Lafayette at the Oklahoma History Center May 14-15, 2015.

Goldman has performed at Valley Forge and Independence National Historical Parks in Pennsylvania; at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home in Virginia; and for presidents George W. Bush and Nicolas Sarkozy at the White House, among other venues and audiences. He also worked for several years as a storyteller with Historic Philadelphia, Inc. where he wrote and sometimes translated interpretive stories into French.

This program is free and open to the public. Thursday is an evening performance; doors open at 6pm and the program begins at 7pm. Friday programs include student performances at 10:30am and 12:00pm and a matinee performance at 2pm.

Southeastern Ceramic Mask Class

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Oklahoma History Center will host a ceramic mask class with Jane Osti, Cherokee potter and Cherokee National Living Treasure, on May 16, 2015. The class will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and registration is required. The cost for the class is $100 and includes all materials and lunch. Class size is limited to twelve participants to allow for one on one instruction. Jane will discuss southeastern style traditional pottery and mask making. Each student will complete a project and decorate it with tools provided. You may leave your finished piece at the museum to be fired and picked up at a later date or you may transport it to dry and make arrangements to fire the piece on your own. Registration is required and limited to ages eighteen and above. For more information or to register please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Okietales

Wednesdays, June and July 2015

Mark your calendars and load up the little ones for a special program to explore Oklahoma's past at the Oklahoma History Center. Each Wednesday in June and July from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. the History Center hosts Okietales. Okietales is a one-of-a-kind reading and storytelling time where kids can hear and see history! Every Wednesday we will dive into history with books and stories and explore a different topic from the Wild West and Cowboys to Land Runs and Pioneer Life. This program is designed for five to nine year olds. Each week, participants will explore a different topic from Oklahoma's diverse history. Admission is $2 for each child and includes museum admission following the program. For more information, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.  

Juneteenth Panel Discussion

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A panel of scholars will meet to discuss issues of slavery and emancipation in the Indian Territories in honor of the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, the day that the last Confederate state enacted the Emancipation Proclamation, in 1865. This is celebrated as the last day of legal slavery in the United States of America. The event is free and open to the public from 7–9 p.m. For more information contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Fiber Rendezvous and Traditional Craft Day

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Oklahoma History Center invites you and your family to come experience the art of heritage crafts and fiber rendezvous. The galleries will come to life with demonstrations and hands-on activities exploring traditional crafts such as weaving, spinning, basket weaving, and beadwork from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 20. The event is free with museum admission. For more information about the event, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Family Space Camp

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Join the Oklahoma History Center for a special space-themed camp on June 27 from 2 to 5 p.m. Families will explore the space exhibit, use hands-on space gadgets, and create their own rocket.  Registration is required and space is limited to ten families. Cost is $35 per couple and $10 for each additional person. All ages are welcome. For more information about the event or to register, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

History Pioneers Junior Curator Camp

Monday-Friday, July 6 to 10, 2015

Ever thought about a career in the museum field? Join the Oklahoma History Center in the second History Pioneers Junior Curator Camp from July 6 to 10. Participants will work from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to create their own exhibit to display at the History Center with an exhibit opening on Friday, July 10, at 2 p.m. Students aged eight to twelve will learn how to handle artifacts, write labels, research, make mounts, and present an exhibit. Cost for the camp is $100. Registration is required and limited to twenty students. For more information about the camp or register, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

National History Day Boot Camp

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Interested in participating in National History Day? Whether you have competed before or are new to the program, this workshop is for you. Join Oklahoma NHD staff for an introduction to NHD. Learn the 2015-2016 theme, primary sources available in the area, how to conduct research, and the different types of projects. This workshop is free for teachers on July 16, 2015 at the Oklahoma History Center from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Oklahoma NHD can help meet state social studies standards providing a framework for reading, research, interpretation, and presentation. In addition, staff will provide correlations for Oklahoma Assessment Standards for the Social Studies. Lunch is provided and space is limited to forty people. For more information about the event or to register, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Southeastern Fingerweaving I

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Come join us at the Oklahoma History Center for a day of fun and fingerweaving. Learn the history of Southeastern American Indian people by fingerweaving your own bookmark or start a garter in the diagonal weave in the colors you choose. On Saturday, July 18, the class will learn the art of Southeastern fingerweaving from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Class participants will work one on one with assistance to complete the project during the course. The cost for the class is $50 and includes all supplies, lunch, and a tour of the History Center's American Indian exhibit. The age limit for the class is twelve and above, and the class size is limited to twelve people. For more information on the class or to register please contact education@okhistory.org or (405)522-3602

Back-to-School Bash

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Join the Oklahoma History Center and other metro museums at the Back-to-School Bash at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum! Celebrate the beginning of the new school year focusing on all the museum has to offer teachers and their families on August 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. Staff will be on hand to answer questions about field trips, trunks, and special events. Oklahoma History Center trunks will be on display for hands-on interaction and many of the living history characters will be available as well. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the night, with teacher identification. Registration is not required. For more information about the event, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Advanced Basket Weaving Class

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Join the Oklahoma History Center and instructor Marcia Bellaweg in learning to create a Bernies Braided Bun basket. The class is on August 15, 2015, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Students, aged eighteen and above, will create a basket, explore baskets in the museum's collection, and enjoy lunch. Cost for the class is $75, and class size is limited to twelve students. Registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Storytelling Festival

Thursday-Saturday, August 27-29, 2015

The Arts Council of Oklahoma City's 2015 Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival will take place August 27-29 at the Oklahoma History Center. This must-see festival celebrates the art of storytelling. For over 30 years, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City has produced the Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival, which has delighted audiences with nationally-acclaimed storytellers, workshops and outreach performances. Named one of the best places to hear or tell a tale, the Storytelling Festival offers performances by some of the nation's best tellers. The Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival continues the tradition with three entertaining evening performances (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), a family matinee on Saturday, and professional workshops (Friday and Saturday). This website will be updated soon with a more finalized schedule and workshop descriptions at www.artscouncilokc.com/content/oklahoma-city-storytelling-festival

Septemberfest

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Join the Oklahoma History Center and the Governor's Mansion for the 19th Annual Septemberfest on Saturday, September 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to all of the activities and the museum are free for the entire day. Along the Red River Journey, visitors will enjoy interaction with living historians representing WWII, cowboys, land run participants, nineteenth century American Indians, antebellum musicians, the Civil War, and more! We will bring the past to life with learning stations, hands-on activities, demonstrations and more. The adventure continues inside the History Center with live performances, storytelling, and unique exhibits about Oklahoma. Come early, stay late, and celebrate Oklahoma at Septemberfest. This event is free and registration is not required. For more information, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602. 

Dutch Oven Cooking

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Join the Oklahoma History Center on Saturday, October 10, to explore Dutch oven cooking in  a hands-on participation class for teens and adults. The class is designed to introduce the students to Dutch oven cooking. Learn a variety of recipes as you create a dish and discover how to use a Dutch oven in your backyard. Cost for the class is $15 and all necessary materials will be provided. The class is from 1 to 5 p.m. Space is limited to forty people so sign up early! The class will begin inside the museum for background information, instructions on how to care for and clean Dutch ovens, recipes, and different cooking methods. The majority of the class will be spent outdoors preparing a group meal. Please remember to dress for the weather and no open-toed shoes or sandals. For more information or to register, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Home School Day

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Oklahoma History Center will host our seventh Annual Home School Day on Monday, October 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Home School Day at the History Center is designed to offer family learners the chance to participate in a program specifically designed for mixed age groups. Activities run throughout the day allowing participants to stop by any time. The museum will offer a hands-on adventure into Oklahoma's past. Visitors can explore the museum with the help of gallery guides, follow along with our scavenger hunt, take part in hands-on demonstrations, and enjoy a variety of historical interpreters. Visitors will find activities and demonstrations throughout the galleries. Home School Day is designed for family learners and home school groups to come, experience, and do! No registration is required. The museum offers a number of outdoor picnic areas or you can drop by the Winnie Mae Café during your visit for lunch. Best of all, admission to the program is free. For more information on Home School Day please contact us at education@okhistory.org or (405)522-3602. This program is sponsored in part by SONIC, America's Drive-in.

Cemetery Symbols

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Join us as we explore the meaning behind historic gravestones on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Gravestones and cemeteries are rich in a language of symbols. Those symbols can be difficult to interpret because of changes in meaning over time. By examining the grave markers, one can learn more than just the person's name. This class will provide the skills necessary to investigate the past through tombstones. The class will run from 1–3 p.m. and is free with admission. Registration is required and space is limited to forty people. For more information or to register please contact us at education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Gourd-stitch Beadwork Class

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Join the Oklahoma History Center and instructor Yonavea Hawkins in learning the gourd-stitch. The class is on November 7, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students, age fifteen and above, will learn the basics of the stitch, explore the museum's beadwork examples, and enjoy lunch. You can find out more information about Yonavea  by visiting  Yonavea.com. Cost for the class is $75 and class size is limited to twelve students. Registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Decorative Gourd Class

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Join the Oklahoma History Center and instructor John Hernadez,  artist and director of the Great Plains Museum in Lawton, in learning the art of decorative gourds. Students will learn how to transform an ordinary gourd into an unique expression of their own creativity.  The class is on November 14, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students, age fifteen and above, will learn the basics of the stitch and weaving pine needles, explore the museum's gourd work example, where to obtain supplies, coloration techniques, and enjoy lunch. You can find out more information about John by visiting www.fromthevineok.com/fromthevinestudi.html  Cost for the class is $100 and class size is limited to twelve students. Registration is required. The class is suitable for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students. For more information or to register, please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.   

American Indian Heritage Month

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Oklahoma History Center is celebrating American Indian Heritage Month with activities throughout the month.
Join us November 21 for a day of traditional children's games and clothing with demonstrations and exhibitions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All events are free with museum admission. For more information please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.

Deck the Halls

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Load up the family and come "Deck the Halls" with us at the Oklahoma History Center on December 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This family-friendly event will include activities and a chance to meet a variety of historical Mr. and Mrs. Clauses. This event is free with admission to the museum. For more information please contact education@okhistory.org or (405) 522-3602.