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Press Release

March 17, 2022

Contact: Nicole Harvey
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-5202

Freedom Center of Oklahoma City, Ntu Art Association of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum Awarded Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grants

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) is proud to announce that the Freedom Center of Oklahoma City, Ntu Art Association of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum have been awarded grants through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program.

“The preservation of history is an act of connecting life, lived life, moving life, growing life and hopeful life,” said Sen. George Young, Oklahoma City. “I am so excited for the reception of these funds, which, in essence, create the connectivity of our now, our tomorrow and our past. The ability, through this grant, to preserve history, is life-giving.”

The Freedom Center of Oklahoma City has been awarded $20,000 for a project titled “Freedom Center Community Archive,” which will allow for a partnership with the University of Oklahoma to create a new archive from the historic materials currently housed inside the Freedom Center building. The center seeks to create a community-based archive from these materials that will ultimately live in the new Clara Luper Civil Rights Center campus in the heart of northeast Oklahoma City.

“We are grateful for all of the partnerships making this project possible,” said Christina Beatty, project coordinator. “This grant will allow us to purchase computers, software, shelving, acid-free materials and more to properly archive and catalog all of the historic documents, books, photos and more from inside the Freedom Center building. The University of Oklahoma is supporting a professional librarian's time as well as two graduate assistants, and we've had office space donated by Irish Realty.”

The Ntu Art Association of Oklahoma has been awarded $10,000 for a project titled “The Digitization of the Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame, Inc.,” which will provide funding to create a consistent, digitized portal of information on inductees to the Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame (OAAHOF). These inductees have made significant contributions to the cultural and historical fabric of Oklahoma, the nation and world. The digitization of the information increases the accessibility of the OAAHOF without regard to the constraints of the physical gallery.

“The Ntu Art Association of Oklahoma, Inc., is humbled and excited to be a recipient of this prestigious grant,” said William Broiles, president. “This grant will allow us to provide educational and inspirational information about the contributions of Oklahoma's treasures as told through the contributions of African Americans to Oklahoma's history as well as contributions to the nation.”

The Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum has been awarded $6,751.19 for a project titled “Fireproof Storage for Oklahoma Fire History,” which will be the first step in developing the museum's manuscript collection. The current storage methods in use leave many documents vulnerable to degradation, ruin or loss. Grant funds will allow for the purchase of three fireproof file cabinets, one steel flat file cabinet, an assortment of polyethylene envelopes and an archival polyester roll to preserve and safeguard the collection.

“The Oklahoma State Firefighters Museum deeply appreciates the generosity of the Oklahoma Historical Society and the State of Oklahoma,” said Gene Brown, museum director. “This grant will serve to preserve priceless documents of the Oklahoma fire service dating back to 1894.”

The total amount of funds that will be distributed this year is just over $558,000, with projects ranging from collections care and strategic planning to exhibit development and educational programming. “Entering our third year of the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program, the OHS is thrilled with the program’s success,” said Nicole Harvey, director of strategic initiatives and grants administrator for the OHS. “To date, the program has funded over 120 projects that are aiding with collecting, preserving and sharing Oklahoma history for local communities across the state.”

The Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program is a grants-in-aid program offered by the Oklahoma Historical Society with a goal of encouraging the collection, preservation and sharing of Oklahoma history at the grassroots level in all parts of the state. Open to tribal and municipal governments and not-for-profit historical organizations located in Oklahoma and registered with the Oklahoma secretary of state, this grants program offers funding ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 for projects focused on collections, exhibits and programming. Applications for this annual program open in the fall and award announcements are made in January. For more information visit www.okhistory.org/grants.

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.


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