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Press Release

April 1, 2024

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

Friends of the Coleman Awarded Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) is proud to announce that the Friends of the Coleman has been awarded a grant through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program.

“The grant awarded to Friends of the Coleman for their work on The Coleman Theatre’s archives is a fantastic initiative,” said Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, Adair. “By digitizing and preserving playbills, photographs, and other artifacts, we’re ensuring that the rich history of this cultural landmark is accessible to all, both now and in the future.”

“I am extremely pleased for the Friends of the Coleman,” said Rep. Steve Bashore, Miami. “These funds will go a long way toward preserving history and memorabilia that is important to this group and our community. I am thankful to the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program for making these funds available and the work they do to help Oklahomans share their stories.”

The Friends of the Coleman received $18,000 for a project that will be used to preserve, protect, and digitize several thousand existing items related to The Coleman Theatre, including playbills, photographs, newspaper articles, letters, information files, and artifacts. Future plans include placing the fully digitized collection online.

“The Friends of the Coleman are enormously grateful to the Oklahoma Historical Society for this generous 2024 grant through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program,” said Carole White, president. “A grant from the OHS in 2023 enabled the nonprofit Friends of the Coleman to archive approximately 10,000 documents and artifacts about Oklahoma’s historic Coleman Theatre since its beginning in 1929. This new grant will help us to digitize the entire collection. Digitization is our vital next step toward our eventual goal of making the contents of the collection available to the public online through the technology of The Gateway to Oklahoma History.”

The OHS will distribute over $520,000 in grant funds, with projects ranging from collections care and strategic planning to exhibit development and educational programming.

“Through the Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program, we’re not just funding projects; we’re investing in the preservation of Oklahoma’s rich and dynamic history,” said Nicole Harvey, director of strategic initiatives for the Oklahoma Historical Society. “These grants empower communities across the state to uphold their heritage for future generations, ensuring that the stories of Oklahoma continue to inspire and educate for years to come.”

The Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program is a grants-in-aid program offered by the Oklahoma Historical Society to encourage 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 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 okhistory.org.


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