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2010 Oklahoma Humanities Awards

2010 Oklahoma Humanities Awards

March 12, 2010

Contact: Carla Walker, Director of Communications                               

Oklahoma Humanities Council

(405) 235-0280 • [email protected]


** Digital images available by email **



2010 Oklahoma Humanities Awards

Oklahoma City, OK—The Oklahoma Humanities Council (OHC) honored six awardees at the annual Oklahoma Humanities Awards on March 4. Awardees and guests enjoyed a formal dinner at the Oklahoma History Center and a video presentation highlighting the work of the Council and the awardees’ accomplishments. H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt received OHC’s highest honor, the Oklahoma Humanities Award, for his contributions to expanding educational opportunities in Oklahoma.


“The individuals and programs selected for this year’s awards are truly remarkable,” said OHC executive director Ann Thompson. “Their passion and creativity, and the impact these projects have on local communities, is inspiring. The Oklahoma Humanities Awards bring attention to those efforts and to the people and organizations that are working to provide cultural opportunities in our state.”


Following are the 2010 honorees:


H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt – Oklahoma Humanities Award

Gene Rainbolt was honored with the Oklahoma Humanities Award for his dedication to expanding educational opportunities among Oklahomans. Rainbolt’s leadership is demonstrated through his lifelong association with organizations such as the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Leadership Oklahoma, Mabee-Gerrer Museum, Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Oklahoma. He also co-founded the Oklahoma Symposium, a humanities-based event modeled on the national Renaissance weekend where community leaders, intellectuals, and citizens come together to share ideas.


Cherokee Nation Education Program – Humanities in Education Award

The Cherokee Nation Education Program was recognized for its achievements in preserving the Cherokee language. The program targets young people through the Cherokee Nation Immersion School, where all classes are conducted in the Cherokee language, and the Cherokee National Youth Choir. Youth Choir members increase awareness of Cherokee culture through CD recordings and performances across the country.


Mel Chatman & Jamie Sullenger – Community Leadership Award

Mel Chatman and Jamie Sullenger were honored for their contributions to the Lena Sawner Exhibit at the Lincoln County Historical Society Museum of Pioneer History in Chandler. Chatman researched the life of Lena Sawner, a Chandler educator who dedicated her life to expanding opportunities for African-American children. As curator of the exhibit, Sullenger organized Chatman’s collection, assembled over a twenty-year period, and produced a complementary video and educational programming.


Devon Energy Corporation – Community Support Award

The nomination for Devon Energy Corporation came jointly from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and the Oklahoma Heritage Association. These organizations credit Devon’s financial support as critical in leveraging other corporate funding, which has been used to support school education programs; world-class exhibitions; public lectures; film screenings; publications on Oklahoma history and people; and more.


Harlem Renaissance Exhibit, Oklahoma City Museum of Art – Outstanding OHC Project

Harlem Renaissance, an exhibition at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, explored developments in African-American art during the 1920s and 1930s. Curator Alison Amick assembled works from collections across the country and tied the national theme to Oklahoma City people and events of the same period. It was the museum’s first exhibition focusing on African-American art in over twenty years and was made possible by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council.


About the Oklahoma Humanities Council

The Oklahoma Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide meaningful public engagement with the humanities—disciplines such as history, literature, film studies, art criticism, and philosophy. As the state partner for the National Endowment for the Humanities, OHC provides teacher institutes, Smithsonian exhibits, reading groups, and other cultural opportunities for Oklahomans of all ages. With a focus on K-12 education and community building, OHC engages people in their own communities, stimulating discussion and helping them explore the wider world of human experience.


Event Sponsors: BancFirst; Chesapeake Energy; Devon Energy Corporation; National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH); OG&E; The Oklahoman; Jeannette and Dick Sias. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of NEH or the Oklahoma Humanities Council, its Board of Trustees, or staff. 


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