OKLAHOMA CITY - The soon to be constructed Native American Cultural Center and Museum got a big financial boost on Wednesday. That's after Phillips Petroleum presented officials with a check for $100,000. Senator Kelly Haney, who has been working since 1994 to make the center a reality, said this donation would be used for matching funds.
"This is really seed money to help us attract even more donations. We have the location for the museum, we've finalized the design concept, and now it is time to begin our fundraising for this world-class facility," said Senator Kelly Haney.
The Native American Cultural and Educational Authority recently unveiled their plans for the facility. The complex will help preserve Native American Cultures through educational programs, as well as giving visitors from throughout the world a chance to learn more about Native American art, music, dance, and language.
The Interpretative Galleries and Exhibition Galleries, a three hundred seat performance theater and museum store will be housed in a 60,000 square foot facility. Other facilities in the complex include a 40,000 square foot amphitheater for dances and other performances. A Native American Festival Market Place which will include artist studios, an Artist's Village where people can come see Native Art being created, including exhibit and retail galleries, dance and drama studios which will be privately financed and housed in a 50,000 square foot facility.
The entire cost for the complex, including a lodge and conference center is $150 million. Some of that, including the lodge and conference center as well as the Festival Market Place will be completely privately funded. Organizers will be raising the balance through public fundraising drives as well as government grants and private investors.
"We want Phillips Petroleum to know how much we appreciate their participation in this project. They are taking the lead in helping us attract the funds necessary to turn this dream into a reality," commented Haney.
The Native American Cultural Center and Museum complex will be located at the southeast corner of I-35 and I-40. Organizers hope to begin actual construction within the next year and a half.
"This is something all of Oklahoma can take pride in. From the early Native Americans who created the Spiro Mounds over a thousand years ago, to the 39 federally recognized tribes that call our state home today, this is Oklahoma's history. It is a heritage we all share, and this is our opportunity to keep the art, music, language and dances alive to be shared and enjoyed for generations to come," said Senator Haney.