The great thing about having your own blog, is occasionally I can use it as a personal 'soapbox'. Yesterday I read an article published a few years ago describing Pawhuska as a 'ghost town'. I had to read it twice. After some thought, I disagree strongly. Pawhuska is not a 'ghost town', it's more like the mythological phoenix that rises from it's own ashes a reborn bird. The jewel of the Tallgrass, Seat of the Osage Nation and home to the Osage Ballet and Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is not a dead town, it's a vibrant community poised for a rebirth, a new life, a new beginning.
The artisitc and cultural heritage that is part of the very fabric and life of this community, and all the Osage, is a rich gift. A gift that many people want to see and share with us. The residents of Pawhuska are far from ghosts. They are kind, sincere and welcoming to tourists and visitors to our area. The Osage and Tallgrass is not a cemetery for a dead place. It's alive with dance, art, wildlife, Native American and Cowboy Culture.
Our future lies in relishing the past, but not living in it. People from across the United States and indeed the world visit Pawhuska, are inspired, then plan to return. The future of this 'Phoenix' of the Tallgrass lies in the arts and culture that exist here and no place else. Currently there is a 'rebirth' of interest in making Pawhuska a cultural and artistic destination to rival Taos, Red River and Fredricksburg. Several groups, entities and organizations have joined together to pursue this goal. Arts and Preservation in the Osage has become the leader in this effort. With new bylaws, a new board and a clear direction to increase and encourage the arts, historic and cultural preservation, this group is made up of individuals from all aspects of Pawhuska and Osage County. The next meeting will be on February 8th at 5:00 at the Prairie Dog in downtown Pawhuska. I would personally like to invite anyone with an interest in building Pawhuska and the Osage into a cultural and arts destination, as well as shopping and tourism to attend. This group is working hard to move forward and become the spearhead of the 'Phoenix' as it rises from it's own ashes.
As for myself and Tallgrass Art Gallery and School, we will continue our tireless support and belief in Pawhuska, in it's bright future and it's rebirth.
You can follow Arts and Preservation in the Osage on their Facebook page. We are all Pawhuska and the Osage, we are the future and the time for the Phoenix to rise again is here. All we must do is believe, work together and tell the world what we already know, Pawhuska is alive and has a bright future.
Musings by Bruce Carter, Owner/Curator of Tallgrass Art Gallery