50 Stories 50 Years: Lawton Arts & Humanities Council

Poster from

Poster from “Ghost Dance” by Annette Arkeketa

Lawton Arts & Humanities Council: “Ghost Dance” – Lawton  | 501(c)(3) Non-profit  |  www.cityof.lawton.ok.us 

In 2007, the Lawton Arts & Humanities Council presented “Ghost Dance,” a readers theatre by Annette Arkeketa.

The performance embodied the role of the arts in addressing complex questions of history and identity.

The Lawton leaders say these are things that a theatre production can say that a newspaper story or scholarly article cannot. “The arts often exist at the nexus of fact and feeling; at the place where the realities of the world and the realities of the way we experience the world meet. This was the power of “Ghost Dance.”‘

Arkeketa’s play engaged the complexities of repatriation and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act through the life of an attorney reluctantly returning to her tribe and its difficulties.

Those are the facts. The feelings were brought to life by a cast of dedicated actors and the music of Grammy Award winner Bill Miller and Brent Michael David (Mohican).

“Ghost Dance” cultivated the cultural and artistic assets of Lawton’s community by providing a space for actors to learn and hone the craft, to share this story with attendees, and to engage with the playwright and audience in a serious, informed conversation about contemporary Native American issues in our state.

The support of the Oklahoma Arts Council made this space possible.

Funding for the arts in Oklahoma is about more than niceties or pretty non-essentials. Creative spaces allow and challenge people to think critically about their place in the world and about how to make it a better place for all.
This story celebrates 50 years of the Oklahoma Arts Council and how the state’s investments have positive ripple effects on communities across Oklahoma. See other stories or follow this link for more information.