The Quanah Parker Society, a Texas nonprofit corporation, is aligned to receive a 501(c)(3) letter of designation by yearend 2020. The Quanah Parker Society has established the Quanah Parker Center on a prominent corner in downtown Quanah, Texas. U S Route 287, a major highway connecting Amarillo and Ft Worth, runs through the heart of Quanah. The town of Quanah is actively pursuing downtown revitalization engagement with intentions of attracting the cultural arts and awareness to effectively grow the little town that is filled with legends, spirit, and historical structures.
The Quanah Parker Center will house the historical information, education and artifacts in one space and the cultural arts, gifts and activities in an adjoining space. The Center will function as the national hub of the Quanah Parker Society, the parent nonprofit foundation, and will be central to maintaining and promoting the past and present history and culture of the alluring town that was named after Quanah Parker, the last Comanche chief. The town where Comanches and settlers came together with intention to create a thriving town in the 1800’s.
Ron Parker, a great-grandson of Quanah Parker, founded the Quanah Parker Society to fulfil his vision to strategically and sustainably promote the history and cultures that preserve the legacy of the Comanche people and the settlers who founded Quanah. Ron’s mission is to educate, heal, unite and grow communities who share or are invested in the history and lineages of the Comanche people, the role of the Quanah area and the vision of the courageous settlers.
The primary methodology of the Quanah Parker Society in the development of the Quanah Parker Center in Quanah is a multi-faceted approach of germinating and nurturing the many dormant seeds that are already present in the community, so to speak:
· Identify, assess, expand & develop existing organizations and networks in collaborative enterprises.
· Define & expand on a better understanding of community & the importance of community.
· Develop Quanah, Texas, into a popular historical site that attracts global tourists, conferences, & historians.
· Reflect, magnify & market the history, culture & arts of the Quanah, Texas, area sites.
· Be ambassadors by sharing the history & lineages of the Comanche people & the history of coming together to create Quanah, Texas
· People support what they help to create: enlist community as much as possible to the point that everyone feels empowered & invested in the growth of Quanah, Texas
· Create a studio gift shop of authentic cultural and historical inventory that attracts people to hear stories, hold cultural objects in their hands & carry their experience back to their friends & family.
· To educate and further develop the community of Comanche Nation by acknowledging splintered lineages
· Strategically build a solid foundation that will serve the vision through time
The Historical Information Space contains photos, artifacts, videos, stories, timelines and an inviting setting to sit and discuss history, legends or events with Ron Parker or other staff members or guests. The Cultural Arts Studio functions as the venue for revenue streams. It contains quality, authentic, handmade period items for the many visitors who wish to touch, hold, or purchase true cultural gifts, souvenirs, or collectibles. In addition, the back room area of the studio will be utilized for children and adults to enjoy classes in the cultural arts.
With the development of the Quanah Parker Society and Center, both the city of Quanah and individual investors will enjoy better return on investments due to increased tourist traffic, retail business growth and overall city growth. The list of many projected events includes social events that encourage residents of all ages to socialize, network, and become more involved with community on many levels. In addition to creating sustainable income streams for the Quanah Parker Society, the events will strengthen community.
Quanah Parker Society will strategically market and fund-raise targeting social media to attract a full spectrum of traffic. The Society will identify, assess, expand and develop the organization through comprehensive collaboration. The Society will build on environmental input and participation, expanding the human landscape and adopting a bigger picture. Because people support what they help to create, Quanah Parker Society will enlist community in all facets of growth.
A strategic signage blitz of Quanah Parker Center signature signs will be a primary action in order to encourage and guide traffic from Highway 287, and other routes, into and through downtown Quanah where travelers can stretch their legs, eat, look around in stores or at historical points of interest, stay the night, pick up a gift, or just make plans to come back on a road trip. Site maps will be available to further guide travelers to area historical sites and places of interest, thus expanding the attraction lure.
The initial timeline was to host the first Quanah Parker Society major event over the 2020 Memorial Day weekend, May 22-24. Due to the Corona Virus shelter in place, we will be rescheduling towards the end of the summer. Medicine Mound is a sacred, spiritual set of four mounds just outside of Quanah, TX. Our gathering was to consist of hiking up to the top of Medicine Mound where Comanche drumming, singing, and storytelling would take place. For individuals who cannot make the hike, there will be equal activities taking place at the base of the mound. There will also be activities in town, such as cultural food, dancing, stores, historical sites, talks, drumming, singing, storytelling, arts etc. Attendees will be encouraged to camp out Friday night on a reserved space or to book a room at a local hotel or Airbnb. The Medicine Mound ceremony will be Saturday afternoon, and town activities will continue to be coordinated around that and into the evening. The event will end at noon on Sunday.
Ron Parker and Carol Briney, Quanah Parker Society directors, plan to relocate to Quanah on June 1, when the housing will be ready and hopefully the corona virus will be subdued. They will begin furnishing the spaces, preparing the studio inventory, assessing the local and area organizations and populations, building data bases, and preparing to celebrate the grand opening of the Quanah Parker Center on September 12, 2020, which is Quanah Parker Day and the date of the annual festival of the town of Quanah.
First Friday Arts Trail has become a popular festivity among many small and large towns across America. Typically there’s music, dance, arts, eating, and strolling down streets and through shops under the stars. Quanah Parker Society has full intentions of developing First Friday Arts Trail in Quanah, including helping to secure arts grants to help support its development.
Every month of the year has a theme and a celebration to be had. The Center will actively celebrate the themes with activities, art shows, music, inventory, guest speakers, etc. Quanah Parker Society will have programs, activities, and arts in public places that will enlist the children, either through the schools, or after school.
The inventory that will fill the Quanah Parker Center Studio will be 90% handmade by Comanche artists, local artists, or staff artists. Some of the pieces will be placed on consignment, and others will be a direct purchase. This will help to support many individual artists.
Ron Parker and Carol Briney will actively seek groups that wish to have the Quanah Parker and Comanche story shared with them.