Chisholm Trail Heritage Center prepares to go live on Zoom

Life on the trail is about to move online when the CTHC launches its first fully digital educational program on Wednesday.

Many established institutions are moving online in the wake of COVID-19. Not to be left behind, several smaller, hometown institutions are also making the jump. Art galleries, libraries and museums alike have been exploring creative ways to reach traditional and new audiences during the pandemic.

On Wednesday, the education team at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center will launch the first in an ambitious schedule of live programs on Zoom, the chosen platform of digital pandemic meetups.

This premiere livestream will launch a series of educational videos that will “celebrate the history, art and culture of the Chisholm Trail, the American cowboy and the American West.”

“Despite being closed to the public, we still have a mission to fulfill and are looking for new and innovative ways to do just that. While we miss the crowds of students and visitors, we are glad they are staying safe and want to continue educating and entertaining them,” said Scott Metelko, the center’s Executive Director.

Wednesday’s session, “Cowboy Gear,” will focus on the equipment that cowboys used while out on the plains. From cattle drives to ranching, the educational event will cover the tools of the trade.

“These young men could only bring a few items with them, and they needed to make everything count. They used the things they brought with them for lots of different tasks and in some surprising ways,” Metelko said.

Drawing inspiration from what they have seen work at other museums, Metelko and his team are devising a way to play to the center’s strengths and offer a range of educational content for all ages.

“We have one of the best museum education departments in the country and are looking for ways to expand our audience and let more people share our passion for the Chisholm Trail and the American West,” Metelko said. “You will see programs that explore the animals that cowboys would encounter as they drove the herds north, and some of the people who lived and worked along the trail. They are all part of a rich history, and we look forward to bringing it to as many people as possible.”

These Zoom programs will be live events that will not be rebroadcast. Anyone that is looking to participate will need to do so in real time. The first session will take place on Wednesday at 3 p.m..

The center plans to post a link on its Facebook page Wednesday morning to the Zoom session. For more information visit the center on Facebook at facebook.com/onthechisholmtrail or call at 252-6692.

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