Gordon Parks Museum: Award of Excellence

From left: Jane Campbell, president of the Gordon Parks Museum Board, Executive Director Kirk Sharp and Fort Scott Community College President Alysia Johnston. The museum is housed on the FSCC campus.  From the museum’s Facebook page.

A recent honor was awarded those who worked on a local trail project that tells of Gordon Park’s life in Kansas.

From left: Jane Campbell, Carl Brenner, Aly Turvey, Kirk Sharp, Shane Walker, Kassie Fugate-Cate, Arnold Scholfield and Janice Fewins were part of the planning committee for the Learning Tree Sign Trail. Picture from the museum’s Facebook page. (2019)
In late October, 2022, Gordon Parks Museum Executive Director Kirk Sharp, was notified that a recent project,“The Learning Tree” Film Scene Sign Trail had garnered the Award of Excellence from the Kansas Museum Association.
The award is presented annually by the Kansas Museum Association during the organization’s yearly conference, this year on November 7-9, to an institution whose project or achievements are worthy of special recognition.
“This is an amazing honor for us to receive such a prestigious award from the KMA,” said  Sharp said.  “This award is something that not only both of the communities of Fort Scott and Mound City can be proud of, but also the entire state of Kansas.”
No photo description available.
The film trail is a series of signs situated at the different filming locations for “The Learning Tree,” written and directed by Parks. The signs also include QR codes along with a virtual tour of the identified scene locations for the film.
To learn more about the trail:
The Learning Tree: Library of Congress

“In 1989 The Learning Tree (A Warner Bros. – Seven Arts Inc. Production) was one of the first 25 films selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant,” Sharp said.


The  recent project received funding from Humanities Kansas and the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation.
National Humanities Alliance Foundation
The Learning Tree” film trail is also part of the National Humanities Alliance Foundation’s initiative, NEH for All (https://nehforall.org/projects/gordon-parks-fort-scott).
NEH for All spotlights more than 260 projects funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities through its website NEHforAll.org.
Established in 1965, the NEH recognizes the unique role the humanities play in fostering the wisdom, vision and knowledge required to participate in a thriving democracy.
To this day, the NEH supports excellence in humanities research, teaching and lifelong-learning opportunities that provide millions of Americans the knowledge of their history and culture. NEHforAll.org highlights that excellence. Visit the website at http://nehforall.org/.
Kirk Sharp, left, and Rachelle Meinecke, the chairperson of the Kansas Museum Association’s award committee, pose with the Award of Excellence bestowed recently upon the Gordon Parks Museum for it’s “The Learning Tree” Film Scene Sign Trail.

About the Gordon Parks Museum in Fort Scott

Parks spent some of his childhood in Fort Scott and later went on to be an internationally-known photographer, filmmaker, writer, and musician.

A museum to honor Gordon Parks is located on the campus of Fort Scott Community College.

The mission of the Gordon Parks Museum in Fort Scott is to use his remarkable life story to teach about artistic creativity, cultural awareness, and the role of diversity in our lives, according to the museum’s website.


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