OKLAHOMA CITY – The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum launched the Live the Code capital campaign, an initiative to raise $40 million to modernize the Museum’s guest experiences and infrastructure. Major campaign efforts include transforming the Museum’s exhibits by creating best-in-the-world experiences to teach and interpret the diverse history of the West; enhancing the storage capacity and environmental conditions of the vaults that serve as the finest repository of Western and Native American art, artifacts and documents; and investing in facility and infrastructure upgrades.
“This is a transformational moment for The Cowboy,” said Larry Nichols, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum board member and Live the Code Campaign Chair. “This campaign will strengthen our position as the premier institution of Western history, art and culture while also championing the values so important to the West.”
The Live the Code capital campaign will use technology to enhance the telling of the diverse stories of the West. Major exhibit projects include:
• The Immersive Orientation Experience will transform the Museum’s West Hallway into an immersive orientation theater to give guests a preview of what they will see in the Museum’s galleries.
• The Code of the West interactive exhibit will allow guests to see themselves through the ethos of the American Cowboy. Using the Code of the West, guests will have an interactive exploration of personal character traits and aspirations that will lead to meaningful conversations between young and old.
• The Origins of the West 360° Cinematic Experience will show how the history of the West is as diverse as the breathtaking landscapes and people who call it home. Guests will engage in a 360° experience that will transport them to a place where the rich history of the region comes alive, encouraging all to Find their West.
• The Dickinson Research Center will be moved from the basement to the ground floor to provide researchers and curious guests greater access to the DRC’s collection of historical documents, photographs and collections of the West. It will also include an interactive experience for guests to search for personal interests related to Western Heritage.
“Stories have the ability to become embedded in hearts and minds,” said Pat Fitzgerald, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum president & CEO. “These visionary enhancements will showcase The Cowboy’s world-class collection while allowing us to tell the stories of the West better than any other institution.”
The Capital Campaign will also focus on updating the Museum’s infrastructure. Major projects include:
• The Art and Artifacts Vault and the Dickinson Research Center Vault will be expanded and will include high-density storage to maximize the use of the facilities. The Art and Artifacts Vault will expand into the lower-level staff parking lot as originally designed by the building’s architect. In addition, a new HVAC system and plumbing will be installed to ensure proper environmental standards will be maintained to protect the Museum’s collection.
• The Museum’s parking lot will be reinforced and repaved to maximize parking options as well as enhance entry into the building. To help with entry and exit from the main parking lot, an additional access gate will be constructed to provide parking lot access from Grand Boulevard.
• The Museum will also enhance the physical and digital infrastructure to modernize the way units conduct business.
“The Museum recognizes the men and women who have earned the title of Cowboy,” Fitzgerald said. “Our vision is to tell the true and diverse stories of the West. Our ancestors chased a dream, braved terrors and overcame obstacles to come out the other end a different human in front of a big sky of possibilities. That challenge still exists in America, and I hope many find their calling here.”
Learn more at LiveTheCodeCampaign.org. Conceptual images of some exhibits and experiences are attached to this release.