National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum
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The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum, formerly the National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame, is a museum and hall of fame in Fort Worth, Texas. NMWHM takes a look at the people and activities that built the unique culture of the American West, in particular the contributions of Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, European Americans, and African Americans. The work of artists who documented the people and events of the time through journals, photographs and other historical items are part of this new collection. These long overlooked materials tell, perhaps for the first time, the complete story. The American West of today still operates on many of the principles and cultural relationships begun so long ago.
The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum was founded by James N. Austin, Jr. and Gloria Reed Austin, in February 2001, in order to give recognition to the pioneers who played a role in settling the early American western frontier. The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum also acknowledges individuals that have contributed to the western culture and tradition and play a part in keeping this important piece of American History alive.
The current location of the museum building once housed Fort Worth’s first dedicated Alzheimer’s care center, opened and operated by Johnnie Benson. The 24-year-old building off East Lancaster Avenue was built with a large central room with a high ceiling surrounded by a perimeter of several smaller rooms that were the housed individual patients’ rooms. The building’s layout with the large central room easily accommodates many chairs for storytelling, meetings and speakers. The smaller rooms are specifically themed with topics like the Buffalo Soldiers, Native American and Hispanic contributions to the settlement of the American western frontier. Other rooms are dedicated to the Hall of Fame inductees, research of potential nominees and the Tuskegee Airmen. The museum is peppered with art and artifacts (including championship saddles donated or loaned by rodeo winners and a full circus cowboy costume).
The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that operates through the generosity of gifts and grants from individuals, corporations and foundations located throughout the United States. Many elementary and middle schools with disadvantaged populations have been able to benefit from the important educational experience that museum has provided through seminars, workshops, classroom visits and field trips.
- "Museum". National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum. Retrieved 2007-01-25.
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