About CTAC 

“Promote and inspire the arts in Southwest Oklahoma” – CTAC Mission

Board of Directors & Staff

Top Row: Debbie Duggar, Shannon Truax, Nate Schacht, Susan Denard, Bruce Ridley, Darcy Reeves

Bottom Row: Gina Flesher, Nancy Lott, Lou Baggett  (Not pictured: Matt Daniel and Kristen Webb)

Nancy Lott, President, DRH Health

Gina Flesher, Vice President, Retired-DRH Health 

Matt Daniel, Treasurer, ARVEST Bank 

Debbie Duggar, Secretary, DDVisuals, Photographer 

Bruce Ridley, First Bank & Trust

Lou Baggett, Artist, Retired Teacher

Susan Denard, Lic. Professional Counselor  

Nate Schacht, City of Duncan

Shannon Truax, Bankers Professional Services

Kristen Webb, DRH Health

Darcy Reeves, Executive Director 

Ashton Cox, Admin Assistant (Cameron University) 

History

Chisholm Trail Arts Council honors its past with an evolutionary history.

     After a brief attempt to form an arts council in Duncan in the late 1960s, the Duncan Arts & Humanities Council was incorporated in 1976 as the Chisholm Trail Arts Council. The driving forces behind the group were Lynn Ellis Dean, Harolyn Long, and Rev. Phil Wahl, who were the signatories to the original articles of incorporation.
     Duncan Arts & Humanities Council is generally acknowledged as the second community arts council incorporated in Oklahoma. Its mission was to expand appreciation of the arts in the Duncan community, and it served a vital role as a support group for the Duncan Fall Fest. This popular, multi-genre arts event existed for two decades.
     In 1998, the Duncan Arts & Humanities Council evolved into the Chisholm Trail Arts Council, with a mission to expand its programs and participation throughout Stephens County.
     Overseeing and ensuring the success of the Chisholm Trail Arts Council was a significant priority. During its first decade, board members drove and facilitated Duncan Arts & Humanities Council programs and projects. However, in the 1980s, DAHC centralized its administration by hiring an executive director. Diana Glover was the first salaried executive director, and Dianne Stuart followed her. Angela Giddens was executive director when the group reformed as Chisholm Trail Arts Council in 1998, and her successors have been Patrick Brown, Stephanie Mitchell, Dan Lowrance, and Leena Frace. The current ED is Darcy Reeves, who has been serving as director since October 2012.
     CTAC has played a vital role in promoting the arts in Duncan and Stephens County with programs, presentations, and projects. When the Oklahoma Arts Council began an Arts in Education program in the 1970s, CTAC picked up the ball and ran with it. CTAC’s Art Education in Schools, Arts Explosion, and the now-defunct Children’s Theatre Series opened the world of performing and fine arts to countless young people throughout Stephens County.
     Every school district in the county can participate in the Art Education in Schools (AES) program. Aggressive involvement in AES helped draw statewide attention to CTAC, which resulted in it receiving a Governor’s Arts Award for Community Arts Councils. AES is a great asset to area schools, returning art opportunities to students.
     Each summer, dozens of area youth participate in the annual Arts Explosion (AE) program, some attending on scholarships provided by CTAC. In 2014, the committee added teen classes to the program to ensure that children of all ages can experience art firsthand. In 2018, Arts Explosion expanded once again to include young students who completed Kindergarten through 2nd grade. This week-long program is full of fun and excitement. Children learn about art and different mediums through creative hands-on projects. But the most rewarding part is to see their pride when showing off their masterpieces to their families at the end of the week during the Family Night Reception.
     Throughout its history, CTAC has partnered with several other organizations to promote the arts, including the Duncan Art Guild, Duncan Little Theatre, Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra, Duncan Area Arts Hall of Fame, University of Science & Arts, the National Honor Society, the Oklahoma Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. In the 1990s, CTAC partnered with the Duncan Black American History Month organization to support and promote events during Black History Month. That partnership began with a performance by the Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe in 1996 and has continued with a performance of the Harlem Gospel Choir in 2006 and CTAC’s involvement in other Black History Month events. In 1996, CTAC, selected by the Oklahoma Arts Council, presented its Black American History Month project to the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Also, in 1996, CTAC was recognized with a commendation for community service by the City of Duncan. CTAC was featured in a National Endowment for the Arts publication for participating in the National ArtCorp Program. Over the years, CTAC (or DAHC) programming has included:
–The CTAC Film Festival
–Concerts and productions by the Oklahoma City Symphony, Ballet Oklahoma, Lawton Philharmonic, Tulsa Ballet, and Montana Repertory Company.
–The Boar’s Head Dinner and Morality Play.Presentations by touring museum exhibits, including a 1997 visit by the Arts Train, a nationwide project of the National Endowment for the Arts.
–POP UP Art Exhibit, Collaborative effort with the Norman Arts Council and other local art organizations.
–Promotion of local artists and performers, including art exhibits by artists in the area, including local school students.
In addition, the American Music Festival in Duncan was a spin-off idea generated by the Duncan Arts & Humanities Council. The Chisholm Trail Stampede, hosted by the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum, is also a spin-off of a CTAC concept.
     At the turn of the 21st century, CTAC initially absorbed a concert series produced by Duncan Community Concerts and later renamed Live From the Center. Programming for Live From the Center blossomed, with six concerts between September and May featuring performances by an eclectic sampling of talent from around the globe.
     International acts have included the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, The Mystical Arts of Tibet, Golden Dragon Acrobats of China, and The Vienna Boys Choir. Programming has ranged from classical (Turtle Island String Quartet and The Ahn Trio) to jazz (Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play) to improvisational comedy (4 Day Weekend and The Second City) to rock (Leon Russell) to “roots” music like blues (Janiva Magness, Seth Walker, and Eden Brent), folk (Leo Kottke and Rachael Davis), bluegrass (Special Consensus and Ryan Shupe & The Rubberband), red dirt (Jimmy LaFave and No Justice) and gospel (Harlem Gospel Choir).
     CTAC has proven that the organization does not stand still. We are continually exploring programs and projects that can keep the arts thriving in the area and enhance the quality of life for residents of Stephens County and beyond.