Nov 30, 2018
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring and celebrating women – both past and present – whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience, and independence that helped shape the American West.
The only one of its kind, the museum is located in the Fort Worth, Texas Cultural District and currently houses over 4,000 artifacts and information on some of the world's most inspirational women. The Hall of Fame has inducted over 233 (and counting) honorees, including Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Georgia O'Keeffe, Sacagawea, Annie Oakley, Dale Evans, Dr. Temple Grandin, Reba McEntire, Velma Johnston (Wild Horse Annie), and Stacy Westfall.
In today’s episode, Executive Director Pat Riley describes how the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame inductees – both historic and contemporary – exemplify the spirit of the American West; the relevance of the Hall of Fame’s mission in today’s political environment; and how Pat and her team balance history, yet keep the visitor experience fresh and engaging. She also shares the behind-the-scenes efforts that result in their innovative exhibit designs; the museum’s evolution since its inception in 1973; and their plans for the future – especially, an exciting new $5.5 million exhibit, “It’s Never Just a Horse,” that beautifully explores our relationship with horses.
Topics of Discussion:
[:19] About Elise’s guest today, Pat Riley.
[1:34] Pat talks about how the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductees exemplify the spirit of the American West -- whether they’re from the US or from overseas.
[6:00] What it’s like for Pat to lead such a remarkable institution.
[9:05] Pat discusses the relevance of the Hall of Fame’s mission in today’s environment.
[11:35] Pat speaks about her fascinating family connection to historic figures Mitzi Lucas Riley and Tad Lucas, reflects on how much the world has changed for the role of women, and the rich history of the museum.
[20:02] Pat’s thoughts on why cowgirls have not received the same recognition as cowboys.
[22:47] How Pat balances the history at the museum, while keeping the visitor experience fresh and personal.
[25:43] Innovating and creating – how two internationally renowned French exhibit designers “got” the National Cowgirl mission.
[32:09] About Elise’s book, A Parent’s Guide to Riding Lessons.
[32:49] Pat discusses the new “It’s Never Just a Horse” exhibit coming in March 2019.
[36:34] Pat speculates why the bond between horses and humans (and specifically, women) is so strong.
[39:49] About next week’s episode of Because of Horses.
[40:38] Artifacts of the museum that Pat finds particular noteworthy.
[42:57] Pat explains the process for an individual to become inducted into the National Hall of Fame.
[48:09] Has Pat had any “aha” moments?
[49:56] How Pat envisions the future of the museum and Hall of Fame.
[52:30] Where to learn more about the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.
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