MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

December 26, 2011

Independent filmmaking’s local leading lady

(Continued)

Finding her soul mate

In 1991, ShIronbutterfly Ray came back to Muskogee to stay. It was then that she found her soul mate, Oscar Ray.

“I had been married twice before, but when you meet your soul mate you just know,” she said.

Ray had been hired at the Girl Scouts office, and as was the custom, the Girl Scouts office put an article in the paper about their new hire.

The financial company that Oscar Ray was working for had been recruiting new representatives at the time. He was in charge of hiring, and the recruiting officers brought him a photograph of her from the article.

“Everyone was telling him that he should hire me,” Ray said. “I guess we were the last ones to know that we were soul mates.”

Paving the way for young students

When Ray entered the second grade she knew that she wanted to be a teacher. Since then, she strove to use her passion to share knowledge in everything in which she is involved.

In 1996, she and her husband started the Darkwood Film Arts Institute, a nonprofit that would give film training and on-set experience to anyone 10 or older.

The classes teach acting, writing screenplays, doing makeup, cinematography, directing, editing, costuming, producing and marketing.

“We have students from ages 10 to 75, and some have already made their own movies,” Ray said. “It validates us when they do what we encouraged them to do. It’s like saying what we do matters.”

The Rays have taught youth summer programs at Tulsa Community College and the Teen Center and adult classes in various cities in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.

Achievements, honors and awards

Ray’s most recent achievement was being asked to be on the Legends Panel at the Muskogee Women’s Leadership Conference.

The panel is made up of various women who work in male-dominated areas and who have vast experience with success in their careers and their personal lives.

“People like Wilma Mankiller were previous panelists, so I was really honored to be there,” Ray said.

In 2005 she received a Governor’s Arts Award for Special Recognition for the Darkwood Film Arts Institute, and the festival directors for the Bare Bones Film Festival received a Golden Halo Achievement Awards from the South California Motion Picture Council.

Her festival is also honored on liveability.com as one of the Top 10 Festival Destinations.

It’s always exciting to be recognized for just doing what you do, she said. 

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks