, Muskogee, OK

March 19, 2014

Tinker to help build museum

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Muskogee could have an art and science center within two years, but people need to do some tinkering first.

The proposed interactive museum is to feature exhibits and programs focusing on the arts, sciences “and where they intersect,” said Derryl Venters, president of the center’s board.

“We see the museum as a place for families,” said Venters, a retired educator. “It will be an environment where people can have hands-on activities, not only children, but adults.”

People can help raise money for the center during Tinker Fest on March 28 at Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Tickets are $50 for individuals or $75 for families. People can buy tickets by calling or texting board member Lillian Jayne, (918) 869-2603, or from contacting any board member.

The Tinker Fest will offer a variety of creative “maker” activities for children and adults, Venters said.

“We’ll have some Tinker Toys, plus things with gears you can create,” she said. “There will be things for artists and musicians.”

Prizes will be given for creative tinkering. Food and drinks will be served.

Tinker Fest is an initial fundraiser for the museum, to be located in the Depot District, Venters said.

“Our ultimate goal is to open within the next 18 months,” she said.

The center could be like other interactive museums, such as Leonardo’s Children’s Museum in Enid.

“But we’re different,” Venters said. “Our hope is that the museum does both arts and science.”

One possibility could be a hologram exhibit, which Venters described as a “meeting of arts and science.”

The Muskogee Arts and Science Center board has been active since last summer.

However, Venters said the dream for such a center “started with Sherry Barton about 20 years ago.”

Venters said she was involved in that early planning, “but we all got involved with our careers.”

Members of the Muskogee Arts and Science Center Board are David Adams, Michelle Behrens, Kelvin Brown, Melony Carey, Cheryll Hallum, Dr. Tim Holder, Lillian Jayne, Tammy Pierce, Mike Martin, Dick Morris, Joy Nelson, Toni Bradley Smith, Al Stevens, Justin Stout, Derryl Venters and Dr. Stuart Woods.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or

If you go

WHAT: Tinker Fest.

WHEN: 6 to 10 p.m. March 28.

WHERE: Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, 401 S. Third St.

BENEFITS: Proposed Muskogee Arts and Science Center.

TICKETS: $50 for individuals, $75 for families. Available by calling or texting Lillian Jayne at (918) 869-2603.