Prairie Experience V was celebrated inside the newly completed Texas Botanical Gardens, an authentic reproduction of Mills County as it existed 3,000 years ago, located at Legacy Plaza in the heart of downtown Goldthwaite. The evening was an incredible success. Everyone enjoyed their first look into the Gardens and we exceeded our expectations financially!

Featured: Refreshment Hour with Exhibit Tours in The Gardens, seated dinner, live and silent auctions, cultural presentations by members of the Comanche Nation in ceremonial dress, plus many exciting special guests!


Karen Fort
Karen spent her career visualizing the Smithsonian Institution’s mission by bringing ideas, information, beauty, science, and history to local, national, and international audiences through the complex medium of museum exhibitions. At the National Museum of the American Indian, she first coordinated the exhibit development for the George Gustav Heye Center in lower Manhattan. Then turning to the new museum (Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian)to be built in Washington, she managed the exhibition master planning effort. Ms. Fort led and executed the project management for four 8,000 square foot exhibitions. In addition, she was an executive producer for the unique, immersive multi-media show, Who We Are. During construction of the NMAI, Ms Fort coordinated the completion, phasing, and move in of approximately 50,000 square feet of exhibitions and public spaces. Karen Fort has been advising us for several years.


Emil Her Many Horses
Emil Her Many Horses is a curator in the office of Museum Research at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. A member of the Oglala Lakota nation of South Dakota, Her Many Horses specializes in the central Plains cultures and served as lead curator for the museum’s inaugural permanent exhibition, “Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World.” Her Many Horses also served as co-curator for the museum’s 2008-2010 exhibition “Identity by Design: Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women’s Dresses” and curator for the “Our Peoples” community exhibitions featuring the history of the Chiricahua Apache of New Mexico and the Blackfeet from Montana. He also authored a book , “A Song for the Horse Nation”, published by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Rita Coosewoon

Respected Tribal Elder of The Comanche Nation of Oklahoma.

Morgan Tosee

Comanche Nation spiritual leader and a champion Northern Tradition Dancer who has traveled the world performing with the American Indian Dance Theatre.

Members of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma:
Holly & Gaylon Pahdacony, Beth Giles, Tiffany Giles Turney, Evelyn Tosee, Laken Tosee, Kendra Tosee, Stephanie Tosee, and Travis Cognenau

Drew and Jennifer Patterson

Drew, our Exhibit Designer, has worked with us for years planning and designing our exhibits and the layout of our project.

Special thanks to photographer Brian deGraffenreid. More pictures in our photo gallery on Flickr.