One University—Two Entities—Joining Under a Single Advisory Board—One Executive Director
At the Annual Meeting of Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, Estacar CEO, Cori Burns was elected to the Board of Directors under the new Cultural Foundation of the Texas Panhandle. Burns experience in both economic development and the arts supports the vision of the newly formed collaboration between West Texas A&M University, Texas Panhandle Foundation and the Panhandle Plains Historical Society/Museum.
"I've been involved in the development and promotion of Texas Musical Drama in 2004 and again in 2019, additionally my daughter performed in the musical during the summer of 2019 and of course I'm incredibly passionate about the economic development of our region and the role our arts and cultural enrichment play in that growth. I'm honored to serve in this capacity and look forward to the collaboration to come", says Burns.
As a regional university serving the citizens of West Texas and the Panhandle, and a member of The Texas A&M University System, operating under the spirit of the Land-grant mission West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) is associated with two important entities: the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation (TPHF) that guides the production of the TEXAS Outdoor Musical and the Panhandle- Plains Historical Society/Museum (PPHS/PPHM). Both share a common interest in promoting an understanding of and appreciation for Texas history and the “several pursuits and professions in life” in Texas generally and the Panhandle, specifically. The role of the combined-group-entity is to preserve the cultural foundation of the Texas Panhandle.
WTAMU is a significant repository of historical records, artifacts, and relationships to our extended community. It has responsibility for preserving and disseminating insights embedded in the TPHF and the PPHS/PPHM. The two entities and WTAMU are marked important to, and a part of, the future of our region and state. Both enterprises are in a unique place, and if thoughtfully coordinated and promulgated, statewide value accrues to students of every stripe and locale.
Creating the Cultural Foundation of the Texas Panhandle (CFTP) as an advisory body would provide a unique opportunity to demonstrate civic pride and service to the Panhandle, and more importantly, provide insight to the state more widely, and garner shared support and service from statewide. The advisory board of the CFTP organization is an appointed membership that represents business, industry, civic, and education from various statewide leadership perspectives.
Overall, marrying the boards of the TPHF and PPHS/PPHM creates one well-functioning, regionally driven entity. The role of the combined-group-entity is to preserve the cultural foundation of the Panhandle and the state. This effort would extend the purpose and reach of WTAMU, the TPHF, and the PPHS/PPHM, and the Palo Duro Canyon as one of the most significant natural landmarks and a powerful seedbed of culture and history in our great state.