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Bringing Dinosaurs to Life: A Story of Tribal Collaboration and Community Joy

Image courtesy of the Miami Public Library

In the heart of Miami, Oklahoma, a unique event took place that not only captivated the imaginations of over 2,200 attendees but also exemplified the power of community and collaboration. On March 19, 2024, The Coleman Theatre was transformed into a prehistoric world, courtesy of "Dinosaur World Live," a spectacular event made possible through the collective efforts and generosity of the Quapaw Nation and several Tribal Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) programs.

A Collective Dream Becomes Reality

The journey to bringing dinosaurs to Miami began months prior, when Danny Dillon, the manager of The Coleman Theatre, approached Callie Cortner, the City of Miami's Director of Library, Arts, & Culture, with a vision. The challenge was clear: how to make such an event accessible to all, especially when ticket prices could easily become a barrier for many families. The solution came through a collaboration that would underscore the profound impact of unity within the community.

Tribal Nations Lead the Way

Understanding the significance of the event, Cortner reached out to directors of Ottawa County’s Tribal CCDF programs. The response was overwhelming. Quapaw Nation and the CCFD Director JoOuita Smith, among other tribes, didn't just pledge support; they ensured the event would be free for everyone by covering the entire cost. This gesture of generosity and community spirit meant that no family would be turned away, and everyone could enjoy the thrill of "Dinosaur World Live" without financial burden.

Image courtesy of the Miami Public Library

Volunteers: The Heartbeat of the Event

The day of the event saw the theater buzzing with excitement, filled to the brim with children, families, and visitors from as far as Spain. Behind the scenes, dedicated CCDF program volunteers worked tirelessly, managing crowds, ushering guests, and ensuring that the event ran smoothly. Their commitment was a testament to the community’s dedication to providing enriching experiences for all.

A Ripple Effect of Joy and Gratitude

The impact of "Dinosaur World Live" extended far beyond the walls of The Coleman Theatre. Attendees shared heartfelt stories of gratitude, emphasizing the importance of such community-focused events. One visitor, a parent of four, expressed how such acts of generosity from the tribes and the dedication of volunteers made a significant difference in their lives, turning what could have been just another day into a memorable adventure for their entire family.

Looking Forward

The success of "Dinosaur World Live" is a shining example of what can be achieved when communities come together, led by the spirit of collaboration among tribal nations. It highlights the importance of accessibility to cultural and educational experiences, demonstrating that when we work together, we can break down barriers and create moments of wonder and joy for everyone.

As Miami looks ahead, the legacy of this event will undoubtedly inspire more collaborative efforts, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose within the community. The dinosaurs may have roamed the earth millions of years ago, but the memories created on that March day will live on in the hearts of those who were there, a reminder of the enduring power of community and collaboration.


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