Ellwanger President


WEWOKA, OK, January 20, 2021 - Richard Ellwanger, Executive Director of the Seminole Nation Museum in Wewoka, has been elected to serve as president of the Oklahoma Museums Association.

Ellwanger was selected to lead the statewide nonprofit in September of 2020 and will serve a two-year term as president that began January 1, 2021. The Oklahoma Museums Association (OMA) is the primary provider of professional development, training and technical information to Oklahoma's 500+ museums, historical societies, historic sites, zoos and botanical gardens, historic houses, and tribal cultural centers. Established in 1972, the Oklahoma Museums Association is a network of over 750 museum professionals working together to foster continued improvement of the museum profession and to assist museums in their efforts to educate, inform, and entertain the public.

 Ellwanger joined the OMA board in 2013 and has served the organization in numerous capacities, including as treasurer and vice-president. Since 2015, Ellwanger has travelled annually to Washington, D.C. on behalf of OMA to advocate legislative leaders on matters important to museums across Oklahoma and the nation. In 2017 Ellwanger developed and co-chaired a “Community of Practice” initiative for small, rural, or isolated museums. The program assists museums across Oklahoma in building capacity and strengthening their ability to serve their constituent communities.

 “By far, the vast majority of Oklahoma’s rich history is held in the collections of rural communities,” said Ellwanger. “The narratives of our diverse cultures are told primarily in the small historical societies and museums that dot our landscape. I am honored to be able to serve as president of OMA and represent the hundreds of rural arts and cultural organizations that tell Oklahoma’s story.”

 A life-long native of Wewoka, Ellwanger has been Executive Director of the Seminole Nation Museum since February of 2000. He is a 1986 graduate of Wewoka High School and a 1990 graduate of Oklahoma State University.

In addition to his service to the Oklahoma Museums Association and numerous other state and local organizations, Ellwanger has served as Chair of the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission, as a director of Friends of the Capitol and as a board member of the Holdenville Hospital Foundation. He is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahomans for the Arts, and the Wewoka Rotary Club, where he is a Paul Harris Fellow.