June 13, 2013
Colonial Williamsburg Donors Support American Indian Programming
Colonial Williamsburg’s American Indian initiative has received a generous gift from Douglas N. Morton and Marilyn L. Brown of Englewood, Colo. The couple has contributed $800,000 to establish the Douglas N. Morton and Marilyn L. Brown American Indian Fund, which will provide significant support for the programs for many years.
“We are grateful for the commitment to Colonial Williamsburg programming the Morton-Browns have made over the years,” said Colin Campbell, president and chief executive officer of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “Their continued support ensures that we can include the important story of Native Americans in the founding of our country for generations to come.”
Colonial Williamsburg’s American Indian initiative presents public history programs depicting the Native American presence in Williamsburg on the eve of the American Revolution. One of the many programs, performed by an all-Native cast, “So Far from Scioto” chronicles the story of Shawnee emissaries brought to Williamsburg in 1774 as security to ensure compliance with a peace agreement that ended Lord Dunmore’s War in the Ohio Country.
“The narratives of American Indians are an important part of Williamsburg’s history,” said Buck Woodard, manager of American Indian program development for Colonial Williamsburg. “The documentary record has provided a surprising amount of detail about Native peoples in Virginia during the 18th century. We strive to embrace the experiences of indigenous peoples and weave these stories into a series of insightful programs.” The initiative incorporates work from American Indian artisans, historians, linguists, researchers and community representatives to ensure the cultural authenticity of the programming.
“We are pleased to support the American Indian initiative,” said Brown. “We believe it enhances Colonial Williamsburg’s presentation of 18th-century life.”
Longtime supporters of Colonial Williamsburg, Morton and Brown have also funded African American research and programming, Nation Builders programming, the Teacher Institute and the restoration of the St. George Tucker House gardens. In 1999, they donated the sculpture of Thomas Jefferson that sits on a bench near the Kimball Theatre in Merchants Square. Their names are inscribed on Colonial Williamsburg’s Courtyard of Philanthropy, where donors with cumulative giving of one million dollars and above are honored. Morton received a bachelor’s degree in history from the College of William & Mary in 1962, and Brown is an honorary alumna of the College. Morton and Brown are also generous supporters of William & Mary.
In 2012, the American Indian initiative also received a grant from Norfolk Southern Corporation to underwrite “So Far from Scioto” programming.