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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Multi-Arts Tools

Trail of Tears Commemorative Park and Heritage Center

Christian County

Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Contributed by Kathi Ellis

Field Trip Summary

photo of log cabin

A field trip to this historic park and Cherokee museum is an opportunity for students to connect with a Native American culture, incorporate historical information into their day, and explore and participate in a variety of arts experiences. The field trip can be adapted for a variety of grade levels, depending on the activities teachers select.

See the Teacher's Guide and Sample Trip Outline for details.

About the Location

Trail of Tears Commemorative Park and Heritage Center
Pembroke Road
Hopkinsville, KY 42240
To schedule a field trip: (270) 886-7342
For additional information: (270) 885-6070

This historic park is one of the few documented campsites from the Trail of Tears route of 1838-39, when the Cherokee people were forcibly removed to “Indian Territory.” The park has a small but comprehensive museum of Cherokee artifacts, maps of the Trail of Tears, and a burial ground for those Cherokee who died on this part of the trail. There are also picnic and ceremonial areas, as well as walking trails. Every year, in September, the Trail of Tears Commission sponsors an intertribal powwow at the park.

About Artist: Kathi Ellis

Kathi E.B. Ellis is an independent professional theater director who directs at theaters around the country and a member of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Roster of Artists. Her residency experience includes after-school programs at Canaan Community Development Corporation and Tully Elementary School in Louisville. She has worked with the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival at Wheatley Elementary and at various Louisville-area schools for Actors Theatre of Louisville.

With the KAC, Kathi has done residencies in Jefferson, Knox, Larue, and Ohio counties. She has conducted professional development workshops for teachers for the Kentucky Center’s Arts Academies, Jefferson County Public Schools, and the Kentucky Theatre Association. Kathi is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors’ Lab and serves on the editorial board of Southern Theatre, a Southeastern Theatre Conference publication. She is also executive director of the Kentucky Alliance for Arts Education.

Kathi has developed a number of classroom-appropriate scripts from a selection of Native American and West African stories that can serve as models for the kinds of activities described in the Trail of Tears Field Trip. These scenes can be presented with minimal or no production elements and still give students a valuable drama experience.

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951