James Pepper Henry is the Director and CEO of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, a new cultural institution located in Oklahoma City. Its mission is to educate the broader public about the unique cultures, diversity, history, and contributions of the 39 federally recognized tribes that were removed to Indian Territory, now the state of Oklahoma. The facility is scheduled to open in Spring 2021.
Most recently, Jim was the Executive Director of Oklahoma’s premier art, history, and culture museum, the Gilcrease Museum. “Jim” co-led the successful $65 million campaign to update and expand the facility. Prior to Gilcrease, he was the Director and CEO of the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ. He developed programming and exhibitions that significantly increased visitorship and membership. He was the first enrolled Native American to be at the helm of the 83-year old institution.
Prior to the Heard, Jim was Director and CEO of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Alaska’s art, history and science institution. He oversaw the completion of the Museum’s $110 million, 80,000 square foot expansion, including the debut of the new Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center exhibition hall and the new Imaginarium Discovery Center.
Jim is a former Associate Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian where, for nearly ten years, he managed a wide variety of Native American community oriented programs, services, and traveling exhibitions. Jim played a pivotal role in the establishment and launch of the American Indian museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC that opened to the public in 2004.
Jim is a member of the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma and of Muscogee Creek heritage. He is co-founder and President of the Kanza Ilóshka Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the perpetuation of the cultural life-ways and traditions of the Kaw people. Jim is also an active Native American traditional dancer and is co-founder of the Kaw Nation Traditional Dance Society.
He is a graduate of the University of Oregon and a recipient of the University’s prestigious Council for Minority Education Leadership Award. He is also a graduate of the Museum Leadership Institute at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California.
Jim has contributed essays to various publications including Stewards of the Sacred, co-published by the American Association of Museums and Harvard University, and; Native Universe: Voices of Indian America, co-published by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society.
Phil Greenwald is the Executive Pastor and Chief Financial Officer of (our host) St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Phil graduated from Messiah College in Harrisburg, PA with a degree in Psychology and completed Graduate Theological Studies at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas and Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, KY. Phil is a 3rd generation Rotarian; his grandfather was a member of the Jamestown, NY club beginning in the 1950’s. His father is the past president of the Dahlonega, GA club, and Phil is a past president of the Duncan, OK club. Phil oversees the business operations of St. Luke’s, including recent construction of St. Luke’s new Edmond Campus and daily operations of the St. Luke’s Children’s centers, which are now the largest faith-based childcare operations in OKC with over 600 children in weekday childcare. Phil and Stephanie live in south OKC with their teenage daughters Kalli and Tori.