© Cultural Arts Alliance, Wayne Ozark Region, Inc. All Rights Reserved
An idea is born...
When Tom and Dawn Allen first came to the area, they would breakfast at a local restaurant where good home-cooked food was served. They were entertained by listening to the locals that frequented the country eatery. There they heard unique colloquialisms with which they were completely unfamiliar, as farmers exchanged stories discussing tractors, cattle, hunting adventures and more. Humorous phrases and sayings struck a melodic chord and Dawn was instantly charmed. She envisioned an Ozark Cultural Center to preserve area history and culture for future generations because said history and culture was disappearing. With no apparent way to finance that venture and the influence of Teet Eaton, they continued to toy with the idea of a Cultural Festival. This idea was also
set aside because of the overwhelming nature of such a task. Eventually an afternoon came bringing them together with Barbara Decker. Knowing that local art was out there from experience with and knowing local artists/artisans they got together to seriously discuss exhibiting, selling and marketing, trying to come up with creative solutions on how to provide a venue for artists like themselves, thus promoting interest in the arts and area culture. On that summer day with the expert advice, guidance and experience of Barbara Decker the decision was made to see if the community would be interested in starting a local arts group by conducting an exploratory meeting. Barbara offered to host the meeting and they proceeded to advertise and attract several interested community members. By that time a set of By-laws was created as Barbara and Dawn communicated continuously about the
exciting project which now incorporated all of the arts as well as the colorful Ozark culture and folklore. The first meeting was held in September of 2009 and continues to this day because of devoted members, generous hosts and the creative efforts generated for events and participation in existing area events. We are grateful to have had the help of members passing the word and helping to get things done, including a local attorney that incorporated our organization. The key ingredient in putting CAAW together was Barbara Decker, who continues to inspire, enlighten, recruit members and guide us through the steps of managing, creating and organizing in an effort to maintain the integrity of our group. Without her encouragement, matriarchal support and advice, the Cultural Arts Alliance, Wayne Ozark Region, Inc. would never have happened.