Oklahoma City resident and attorney Duke Ligon founded Mekusukey Oil Company in 1970. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Duke Ligon serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OKC MOA).
The OKC MOA offers a program called Healing Arts that reaches out in several ways to bring art education and appreciation to people who are sick, in recovery, or otherwise unable to access the museum’s offerings.
Art can be a fun, educational, and sometimes therapeutic practice, especially for children who may not have many other outlets for self-expression. Teaching artists from the MOA visit the Oklahoma University Children’s Hospital to provide art lessons for children and teens in longer term care at the hospital. They also visit St. Anthony’s Behavioral Medicine to help children who have behavioral challenges to explore art as a way to express their thoughts and emotions.
Art may also be helpful for people dealing with memory problems or recovering from brain or spinal cord injuries. Teaching artists regularly visit patients at the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation centers; these artists also work with two memory care centers in Oklahoma that treat people who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
On select Mondays, the museum hosts an event called Making Memories. On these days, the MOA closes its doors to everyone but those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. These groups are given full access to the Museum along with several programs and activities to help them experience the art together.