Around The County

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital


Performances scheduled for Aug. 8-9

Dance Maker Academy will hold its Spring Performances later than planned this year because of COVID-19. Performances will be Aug. 8-9 at the Constantine Theater in Pawhuska.

Dance Maker will be performing variations from “Swan Lake” at what was to be its sixth annual Spring Performance at the Constantine. Due to COVID-19 it was necessary to change the dates. Dance Maker will have additional performances to adhere to safe social-distancing standards.

Audience members will be seated with their families, and seating will be on every other row of chairs. Keeping 6-foot distancing, everyone will be ushered in and out. Final student pick-up will be in the parking lot behind the theater.

Performances are scheduled to begin at 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9. Tickets for the performances are $5 for adults and $2 for children. Videos of the performances will be available for purchase one week following the performances.

Pawhuska and surrounding communities have embraced the academy since it opened in the spring of 2014 and have come to realize the significance and importance of the life skills that are taught at the academy alongside the dance instruction. The students attending the academy not only learn to dance, they also learn how to give back to their communities through their art, as well as the importance of hard work, discipline and commitment.

Jenna LaViolette, Director of Dance at Dance Maker Academy, received her ballet training in Atlanta, Georgia, and the North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a graduate of Oral Roberts University’s dance program. In 2012 she choreographed “Wahzhazhe”, an Osage ballet that tells the extraordinary history of the Osage people. She produced The “Nutcracker” ballet in 2017 in Pawhuska, which premiered at the Constantine Theater. Jenna is a recipient of the Dreamstarter Grant from Running Strong for American Indian Youth, which she used to take dance into the local public schools.

Students require community support whether through donations, audience attendance, volunteers who help with costumes and staging, or even giving the students rides to classes. Community involvement along with Legacy Scholarship donations from individuals and businesses allow students to flourish and realize dreams that some did not even know they had.

LaViolette expresses gratitude to all Dance Maker Academy sponsors on behalf of the student recipients. Donors include the Osage Nation Foundation, Osage Casinos, Running Strong for American Indian Youth, Artists of Indian America, Will and Anne Baker, Jr., Jerry and Marlene Mosley, The Oklahoma Arts Council and many other organizations and individuals.

If you are interested in being a Legacy Scholarship sponsor, please visit the website:, email, visit the academy: 400 Palmer Avenue Pawhuska, OK 74056, or call Dance Maker at 918-704-4668.


Reading activities continue, including contests

Summer Reading continues at Pawhuska Public Library. Activities are in place for the remainder of July, and for August:

• Story Time continues through Aug. 13 on Thursday mornings, 10:30 - 11:15 a.m. Stories and crafts will be offered. The library has prizes and books to give to story time participants!

• The Oklahoma City Zoo “Read for Adventure” contest began July 8: check out the book “Juniper’s Butterfly Garden.” When the book is returned, the child receives four free passes to the OKC Zoo. Passes may be used for kids, adults, or seniors.

• Pawhuska Public Library now subscribes to The Oklahoman newspaper’s Sunday issue! Students 5 to 12 years old may participate in The Oklahoman’s Summer Reading contest: Find the answer to the weekly question, and get your name in a drawing for a set of books!

Major sponsors of Summer Reading are the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sonic Corporation, The Oklahoman, and the OKC Zoo.


State health department offers COVID-19 risk level tool

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) recently launched a new COVID-19 alert system that offers the public and local elected officials a clear method to recognize and communicate the current COVID-19 risk level in each county and to guide health behaviors.

The Oklahoma COVID-19 Alert System is a four-tiered risk measurement tool with corresponding color categories that identify the current COVID-19 risk level by county.

“This new COVID-19 alert system marries OSDH’s robust data reporting with additional public health steps that should be considered county by county to confront elevated risks of community spread,” said Interim Health Commissioner Lance Frye, M.D. “The color-coded system is an easy way for business owners, local leaders, and the public to know at a glance when extra precautions should be taken.”

Each color category is based on daily new cases per 100,000 persons. The color-coded county map will be updated every Friday as part of the agency’s 11 a.m. Situation Media Advisory and will be based on the seven-day rolling average:

Green: 0 1.43 daily new cases per 100,000 persons;

Yellow: 43 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 persons;

Orange: > 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 persons;

Red: > 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 persons, plus one of four additional gates triggered.

OSDH will deem a county as in a high-risk phase if the county is reporting more than 14.39 daily new cases per 100,000 and one or more of the four thresholds occur in the state within a given week.

Statewide ICU threshold: Percent of ICU beds available 5% statewide;

Statewide Medical/Surgical threshold: Percent of medical surgery beds available 5% statewide;

Statewide ventilator threshold: Percent of ventilators available 5% statewide;

Facility PPE threshold: Average days of PPE on hand and available 5 days statewide.

The state will work with local officials in red counties on a remediation plan.

The red phase is triggered when additionally assessing statewide health system capacity definitions, assumptions and plans in the Oklahoma Hospital Surge Planning Toolkit, and with assessing numbers based on hospitals’ bed capacity at 100%. This status indicates statewide, systemic challenges and pressures on the health care system resulting from COVID-19.

This new alert system is subject to further revisions. Guidance for each risk category is available for individuals, businesses, high-risk individuals, and children on the COVID-19 dashboard at