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The Gordon Parks Celebration 


The Gordon Parks Celebration is in honor of Fort Scott native Gordon Parks. This is an annual event that started in 2004, that celebrates the life, achievements, and contributions of Gordon Parks, internationally known photographer, filmmaker, writer and musician. The Celebrations brings in artists, speakers, programs and events that have enriched our community and world for all ages.

Gordon's Legacy

Gordon Parks (b. 1912) wrote about his hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas, in his autobiographical novel and subsequent film, "The Learning Tree," which was among the 25 films placed on the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1989.   He went on to direct other films, to author several books, and to write original musical compositions, film scores, and a ballet. He established his reputation as a world renowned photojournalist for such magazines as Life and Vogue.  He exceled in numerous artistic fields and used his creative talents to improve the world around him. 


The mission of the Gordon Parks Celebration to provide experiences that promote and celebrate artistic creativity, cultural awareness, and the role of diversity in our lives. We want to use Gordon Parks legacy to teach, enrich and to motive others.

  • To celebrate the role of family values and influence in creating the resilience necessary to face adversity and sustain creativity.

  • To celebrate diversity and adversity and the role they play in creating artistic vision. 

  • To recognize individuals who have made multiple substantive accomplishments to world culture and diversity. 

  • To inspire young people to appreciate culture and diversity. 

To achieve the mission and goals of the Gordon Parks Celebration, there will be presentations of lectures, seminars, workshops, panel discussions, competitions, scholarly presentations, and live performances.  Presenters and participants will includes artists and performers from various fields, teachers, students, scholars and the general public.

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