Ozark Natural and Cultural Resource Center
Missouri Department of Conservation
United States Forest Service
State Park
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
National Park Service

Ozark Culture

The ONCRC features a variety of free exhibits each year which highlight Ozark Culture and Natural Resources

The Ozark region celebrates a rich history of unique culture and tradition. The ONCRC seeks to capture that tradition by preserving the history of the area with exhibits and workshops that share Ozark skills, arts, and crafts, and document important historical events and trends.

The Arts in the Ozarks
Arts practiced and enjoyed in the Missouri Ozarks include painting, drawing, storytelling, and both vocal and instrumental music.

This area of the Ozark Plateau is richly blessed with many talented people who create numerous types of artistic wares.  They are able to use local resources for many of these.

We also enjoy a fine array of talented musicians who perform in various venues. One group has a “jam session” once each month, which is often held at the Center.

Current & future exhibits will feature quilt making, artistic endeavors and tree decorating.

Ozark Life Skills
People in the Missouri Ozarks developed certain life skills as a way of survival which still blends in modern practices.  Some still practiced in the original manner are blacksmithing, spinning, weaving, quilting, traditional soap making, pottery making, beekeeping, cooking sorghum molasses, and home canning.  String instruments of all types continue to be enjoyed and shared by many.

For a list and description of upcoming workshops, check our Events Schedule.

Ozark Hand Crafts
Hand crafting is still used by some to supplement income.  Basket weaving is very prominent in the area.  With the abundant source of fine hardwoods, woodworking is popular.  Wooden spoons, handmade wooden pens, musical spoons, bows and arrows are still made locally. Other hand crafts include, sewing, beading, crocheting, knitting and weaving fibres.

Many hand crafted and one-of-a-kind Ozark Gifts, as well as educational and entertaining books, audio CDs, and video DVDs are available for sale at the ONCRC.

Ozark Historical Exhibits
The Center has featured numerous exhibits depicting history in the Ozarks. “Age of Iron” featured local iron mining, smelting, and the importance of the relationship between transportation, logging and mining.  “Key Ingredients”, a Smithsonian traveling exhibit was used to create a meaningful lesson on our food chain.  Other exhibits held recently include “Life in the Ozarks”, history depicted by photography, “Defending our Freedom”, honoring service men and women, “Quilting in the Ozarks”, “Inspirations from the Forest” &  “Trail of Tears”.