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A Big Idea: Little Sahara

Grace Ward Smith’s vision for the desert



 



Grace Ward Smith had a vision for northwestern Oklahoma. It involved camels, a pageant, some sheiks … and a harem.
 

Raised on the old Cherokee Strip by a family steeped in showmanship, Smith knew how to sell an idea.

Her father, Harry C. Ward, was one of five pioneering brothers who staked farms in Woods County, north of Freedom. In the early 1900s, after planting crops, the Ward Brothers would travel the show circuit, offering “lantern-lighted literaries” in entertainment-starved towns of the High Plains. Ohio-born Harry was billed as an Irish comedian, guitarist and fiddler, and later found his niche as an Alva auctioneer.

Baby Grace joined the family of showmen-farmers on Jan. 8, 1911. Sixteen years later, at the height of the Roaring Twenties, she signed to tour with her brother Johnny’s spin-off show. She soon wed Ray “Flapjacks” Smith, who performed with her uncle George’s tour.

The newlyweds went on to found Keen-O-Tone, a medicine show offering free entertainment and bargain cures for ailments from colds to cancer. In its heyday, Keen-O-Tone toured with a cast of 32, including an orchestra. Smith mostly worked the business side, arranging for permits, advertising and publicity as the show rolled into town.

Changing tastes and times ended the business in 1951, and the Smiths returned home. On April 14, 1953, she was hired for a six-month trial to head the Chamber of Commerce in Alva.

Grace Ward Smith offered her hometown a bold plan: Instead of bringing a show to an audience, as her family had done for years, why not bring the audience directly to the show? The attraction to promote: the people and places of Woods County, Oklahoma.

She was specific about her goal: “New dollars are what we need, and I believe our biggest untapped source [is] tourists.” To those who doubted that anyone would travel to the sparsely populated region so far off the beaten path, she invoked Proverbs 29:18, saying, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

She had vision enough for the entire county.

With fresh eyes, she envisioned Alva as the gateway to the region’s Wild West history: outlaw hideouts, a dude ranch, Alabaster Caverns and the Great Salt Plains. She gave speeches and knocked on doors to increase membership in the Chamber of Commerce, organized civic groups to help entertain bus tours and attended conferences throughout the state to extol the virtues of Woods County.

But what she really wanted was another big attraction.


Her imagination was sparked by the dunes south of Waynoka, a sandy patch that had been ignored for decades, save for school field trips and adventurous picnickers. The fine quartz sand had been deposited by the Cimarron River over centuries, stretching uninterrupted for more than two square miles.

The dunes were an annoyance to most, creeping north and east as much as a foot every year in grainy drifts encroaching on Highway 281, causing the road to be rerouted time and again.

Grace Ward Smith, however, saw the sand as an answered prayer, and a sure bet to gain more traction in promoting Woods County.

First, the dunes field needed an inspiring name. Something evocative, yet familiar. Something she could sell. Her idea: “Little Sahara.”

Not everyone was impressed. Longtime Waynoka resident Rosalie Walker recalls, “We don’t want to be ‘little’ anything. I favored ‘Golden Sands.’” Decades later, she admits that Little Sahara was the best choice.

Smith recruited riders from the Waynoka Saddle Club to guide visitors through the new city-owned park of Little Sahara. She lined up townsfolk to dress as outlaws and stop incoming buses, presenting surprise gifts to the tourists. She orchestrated Indian smoke signals to be sent from hill to hill, and organized square dances, cave tours and chuckwagon feeds.

A 1956 report in The Daily Oklahoman noted Smith was “‘on stage’ practically 24 hours a day promoting Alva in a ‘show,’ which may equal the long run of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma … Alva’s first woman chamber of commerce secretary-manager may give business-like reports on projects to the board of directors at a night meeting, serve them pie and coffee, then show up at the office early the next morning to sweep out and wash the coffee cups before first callers appear.”

By 1958, she upped the ante, spearheading the purchase of two camels from the Al G. Kelly-Miller Brother Circus, which was wintering in Hugo, for $2,300.

“Once Grace has those camels, there’ll be no stopping her,” a contemporary said, in awe.

Local ranchers donated feed as the camels were kept in the Little Sahara’s “Oasis Pasture,” ready for photos. Tours by train and bus continued, including nearly 1,000 students from Oklahoma City and Tulsa in a single weekend.

Picnic tables were added around the park, and 20 students from Northwestern State College were paid $5 per performance to cavort in “colored pajamas, bathrobes, sheets and towels for the sheiks” and “sheer pajamas over shorts for the harem girls.” Plans were tossed about for a luxury hotel near the dunes with a desert theme, turquoise pool and a courtyard open to the night sky for star-viewing parties.

The camels – Susie and Nellie – continued to draw crowds, and garnered even more excitement when Nellie was about to give birth. A zoo veterinarian was flown in from Oklahoma City, and contests were held to guess the baby’s birthdate and time. The tiny camel arrived safely; she was named Gracie, in honor of Smith.

Alva proposed having some of the dunes designated a state park, and state lawmakers Lute Morrow of Dacoma and Ben Easterly of Alva promised to help. The Oklahoma Legislature earmarked $12,500 to purchase a parcel from the state Land Commission and develop the park, acquiring the 339-acre Little Sahara in September 1960. Restrooms were installed, along with 21 picnic tables and a water system.

The camels were exhibited at Little Sahara and were the star attraction in Waynoka’s first Christmas pageant in the dunes, held on Dec. 22, 1960, before a crowd of more than 4,000.

In 1961, an estimated 50,000 visitors made the trek to Waynoka to see the wonders of Little Sahara State Park.


By then, the extraordinary Smith had pulled up her tent stakes and moved on to head the Elk City Chamber of Commerce. The story goes that she ran for mayor of Alva and lost by six votes.

By November 1961, The Daily Oklahoman noted “credit for the plan to transform the Woods County dunes into a state park belongs to the county Chamber of Commerce, with individual laurels going to Ralph Sharp and Ike Ashpaugh, Waynoka businessmen.” Any mention of Smith and her inspired campaign had been erased as quickly as the shifting sands.

The park had momentum now, and could not be stopped. An observation tower was built, and adjoining acreage was added, bringing the total to more than 1,600 acres.

In the spring of 1963, Waynoka auto dealer Phil Middleton showed up in the dunes wearing goggles and an old aviator helmet, driving a makeshift steampunk vehicle with wide rims and balloon tires, topped by hay-rake wheels serving as roll bars.

By the end of the year, dozens of Mad Max-style vehicles took to the sand, tackling dunes reported at the time to rise more than 100 feet. Riders and spectators arrived from across Oklahoma, and from neighboring states. Local businesses popped up to offer rentals, repairs and rides.

The camels were eventually sold to a place in Arkansas, far from the whine and hum of the machines that are allowed to run the dunes 24/7.

Although the population of Woods County has declined – from 17,500 residents in 1910 to 9,304 in 2015 – Little Sahara State Park’s crowds continue to rise. On a good weekend, the numbers of those camping near the dunes and staying in nearby motels surpasses Waynoka’s population of 944.

The park’s Buttercup, Cowboy and Golden Sands campgrounds now offer 86 RV sites with water and electricity, 143 tent sites, pay showers, picnic areas and a colony of roadrunners.

Little Sahara took in more than $1.28 million in admission in 2015, when 128,397 riders paid $10 each for entry to the dunes. Their patronage boosted local businesses through sales of food and fuel, equipment rentals and lodging.

Sixty-five years after Smith vowed to inspire travelers to set their sights for the wonders of Woods County, visitors outnumber county residents 14-to-1.

In the end, the hometown girl who learned her craft in a traveling medicine show – and who insisted where there is no vision, the people perish – successfully sold Little Sahara as a cure for what ailed.

 

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February 2017

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Cost: Admission

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More information

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Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

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Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
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More information

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More information

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Where:
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706 W Sheridan
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View map »


Telephone: 405.232.6060
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

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Where:
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View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

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Where:
Science Museum Oklahoma
2020 Remington
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

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Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

An exhibition of work by Navajo photographer Will Wilson responds to a landmark collection of Native portraiture by demonstrating the ongoing strength of traditional culture.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
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View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

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Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

Carla Scull, Education Coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association, will lead this six-part program to help caregivers better understand the changes their loved one is experiencing –...

Cost: Free

Where:
Touchmark at Coffee Creek
2801 Shortgrass Drive
Edmond, OK  73003
View map »


Sponsor: Touchmark at Coffee Creek
Telephone: 405.340.1975
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

Subtitled The Next 50 Years of Oklahoma Art, this exhibition covers some of the state's creative expression in the post-WWII era, including works by Doel Reed, Richard Goetz, Eugene Bavinger...

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Dinosaurs come alive - almost - in this animatronically enhanced showcase of prehistoric faunae.

Where:
Science Museum Oklahoma
2020 Remington
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The Pollard takes a swing at the Pulitzer-winning tale of racial divides, lost opportunities and lingering bitterness.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
View map »


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

An exhibition of work by Navajo photographer Will Wilson responds to a landmark collection of Native portraiture by demonstrating the ongoing strength of traditional culture.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Self-billed as the best listening room in Oklahoma, it certainly has some of the best music - check online for updates.

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N McKinley
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.524.0738
Website »

More information

Death is a part of life, right? So when a foursome who've been friends for 30 years lose one of their members before their weekly bridge game, what's so terrible about stealing her ashes...

Where:
Carpenter Square Theater
800 W Main
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.232.6500
Website »

More information

Participating artists get creative with a little help from their friends, pushing beyond their individual boundaries and forging new works they would not have been able to produce on their own.

Where:
Current Studio
1218 N Penn
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.673.1218
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of 50 juror-selected works from pieces submitted for its annual Youth Visions Photography Competition.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

Oklahoma native Poteet Victory shows off a suite of exceptional portraits and oil paintings, each each finished with his special proprietary glaze.

Where:
Howell Gallery
6432 N Western
OKC, OK  73116
View map »


Telephone: 405.840.4437
Website »

More information

One era's everyday entertainment can become respected mythology in a later epoch - this production of a look at humanity in a dystopian future and their Simpsons-based understanding of our time...

Where:
OKC Civic Center
201 N Walker
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.297.2264
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

A foe of stereotypes, Artus wields needle and thread to thought-provoking effect in this solo show of fresh creations.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

Travel broadens the mind ... but it can also leave you stranded in a snowstorm with characters like these. Jewel Box takes on an Inge comedy that contains a little dab of romance.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This conference is designed to enlighten, encourage and empower women form all walks of life! For more information, please visit MabeeCenter.com

Cost: $69

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Website »

More information

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that the Cat in the Hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met.  He...

Cost: $6-$10

Where:
Oklahoma Children's Theatre
2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Childrens Theatre
Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

Join us for the 33rd annual OKCMOA Omelette Party as we celebrate Las-V-EGG-as style! Every spring, OKCMOA throws one of the biggest parties in the metro with proceeds benefiting the Museum's...

Cost: $125

Where:
Chevy Bricktown Events Center
429 E California Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Telephone: 405.278.8225
Contact Name: Kimberley Worrell
Website »

More information

Jazz Music

Cost: $10

Where:
UCO Jazz Lab
100 E 5th St
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Sponsor: Mitchell Hall Theatre

More information

Travel broadens the mind ... but it can also leave you stranded in a snowstorm with characters like these. Jewel Box takes on an Inge comedy that contains a little dab of romance.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The cream of the conference converges on OKC to compete and crown a new champion.

Where:
Chesapeake Arena
100 W Reno
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 800.745.3000
Website »

More information

The ever-changing repertoire of UCO's touring dance company provides a fresh new viewing experience combining elements of modern dance, ballet, jazz, tap and more.

Where:
UCO Mitchell Hall Theater
100 N University
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.974.3375
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Oklahoma City's premier platform for improvised comedy theatre presents its next showcase, with shows Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Each show is $10, or see both for $15. Enjoy...

Cost: $5 - $15

Where:
Paramount Theatre
11 N. Lee Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The Pollard takes a swing at the Pulitzer-winning tale of racial divides, lost opportunities and lingering bitterness.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
View map »


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

Death is a part of life, right? So when a foursome who've been friends for 30 years lose one of their members before their weekly bridge game, what's so terrible about stealing her ashes...

Where:
Carpenter Square Theater
800 W Main
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.232.6500
Website »

More information

Participating artists get creative with a little help from their friends, pushing beyond their individual boundaries and forging new works they would not have been able to produce on their own.

Where:
Current Studio
1218 N Penn
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.673.1218
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

A foe of stereotypes, Artus wields needle and thread to thought-provoking effect in this solo show of fresh creations.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

One era's everyday entertainment can become respected mythology in a later epoch - this production of a look at humanity in a dystopian future and their Simpsons-based understanding of our time...

Where:
OKC Civic Center
201 N Walker
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.297.2264
Website »

More information

Nicole Emmons-Willis and Tessa Raven combine their sculptural prowess to explore dreaming, specifically the American Dream, and man's effect on Earth.

Where:
IAO Gallery
706 W Sheridan
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.232.6060
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The historic arts district's name means stroll, which happens to be the preferred form of locomotion while taking in its wonders during a monthly display of arts and culture.

Where:
Paseo Arts District
3022 Paseo
OKC, OK  73103
View map »


Telephone: 405.525.2688
Website »

More information

Delicious as ever with live music to enjoy and fresh art to raffle off, the 33rd installment of this annual fundraising jewel is themed Viva Las VEGGas.

Where:
Bricktown Events Center
429 E California
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of 50 juror-selected works from pieces submitted for its annual Youth Visions Photography Competition.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

Self-billed as the best listening room in Oklahoma, it certainly has some of the best music - check online for updates.

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N McKinley
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.524.0738
Website »

More information

The Thunder's D-League affiliate brings its A-game to battle Iowa.

Where:
Cox Center
1 Myriad Gardens
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.208.4667
Website »

More information

Metro, meet Opolis - you'll make beautiful music together. Check online for updates.

Where:
The Opolis
113 N Crawford
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Subtitled The Next 50 Years of Oklahoma Art, this exhibition covers some of the state's creative expression in the post-WWII era, including works by Doel Reed, Richard Goetz, Eugene Bavinger...

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

It should sound great at the Grand this month, thanks to a special performance by the legendary musical master of cool - and yeah, he's bringing The Time.

Where:
Grand Casino
777 Grand
Shawnee, OK  74804
View map »


Telephone: 405.964.7263
Website »

More information

Join the OU School of Music for auditory bliss.

Where:
OU Catlett Music Center
500 W Boyd
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.4101
Website »

More information

This Philip Glass opera based on a fairy tale is fairly Grimm, but OCU School of Music students will make certain it sounds amazing.

Where:
OCU Kirkpatrick Auditorium
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.208.5227
Website »

More information

Oklahoma native Poteet Victory shows off a suite of exceptional portraits and oil paintings, each each finished with his special proprietary glaze.

Where:
Howell Gallery
6432 N Western
OKC, OK  73116
View map »


Telephone: 405.840.4437
Website »

More information

An exhibition of work by Navajo photographer Will Wilson responds to a landmark collection of Native portraiture by demonstrating the ongoing strength of traditional culture.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Dinosaurs come alive - almost - in this animatronically enhanced showcase of prehistoric faunae.

Where:
Science Museum Oklahoma
2020 Remington
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This conference is designed to enlighten, encourage and empower women form all walks of life! For more information, please visit MabeeCenter.com

Cost: $69

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Website »

More information

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door, Sally and her brother know that the Cat in the Hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met.  He...

Cost: $6-$10

Where:
Oklahoma Children's Theatre
2501 N. Blackwelder
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Childrens Theatre
Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

Red Tie Night - one of Oklahoma's most anticipated evenings - is the single largest evening fundraiser in Oklahoma. Dazzling decorations, amazing auction items, great music and well-known...

Cost: http://www.okaidscarefund.com/redtienight/

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund
Telephone: 405-348-6600
Contact Name: Lany Milner
Website »

More information

Join us for the 33rd annual OKCMOA Omelette Party as we celebrate Las-V-EGG-as style! Every spring, OKCMOA throws one of the biggest parties in the metro with proceeds benefiting the Museum's...

Cost: $125

Where:
Chevy Bricktown Events Center
429 E California Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Telephone: 405.278.8225
Contact Name: Kimberley Worrell
Website »

More information

Oklahoma City's premier platform for improvised comedy theatre presents its student showcases - each show is $10 or see both for $15. Enjoy buy-one-get-one ticket prices with your Keep It Local...

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Paramount Theatre
11 N. Lee Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

Oklahoma City's premier platform for improvised comedy theatre presents its next showcase, with shows Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Each show is $10, or see both for $15. Enjoy...

Cost: $5 - $15

Where:
Paramount Theatre
11 N. Lee Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A foe of stereotypes, Artus wields needle and thread to thought-provoking effect in this solo show of fresh creations.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

One era's everyday entertainment can become respected mythology in a later epoch - this production of a look at humanity in a dystopian future and their Simpsons-based understanding of our time...

Where:
OKC Civic Center
201 N Walker
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.297.2264
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The Pollard takes a swing at the Pulitzer-winning tale of racial divides, lost opportunities and lingering bitterness.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
View map »


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

Death is a part of life, right? So when a foursome who've been friends for 30 years lose one of their members before their weekly bridge game, what's so terrible about stealing her ashes...

Where:
Carpenter Square Theater
800 W Main
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.232.6500
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Dinosaurs come alive - almost - in this animatronically enhanced showcase of prehistoric faunae.

Where:
Science Museum Oklahoma
2020 Remington
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

An exhibition of work by Navajo photographer Will Wilson responds to a landmark collection of Native portraiture by demonstrating the ongoing strength of traditional culture.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Subtitled The Next 50 Years of Oklahoma Art, this exhibition covers some of the state's creative expression in the post-WWII era, including works by Doel Reed, Richard Goetz, Eugene Bavinger...

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Participating artists get creative with a little help from their friends, pushing beyond their individual boundaries and forging new works they would not have been able to produce on their own.

Where:
Current Studio
1218 N Penn
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.673.1218
Website »

More information

Nicole Emmons-Willis and Tessa Raven combine their sculptural prowess to explore dreaming, specifically the American Dream, and man's effect on Earth.

Where:
IAO Gallery
706 W Sheridan
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.232.6060
Website »

More information

This Philip Glass opera based on a fairy tale is fairly Grimm, but OCU School of Music students will make certain it sounds amazing.

Where:
OCU Kirkpatrick Auditorium
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.208.5227
Website »

More information

Join the OU School of Music for auditory bliss.

Where:
OU Catlett Music Center
500 W Boyd
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.4101
Website »

More information

Oklahoma native Poteet Victory shows off a suite of exceptional portraits and oil paintings, each each finished with his special proprietary glaze.

Where:
Howell Gallery
6432 N Western
OKC, OK  73116
View map »


Telephone: 405.840.4437
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Travel broadens the mind ... but it can also leave you stranded in a snowstorm with characters like these. Jewel Box takes on an Inge comedy that contains a little dab of romance.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

Don't worry about being spooked; this convention has things that go bump in the night but also sci-fi, steampunk and fantasy elements, including plenty of merch and cosplay.

Where:
State Fairgrounds
333 Gordon Cooper
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Website »

More information

The Sooners finish out a scrappy season against the Horned Frogs.

Where:
Lloyd Noble Center
2900 S Jenkins
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.2424
Website »

More information

The Cowboys end their regular season by hosting the mighty Jayhawks - no pressure, right?

Where:
Gallagher-Iba Arena
1046 W Hall of Fame
Stillwater, OK  74075
View map »


Telephone: 877.255.4678
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Metro, meet Opolis - you'll make beautiful music together. Check online for updates.

Where:
The Opolis
113 N Crawford
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Website »

More information

Strike up the orchestra; guest conductor Daniel Hege leads the OKC Philharmonic and pianist Haochen Zhang through an evening of Barber, Ravel and Brahms.

Where:
OKC Civic Center
201 N Walker
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.842.5387
Website »

More information

Self-billed as the best listening room in Oklahoma, it certainly has some of the best music - check online for updates.

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N McKinley
OKC, OK  73106
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Telephone: 405.524.0738
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The cream of the conference converges on OKC to compete and crown a new champion.

Where:
Chesapeake Arena
100 W Reno
OKC, OK  73102
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Telephone: 800.745.3000
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