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Tommy Allsup: Fate and a Flipped Coin

Oklahoma’s connection to Buddy Holly’s plane crash



 



The place where the dead men’s wallets were found is at the end of a grassy path, off a dirt road, off another dirt road, in a cornfield near the Iowa-Minnesota border.
 

There are no billboards, no directional signs, no interpretive plaques. No admission fees. No souvenirs for sale.

What is there is a pair of giant glasses balanced between a couple of posts, in a sea of landlocked cornfields at the unpaved corner of the improbably urban-sounding 315th Street and Gull Avenue, marking the trailhead of a half-mile path to the site where rock ’n’ roll’s first tragedy occurred on Feb. 3, 1959.

The bodies of teen idols Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson, known as the Big Bopper, were discovered that morning, eight hours after a four-seat, red-and-white Beechcraft Bonanza piloted by 21-year-old Roger Peterson had taken off in a snowstorm.

Five wallets were discovered in the wreckage. The names taken from the IDs within were announced as killed in the crash. Four of the wallets were on or near the bodies; the fifth was found in the plane near Holly. It was stuffed fat with the paperwork of life: torn notebook paper with names and numbers of musicians and song lineups, black-and-white family photos, a deposit slip from First State Bank, an invoice from Shook Tire Company, a receipt from Hammon Master Cleaners (Lawton’s Finest!) and one for a new amp for a 1958 Fender Stratocaster.

An Oklahoma driver’s license revealed the name of the wallet’s owner: Tommy Douglas Allsup.

Tommy was the 12th of 13 children of Thomas Jerry Allsup and Retta Maude Blakemore Allsup. His mother, a member of the Cherokee Nation, was registered on the Dawes Roll at the age of 7. Tommy was born Nov. 24, 1931, on her allotment in Owasso. He later said of his Depression-era upbringing: “Everybody was broke so you didn’t know you were poor until you called your dog to feed them and they wouldn’t come. Then you knew you were poor.”

At the time of the crash, the 27-year-old guitarist was a veteran performer. He had formed the Oklahoma Swingbillies and Tommy Allsup’s Range Riders before being hired by Johnnie Lee Wills, who followed his brother Bob and the Texas Playboys, to play regularly at Cain’s Ballroom.

Allsup met Buddy Holly at Norman Petty’s recording studio in Clovis, N.M., and joined a 21-year-old bassist named Waylon Jennings and local drummer Carl Bunch as the next generation of Holly’s Crickets.

The band was one of four rock acts promoted as the Winter Dance Party. The series of dance-hall concerts through the frozen heart of the Midwest played 24 towns in 24 days, saving money by sleeping on the bus between gigs.

The tour promoter arranged for the musicians to be transported by old-school buses, which broke down time after time in the subzero temperatures. Conditions were so bad that Bunch was left behind in Michigan, hospitalized with frostbitten feet. Reporting on the incident, the local Iron County Miner noted: “The men were lightly dressed and suffered from extreme cold of 35 below zero that morning with no heat in the bus while they waited for someone to come along.” The bus that pulled into Clear Lake, Iowa, from Green Bay on Feb. 2 was the musicians’ sixth vehicle in 10 days.

An exhausted Holly decided enough was enough. He chartered a plane for after the Iowa gig in the hope of getting to Fargo in time to do his laundry, take a shower and get some solid sleep in a warm bed. He offered his guitarists the remaining two seats, figuring the $108 – $36 each when split three ways – charter flight of 440 miles would be a good investment in keeping their sanity.

As word of the plane spread, other musicians wanted in. Waylon Jennings pitied the ailing Richardson, who was battling the flu, and accepted The Big Bopper’s offer of his new sleeping bag in return for his seat on the flight. Allsup, however, was determined to escape the frigid bus, rebuffing the pleas for his seat by 17-year-old singer Ritchie Valens – said to be so unprepared for the weather that he was traveling without a winter coat.

After the Winter Dance Party’s two sets at the Surf Ballroom, Holly, Richardson and Allsup were packed up and about to head for the airport when Allsup ran back into the club one more time, double-checking that there was nothing left behind.


Thinking the group had already left, an excited Valens, who had been signing autographs, tried one last time to talk Allsup out of his seat. Allsup offered a compromise: “I’ll tell ya what: let’s flip for it.” And so they did. Valens called heads, and heads it was.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever won anything in my life,” Valens said as he went to collect his belongings off the bus.

Allsup pocketed the half-dollar, took his loss in stride and went outside to tell Holly the change of plans. He asked Holly to pick up a registered letter that his mother had mailed general delivery to the Fargo post office.

“Sure thing. But I’ll need your ID,” Holly said. In the freezing Iowa night, an exhausted Allsup tried to fish out identification from his wallet. Holly was impatient to get going. Just give me the whole wallet, he said. I’ll give it back to you later.

And so it happened that Tommy Allsup boarded the bus with the equipment, fellow Cricket Waylon Jennings and the rest of the musicians from the tour, while Valens drove off happily to the airport with Holly and Richardson.

Within the hour, the plane would be shattered in the frozen cornfield, its occupants killed on impact at an estimated 170 miles per hour.

The wire services reported the five fatalities, based on the IDs found at the scene. Back in Oklahoma, a frantic neighbor was trying to phone Mrs. Allsup to tell her the news before she heard it on the radio.

The band’s survivors found out around noon, as they checked into Moorhead’s Hotel Comstock. Tommy was able to reach his mother before the news hit, telling her of the coin flip and the last-minute change of plans.

The band went on that night in a daze and, at the promoter’s insistence, continued the tour … for a cut rate, because most of the big-name draws were no longer performing.

Jennings later told of how Holly needled him about not taking the plane, joking: “I hope your damned bus freezes up again.” Jennings’ reply, which haunted him for years: “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes.” He never forgave himself.

Allsup’s wife at the time had a belt made for him, featuring the lucky 50-cent piece fashioned into a custom buckle shaped like a horseshoe. At last report, the talisman was kept tucked away in a safe-deposit box. In the late ’80s, he opened a short-lived honky-tonk in Dallas – Tommy’s Heads Up Saloon, a reference to the lucky toss.

As time marched on, the plane crash stood for some as the moment America lost its bobby-sox innocence, ending the giddy effervescence following World War II and ushering in a decade marked by civil unrest, political assassinations, the Vietnam War and a new cynicism.

Thirteen years later, folk singer Don McLean immortalized the tragedy with the epic 8-minute, 33-second hit “American Pie.” It was an ode to the end of an era. He declared Feb. 3, 1959, “The Day the Music Died.”

Tommy Allsup’s wallet made its way back home in 1977. On a lunch break from a recording session of a studio album – ironically enough, Don McLean’s tribute to Buddy Holly – he went to check his mail, returning with a small box with an Iowa postmark and return address from the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Department. Inside: the worn leather wallet and its contents, recovered from the wreckage.


McLean blanched when Allsup showed him, and took an hour-long break from the session. When he returned, Allsup recalled, a shaken McLean declared: “We’re going to do some original songs. We’re not doing any more Buddy Holly songs.”

Allsup kept performing and producing until the end, touring at home and abroad, winning accolades including a Grammy Award and induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

He died Jan. 11, 2017, at the age of 85, 57 years and 11 months after he was booked on the doomed flight, and was laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery in Owasso.

Vince Gill performed at his memorial service. Paul McCartney, who considered him one of rock’s greatest guitarists, sent flowers.

Late in his life, Allsup talked to an interviewer about the February night: “I still think about it nearly 60 years later. I’m mighty thankful to still be here. I don’t really dwell on it any more than I have to.

“I guess my philosophy just makes me keep looking forward. I try to forget about yesterday, since I can’t do anything about what’s already happened. I know I don’t have tomorrow, ’cause it’s not here yet. Mostly, I can only do something about today, so I try to live it to the fullest and do what I’m supposed to.

“You can’t dwell on the past. You just have to keep moving on.”

His wallet, however, continues to tour. In the 1990s, it made its way into the world’s largest collection of rock memorabilia. It now tours the nation, from music festivals to concert venues, as part of Hard Rock Cafe International’s “Gone Too Soon” exhibition.

Traveling with John Lennon’s round glasses, Janis Joplin’s hand-painted poncho, Kurt Cobain’s scribbled notes, Michael Jackson’s studded leather jacket and Jimi Hendrix’s Gibson guitar, Tommy Allsup’s wallet – contents fanned out, frozen in time like a Vesuvius-struck Pompeii – is framed and under glass.

Jeff Nolan manages Hard Rock’s archive of treasures. As curator and historian for the 80,000-piece collection of pop music memorabilia, including tricked-out guitars, sequined costumes and framed gold records, he is often asked which is his favorite.

His answer, in interview after interview: Tommy Allsup’s wallet. More than one surprised interviewer then follows up: Who is Tommy Allsup? Nolan will smile, and begin to tell the tale of the 12th of 13 children born on his mother’s allotment in Owasso, who won by losing a flip of a coin.



‘It Gave Me the Chills’
 

Eighteen-year-old Robert Zimmerman of Hibbing, Minn., was in attendance at the Jan. 31, 1959, concert at the Duluth Armory to watch Buddy Holly and the Crickets perform on the Winter Dance Party tour. Two nights later, Holly died in the fatal plane crash. More than half a century later, the musician now known as Bob Dylan credited that evening as a key to his artistic success, noting in his June 5, 2017, lecture in accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature:

“If I was to go back to the dawning of it all, I guess I’d have to start with Buddy Holly. Buddy died when I was about 18 and he was 22. From the moment I first heard him, I felt akin … He was the archetype. Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be. I saw him only but once, and that was a few days before he was gone. I had to travel a hundred miles to get to see him play, and I wasn’t disappointed. He was powerful and electrifying and had a commanding presence. I was only six feet away. He was mesmerizing. I watched his face, his hands, the way he tapped his foot, his big black glasses, the eyes behind the glasses, the way he held his guitar, the way he stood, his neat suit. Everything about him. He looked older than 22. Something about him seemed permanent, and he filled me with conviction. Then, out of the blue, the most uncanny thing happened. He looked me right straight dead in the eye, and he transmitted something. Something I didn’t know what. And it gave me the chills.”

 

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July 2017

Come out to the 2017 Youth Nationals on July 22 - 29 in OKC at the State Fair Park for 8 days of exciting horse show classes. Enjoy world-class shopping, delicious food vendors, a stick horse...

Cost: Free

Where:
State Fair Park
3001 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303.696.4500
Website »

More information

Grab a snack, find a seat and let your imagination run wild! Each weekend in July, we’ll look at timeless truths from Hollywood blockbusters. At every service, you can expect a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Life.Church
7800 S. Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73139
View map »


Sponsor: Life.Church
Telephone: 405.216.5433
Contact Name: Rachel Key
Website »

More information

Expand your skills and explore your creativity this summer. Enrollment is open for our four- and eight-week classes designed for artists at any level. Under the guidance of experienced instructors,...

Cost: $75-$160

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

Oklahoma Contemporary’s second edition of Guerrilla Art Park features six Oklahoma artists, ranging from emerging to well established. This year, many of the artists chose to focus on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Gather with other Star Wars enthusiasts to celebrate what started a long time ago in a galaxy far far away., and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of STAR WARS. The festival will take...

Where:
OKC Farmers Market
311 S Klein Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73108
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Sponsor: Revolve Productions
Telephone: 405.810.6977
Contact Name: Tobi Coleman
Website »

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These in-gallery guided tours of "Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic" will provide conversation-based insights and in-depth looking experiences. Pre-registration is recommended. Sunday,...

Cost: Free for members, $15 for non-members (includes gallery admission)

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

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Enjoy a “Broadway-style” theatrical review of the Chisholm Trail and Great American Songs of the West, performed and narrated by the Michael Lasser Trio, sponsored by the Chisholm Trail...

Cost: $20; $10 for members/students

Where:
Simmons Center
800 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Cramer Moore
Website »

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She has a folksy sound, with some profanity and a ton of sweetness. Here to bring reality to your eardrums. No Cover Charge! Smoke- and Vape-Free!

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 W Sheridan Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents an overview of the artist’s career including around sixty of his oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture. The exhibition...

Cost: $10-12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

Politically charged and unapologetically feminist, this shows harnesses the talents of dozens of local women creators, with proceeds benefiting OKC Artists for Justice.

Where:
Current Studio
1218 N Penn
OKC, OK  73107
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Telephone: 673.1218
Website »

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Close out the week in musical pleasure with a free concert from Arts Council OKC.

Where:
Myriad Gardens
301 W Reno
OKC, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.270.4848
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

Head outside for a free helping of rootsy, folksy, Seattle-centric sound, courtesy of the Norman Depot.

Where:
Lions Park
450 S Flood
Norman, OK  73069
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Telephone: 405.307.9320
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Week 9 | July 24-28 | Vik Muniz Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz creates complex collages from materials such as toy soldiers, trash and vintage postcards to recreate iconic artworks, scenes and...

Cost: $100-$215

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

Expand your skills and explore your creativity this summer. Enrollment is open for our four- and eight-week classes designed for artists at any level. Under the guidance of experienced instructors,...

Cost: $75-$160

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

Oklahoma Contemporary’s second edition of Guerrilla Art Park features six Oklahoma artists, ranging from emerging to well established. This year, many of the artists chose to focus on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The CODED_COUTURE exhibition looks at the intersection of fashion and technology. Couture clothes are manufactured to a customer’s specific requirements. CODED_COUTURE offers a new definition...

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

A suite of new works by local artist Dr. Jim Cobb fills the newly renovated and restored Depot in this colorful exhibition.

Where:
Santa Fe Depot
200 S Jones
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Telephone: 405.307.9320
Website »

More information

Crank it up on the south side with a high-energy show.

Where:
Diamond Ballroom
8001 S Eastern
OKC, OK  73149
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Telephone: 866.977.6849
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Week 9 | July 24-28 | Vik Muniz Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz creates complex collages from materials such as toy soldiers, trash and vintage postcards to recreate iconic artworks, scenes and...

Cost: $100-$215

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

Expand your skills and explore your creativity this summer. Enrollment is open for our four- and eight-week classes designed for artists at any level. Under the guidance of experienced instructors,...

Cost: $75-$160

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

Oklahoma Contemporary’s second edition of Guerrilla Art Park features six Oklahoma artists, ranging from emerging to well established. This year, many of the artists chose to focus on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The CODED_COUTURE exhibition looks at the intersection of fashion and technology. Couture clothes are manufactured to a customer’s specific requirements. CODED_COUTURE offers a new definition...

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

Aimed to educate and empower attendees in an effort to fight stigma often surrounding people affected by HIV/AIDS, this event will feature keynote speaker Jeanne White-Ginder, one of...

Cost: $65 - $10,000

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma AIDS Care Fund
Telephone: 405.348.6600
Contact Name: Russell Shelton
Website »

More information

Fresh from his critically acclaimed sold-out production in Washington, D.C., Signature Theatre’s Matthew Gardiner will guest-direct this classic American musical with new energy and...

Cost: $30-90 (military and child discounts available)

Where:
Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

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


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Catch a masterpiece you missed the first time around or just want to re-experience on the big screen.

Where:
Harkins Theatres
150 E Reno
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.321.4747
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

A suite of new works by local artist Dr. Jim Cobb fills the newly renovated and restored Depot in this colorful exhibition.

Where:
Santa Fe Depot
200 S Jones
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Telephone: 405.307.9320
Website »

More information

Play ball! OKC's warriors of the diamond get set to host Reno.

Where:
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 S Mickey Mantle
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.218.1000
Website »

More information

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents an overview of the artist’s career including around sixty of his oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture. The exhibition...

Cost: $10-12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come out to the 2017 Youth Nationals on July 22 - 29 in OKC at the State Fair Park for 8 days of exciting horse show classes. Enjoy world-class shopping, delicious food vendors, a stick horse...

Cost: Free

Where:
State Fair Park
3001 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303.696.4500
Website »

More information

This summer, Oklahoma Contemporary is kicking off Showroom|Showcase, a series of installations by local artists in the Showroom, located at 11th and Broadway. Our first featured artist is Rachel...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Week 9 | July 24-28 | Vik Muniz Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz creates complex collages from materials such as toy soldiers, trash and vintage postcards to recreate iconic artworks, scenes and...

Cost: $100-$215

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

Expand your skills and explore your creativity this summer. Enrollment is open for our four- and eight-week classes designed for artists at any level. Under the guidance of experienced instructors,...

Cost: $75-$160

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

Oklahoma Contemporary’s second edition of Guerrilla Art Park features six Oklahoma artists, ranging from emerging to well established. This year, many of the artists chose to focus on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The CODED_COUTURE exhibition looks at the intersection of fashion and technology. Couture clothes are manufactured to a customer’s specific requirements. CODED_COUTURE offers a new definition...

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

This lecture will focus on artists and photographers who are looking at the past, recreating portraits through the camera’s lens while others are re-staging beauty as a performative act. They...

Cost: $5

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

Fresh from his critically acclaimed sold-out production in Washington, D.C., Signature Theatre’s Matthew Gardiner will guest-direct this classic American musical with new energy and...

Cost: $30-90 (military and child discounts available)

Where:
Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents an overview of the artist’s career including around sixty of his oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture. The exhibition...

Cost: $10-12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

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


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

A suite of new works by local artist Dr. Jim Cobb fills the newly renovated and restored Depot in this colorful exhibition.

Where:
Santa Fe Depot
200 S Jones
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Telephone: 405.307.9320
Website »

More information

Oklahoma Children's Theatre junior thespians tackle the tale of wonder and whimsy and good times for all, with a stripe-chapeaued cat orchestrating it all.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
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

Show More...
Show Less...

Come out to the 2017 Youth Nationals on July 22 - 29 in OKC at the State Fair Park for 8 days of exciting horse show classes. Enjoy world-class shopping, delicious food vendors, a stick horse...

Cost: Free

Where:
State Fair Park
3001 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303.696.4500
Website »

More information

This summer, Oklahoma Contemporary is kicking off Showroom|Showcase, a series of installations by local artists in the Showroom, located at 11th and Broadway. Our first featured artist is Rachel...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Week 9 | July 24-28 | Vik Muniz Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz creates complex collages from materials such as toy soldiers, trash and vintage postcards to recreate iconic artworks, scenes and...

Cost: $100-$215

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

Expand your skills and explore your creativity this summer. Enrollment is open for our four- and eight-week classes designed for artists at any level. Under the guidance of experienced instructors,...

Cost: $75-$160

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

Oklahoma Contemporary’s second edition of Guerrilla Art Park features six Oklahoma artists, ranging from emerging to well established. This year, many of the artists chose to focus on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The CODED_COUTURE exhibition looks at the intersection of fashion and technology. Couture clothes are manufactured to a customer’s specific requirements. CODED_COUTURE offers a new definition...

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

OKCMOA’s Roof Terrace gives visitors the ultimate downtown experience every Thursday evening from April through October with live local music, the best views of downtown OKC, a relaxing...

Cost: $5

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

These in-gallery guided tours of "Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic" will provide conversation-based insights and in-depth looking experiences. Pre-registration is recommended. Thursday,...

Cost: Free for members, $10 for non-members (includes gallery admission)

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

Fresh from his critically acclaimed sold-out production in Washington, D.C., Signature Theatre’s Matthew Gardiner will guest-direct this classic American musical with new energy and...

Cost: $30-90 (military and child discounts available)

Where:
Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

A suite of new works by local artist Dr. Jim Cobb fills the newly renovated and restored Depot in this colorful exhibition.

Where:
Santa Fe Depot
200 S Jones
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Telephone: 405.307.9320
Website »

More information

Oklahoma Children's Theatre junior thespians tackle the tale of wonder and whimsy and good times for all, with a stripe-chapeaued cat orchestrating it all.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
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 nearly 100-member-strong concert ensemble of skilled volunteers heads outside for a performance in the park.

Where:
Chisholm Trail Park
500 W Vandament
Yukon, OK  73099
View map »


Website »

More information

Do you hear the people sing? And by the people, we mean Upstage Theater, who are presenting this stirring tale of love, redemption and revolution.

Where:
Mitch Park
1501 W Covell
Edmond, OK  73003
View map »


Telephone: 405.285.5803
Website »

More information

Free lunchtime serenades to sonically spice up your Thursdays.

Where:
Downtown Library
300 Park Ave
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.231.8650
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

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


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents an overview of the artist’s career including around sixty of his oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture. The exhibition...

Cost: $10-12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

Politically charged and unapologetically feminist, this shows harnesses the talents of dozens of local women creators, with proceeds benefiting OKC Artists for Justice.

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


Telephone: 673.1218
Website »

More information

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Come out to the 2017 Youth Nationals on July 22 - 29 in OKC at the State Fair Park for 8 days of exciting horse show classes. Enjoy world-class shopping, delicious food vendors, a stick horse...

Cost: Free

Where:
State Fair Park
3001 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303.696.4500
Website »

More information

Week 9 | July 24-28 | Vik Muniz Brazilian photographer Vik Muniz creates complex collages from materials such as toy soldiers, trash and vintage postcards to recreate iconic artworks, scenes and...

Cost: $100-$215

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

This summer, Oklahoma Contemporary is kicking off Showroom|Showcase, a series of installations by local artists in the Showroom, located at 11th and Broadway. Our first featured artist is Rachel...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Expand your skills and explore your creativity this summer. Enrollment is open for our four- and eight-week classes designed for artists at any level. Under the guidance of experienced instructors,...

Cost: $75-$160

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

Oklahoma Contemporary’s second edition of Guerrilla Art Park features six Oklahoma artists, ranging from emerging to well established. This year, many of the artists chose to focus on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The CODED_COUTURE exhibition looks at the intersection of fashion and technology. Couture clothes are manufactured to a customer’s specific requirements. CODED_COUTURE offers a new definition...

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

 Join Oklahoma River Cruises for a night of Hawaiian themed tunes and beautiful views, enough to make even Don Ho jealous! View the evening ferry schedule online for evening departure...

Cost: $6-15

Where:
All OK River Cruise Landings
Oklahoma City, OK  73109


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

Join OKC Improv at the Paramount Theater for a night of live, interactive, unpredictable comedy! 7:30 - Get Off My Lawn/High Noon Sirens/KHALC. 9:30 - Friends W/Benefits/Hat Trick/The Artful...

Cost: $10 for one show, $15 for both

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


Website »

More information

Fresh from his critically acclaimed sold-out production in Washington, D.C., Signature Theatre’s Matthew Gardiner will guest-direct this classic American musical with new energy and...

Cost: $30-90 (military and child discounts available)

Where:
Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents an overview of the artist’s career including around sixty of his oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture. The exhibition...

Cost: $10-12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
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

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

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


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Enjoy light snacks, a cash bar and the splendor of the sky on a Sunset Cruise. Boarding at 7:45 p.m. in July.

Cost: $35

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
SW, over the bridge from Farmer's Market
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
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

Politically charged and unapologetically feminist, this shows harnesses the talents of dozens of local women creators, with proceeds benefiting OKC Artists for Justice.

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


Telephone: 673.1218
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 Children's Theatre junior thespians tackle the tale of wonder and whimsy and good times for all, with a stripe-chapeaued cat orchestrating it all.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

A suite of new works by local artist Dr. Jim Cobb fills the newly renovated and restored Depot in this colorful exhibition.

Where:
Santa Fe Depot
200 S Jones
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Telephone: 405.307.9320
Website »

More information

Do you hear the people sing? And by the people, we mean Upstage Theater, who are presenting this stirring tale of love, redemption and revolution.

Where:
Mitch Park
1501 W Covell
Edmond, OK  73003
View map »


Telephone: 405.285.5803
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come out to the 2017 Youth Nationals on July 22 - 29 in OKC at the State Fair Park for 8 days of exciting horse show classes. Enjoy world-class shopping, delicious food vendors, a stick horse...

Cost: Free

Where:
State Fair Park
3001 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303.696.4500
Website »

More information

Grab a snack, find a seat and let your imagination run wild! Each weekend in July, we’ll look at timeless truths from Hollywood blockbusters. At every service, you can expect a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Life.Church
7800 S. Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73139
View map »


Sponsor: Life.Church
Telephone: 405.216.5433
Contact Name: Rachel Key
Website »

More information

This summer, Oklahoma Contemporary is kicking off Showroom|Showcase, a series of installations by local artists in the Showroom, located at 11th and Broadway. Our first featured artist is Rachel...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Expand your skills and explore your creativity this summer. Enrollment is open for our four- and eight-week classes designed for artists at any level. Under the guidance of experienced instructors,...

Cost: $75-$160

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

Learn how to make your own 3D book sculpture with artist Kelly Campbell Berry in this full-day workshop - participants will learn the basics of creating book art by choosing the "right"...

Cost: $65

Where:
[Artspace] at Untitled
1 NE 3rd
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: [Artspace] at Untitled
Telephone: 405.815.9995
Contact Name: Holly Hodge
Website »

More information

Departs Exchange Landing | Saturdays (May  – August) | 11:40 am Experience history as you never have before. Colorful Oklahoma characters will reenact history through the eyes of...

Cost: $6-15

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
SW, over the bridge from Farmer's Market
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

Oklahoma Contemporary’s second edition of Guerrilla Art Park features six Oklahoma artists, ranging from emerging to well established. This year, many of the artists chose to focus on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary's Showroom
1146 N. Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.604.0042
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Scratch Art Stained Glass Windows, Saturday, July 1, 1- 4 pm Floral Collages, Saturday, July 8, 1-4 pm Fashionable Footwear, Saturday, July 15, 1-4 pm Watercolor Block Prints, Saturday,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
Website »

More information

Saturday cartoons aren’t just for the children anymore. Share the classics with your crew every Saturday on an Oklahoma River Cruise. Kids 6 and under ride free.

Cost: $15 (free for kids 6 and under)

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

The CODED_COUTURE exhibition looks at the intersection of fashion and technology. Couture clothes are manufactured to a customer’s specific requirements. CODED_COUTURE offers a new definition...

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

Fresh from his critically acclaimed sold-out production in Washington, D.C., Signature Theatre’s Matthew Gardiner will guest-direct this classic American musical with new energy and...

Cost: $30-90 (military and child discounts available)

Where:
Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

 Join Oklahoma River Cruises for a night of Hawaiian themed tunes and beautiful views, enough to make even Don Ho jealous! View the evening ferry schedule online for evening departure...

Cost: $6-15

Where:
All OK River Cruise Landings
Oklahoma City, OK  73109


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

Join OKC Improv at the Paramount Theater for a night of live, interactive, unpredictable comedy! 7:30 - After Hours/What's Happening/Horse Feathers 9:30 - Partners in Time/Red State, Blue...

Cost: $10 for one, 15 for both

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


Website »

More information

Fresh from his critically acclaimed sold-out production in Washington, D.C., Signature Theatre’s Matthew Gardiner will guest-direct this classic American musical with new energy and...

Cost: $30-90 (military and child discounts available)

Where:
Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.524.9312
Contact Name: Cynthia Bedford
Website »

More information

Jade Castle is a singer-songwriter from OKC and recently graduated from the Academy of Contemporary Music with her bachelor's degree in vocal performance. Jade started performing on stage at...

Cost: Free

Where:
Noir bistro & Bar
701 W Sheridan
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

Oklahoma Children's Theatre junior thespians tackle the tale of wonder and whimsy and good times for all, with a stripe-chapeaued cat orchestrating it all.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

Do you hear the people sing? And by the people, we mean Upstage Theater, who are presenting this stirring tale of love, redemption and revolution.

Where:
Mitch Park
1501 W Covell
Edmond, OK  73003
View map »


Telephone: 405.285.5803
Website »

More information

Play ball! OKC's warriors of the diamond get set to host Tacoma.

Where:
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 S Mickey Mantle
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.218.1000
Website »

More information

A trip to the amusement park becomes even more tempting with a fun-filled set from the '70s superstars.

Where:
Frontier City
11501 N I-35 Service
OKC, OK  73131
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2140
Website »

More information

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents an overview of the artist’s career including around sixty of his oil paintings, stained glass and sculpture. The exhibition...

Cost: $10-12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
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

Terrible monsters, heroic critters and tons of glimpses into history fill this exhibit honoring the life of pioneering titan of stop-motion animation and special effects Ray Harryhausen.

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


Telephone: 405.602.6664
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

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


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Politically charged and unapologetically feminist, this shows harnesses the talents of dozens of local women creators, with proceeds benefiting OKC Artists for Justice.

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


Telephone: 673.1218
Website »

More information

It's not whether you win or lose at the casino-style games fueling this fundraiser, it's the fun you have and the knowledge that you're helping the ailing kids of Make-a-Wish Oklahoma.

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


Telephone: 405.286.4000
Website »

More information

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