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Divining OKC’s Water Future

OKC works to ensure water availability in the 21st century



 


Jack Fowler doesn’t usually stand on the bottom of Lake Hefner, but in early 2015, he did just that. Eventually overwhelmed by curiosity about the shrunken lake, he walked out onto what he described as “kind of an alien, unexplored landscape.”

Like so many treasure hunters and curiosity seekers, Fowler wanted to explore what was typically beneath 15 feet of water in the northwest Oklahoma City reservoir. Hefner was far below its optimum level, revealing parts of the lake bottom that most residents younger than 60 had never seen.

For many who visited or drove by the lake, curiosity about the uncommonly dry lake bed next gave way to thinking about why the lake was so low. It was common from 2011 to 2015 for OKC residents to fret about the water supply and its future. But others, like Fowler, considered it to be a type of justice for water usage practices over the years. “ ... That didn’t bother me,” he says. “I figured we’ve got that coming to us.”
    
Since spring 2015, the state has seen record rains that have done much to return reservoirs to normal levels, virtually eliminating the common chatter about water supplies. But water professionals and city leaders in the OKC metro area don’t let episodes of rainfall deter them.
    
They know the history of drought cycles on the Great Plains and expect drought to return again someday. The question is not if, it’s when. And when drought happens again, the supply and conservation efforts that are in place will determine whether there is just strain or full-blown crisis.
    
City leaders are preparing for that future with more investment in infrastructure to increase supply. But not stopping there, they also are developing programs of education for contractors and residents in how to keep from wasting water. Careful regulation processes will also help to curb waste.
    
In addition, some private local developers already are using concepts of neighborhood design that will provide a pleasant, livable environment while saving on long-term water use and costs.

Waste first enters the Lake Hefner water treatment plant from the Hefner dam, then runs into a building where ozone is used to kill a variety of organisms. From there, the water moves to these large sediment tanks, where lime and other coagulants are used to remove sediment from the water.


Big City, Big Needs

Today, Oklahoma City is big and thirsty. It takes a lot of water to satisfy the needs of a city of its size: An average of 93 million gallons of water was used every day in 2014, according to Marsha Slaughter, the city’s utilities director. And she said that in that same year, 63 million gallons of waste was returned to the city for treatment.
    
Oklahoma City is constantly growing, so future need is always a concern. For example, in 2010, the Census Bureau reported around 580,000 residents within the 633 square miles of the city limits. By just 2013, the count went up to around 610,000 people.
    
A 2009 study estimated that Oklahoma City’s water needs would double to 316 million gallons a day by 2060.
    
Today’s system takes six surface reservoirs, four treatment plants and hundreds of miles of pipeline that connect your house with sources as far away as Atoka Lake – 100 miles from Oklahoma City.

 

A History of Smart Water Development

Constant and rapid growth has placed demands on city leaders from the very beginning of Oklahoma City in 1889 to the present, and one of the most pressing needs that could not be met without foresight and planning was providing enough water.
    
In OKC’s earliest days, there was one private well and water was sold by the bucket. You had to bring your own bucket, too.
    
Eventually there were about 15 private wells, which the city bought to establish a public water supply. With that, it started a water delivery system that had to constantly grow along with the quick population growth.
    
Seeing that wells were not going to keep up with the demand, city leaders convinced residents to build a reservoir in 1919. Lake Overholser, named after 16th OKC mayor, Ed Overholser, was built between Council and Morgan roads and south of Route 66. The North Canadian River flowing from the northwestern corner of the state was its source.
    
And not long thereafter, city leaders started a process of planning 50 years in advance for water needs, which is a practice that continues today. As soon as Overholser was completed, city leaders began to explore ways to catch the water that flowed down Bluff Creek, northwest of the existing city at the time.

Oklahoma City councilman Pete White, chairman of the OKC Water Utilities Trust, has been instrumental in guiding Oklahoma City’s long-term water supply efforts. Each of these larger pumps (opposite page) at Oklahoma City’s Draper Lake water treatment plant can pump 40 million gallons of water per day.


After an interruption during WWII, water from Bluff Creek and much of its upper watershed was caught by a U-shaped dam, forming a body named Lake Hefner after Robert A. Hefner, the mayor of Oklahoma City during most of its construction.
    
And before Lake Hefner was even completed, city leaders already had their eye on southeastern Oklahoma as a more reliable source of even larger supplies of water. Plans were studied to build a supply reservoir near the town of Atoka; a 100-mile, 60-inch pipeline with pump stations; and a receiving reservoir with a treatment plant between Oklahoma City and Norman.
    
Completed in the early 1960s, today Atoka Lake’s water sent to Lake Stanley Draper is a key element of OKC’s water system.

Politics of water But the politics of water development were not always smooth, according to Pete White, current Oklahoma City Ward 4 councilman and chairman of the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust.
    
In fact, White said because of the Council vote to build Atoka Lake, Draper Lake and the pipeline, “The very next election, the four people who were up for re-election lost their seats over their vote to bring water from Atoka.”
    
Not everyone agreed with the additional taxes to accomplish such a huge project that many saw as unnecessary at the time. Not everyone agrees on what needs to be done to meet needs 50 years in advance, and so it is a political struggle, but one that White stresses is important.
    
“The vision and the foresight of the leadership of Oklahoma City starting in the 1950s has probably gotten us where we are right now,” said White. “Anybody – like me – who tells you what we’re going to do is standing on their shoulders. They’re the people who put the plan together and they’re the reason that we are where we are today and gave us all of the opportunities that we have today.”
    
And the political struggles are still going on today, only not within the city limits. The strain today is between multiple parties: municipalities – such as OKC – that have historically worked with the U.S. Corps of Engineers to finance construction of reservoirs, and the various tribes of southeastern Oklahoma who claim that water resources in their tribal areas should be in their control and not left up to the state.
    
Each year over the last five, as the drought in western Oklahoma intensified, the legislators from those districts have pressed for a statewide plan to share water from east to west. Progress has been slow, however, due to disagreements about who the water really belongs to.

These plots are identified and used to educate contractors and the general public on the best ways to conserve water based on the Oklahoma climate. Each plant is identified and various plants are used to show the types of low-impact shrubs that can be used to conserve water at home and in commercial landscapes.


 

Water-Saving Techniques for homeowners:

1. Look for leaks around the house. Household leaks waste 10,000 gallons of water a year.

2. If you have an irrigation system, do a checkup in the spring. A simple investigation may add up to savings all summer.

3. Replace old aerators with WaterSense labeled aerators or faucets. You could save about 700 gallons per year.

4. Make plans to visit a water conservation garden in the spring. You can find them at OSU-OKC, the OKC Zoo, the Myriad Botanical Gardens or Bluff Creek Park.

5. Use a water-efficient shower head. They’re inexpensive and easy to install, and the average family could save 2,900 gallons per year.
 


Supply for the Future:

Currently, Oklahoma City is in the process of adding a new 72-inch pipeline next to the existing 60-inch pipeline from Atoka to Draper lakes.

To illustrate earlier leaders’ ability to look ahead and anticipate needs of the growing city, White says, “When they built the pipeline from Atoka to Lake Draper, they bought enough right-of-way to put another pipeline in. That was in the ’50s and everybody thought that it was a fool’s deal anyway.”
    
But now we know that it was not.
    
“We are probably well into the middle of this century in terms of supply right now,” White says. “But in trying to be consistent with the people who came before us, we’re looking not to wait until the middle of this century to find out. We want to get ourselves in a position where we’re well into the second half of the century in terms of supply. And that’s where this latest push comes from.”

Water at the Lake Hefner treatment plant moves along canals to various parts of the plant. Here, two separate canals are used so that one part of the plant can be shut down while the other undergoes routine maintenance. These canals move water from the various sediment tanks to the filtration buildings.


Conservation for the Future:

It will not be enough to just continue to try and add more supply of water, though, according to Debbie Ragan, public information officer for the Oklahoma City Utilities Department. Instead, the city is joining the statewide goal to hold the use of water resources in 2060 to the levels of 2016. (See “Water for 2060 Act.”)
    
Two new full-time staff members of the Utilities Department have been added specifically to lead conservation efforts: Malarie Gotcher, water conservation specialist and leader of the city’s conservation effort, previously worked for OSU doing research on new water conservation techniques and concepts before joining the city staff. Robert Reaves is the water conservation coordinator and is focused on generating “how-to” videos and leading education programs for the public. Last summer, he held workshops for homeowners on how to maintain yard irrigation (or sprinkler) systems; in 2016, he will add irrigation contractors to his training schedule.


 

► Water for 2060

Act In 2012, the Oklahoma Legislature passed House Bill 3055, which established a statewide goal of not consuming any more fresh water than is consumed today. The act calls for the use of incentives and education instead of mandates to achieve the goal without limiting economic growth – it will require a good deal of effort and cooperation, but we’re the first state in the country to establish such a goal.
 


Malarie Gotcher (right) and Robert Reaves with the City of OKC Water Department are working to train homeowners and contractors about water conservation in OKC.


Gotcher said that in many cases companies do not directly maintain their own landscapes and irrigation systems, but use contractors who may not be fully knowledgeable on how to tune systems for maximum effect with minimum amounts of water. And so the first effort in curbing the waste of business lawns is to give contractors new knowledge on how to design, install and maintain irrigation systems.
    
While home and even small business lawn irrigation systems may seem inconsequential to water usage in Oklahoma City, Gotcher emphasized the impact of those systems on water usage.
    
“Just one bad sprinkler head in one yard can waste up to 10,000 gallons of fresh water per year,” Gotcher says.
    
She also pointed out that when the reservoirs for Oklahoma City were being planned, the automatic irrigation systems that are so common now were only rarely used. Cities did not anticipate the added aggregate strain of lawn irrigation systems on the supply.
    
If Oklahoma City can successfully reduce water waste through better design and maintenance of water-using devices, the strain on existing sources will be relieved.
    
Lawn irrigation systems are a heavy retraining and education focus right now because other widespread consumption of fresh water has been addressed in such ways as the complete industry-wide shift toward low water use toilets and low-consumption shower heads.
    
Currently, the lawn irrigation business is largely unregulated and self-taught. Gotcher intends to change that through “education first, and then regulation.” They both said that if their education efforts spread in the future, their regulation efforts will not be as difficult.
    
What’s the key to Oklahoma City getting a majority of residents to participate? “It’s making sure that you involve all of your customers,” Gotcher says. “It has to be a community effort. It’s hard when your neighbor is watering every day and you’re doing your best to save water.”
    
But, regulation has arrived. Odd/even lawn watering days used to be a measure that was enforced during extreme drought situations. Now, it is a standing, mandatory rule with escalating fines with each repeated offense. Gotcher said that this year their approach to enforcement was to “educate first, and then cite someone if they persist in violating the code.”


 

► Conservation Help for Residents

A new website by the Utilities Department of Oklahoma City, SqueezeEveryDrop.com, is designed to give the public ideas and information about how to maintain yard irrigation systems. The amount of fresh water that can be lost over one year from one bad yard sprinkler head is 10,000 gallons – so save yourself some frustration and check it out.
 


Zack Roach, Ideal Homes’ vice president of development, was responsible for implementing the water-saving design. Vernon McKown is a co-owner of Ideal Homes and planned the neighborhood. His brother Richard McKown designed the splash park and works with Vernon to implement designs.


Conservation by Design:

Richard McKown is one partner in his family housing development business, best known across the metro area for its Ideal Homes developments. In all, the company has 16 developments in the wider metro area.
    
In recent years, McKown has collaborated with several professors of sustainable landscaping to find the best solution to providing green spaces for those who buy into his housing developments while still conserving water.
    
“If you want to create better quality of water, you have to use plants,” McKown says.
    
He explains that in Oklahoma the soil is made up of so many clays that retention ponds must be built to allow rain runoff to have a place to go and slowly seep into the ground. His business uses what are called “detention-retention” ponds – designed to hold a certain amount of water year-round and provide an irrigation source as well as visual accent for the development.
    
Two recent suburban developments have included large park spaces, exchanging common spaces for smaller lots. That saves tens of thousands of dollars per year by using captured water in detention-retention ponds to irrigate these common spaces, while solar panels power the pumps.
    
Residents have the pleasure and quality of life enhancement of the green spaces, with little cost to the association that maintains the greenbelts. As it turns out, conservation is not only a good goal, it is good business.

Into the Next Century:

The advantage that the City of Oklahoma City and private developers such as McKown have is that the history of the municipality, and business itself, is to constantly look to the future and invent new solutions.
    
There truly is something about our shared history of both government and private business that allows us to look for solutions that may not have been tried before. Not every state’s culture and history makes that easy to do. But in Oklahoma City, constant change and growth has been the rule with only a few exceptions.
    
That’s how we grew in the past. It’s how we can grow into 21st century with the water that we need.

 

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Calendar

June 2017

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

Do you have the #1 dad? Treat him to a relaxing cruise on the Oklahoma River. Dads ride free on all public ferry cruises; dads' guests pay regular ferry price at boarding. View the ferry...

Cost: $6-$15

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


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

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

Charles Ross might just be the hardest-working man in show business as he single-handedly retells the original trilogy - complete with sound effects - in the space of about two hours.

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


Telephone: 405.297.2264
Website »

More information

It's not quite Hamilton, though it's written by Lin-Manuel Miranda - prepare to get fired up by this upbeat tale of cheerleading competition.

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


Telephone: 405.282.2800
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

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

Head outside for a free helping of high-energy bluegrass bliss, courtesy of the Norman Depot.

Where:
Lions Park
450 S Flood
Norman, OK  73069
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Telephone: 405.307.9320
Website »

More information

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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

As part of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s continuing work to highlight what is unique about Oklahoma, the university is transforming its annual summer history symposium to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Te Ata Memorial Auditorium
1727 West Alabama
Chickasha, OK  73018
View map »


Sponsor: USAO History Department
Telephone: 405.574.1229
Contact Name: Dr. James Finck
Website »

More information

Run to the 'Peake (not the hills) for a special ear-rattling performance on the Book of Souls world tour É and say hi to Eddie.

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


Telephone: 800.745.3000
Website »

More information

Show More...
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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

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

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

Get compfortable for a night of music under the Oklahoma sky from a pair of '90s rulers of the radio.

Where:
OKC Zoo Amphitheatre
2101 NE 50th
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 866.977.6849
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 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

Show More...
Show Less...

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

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 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

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

Oklahoma Children's Theatre junior thespians tackle the tale of a mysterious candyman and his factory filled with delights.

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


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

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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  73016
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Telephone: 405.524.0738
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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

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

The Purple Loft Art Gallery is pleased to represent the new work of Abstract Expressionist artists MaryAnn Ceballos and Jerry Piper. These 2 accomplished artists enjoy reinventing themselves...

Cost: Free

Where:
Purple Loft Art Gallery
514 NW 28th
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: The Purple Loft Art Gallery
Telephone: 405.412.7066
Contact Name: MaryAnn Ceballos

More information

Come spend an evening under the trees enjoying local bands with your family.

Where:
Hafer Park
1034 S Bryant
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.359.4630
Website »

More information

It's not quite Hamilton, though it's written by Lin-Manuel Miranda - prepare to get fired up by this upbeat tale of cheerleading competition.

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


Telephone: 405.282.2800
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 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

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

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

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

Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park kicks off a new season with the Bard's take on the battle of the sexes.

Where:
Myriad Gardens
301 W Reno
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.3700
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

If a swift, entertaining musical tale of two kids falling in love is the one that you want, Upstage Theater has the word for you.

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 Nashville.

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


Telephone: 405.218.1000
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Dust off those chaps and spurs and saddle up! Enjoy country music, party mix and a cash bar on these weekend cruises. View the evening ferry schedule online for evening departure times, and pay...

Cost: $6-15

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


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

The Purple Loft Art Gallery is pleased to represent the new work of Abstract Expressionist artists MaryAnn Ceballos and Jerry Piper. These 2 accomplished artists enjoy reinventing themselves...

Cost: Free

Where:
Purple Loft Art Gallery
514 NW 28th
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: The Purple Loft Art Gallery
Telephone: 405.412.7066
Contact Name: MaryAnn Ceballos

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 June.

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

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

A Tony-winning comedy wraps up the Carpenter Square season as siblings reunite for arguments, complaints and eventually, bonding.

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


Telephone: 405.232.6500
Website »

More information

Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park kicks off a new season with the Bard's take on the battle of the sexes.

Where:
Myriad Gardens
301 W Reno
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.3700
Website »

More information

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

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


Telephone: 405.218.1000
Website »

More information

If a swift, entertaining musical tale of two kids falling in love is the one that you want, Upstage Theater has the word for you.

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


Telephone: 405.285.5803
Website »

More information

The third annual celebration of this fundraising party for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County will be touching down shortly; have your boarding pass ready and your dance shoes set to deploy.

Where:
Wiley Post Airport
7200 NW 63rd
OKC, OK  73008
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Telephone: 405.602.5712
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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  73016
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Telephone: 405.524.0738
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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
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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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
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
Contact Name: Becky Weintz
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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
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Telephone: 405.235.4458
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The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.236.3100
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It's not quite Hamilton, though it's written by Lin-Manuel Miranda - prepare to get fired up by this upbeat tale of cheerleading competition.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
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Telephone: 405.282.2800
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Arise Ministries will host their 13th annual conference for single moms, Survive ‘N’ Thrive Unplugged, re-invented into a single-day format featuring 12 empowering speakers and designed...

Cost: $30

Where:
Crossings Community Church
14600 Portland Ave.
Oklahoma City , OK  73134
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Sponsor: Arise Ministries
Telephone: 405.812.5137
Contact Name: Shelley
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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
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
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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
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
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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
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Telephone: 405.702.7755
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Dust off those chaps and spurs and saddle up! Enjoy country music, party mix and a cash bar on these weekend cruises. View the evening ferry schedule online for evening departure times, and pay...

Cost: $6-15

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


Telephone: 405.702.7755
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The Purple Loft Art Gallery is pleased to represent the new work of Abstract Expressionist artists MaryAnn Ceballos and Jerry Piper. These 2 accomplished artists enjoy reinventing themselves...

Cost: Free

Where:
Purple Loft Art Gallery
514 NW 28th
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: The Purple Loft Art Gallery
Telephone: 405.412.7066
Contact Name: MaryAnn Ceballos

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A Tony-winning comedy wraps up the Carpenter Square season as siblings reunite for arguments, complaints and eventually, bonding.

Where:
Carpenter Square Theater
800 W Main
OKC, OK  73106
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Telephone: 405.232.6500
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A full day of kayaking, dragon boat racing and other watery events - and an evening, thanks to the OGE NightSprints - plus food trucks and fun make this tradition a summertime blast.

Where:
Oklahoma River
800 Riversport
OKC, OK  73129
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Telephone: 405.552.4040
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The casino is hopping this month, with extra energy from the actor and country singer.

Where:
Riverwind Casino
1544 W Hwy 9
Norman, OK  73072
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Telephone: 405.322.6464
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Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park kicks off a new season with the Bard's take on the battle of the sexes.

Where:
Myriad Gardens
301 W Reno
OKC, OK  73102
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Telephone: 405.235.3700
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Play ball! OKC's warriors of the diamond get set to host Nashville.

Where:
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 S Mickey Mantle
OKC, OK  73104
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Telephone: 405.218.1000
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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 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

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 trip to the amusement park becomes even more tempting with a fun-filled set from the '90s superstars.

Where:
Frontier City
11501 N I-35 Service
OKC, OK  73131
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Telephone: 405.478.2140
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If a swift, entertaining musical tale of two kids falling in love is the one that you want, Upstage Theater has the word for you.

Where:
Mitch Park
1501 W Covell
Edmond, OK  73003
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Telephone: 405.285.5803
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OKC Comedy is dedicated to making the metro laugh, and they've outdone themselves this month, bringing local audiences the gifts of Tig Notaro Jun 10, Lady Parts Justice League Jun 13 and The...

Where:
ACM@UCO Performance Lab
329 E Sheridan
OKC, OK  73104
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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
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Edmond's citywide celebration of Independence Day spans more than a week of events, excitement, food and all kinds of fun.

Where:
Throughout Edmond
Edmond, OK


Telephone: 405.340.2527
Website »

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It's not quite Hamilton, though it's written by Lin-Manuel Miranda - prepare to get fired up by this upbeat tale of cheerleading competition.

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


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

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