Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Festival of the Arts Returns

A new – and old – location brings the 50th festival full circle



Arts Council OKC Executive Director Peter Dolese

 


Securing a new home for downtown Oklahoma City’s Festival of the Arts, celebrating its 50th anniversary April 19-24, has been more than a year in the making for Arts Council Oklahoma City.
 

The move to Bicentennial Park, east of Civic Center Music Hall, marks a return to its original location, one that Arts Council Executive Director Peter Dolese says has great design and features. Returning to its original space – which housed only a couple of food booths at its premiere in 1967 – provided a new approach for one of the region’s most popular festivals.

“It’s got built-in seating, excellent lighting, some grassy areas and a lot of hard space to put tents on,” he explains. “It’s very urban and flows nicely between two beautiful art deco historical buildings, City Hall and the Civic Center, that bookend the park.”

The move was prompted by a need to create space for OGE Energy Corp’s corporate headquarters, originally a four-tower project currently on hold due to falling oil prices and lack of tenant demand. Despite the delay, Dolese says the festival move was inevitable.

“This area will be redeveloped at some point, and relatively quickly,” he continues. “It offered us a unique opportunity to look at other areas, and we felt Bicentennial Park was an exceptional choice for events of this magnitude.”

Since city officials requested the move, it contributed $1.5 million from the Economic Development Trust to help create the new infrastructure at the park, which also will be used for other events.

Necessary to the project was the creation of portable plumbing to provide hot and cold running water for 21 different locations – plus, the festival requires 7,000 amps of electricity, Dolese said. The task was to engineer underground and overhead delivery systems that connect and run the power overhead. There will be no power lines or cords on the grounds to create trip hazards.

“About half of the new system is permanent in the park, and the other half will be stored in trucks and brought out every year,” he says. “It’s all been custom tailor-made to make this park absolutely sparkle.”

Food tents will line the north and south sides of the Civic Center. The layout includes three performance stages, and the art tents will surround the park along the curb lines.

Festival co-chairs Suzi Clowers and Kermit Frank have heated up phone lines and met frequently with staff and the nearly 5,000 volunteers it takes to make this event happen.

Photo by Simon Hurst


“Suzi and Kevin have a long history with the festival,” Dolese says. “It was serendipitous that it was the 50th anniversary and a year we were moving, because they have a lot of experience with pressure situations and are a great pair to have at the helm during this transition.”

Clowers said she thinks the move was a good idea and likes that the compressed layout allows people to see from one end to the other. Children’s activities, including the Young at Art Mart, Creative Station and a Saturday-only youth art sale, will be located on the City Hall lawn. More than 500 applicants, chosen by a juried process, applied for the 144 spaces available on Artist Square. Clowers and Frank chose “First of Spring” as this year’s poster art – the oil painting is by local artist David J. Holland, known for his cloudscapes.

The food is also juried, and Frank said this year marked one of the biggest responses from the food community. Twenty-one food vendors, including favorites Tad’s Indian Tacos, Strawberries Newport and Café Do Brasil, join newcomers such as Snow S’more and Taste of Soul Egg Roll.

Inside the park will be the usual street performers, sculptor art, balloons and flowers, wine and T-shirt tents and a new VIP tent that gives patron-level donors a place to step out of the crowd, enjoy a glass of wine and mingle.

The sound stages will offer musical and dance performances and Festival Idol, the popular talent contest where young people – kindergarten through 12th grade – compete against each other for the big prize.

The festival once was the only thing happening in a downtown that today has so much happening.

“It’s a first rite of spring, and the community has continued to embrace it as being one of the founding fathers of cultural significance for downtown Oklahoma City,” Dolese says. “We owe it to ourselves to perpetuate it for future generations.”

Visit artscouncilokc.com for schedules, parking information and more. And be ready for revelry.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Favorite Things: Starr Home

For a more radiant home or special gifts, give this Edmond boutique a Starr-ing role.

Clear, Clean Skincare

Never underestimate the power of superior skincare products, especially since now more than ever, it’s easy being clean.

The Tops for Your Table

The living room is often the center of attention, and your decorating’s not done until you find the ideal coffee table toppers – like these.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

November 2018

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

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


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

Join Untitled for an advanced quilting design workshop about visual thinking with local fiber artist and former Artspace Artist in Residence Sarah Atlee. In this intensive two-day workshop,...

Cost: $150

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


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405.815.9995
Contact Name: Meredith Zerby
Website »

More information

Andy Alligator's is honoring Veterans Day with a free All-Day Pass to all active and retired military with a military ID. Family members will save $5 on an All-Day pass. An All-Day pass...

Cost: Free

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park
3300 Market Place Dr
Norman, OK  73072
View map »


Sponsor: Andy Alligator's Fun Park
Telephone: 405.321.7275

More information

Sandi Patty is globally known for her incredible voice and passion for music. In addition to her musical gifts, she is a talented, prolific author - including her newest book, called The Voice:...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crossings Community Church
14600 N Portland
Oklahoma City, OK  73134
View map »


Sponsor: Crossings Community Church
Telephone: 405.302.1233
Contact Name: Susie Wilson
Website »

More information

On the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I, Canterbury Voices presents Benjamin Britten’s 20th century masterwork “War Requiem.” The piece...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Canterbury Voices
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

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


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

 To celebrate the recent arrival of Hopdoddy Burger Bar in the Oklahoma City area, the from-scratch burger and beer joint is giving away burger “Season Passes” to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hopdoddy Chisholm Creek
1316 W Memorial Rd
Ste. 100
Oklahoma City, OK
View map »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

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


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

To celebrate the recent arrival of Hopdoddy Burger Bar in the Oklahoma City area, the from-scratch burger and beer joint is giving away burger “Season Passes” to the first 100...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hopdoddy OKC Nichols Hills
1125 NW 63rd
Nichols Hills, OK
View map »

More information

The ultimate love story continues in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. The year is 1907. It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Broadway
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

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


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

David Sedaris, regular National Public Radio contributor and author of bestsellers Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, will be appearing for...

Where:
Rose State College Hudiburg Chevrolet Center
6000 Prosper
Midwest City, OK  73110
View map »


Sponsor: Innovation Arts & Entertainment
Website »

More information

The ultimate love story continues in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. The year is 1907. It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Broadway
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

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


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

Associate conductor Matthew Glover will lead the OSU Symphony Orchestra in a concert of hidden treasures from the orchestral repertoire, including Mozart's Overture to The Impresario,...

Cost: General Admission, $10; Students & Seniors, $7

Where:
Seretean Center for the Performing Arts
132 Seretean Center for the Performing Arts
Stillwater, OK  74074
View map »


Sponsor: OSU Symphony Orchestra
Telephone: 405.744.6133
Contact Name: Thomas Taylor Dickey
Website »

More information

The ultimate love story continues in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. The year is 1907. It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Broadway
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

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


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

In honor of Yellow Submarine's 50th anniversary - as one of its animators, as well as the director of the 1960's Saturday morning Beatles cartoon series - Ron Campbell will make a rare...

Cost: Free

Where:
Framed in the Village
10631 North May Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73120
View map »


Sponsor: Rock art show
Telephone: 610.389.1807
Contact Name: Scott Segelbaum
Website »

More information

Ladies, grab your friends and come to Home for the Holidays, the annual event hosted by Crossings Women to kick off the Christmas season in style! You’ll begin the evening by enjoying...

Cost: $25

Where:
Crossings Community Church - OKC Campus
14600 North Portland Avenue
OKC, OK  73134
View map »


Sponsor: Crossings Community Church
Telephone: 405.302.1208
Contact Name: Sheila Urton
Website »

More information

Enjoy an exciting evening of fine French music featuring works by Franck, Faure and Gaubert. Hear Robert Fasol and the Cantate Singers, along with Trio Lyrique, cellist Rob Bradshaw, flutist Alyssa...

Cost: Free —Donations are greatly appreciated and accepted at the door.

Where:
First Christian Church
220 S Webster Ave
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Sponsor: Scissortail Productions, Inc.
Contact Name: Rob Bradshaw
Website »

More information

Christmas is coming, and so is the one and only Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Presenting world-class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens and jubilant nesting...

Where:
Rose State College Hudiburg Chevrolet Center
6000 Prosper
Midwest City, OK  73110
View map »


Sponsor: Talmi Entertainment
Website »

More information

Come enjoy live, local comedy in Oklahoma City's Plaza District. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., and the 2nd Saturday of every month also has a family -friendly show...

Cost: $5 - $15

Where:
OKC Improv
1757 N.W. 16th St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Improv
Telephone: 405.456.9858
Contact Name: Kate McLain-Snipes
Website »

More information

The ultimate love story continues in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. The year is 1907. It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Broadway
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

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


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
Bentonville, AR  72712
View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

In honor of Yellow Submarine's 50th anniversary - as one of its animators, as well as the director of the 1960's Saturday morning Beatles cartoon series - Ron Campbell will make a rare...

Cost: Free

Where:
Framed in the Village
10631 North May Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73120
View map »


Sponsor: Rock art show
Telephone: 610.389.1807
Contact Name: Scott Segelbaum
Website »

More information

Join us for a holiday card-making workshop with our Fall Artist in Residence, Allie D. Caesar. Allie has just returned from an almost decade-long professional practice as both a printer and artist...

Cost: $40

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


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405.815.9995
Contact Name: Meredith Zerby
Website »

More information

Elijah Tindall is kicking off his Laugh Anyway comedy tour in Norman - an award-winning comic who specializes in bringing high-energy laughs to faces of all ages, he has been featured on multiple...

Cost: $10

Where:
Calvary Chapel of Norman
1401 W Boyd
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Sponsor: 107.1 KOUJ
Telephone: 405.310.2418
Contact Name: Stephen Herrell
Website »

More information

Come enjoy live, local comedy in Oklahoma City's Plaza District. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., and the 2nd Saturday of every month also has a family -friendly show...

Cost: $5 - $15

Where:
OKC Improv
1757 N.W. 16th St.
Oklahoma City, OK  73106
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Improv
Telephone: 405.456.9858
Contact Name: Kate McLain-Snipes
Website »

More information

The ultimate love story continues in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. The year is 1907. It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
201 N Walker
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: OKC Broadway
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags