This is the latest installment of the interview series Meet the Art Community of the US Southwest.
Christina Beatty is the manager of public programs and community engagement at Oklahoma Contemporary. In her work, she cultivates a vibrant community around Oklahoma Contemporary by envisioning, developing, producing and evaluating creative and participatory public programs and experiences.
What challenges do you face as an art worker in Oklahoma?
think Oklahoma is a microcosm of the country in that we are wrestling
with varying worldviews and political ideologies. We are also reckoning
with our history in ways we haven’t before. Killers of the Flower Moon
was published three years ago; next year marks the centennial of the
Tulsa Race Massacre. It is a powerful time to be a cultural worker and
have the opportunity to tell the stories of the many groups of people
who have been here all along, to reflect on how our past informs who we
are today. As much as I can’t wait for us to be able to open our doors
at Oklahoma Contemporary, I am also looking forward to the First
Americans Museum coming online next year and the expansion of Tulsa’s
Greenwood Cultural Center. There is another cultural institution in the
works that will celebrate Oklahoma City’s civil rights legacies.
Anything new is a challenge. We are carving out spaces now that haven’t existed before, reshaping the narrative of who we are as a city and a state. Does it feel like this is progress that should have been made already? Yes. It is also a privilege to be part of bringing long overdue visions into fruition.