Why the new Oklahoma Contemporary is "a really big deal"
It's been a year unlike any other at Oklahoma Contemporary. Entering an historic phase in the organization's history, what started as a community arts center at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in 1989 transitioned into its stunning new downtown home at NW 11th and Broadway in OKC, grabbing the world's attention with a blockbuster inaugural exhibition and a heightened commitment to bring world-class arts education experiences to local communities through bold new programming, hands-on classes and so much more.
"For a cultural organization of this kind to open anywhere in the country is rare. For a contemporary art institution like ours, which is unique in the state, to open in a place like Oklahoma is a really big deal," said Oklahoma Contemporary Artistic Director Jeremiah Matthew Davis. "It not only signals that the community is growing, evolving and changing. It also indicates that we are doubling down — as a state, as a community, as a city — on culture, art, ideas and the contemporary world, which is reflected through all our programs, classes, exhibitions and performances."
Executive Director Eddie Walker measures that growth alongside the local community through the lives touched by the programming at Oklahoma Contemporary. "When someone comes back, they're not coming back by themselves," he said. "They're not coming back with the same people. They're bringing new people to this space. That's a home run in nonprofit arts management. ... It's thrilling to see these people, on their own, championing this wonderful facility and what we're doing for Oklahoma City."
For more reflection on what our new phase means for the community and the art world writ large, watch this new video, an Oklahoma Contemporary collaboration with Cox Media and its YurView channel. We've also got more from Davis and Walker below. After you've heard from leadership about what makes your new arts center truly special, be sure to reserve your limited access timed ticket to explore Bright Golden Haze before its illuminating run ends on Jan. 4.
Editor's note: For more from the Oklahoma Contemporary collaboration with Cox Media and YurView, check out the video on arts and architecture with Rand Elliott.
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