Allied Arts' board of directors Thursday approved the addition of six new member agencies in an effort to broaden its financial and organizational support for central Oklahoma's cultural community.
The new agencies are deadCenter Film Festival, Firehouse Art Center, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the Opry Heritage Foundation of Oklahoma, Red Earth, Inc. and The Sooner Theatre, according to a news release.
The additions to Allied Arts' member organizations are the first in 13 years, said Deborah McAuliffe Senner, president and CEO of the organization.
“The opportunity to broaden our support of central Oklahoma's cultural community is significant as Allied Arts strives to become the leading voice and champion of our dynamic arts landscape,” Senner said.
Allied Arts board chairman James Pickel said that in the last decade, Allied Arts's fundraising campaign has grown by 242 percent.
“By adding new agencies, Allied Arts can better advocate for the arts, represent the cultural community at large, make a difference with our donors' investment and impact lives,” Pickel said in the release.
The new members underwent a rigorous application process, including submission of two applications, extensive review of financial materials and presentations to the Allied Arts board of directors. A task force was created last year to determine the process of creating new agencies, including criteria such as diversity in cultural mission and geographic representation, financial and programmatic sustainability and community impact. The addition of agencies concludes a 10-month process.
The new agencies will join the Allied Arts family effective July 1. Here is more about each one, provided by Allied Arts:
The deadCenter Film Festival is Oklahoma's largest film festival and one of the 20 “coolest” festivals in the world, according to MovieMaker magazine. For the past 12 years, deadCenter has featured thousands of films in Oklahoma City from around the world and all over the United States. Its mission is to promote, encourage and celebrate the independent film arts. DeadCenter accomplishes this mission with a renowned festival each June, a year-round education program and screenings in partnerships with museums and various arts organizations.
For more information, visit deadcenterfilm.org.
The mission of Firehouse Art Center is to enrich its community by offering quality visual arts education, experiences and exhibits. Founded in 1971, the Firehouse Art Center began as a community center for adults and has grown to encompass arts programming for ages 5 and above. The center offers art classes seven days a week in ceramics, sculpture, painting, drawing, jewelry construction, stone carving, fused and slumped glass and more. Based in Norman, the center also runs a professional art gallery with seven shows a year. In addition, the organization sponsors free arts activities for the community on a regular basis via three large public events — Midsummer Nights' Fair, Chocolate Festival and Luncheon on the Grass.
To learn more, visit normanfirehouse.com.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is among the nation's premier institutions focusing on art, history and culture of the American West. The museum includes an extensive fine art collection of more than 4,000 paintings, drawings and sculptures by prominent historic and contemporary artists; a historical artifact collection of more than 20,000 objects; the Dickinson Research Center consisting of a library and an archival repository; seven exhibition galleries highlighting elements of art, history and cultures of the West; and Prosperity Junction, a full-scale replica of a turn-of-the-century cattle town.
Founded in 1955, the Oklahoma City museum also sponsors educational programs and groundbreaking scholarly research to stimulate interest in the enduring legacy of the American West.
To learn more, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org.
The Opry Heritage Foundation of Oklahoma honors Oklahoma's rich and diverse musical heritage while embracing and educating Oklahoma's musical future. The organization began as the Rodeo Opry, “Oklahoma's Official Country Music Show,” which has provided affordable, family entertainment for 35 years. In 2004, the Opry became a nonprofit organization with a focus on arts education and advancement of the arts.
Through the Granville Community Music School, the Opry makes affordable, quality music instruction available to children from low-income families. The program opened in 2009 with 15 students and has grown to serve more than 75 students who would not have access to private music lessons otherwise. The school provides one-on-one instruction in strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, piano, guitar and electric bass.
Other programs include the Artist Development and Writers from the Row Series and the Oklahoma Heritage Concert Series.
To read more, visit www.ohfo.org.
Red Earth Inc. promotes the rich traditions of American Indian arts and cultures through education, a premier festival, a museum and fine art markets. Red Earth Inc. is producer of the Red Earth Festival and home to the new Red Earth Museum with a year-round location in downtown Oklahoma City. The museum, a repository for more than 1,400 pieces of art and cultural artifacts, is considered one of the top eight American Indian museums in America. With the recent move to downtown, Red Earth was given the opportunity to add a consignment art gallery featuring the work of native Oklahoma artists.
The annual Red Earth Festival is recognized as the world's largest American Indian cultural event of its kind — drawing thousands of participants each year representing more than 100 American Indian nations, tribes and bands from throughout the United States and Canada. Last year, the festival showcased 614 visual and performing artists.
To learn more, visit redearth.org.
The Sooner Theatre opened its doors for the first time in 1929 as the first movie theater in the region built to show talking pictures. Today, The Sooner Theatre offers a Main Concert Series, Sooner Stage Presents theatrical season, year-round classes, camps and full productions for students in the Studio of The Sooner Theatre, rental venue options for community events, and participates in multiple outreach performances at events and festivals throughout the region, all while preserving the historic character of the theater.
Each year, the theater produces three musical theater productions in the Sooner Stage Presents season that draws audiences of all ages; four major concerts per year with the Main Event Concert Series, which showcases popular, well-established performers as well as new talent; and more than 40 year-round classes providing performing arts education to hundreds of children in pre-K through high school. In addition, the studio series features four full-scale youth productions.
Visit soonertheatre.org for more information.
At a glance
About Allied Arts
As Oklahoma's only United Arts Fund, Allied Arts works to broaden support for the arts by raising financial support for the arts and related organizations, encouraging participation and attendance, advocating for arts education, and promoting excellence in the arts and arts management. Founded in 1971, the organization has raised more than $50 million to advance the arts in central Oklahoma.
For more information, contact Allied Arts at 278-8944 or visit www.alliedartsokc.com.