The Oklahoma musicians who make music at the Paseo Arts Festival don't get paid to play. The only cash they pocket comes from tips.
Now, several of the local talents performing at this year's Memorial Day weekend celebration are donating even their tips to help fellow Oklahomans affected by this week's tornadoes.
“The tips are the only thing they get; I think they get a drink ticket,” said Amy Young, the festival's music chairwoman. “It's so kind of them to donate all of their time anyway just for the Paseo Arts Association. Now, to hear many of them say that they would even donate their tips ... I just really admire all of them. They're really giving, good people.”
The 37th Annual Paseo Arts Festival will offer more than 80 artist booths, two live entertainment stages, children's activities and 15 food vendors from Saturday through Monday in the historic Paseo Arts District, between NW 28 and Walker and NW 30 and Dewey.
The free festival will provide attendees with a chance to be giving, too, Young said. A donation drop-off point will be set up at the South Stage at the corner of Paseo and Walker. Festivalgoers are invited to give monetary donations that will go to the Red Cross of Central Oklahoma or nonperishable food items for the Regional Food Bank to help with those organizations' tornado relief efforts.
“I have been getting offers from people to help, they just don't know where to go to help,” said Young, who has been volunteering at a shelter for tornado victims at Crossroads Church, 8901 Shields Blvd.
The donation drop might be new, but the Paseo Arts Festival is a long-standing Memorial Day weekend tradition in the historic neighborhood, renowned for its Spanish revival architecture. More than 60,000 people attend the three-day event each year.
Still, the Paseo Arts Association, which organizes the festival, tries to add a few new attractions every year.
“This year we have a coloring contest. Our poster for this year is kind of a graphic rendering of some of the colorful buildings on the street. And the artist that designed that poster for us, Gayle Curry, we asked her to also design one without the colors in it,” said Jennifer Barron, executive director of the Paseo Arts Association.
“Youths can color on them and we'll select winners in three different age groups. Then, the winners will be displayed ... during First Friday (Gallery Walk) in June.”
The coloring contest, along with mask making, clay sculpting and the ever-popular spin art, will be offered in the festival's Artists of the Future children's area. In addition, Theatre Upon a StarDanceSwan will invite youngsters to create puppets and puppet shows out of paper inside Paper Play Theatre.