Outlook 2013: Arts community looks to revitalizing Oklahoma City

Local observers believe the arts will play a key role in the cultural richness of the city’s future and mature into a thriving reflection of a progressive Oklahoma brand.

by Melissa Howell Published: April 28, 2013

Oklahoma City’s arts community has enjoyed a recent surge in vitality with a growing core of supporters and participants. Local observers believe the arts will play a key role in the cultural richness of the city’s future and mature into a thriving reflection of a progressive Oklahoma brand.

Art refuels revitalization

Real estate investors know that if you’re going to speculate on the next “up market,” look at where the artists are working and congregating. Good space and cheap rent attract opportunity-savvy artists who in turn attract the cool, sophisticated, “insider” crowd, which in turn attracts an urban, professional crowd and so on.

And Oklahoma City is no different. The last 10 years have revealed a trend toward revitalization that shows no signs of letting up — due in good part to the imagination of the artistic community.

“One of the overarching trends that I see is that as different neighborhoods pop up, art plays a role as a catalyst for community development,” said Jennifer Barron, Oklahoma City artist and executive director of Paseo Arts Association. “Communities embrace art. ... Art breaths life into a community.”

‘Integrated’ art

Virtually every culture, past and present has embraced the arts. Why? Perhaps recent neuroscience research has an answer.

by Melissa Howell
Custom Publishing Editor
Melissa Howell is a 1987 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma. Following graduation she moved to Kansas City and began working for The Lenexa News, a small suburban weekly. In 1988, she went at the Kansas City Star as a reporter and...
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