The Sugar Free Allstars, a band that got its start playing organ-driven jams for college and adult audiences and now also performs for children, rocked Myriad Botanical Gardens on Sunday to help raise awareness of efforts for a new children's museum downtown.
Kids and adults alike jumped and danced and giggled on the lawn near the band shell, where architectural drawings were on display in front of the stage promoting a concept that would recreate Stage Center into a museum for kids and families.
“We wanted to be involved in any way we could, said keyboardist and vocalist Chris Wiser. “Oklahoma City is growing in every other way, why not have more places for families?”
Wiser and drummer Rob Martin released “All About Bullies … Big and Small,” an album that won a Grammy Award this year for best children's album.
Wiser said a new children's museum would be an indoor place where families could hear more “kindie” rock and a place in the heart of the city where children's entertainment and education would be a top priority.
It would also be a boon for the city, he said.
“We love this band and wanted to come out and support this effort,” said Tina Crider, of Norman. Her 12-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter were with her at the concert.
“There's not a whole lot for kids to do down here, and I think it will bring in families from all over,” she added.
Tracey Zeeck, a public relations consultant who's spearheading the effort along with Farooq Karim, an architect at Rees Associates Architecture, came together with common goal of saving Stage Center by refurbishing it into a children's museum.
Zeeck said the project would cost about $30 million to complete. Right now her efforts are going into raising awareness and finding funding sources. She's hoping a group or company will want the naming rights to the museum so she doesn't have to find individuals to fund the entire project.
“Everybody wants a solution and we've had no opposition to this plan,” she said. “Our only enemy is time and money. “We want this to be the best children's museum in the nation.”
The project proposal must be presented to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation by 4 p.m. Wednesday.
“This fixes two problems with one plan,” Zeeck said.
The more than two-decade old building flooded in June 2010 and could be demolished if a plan isn't accepted.
For more information, go online to www.