Art has never been more important in our quest for normality.
Last week Nan and I were planning to take a walk to the 55th Festival of the Arts at Bicentennial Park in downtown Oklahoma City. A hot, humid summer day with a tan on my forehead didn’t dampen my enthusiasm. It was refreshing to be canceled last year and come back, even though it’s not the same place as before. The Oklahoma County Jail declared a “new funnel-shaped caramel bacon cake,” resembling an image as the background for the festival’s tents and food trucks.
I also wanted to see an exhibition of painters from Pompeii at the Oklahoma City Art Museum. The lack of parking for KENPOKU ART 2016 did not lose my enthusiasm. We went to see 70 frescoes at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy on Saturday. They are among those that were excavated after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 BC which wiped out the ancient Roman city, which is still on my bucket list.
The pandemic is still going on, but it doesn’t take long for it to start again when I call it APIYV (after the pandemic if vaccinated).
Art is on my personal APIYV list. Fortunately, Oklahoma has a thriving arts scene, including festivals and the Oklahoma City Art Museum, as well as the Paseo Arts District in Oklahoma City, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa. . We hope that as many people as possible will visit the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa before it closes on July 5 for a major reconstruction project.
We’re also excited that the First American Museum, formerly known as the American Indian Cultural Center, is opening in Oklahoma City in September after a 25-year plan. The arts scene includes organizations such as Ballet Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra, Lyric Theater, and Carpenter Square Theater.
For me, books are also an art. Encouraging to see fans as far as Texas going to see # 1 in my bookstore New York Times Elin Hilderbrand, “Summer Reading” queen and bestselling author. I wore a turquoise shirt because the Hilder brand asked everyone to wear their signature color. It is the first direct color in a bookstore since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. See you at bookstores such as Full Circle, Brace Book, Magic. Check the color scheme on your book cover on City, Commonplace, Bliss Books or in the library and listen to the many voices you speak to each other through the book.
The bookstores, libraries, museums, art galleries, sculpture gardens and outdoor art exhibitions in the park are also one of the quieter places.
The numbers confirm its importance. The Oklahoma Arts Council released a survey in 2017 showing that the nonprofit arts and culture industry alone generated $ 872.8 million in the state’s economy while supporting more than 29,000 jobs. fulltime. I did. Art is so important that the Kirkpatrick Family Fund donated $ 1 million to Union Arts over the next three years to boost local nonprofits.
But this commitment goes beyond Kirkpatrick. We all need to support and be more committed to art.
It is a commitment to supporting not only the economy, but our own personal recovery as well.
Joe Height is director and fellow of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning project, chair of the Journalism Ethics Committee at the University of Central Oklahoma, and The best of books, author of “Unnecessary Sorrow”, lead author / editor of “Our Greatest Journalists”.