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art matters

With you art can change a life. Allied Arts Quarterly Newsletter Volume 11, Issue 3, Spring 2018

2018 Campaign for the Arts The Allied Arts 2018 Campaign publicly launched on January 18 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. More than 400 donors, volunteers, civic and corporate leaders, and art administrators gathered for an exciting evening of performances, award presentations, stories of impact and announcements. Aimee and David Harlow, 2018 campaign co-chairs, revealed a goal of raising $3.125 million for central Oklahoma’s cultural community, a small increase from the total amount raised in 2017. At the time of the Kickoff event, Allied Arts had raised $1.1 million. Since then, the campaign has raised more than $1.9 million, or 62% of the goal. At the event, the Harlows also announced Polly and Larry Nichols as 2018 campaign honorary chairs. A surprise to guests in attendance and the honoree himself, Mike Turpen was presented with the inaugural Aubrey McClendon Visionary Award for the Arts. The award was created to honor McClendon’s vision and service on behalf of the arts. As a vocal advocate for the cultural community, Turpen received the award for his long-term volunteerism with Allied Arts, having served as a campaign co-chair and currently serving as an executive committee member. Turpen has also been actively engaged with Lyric Theatre, chairing their $10 million Plaza Theatre capital campaign. Throughout the evening, Oklahoma’s burgeoning artistic talent was on full display with show-stopping performances. El Sistema’s GROUP, an all-female quartet, wowed guests with a spirited cover of Gnarles Barkley as well as an orginal composition; Life Change Ballroom students showcased their ballroom dance moves to a medley of songs; Rockin’ Strings, an ensemble of Oklahoma Youth Orchestras, covered a popular rock song; they were followed by OYO’s concertmaster Simon Luke Brown’s masterful performance of Paganini’s Caprice No. 14; and students from Sooner Theatre closed the program with a resounding performance from Les Miserables. With three months remaining until the campaign closes, it’s not too late to make your donation if you have not already. Every gift makes an impact on the mission of Allied Arts to “enrich our communities through advancement of the arts.”

(clockwise from top) David and Aimee Harlow announce the 2018 Campaign goal; Life Change Ballroom students showed off their moves; A student from El Sistema’s GROUP performed moving covers and an original song; Tricia Everest, Mike Turpen and Deborah McAuliffe Senner pose with the inagural Aubrey McClendon Visionary Award for the Arts.

Allied Arts Honors Polly and Larry Nichols A 20-year tradition, Allied Arts annual campaigns recognize an individual or couple for their extraordinary contributions to the arts. The 2018 Honorary Chairs are Polly and Larry Nichols. Together, the Nicholses have provided leadership to a number of Allied Arts member agencies and grantees including Arts Council Oklahoma City, Myriad Gardens Foundation, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City Ballet and Science Museum Oklahoma. Polly co-chaired the Allied Arts campaign in 1990 and has been an ardent champion for Allied Arts ever since. The 2018 Honorary Chair Event was held on March 14 at Vast with a one-of-a-kind opportunity for guests to tour the Devon Tower Rooftop, the highest point in the state of Oklahoma. In addition to serving as a tribute to all that the Nicholses have done for the arts, the event is an integral component of the fundraising campaign, generating more than $570,000 to arts education for Oklahoma schoolchildren, healing arts for the elderly and veterans, and quality programming for all.

Polly and Larry Nichols, 2018 Honorary Chairs

Special thanks to Vast and the Devon Tower for hosting the event, and to in-kind partners Central Liquor Co. and The Fleuriste. (right) Jeff and Sally Starling make philanthropy a family affair. Sally is co-chairing the Oklahoma City Ballet’s capital campaign with her father, Larry. Steve Mason and Aimee Ahpeatone (bottom left) as well as Jane Thompson, Lana Lopez, Judy Hatfield and Brenda McDaniel (middle) enjoyed the reception and roofotp tours. Polly Nichols accepted flowers from her granddaughter, Addison. (bottom right)

Allied Arts Month Celebration To kick off the annual observation, Mayor Mick Cornett and the Oklahoma City Council proclaimed February 2018 as Allied Arts Month during a Council meeting. After the proclamation, Alexis Carter-Black shared the story of how Oklahoma Youth Orchestras, an Allied Arts member agency, transformed her son from the classroom student always in trouble to an accomplished saxophonist with a six-figure scholarship at Oklahoma City University. To continue Allied Arts Month activities, donor banners were hung in Nichols Hills and Oklahoma City throughout February. The banners help spread awareness of the Allied Arts campaign while recognizing donors at the $2,500 and higher level. Love’s Travel Stops provided an in-kind donation to print the banners. February also marked a heightened time for Allied Arts marketing and promotions. Hahn Appliance ran a TV ad showcasing its support of Allied Arts and youth arts programming; The Oklahoman, BancFirst and Oklahoma Gazette donated print ad space to help create awareness around the campaign and upcoming events; Tyler Media ran Allied Arts PSAs on its radio stations; MetroFamily Magazine provided a booth and ad space for Kids Fest 2018, giving us the opportunity to connect with more than 3,000 families; and 405 Magazine and OKC Friday donated digital ad space.

Your Investment in Action In the second cycle of its 2018 fiscal year, Allied Arts distributed $113,000 in educational outreach and capacitybuilding grants in support of 50 unique projects. The Allied Arts educational outreach grant program provides funding to expand the scope and reach of youth arts education in classrooms, afterschool sites, libraries and community/neighborhood centers. In the last school year alone, the educational outreach program reached 104,558 children in 107 cities and towns – from Idabel to Woodward. Projects supported in this recent funding cycle include: deadCenter University, a free, multi-day film education program for rural and urban high school students; Lyric Theatre’s free Musical Interactive program which travels to schools statewide, using musical theatre to teach students about important historical events and figures; and Prairie Dance Theatre’s free afterschool dance programming at four Title I elementary schools. New to Allied Arts funding is KidsAlive! which partners children with special needs with experienced young musical theater performers. The Allied Arts capacity-building grant program provides funding to strengthen the organizational standing of cultural nonprofits. Projects supported in this funding cycle include: technology updates to enhance staff efficiency and customer service; professional development opportunities for staff; and enrollment in nonprofit training programs.

Laird and Allied Arts Friends Receive Recognition At a special ceremony at the Oklahoma State Capitol, Michael Laird received the Community Service Award on February 28th in recognition of his significant leadership and volunteerism to the arts in Oklahoma City. Nominated for the award by Allied Arts, Laird serves on the organization’s executive committee and campaign cabinet while also chairing the board management committee. Additionally, Laird is active with Arts Council Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Ballet. Other Allied Arts-affiliated awardees include Liz Eickman, Kirkpatrick Family Fund; Robert Mills, Oklahoma City Ballet; Frances Pitts, Metropolitan School of Dance; Jerome Stevenson, Pollard Theatre; and Oklahoma Youth Orchestras. First awarded in 1975, the Governor’s Arts Awards is an annual event recognizing individuals and organizations whose efforts have impacted the arts in their communities or throughout the state.

Congratulations to all the winners!

For a comprehensive list of award recipients and amounts, please visit

2018 EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH DONORS Dobson Family Foundation Flogisitx Hobby Lobby

ITC Holdings JPMorgan Chase Bank & Co. UMB Bank

Small Effort, Big Difference You can make a gift to Allied Arts from your financial accounts, retirement plans or life insurance plans. This can be done outside of a will or trust and is one of the easiest ways to leave a legacy (be sure, however, to coordinate this type of gift with your overall estate planning strategy).

(from left) 2018 Governor’s Arts Award Winners: Melody Garza, Robert Mills, Frances Pitts, Jerome Stevenson, Liz Eickman and Michael Laird

Through a charitable beneficiary transfer, the remaining balances in a checking or savings account, Certificate of Deposit, brokerage account or retirement account may be transferred directly to a charity upon your death by designating the account as Payable on Death (“POD”) or Transfer on Death (“TOD”) to a charity. You may also name Allied Arts as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy. These transfers may be made quickly and easily by contacting your financial institution to obtain a beneficiary designation form, which should then be completed and returned as directed. For more details on making a beneficiary transfer gift and other planned gifts, please contact the Allied Arts planned giving team by email at or call us at 405.278.8944.

My Love Show

Upcoming events:

On the weekend of March 2, Graphite Gallery in the Plaza District debuted international artist Desmond Mason’s newest exhibition, My Love Show. Mason generously donated a percentage of sales proceeds to Allied Arts. Thank you to everyone who visited the exhibit. The excitement and buzz happening in the Plaza District exemplifies how the arts can transform a neighborhood and bring our community together!

Be sure to mark your calendars for these upcoming Allied Arts fundraisers and volunteer opportunities. More details can be found at If you would like to volunteer email us at

ARTINI: A Blue Party

Friday, April 13, 2018 OKC Farmers Market Tickets and info at Download the Handbid app to register and preview the art auction!

(Above left) Desmond Mason and RACE dancers, who provided entertainment during the exhibit, pose with his custom-painted Mercedes G-Wagon. (Above right) Debbie Nauser and Cassandra Lewis pose on the red carpet. (Photo by Jamie Cobb.)

Big Idea Challenge In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation has launched The Great Idea Challenge, a call for nonprofits, companies, artists and individuals to bring forward innovative ideas for projects, programs and activities that will impact the community for the next 50 years with a focus on collaboration, diversity and inclusiveness. The foundation will award a total of $1 million to the five to eight best submissions. The deadline to request an invitation to submit a letter of inquiry is May 1. For more information on The Great Idea Challenge, please visit

Fueling the Arts This month, be on the lookout for art in your neighborhood OnCue store. During the month of April, OnCue will sell reusable, plastic cups featuring colorful splashes of dance, visual art and song. For every cup sold, OnCue will donate 50 cents to Allied Arts. Additional details will be made available on the Allied Arts Facebook page.

Stay tuned and follow us @alliedartsokc!

Chip In for the Arts Golf Tournament

Monday, May 7, 2018 12:00 shotgun start OKC Golf & Country Club Register at

Restaurant Week

April 6-15, 2018 Visit for a list of participating restaurants

OPUS X: Club Cabaret

Friday, October 12, 2018 The Criterion Allied Arts biennial gala returns for a night of sensational performances showcasing the talents of our grantees. Sponsorship and ticket info coming soon!

Artist Spotlight Kjelshus “KJ” Collins spent much of his childhood traveling the country with his parents, attending galleries and outdoor art festivals helping them sell their work. Both of his parents were painters and it’s no surprise that his creativity stems from the family tree but represents his own unique style. Combining two different methods to create one unique piece, KJ’s linocut prints and pop Kjelshus Collins at his 2017 art sculptures are inspired from everyday Festival of the Arts booth. experiences. A self-proclaimed alchemist, KJ brings ideas to life with arbitrary materials, manipulating them into physical form. A vinyl figurine mass produced through a Los Angeles-based toy company is his most treasured piece. It was the first time he sculpted the original and outsourced labor for art, even bringing his good friend Sean Vali in to help design packaging. Other creatives he’s met include those from childhood or through volunteering with Allied Arts organizations such as [Artspace] @ Untitled, IAO, OVAC, Oklahoma Arts Institute and the Plaza District, among others. “One thing people might not know about Oklahoma City, especially if you don’t live here, is that there is always some art show, film, dance, music or drama going down,” he explains. “It doesn’t matter how big or small— weekends can be crazy busy if you are so inclined.” Friday, April 13, you’ll find KJ at ARTini: A Blue Party. He collaborated with artist Brooke Rowlands to paint the opening set pieces for this year’s fundraiser, in addition to serving on the committee and participating as an artist. He credits ARTini for helping younger audiences become collectors. “After 40,000 years of art, there will be influences on younger generations. This is inevitable. An artist will take a line from this, create an homage from that, continue a theme here, and so forth.” All good things, says KJ, ultimately surrounding us with beauty and letting us have fun with the products of imagination. If you would like to check out his art further, KJ will have a booth at Arts Council OKC’s Festival of the Arts the week of April 23rd.

(top) Time is a Window, Death only a Door; (bottom) The Paleonaut – a metafictional artifact from another dimension.

Volunteer Help Wanted! Speaking of the Festival of the Arts, it’s almost time for Oklahoma City’s annual rite of Spring! Every year, Allied Arts manages a food booth at the festival. We’d love your help serving gyros and other Greek specialties to festival goers. Three-hour shifts are available throughout the duration of the festival. To sign up, visit

Tickets on sale now @

April 13th • OKC Farmers Market Download the Handbid app to register & preview the art auction!

Help us reach our 2018 Annual Campaign goal and support more than 40 local arts nonprofits! 1015 N. Broadway, Ste. 200 Oklahoma City, OK 73102 405.278.8944

Donate today at

Non-Profit U.S. Postage PAID Oklahoma City Permit #581

IN THIS ISSUE: • 2018 Annual Campaign Update • Honorary Chair Reception • Your Investment In Action • Save the Dates for Upcoming Events • Artist Spotlight: KJ Collins


Save big. Make an impact.

The OKCityCard is your passport to the best of eating out, shopping, services, and arts and entertainment in the metro. With a $50 donation to Allied Arts, you receive the 2018 OKCityCard which features 12 months of savings at more than 400 locations! When you’re enjoying a leisurely stroll in historic downtown Edmond, stop by Café Evoke and receive 15% off your food order with your OKCityCard. Get your face and body ready for summer with a treatment at Gimme Sugars Spa. Present your OKCityCard to receive 10% off on organic facials, Dermaplane, airbrushed tans and skincare.

Looking for a fun yet educational activity to keep your kiddos entertained as the weather gets warm? Use your OKCityCard at Harn Homestead Museum to receive buy one admission, get one admission free. Start working on your beach body at Biff’s Crossfit or Biff’s Fitness Center. Your OKCityCard waives the membership startup fee.

Visit for a comprehensive list of featured partners and discounts. If your business is interested in being a partner on the OKCityCard, please email

Allied Arts Newsletter Spring 2018  
Allied Arts Newsletter Spring 2018