Monday, July 8, 2013

Catch Up on SixTwelve and Travels!

July 1st has begun what I am calling a month of travel and research. I know that I haven't had any problem working that in over the past months, but this one is especially full. I'm excited! But before I begin to explain what I'll be doing over the next few weeks, I want to catch up a little bit and highlight what I think have been the most significant experiences over the past few.

Last month, after chairing the music committee for the Paseo Arts Festival, taking a little breather in Broken Bow and then organizing the volunteers for the opening night party for deadCENTER Film Festival, I felt like I could really focus on SixTwelve. It's so good to be able to really give this my all again. This was my third and last year to chair the music for Paseo Fest and I'm working to bring other people in to the committees that I'm on or chairing so that I can share the workload and have more time to give to SixTwelve. It's my true passion and there are only so many hours in the day, so it's time to cut out the distractions and run toward that goal! James and I have been calling it "Laser Focus." That's what we want.

On June 12th, we were so fortunate to be invited to speak at the Norman Arts Roundtable. This entity is made up of representatives from different arts and humanities organizations in Norman and they bring in people each month to speak about their work. Jennifer Barron, the director of the Paseo Arts Association, James and I all went on this day and presented info about the Paseo Arts District and about SixTwelve. It's so fun to share our dream with people because I feel like the more people that know about it, the more good we'll be able to do when we open our doors. 

And speaking of sharing the vision, we had a fabulous opportunity to share on June 21st, when the National Art Education Association Western Region came to SixTwelve during their conference. I was working at the Oklahoma Museums Association's annual Smarties Trivia Night so James took the reigns and gave what I heard was a great tour! I couldn't believe that so many art educators would get to hear about what we're doing. We were so honored to be a part of that tour of Paseo. 

On the morning of June 22nd, SixTwelve joined forces with SustainableOKC and the Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company to provide a Rain Barrel Workshop. Great Plains provided the barrels and conversion kits; SustainableOKC provided the directions and discussion and SixTwelve provided the location. We're not even finished with renovation and we're already seeing some learning and gathering taking place. I felt like I was on cloud nine during that event. I'm really proud of James for being on the board of SustainableOKC and making things like this happen for our community. We had a great crowd and everyone seemed grateful for this free opportunity to take a rain barrel home with them! IT'S REALLY HAPPENING!!!! People are learning valuable things at SixTwelve!!!

We had a great crowd for the Rain Barrel Workshop!

Last week, I went to Kansas City with Chandra for a few days. Our goal was to catch up and have a girls' trip, but I snuck a little research in as well. The first night that we were there, we met with our friend Cori Imig. Cori is a fabulous lady and thanks to the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, OKC has a  relationship with her and with the gallery and project that she and her fellow co-founding members started, Plug Projects. She is also the Program Coordinator for Artist INC, an organization that OVAC and other Oklahoma organizations, such as Oklahoma Contemporary, are working with in order to help artists grow in their business. 

As if Cori isn't amazing enough, her boyfriend has a 24 hour, local foods grocery store, Howard's, that operates on an honor system. This visit deserves (and will get) its own blog entry next, but I think anyone reading this can get an idea of why it would be fun to bring these people to Oklahoma City and to speak, teach, or share their ideas with our community at SixTwelve. I admire them so much! While we were in KC, we also took in some great art at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nelson-Atikins Museum of Art. Man, oh man! We saw some great art. We also ate some delicious food  and shopped, but I'll include all of that in the next entry. 

So June and the first part of July have been really fun and educational. The rest of the month won't pale in comparison either. I'm home this week and then next Sunday, I'm hitting the road for a long stretch of wanderlust and exploration. My friend Preston and I are heading to San Francisco, spending a little time there seeing a great program called 826 Valencia, the Rudolf Steiner College, and of course, experiencing delicious art, music and food. We're then renting a car and driving up the Pacific Coast Hwy 1. I've always wanted to see the Redwood trees so I am going to work that into the time between San Fran and my final destination, Portland. There are a lot of places that I want to visit in Portland too. All of this travel is meant to provide inspiration, insight and to hopefully make contacts with people that I can bring to OKC for future SixTwelve programming. Plus, once we open, I know that it will be hard to get away. I'm sure I won't feel stuck or imprisoned by SixTwelve. I'll just want to be here, making sure I give everything I can to see it grow and flourish. So now is the time to go! 

About three days after I return from the west coast, I'm going to turn around and head out to Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico. This trip is more for fun, as the group I'm going with will be celebrating a great friend's birthday, but I know that I'll be inspired and surrounded by art and music, so I'm sure I will find places that will somehow be of importance to the 612 project there too. Every experience is important for what we're doing. 

Really looking forward to these trips! So grateful for my life.

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