Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Working It

This has been one of the hardest weeks I've had in a long time and it's only Tuesday. I've been thrown a LOT of curve balls in preparing for the Paseo Arts Awards, but I keep trying just to roll with it. Sometimes that's easier than others. I've tried to do as much as I could to make it special for the awardees. I want Miki, Lance and Liz to know how much I respect them and how grateful I am that they do what they do. 

Tomorrow night marks the last time that I will chair this event. I've got to make room in my brain and schedule for focusing on SixTwelve. It deserves my attention and it's my passion, so I'm actually excited to be at this point. I have one more event that I am going to help with. It happens in January and I only play a small part. After that, I'm taking a break from the event planning for a while. 

We've also been pushing pretty hard at SixTwelve to get the main space ready for my friend Lindsay's rehearsal dinner. We're not finished with renovations yet, but we are getting so close, and this deadline was good for us. As of today, we have our geothermal system on and heating the building, just in time for winter! We also have a tile floor in our kitchen and lights! And maybe the biggest deal is that we now have a toilet!!!! Woohoo!!!! By Friday we should have counters, sinks and a floor that is ready to sand lightly and seal! It is really starting to come together and I think it's going to look really good for the dinner. I'm shooting for magical, but I'll be happy with gorgeous. :)

I'm excited for all of the progress, but with it comes a level of exhaustion that I haven't felt before. I took on more responsibilities in every area this past year. 2015 will be about narrowing my focus and saying, "no," to a lot, just so that I can do more in my own way. I think that's the best gift we can give this world anyway. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

612 Progress Report

Yesterday was a full and wonderful day! I have been putting together an education workshop for the past few months. It was provided for by the Paseo Arts Association, with a grant from Allied Arts, and it took place at Edgemere Elementary School. 

A wonderful person, Chris Neal, contacted me months ago to meet and to see if we could possibly work together to provide something for the community. He had seen me posting all kinds of things out of support for friends who were working on creative projects. So he was enlisting support. When I heard about the nonprofit he had started, West Winds Chamber Players, I knew this would be a great fit for a lot of events. But what had I been giving most of my attention to at the time??? - Providing programming for the biannual Parent/Guardian & Student Workshop we hold at Edgemere. Perfect timing! 

It's funny how I thought I was helping Chris. He was helping me! The musical  program that he put together was stellar. I'm so grateful to have been able to work with him because it went just the way these things are supposed to go. He and his group were so professional and incredibly talented. A lot of the musicians were OKC Philharmonic members and I knew quite a few of them from my music teaching days in Norman. Fun! 

Our hope is to help provide and enrich instruction in all of the arts, so we had kazoo making craft time, a drumming workshop with Enid Van Treese (she was sooooo AWESOME!!!) and then West Winds Chamber Players performed a piece called "Sea Creatures." I even read the narration for them. It was so much fun! We only had 4 kids show up, but in total we had 27 people there so I was happy. (Note to self: Don't plan things the day after Halloween! We might get a better turnout. Ha!)

After the workshop, James and I celebrated by going to Cheever's. I think I was celebrating a successful workshop as much as the fact that I actually woke
up at 6:45am on a Saturday morning after driving home all day the day before. (James flew out to Savannah to help drive me home. What a peach!)

Then we went by SixTwelve to see what progress had taken place while I was gone.  I'm so excited to see all of the trim stained, the walls painted and the tile going down in the bathrooms. It really is looking good! I love the dark stain. I believe it will provide a visual warmth and depth to our space, and I think it's more historically accurate for a 1929 building. I'm also in love with the hexagon tile in the downstairs bathrooms! I think we've got a really nice place and it's only going to get better! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Runnin' Down That Road

I'm currently sitting in the car. James is driving us home to OKC, taking a new route because we decided to visit my parents in Florida before returning from this trip to Savannah. I'm so glad we drove down to see them because I have missed them! 

I love these drives because I usually get a lot of work done while James is at the wheel. We also have a lot of time to talk and figure things out, which is valuable. On this leg of the trip, we've been discussing big picture dreaming, models of schools and community groups and systems we should put into place in order to help SixTwelve run smoothly. It's fun because I feel like I can see what will happen there more clearly everyday. 

I've decided that we will wait on starting the pre-school, even though I believe it to be one of the biggest needs in our community. I just feel like I have so many things to learn before jumping in, AND we need to take things one step at a time in order for everything to be as successful as possible. 

So here's the new priority list for getting things open at SixTwelve:

1. After-school programs & Residencies.
2. Trade Share Program
3. Pre-School

There are things like playground equipment and safety embellishments that we will need to make for the pre-school that will take funding I haven't yet earned/raised. So I will continue to work toward those goals and implement them as I have the funds and time. 

I believe this is not only the smartest way to proceed, but also the best! I can't wait to work with those kids and to provide experiences for people that I know have the potential to transform. After attending the Alliance of Artist Communities conference last week in Charleston, I'm fired up about getting to open our doors and get to work! (That's a whole different blogpost. What an incredibly important and inspiring conference! So glad I went!)

It won't be long now. In fact we're going to have an open house on December 5th, during Paseo's First Friday Gallery Walk. I think we'll open our doors in January! Can't wait! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Top 10 List for The Best Things That Have Happened Since My Last Blog Post

I have been bad about blogging. I'm sure that everyone could see that. No surprise there, but the truth is I used to think about what I wanted to say and edit and hyperlink and....all of the things that people do when they blog. For the past two years, I have been going and going, with little time to stop and process, let alone write about it. I'm grateful and I don't feel like I owe anyone an explanation, but obviously I do a little or I wouldn't be writing about it AGAIN! GAHHHH!!!

So instead of trying to go back and recreate my reactions to events, I'll just list my 10 favorite things that have happened since my last post and that will at least keep this entry to a length that won't drive people to drink.

1. SixTwelve received its nonprofit status!!!!!! Ahahahaha!!! So excited!!! Receiving that piece of mail gave James and me both a boost that we needed. We are both grateful to be doing what we're doing, but it has been almost five years since we bought SixTwelve and started down this road.  Now it seems that I can't do anything without wishing that I was at 612 working. All I want to do is focus on the programming and the building, but that's not my reality. I'm just glad that I feel so inspired and ready to move on everything!

2. I adopted a pup named "Willie." I debated with myself as to whether this was #1 or #2 in this Top Ten list. I seriously love that little fella. He is only 4.5 months old and he is already doing tricks and following commands and sleeping through the night. Yes, I know. You get it. I'm gushing. So sorry.

3. Denise Duong & Lauren Zuniga both agreed to work at SixTwelve. This is huge to me. I admire both of these women so much and know that they will give an incredible gift to their students. I'm so proud that they will be teaching with us.

4. Romy Owens agreed to be SixTwelve's first resident that we send to Savannah!!!! I've started work and planning for the show that Romy will have at the end of her time there and I hope to have it firm later in the fall. Romy is the Sh*t. Seriously. Her work is not only some of my favorite, it's important. It's on time.

5. I got to walk the streets of Savannah as a resident and take Willie with me. It was everything I dreamed of.

6. We started planning our first SixTwelve fundraiser! It's going to be Mardi Gras ball! This next Valentine's Day (the Saturday before Fat Tuesday 2015) we will be having quite the shindig at 612 and hope to someday grow the party big enough to have floats going down Paseo Drive. It's going to be so fun!

7. I've met some really inspiring people that have helped me to look forward with important considerations and even more confidence.

8. I've slowed down a little and will actually get to be in Oklahoma for a month and a half before leaving town.

9. I've experienced the support of so many great friends. Because of them, I've learned to let myself ask for help. That's really hard sometimes. I've also had some really hilarious and fun times with these friends.

10. This may be way to personal and somewhat morbid for some reading this, but I have to write it. I got to be by my grandfather's side the night before he passed away. In fact, I think he let go of this world about 20 minutes after my sister and I left the hospital that morning. I got to spend so much time with him throughout my life. I never missed a chance to go and see him or my grandmother. They were just as dear to me as my sweet parents.

The day before he passed, he called my sister and me to his bedside and told us that he wanted to talk to us. He told us that women could make things more complicated than they needed to be. (I asked him if he thought men could too, and he said, "Oh yes, of course." lol) He said that we needed to remember that the most important thing in life is that we love each other. I agree with him. I've been so exponentially blessed my entire life and I am doing my best to let that flow through me.  I want to share the love.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

SixTwelve Update: Geothermal!!!

Ooooooooh, you guys! I have been after James to write a blog post about the geothermal system we've chosen for SixTwelve, and boy did he deliver! He and K Edward Van Osdol created a video where he's telling you about it! So take a look at this. I'm so proud of James and really excited about the progress at SixTwelve!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Greetings from Savannah!

Greetings from Savannah, GA! I'm here now, trying to finish furnishing the SixTwelve artist residency. It's been a lot of fun picking out furniture and trying to make sure that everything one might need is here. I want people to feel honored to have been given this residency and I know that the location sets the tone, so I'm making it as nice as I can within a budget. Here's a little view of the living room so far.

The most exciting news from the past couple of months is that the paperwork for the non-profit status application (to the IRS) is complete and the board is completely formed! We held a meeting last week where we voted on many resolutions, assigned officers and put in motion all of the goodness that we want to give to OKC. It was a bit surreal and 100% exciting.

Because we asked so many people within one week, I'll just list them in this post, but subsequent posts will be dedicated to each new member. I think we have the best board.  Jim Roth, Kathryn Mathis, Marco Rodriguez, Michael Centola, and Megan Elliott all accepted our invitations to join and we could not be more grateful!

This is really happening and it makes me so happy.