Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Round 1! Ding!

Goodness, life is moving fast! In the past two and a half months we have seen some great things happen at SixTwelve. We've had so many dreams for what we could provide for our community, so once we finally opened our doors, we hit the ground running.  

James and I talking to the crowd during our Open House (see #2)

While James and his TradeShare lead facilitator, BC, have been getting ready for summer camps, I have practiced a lot of the different things that we want SixTwelve to offer through different kinds of residencies. I believe that when writing a paper, you can't edit until you've written something. The same holds true for creating a new entity or program. You have to start somewhere, so we've just tried to practice all of the ideas, gather experience, and then write up the policies, procedures and systems for everything. And this is what we've done so far:

1. We started after-school classes.

Lauren Zuniga & Denise Duong taught a literacy + illustration class called "HeadNoise"

Samantha Lamb & Erin Latham taught an art + sustainability class called, "Shades of Nature."

2. We had a grand opening, open house which more than 700 people attended!!!

James & I celebrating at the open house!

3. Went on the radio with the smart, witty and hilarious Mitchell in the Morning crew, KOKC 1520am talk radio. Scott and Kandyce not only let us come on and talk about our Mardi Gras party and again to chat up the spring break camp! And then to add even more goodness, they actually came to SixTwelve for events and helped us plant trees! (see #5)

Rick, Me and Scott Mitchell - photo credit: Rick's Instagram :)

4. We held a crazy-fun, amazing Mardi-Gras Ball, which will be our annual fundraiser for SixTwelve!

5. We held a Spring Break Mural Camp with Rick Sinnett and Jason Pawley. The very best reward/feedback came from Maxine's (a magical and hilarious camper) mom on Instagram. She said that the camp did so much for her self-esteem and artistic ability. THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY!!! We even had an article in the Oklahoman about SixTwelve and our camp. I can't explain how grateful I am for Brandy McDonnell and all that she does to bring awareness to the arts and cultural affairs of Oklahoma. Thank you Brandy! We do feel like we're "Artfully Living the Dream!"


6. We've planted in our community garden and had Saturday morning work days with Paul Mays. We also held a composting workshop with Paul and a drought pod workshop with Ron Ferrell! We also had a tree planting workshop with TransitionOKC. They provided fruit trees so that we could have a small orchard and we couldn't be more grateful! We started seeds in my greenhouse at home so that we could have plants, and had a seed exchange for anyone who wanted to come. Thousands and thousands of seeds were donated! Our hope is to begin a seed library at SixTwelve for the whole community! SustainableOKC has also been a huge partner in rain barrel workshops, seed exchange, volunteer raising and donations we didn't expect. Our sustainability community in OKC is stellar and we're happy to be partnering with so many wonderful groups!

TransitionOKC Tree Planting Day

We love TransitionOKC and are grateful for their donation of trees and service!!!
Paul Mays giving the Compost 101 workshop at SixTwelve!

The day that we held the tree planting, Sherri and Chris Hultner, who created and own Edmond Active Magazine came out to interview me and to take some pictures. The result was an incredible, multi-page article in their publication with some gorgeous images! Thank you so much, Sherri and Chris!

Photo credit: Lisa Jean Allswede

7. We've partnered with some incredible people and organizations to provide poetry slams, private parties, workshops and really fun events!

Lauren Zuniga has been a great addition to our 612 team. She sets a really high standard!
Here is the crowd who came in for Lauren's poetry event with Andrea Gibson!!!
8. I've travelled to Savannah, GA with Denise Duong to set her up in our very first residency at the 612 Cottage. We're throwing her a show on May 1st at the Iocovozzi Gallery & Judge Realty and I couldn't be more thrilled about seeing this dream come true! We'll be bringing our first artist, Katherine Sandoz, from Savannah to OKC in June! And thus begins the residency exchange!!!! Yes!!!

We have worked so hard for years to prepare for these events and experiences. It makes me so happy to see them happen. When Katherine Sandoz's residency is over mid-June, everything that we have dreamed up so far will have come to fruition and we will have the systems in place to make it happen again and again. Our main goal and mission is "Sharing Tools to Build a Better Community." I think we're on track!

And this fall, I'll turn these things over to other people to work on starting the pre-school. So much to do! So grateful to have the opportunity!

p.s. Humongous thanks go out to my partner James Varnum, BC Summers, Lauren Zuniga, Denise Duong, Samantha Lamb, Erin Latham, Paul Mays, Ron Ferrell, Jennifer Alig, Sustainable OKC, Transition OKC, Dustin Green, our Mardi Gras committee, our board, Bumbershoot Media, Tracey Zeeck, Krystal Yoseph, Greg Elwell, Lori Judge, Kim Iocovozzi, Judge Realty, Iocovozzi Fine Art, and the countless volunteers who have helped us to get our start.

We especially thank James' and my generous families too. We couldn't have done any of this without them. We are so blessed!!!!

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