Traveling South By Southwest. Every year about this time we at Urban Tulsa Weekly give our readers a chance to attend one of the country's top music, film and cultural expositions, the annual South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas.
We have tickets to the show for you and a buddy, but you have to show us something, namely how passionate, knowledgeable and literate you are about the music scene here in town. Afterall, if you are to be one of our esteemed correspondents at the week-long gig, we need someone handy with a keyboard and possessing a lively vocabulary besides knowing what you are talking about.
The festival is March 14-18 and if you want a couple tickets, here's your chance to win.
To prove you're worthy, write an essay, 500 words or less, telling us why you deserve to represent UTW at the festival. Also tell us in your essay what band from Tulsa you would choose to send to SxSW and why. The winner will receive two gold tickets to the festival.
Hurry, because the deadline is Mon., Feb. 19. Send your essay to SxSW Contest, c/o Urban Tulsa Weekly, 710 S. Kenosha, Tulsa, OK, 74120 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, subject: SxSW essay.
Spring in the Air? It's not yet midwinter, but the Boys of Summer will be hitting spring training soon. And so it's not too early to begin dreaming of the green, green grass and shirtleeves weather as The Tulsa Drillers announce the team will open and close the 2007 Texas League season at home.
The Drillers host the San Antonio Missions in a three-game stand, with the season opener scheduled for Thurs., April 5. Following that, the Drillers take on the Corpus Christi in another three-game series.
The Drillers will again play a 140-game Texas League schedule split into two 70-game halves. The second half of the schedule will begin on June 18.
The schedule has the Drillers playing nearly half (32) of their 70 home games on Fri., Sat. or Sunday. There will be 11 Fri. and Sunday games and 10 Sat. games.
The 2007 homes schedule includes 10 home games in April, 15 in May, 15 in June, 11 in July, 16 in August and three in September. It also includes five weekday afternoon games and one morning game. Four of the afternoon games will be played on Wednesdays, and one will be played on a Tues.
The one morning game is scheduled for Fri., May 4 at 10:05am. The early start is necessary to accommodate the annual Bedlam Game between OSU and OU that will be played that evening at Drillers Stadium.
There are no pre-scheduled doubleheaders, wither at home or on the road on the schedule this season.
The Drillers will conclude the 2007 season with a 7-game homestand. The final regular season contest will be on Labor Day, Mon., Sept. 3, and will begin at 12:05pm.
Disc Golf, Anyone? The Tulsa Disc Sports Association presents the 12th Annual Tulsa Ice Bowl, a charity disc golf tournament scheduled for Sat., Jan. 27 come sun, rain, sleet or snow. All proceeds benefit the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
The two-round, 36-hole disc golf tournament is open to the public and takes place at Riverside Park, 41st Street and Riverside Drive. Two tee times are available: 9am or 11am. Entry fee is $15 or five cans of food and $12, although additional food donations are welcome.
Participants are encouraged to register onsite at least thirty minutes before tee time.
"The Ice Bowl is for all disc golfers gutsy, crazy or fun-loving enough to join together for a good cause," said Wayne Forest, the tournament director. "No wimps, no whiners. This takes place regardless of the weather conditions. The idea is to have fun, raise funds and food for the Food Bank, and dispel the gloom of winter."
The tournament offers several divisions and all players are eligible for the closest-to-the-pin and ace-pot awards. Additional contributions are raised by offering 50 cent mulligans, shot re-takes due to errant shots.
The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma is a private, nonprofit organization that is committed to alleviating hunger in Eastern Oklahoma. The Food Bank procures, warehouses and distributes donated food to 440 Partner Feeding Programs in 24 counties of Eastern Oklahoma, feeding 50,000 weekly.
Teens Get Artsy. Auditions begin this month for the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain (OSAI). This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the program, and famous artists who have taught at OSAI in the past will return.
OSAI offers professional training to Oklahoma high school students in the literary, visual, and performing arts, and every accepted student automatically receives a full scholarship to the program.
This year's renowned faculty artists include Ed Sherin, Gisele Ben-Dor, and Christopher Huggins. Sherin, executive producer of NBC's Law & Order, will teach the OSAI acting program.
Ben-Dor, former associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic will conduct the orchestra, and Huggins, an Alvin Ailey dancer, will lead the modern dance class.
Instruction is offered in nine disciplines: acting, creative writing, ballet, modern dance, orchestra, chorus, photography, drawing/painting and film/video.
Auditions began Jan. 21 and are held at various locations throughout the state. Students are urged to schedule an audition as soon as possible, as audition spaces fill quickly.
For more information, call (405) 321-9000 or visit www.oaiquartz.org. The dates for this year's program are June 9--24.
The Oklahoma Arts Institute is a private, non-profit organization developed in 1977, with a vision to cultivate established and emerging artists and educators through art workshops, immersion and awareness. OAI administers a fine arts program for talented Oklahoma youth and a series of continuing education workshops for adults.
Crescendo Music Awards Getting Louder. After 8 years of growth, and with a promising future ahead, the Crescendo Music Awards will be held Feb. 22-24.
This year's competition will bring top student musicians from throughout the nation to compete for awards of $34,500. The event will climax in a concert and finals competition on Sat., Feb. 24 at the Van Trease Performing Arts Center and is produced annually by the Rotary Club of Tulsa.
The 2007 competition will feature four divisions, including piano, brass & woodwinds, stings and voice.
Judges for the competition are chosen from internationally recognized educators, performers, composers and conductors in each of the four divisions.
The final deadline for entries is Feb. 1, and is open to high school, university and music school students from anywhere in the world.
It is the goal of the Crescendo Music Awards to become international in scope with student musicians from throughout the world competing in Tulsa. Students can get complete information and entry forms on the Crescendo Music Awards website, www.crescendomusicawards.com.
Tickets for the Feb. 24 finals concert are $25 and are available through the Rotary Club of Tulsa office, 584-7642, or from any member of the Crescendo Music Awards committee of the Rotary Club of Tulsa.
Get out your radon kits! The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) joins the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a nationwide campaign to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure and to encourage them to take action to protect their homes and their families from radon health effects.
This campaign is meant to urge Americans to prevent this silent radioactive gas from seeping into their homes and building up to dangerous levels. The EPA estimates that radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
Radon is invisible, odorless and tasteless and has no immediate health symptoms. It comes from the breakdown of uranium inside the earth. Simple test kits can reveal the amount of radon in any building. Those with high levels can be fixed with simple, affordable venting techniques. According to the EPA, one in every 15 homes nationwide has a high radon level at or above the recommended radon action level of four picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) of air. Sixty-eight of Oklahoma's 77 counties have a low potential for radon levels above four picoCuries per liter of indoor air. Five counties in eastern Oklahoma and four counties in the panhandle and western Oklahoma have a moderate potential for radon levels approaching or exceeding four picoCuries per liter. To view statistical results from tests that have been conducted in your county, city, or zip code, go to the DEQ Radon Web Pages at: www.deq.state.ok.us/radon.
The EPA estimates mitigation costs to lower radon levels in existing homes to be from $1,200-1,500. New homes can be built radon-resistant easily and affordably. The estimated additional cost for a new home built radon-resistant is around $500.
Radon test kits, including laboratory analysis and total postage, can be purchased from the DEQ for $18. To order a test kit, call (405) 702-1152. For more information about radon and radon testing and mitigation in Oklahoma, call the DEQ at (405) 702-5162 or visit the DEQ Radon Web Pages at: www.deq.state.ok.us/radon.
Read 2 Your Baby. Tulsa City-County Library is partnering with KJRH Channel 2 and the Children First Program to provide a backpack of books to low-income, first-time parents.
Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Scripps-Howard Foundation, the "Read 2 Your Baby" project will provide 300 at-risk families with a small backpack filled with 12 books appropriate for the changing developmental stages 0-2 years old. Also included is a "First Reader" packet that provides parents with tips and techniques to increase a young child's early literacy skills.
"Literacy is the first seed from which all else grows," says Channel 2 Vice President and General Manager Michael Vrabac, "and by awarding grants like this one, Channel 2 is proud to help sow these seeds in our community."
Children First is a program administered through Women, Infants and Children (WIC) that provides informational and counseling to first time mothers while they are still pregnant and continues for the first two years of the child's life.
"The Children First Program is excited to partner with the Library and The Scripps-Howard Foundation in the Read 2 Your Baby project. Promotion of early reading helps foster opportunities for success in school and creates a curiosity for life long learning," said Cathy Sullivan, R.N., Children First program coordinator. "With the help of our generous community partners, Children First Parents will receive the tools they need to promote a lifelong love of reading for their children and instill success for their future."
Children First serves an average of 300 clients a year. Approximately one-fifth of those are Spanish speaking families. These families will receive bilingual backpacks from the "Read 2 Your Baby" program.
"The Read 2 Your Baby project, sponsored by the Scripps-Howard Foundation, is an excellent opportunity to help families learn about the importance of reading with young children. Through our partnership with Children First, we'll be reaching children during a very critical period for language development, 0-3 years," said Jennifer Greb, Tulsa City-County Library's Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Service Coordinator. "This project will provide the tools needed to make reading an everyday habit for families and help babies develop the early language and pre-reading skills necessary to get ready to read and ready to succeed."
For more information on TCCL's community literacy efforts, call the Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Service, 596-7958.
Bringing Arts to Schools. The Higher Education Cultural Roundtable is now taking applications for "mini-grants" which are awarded annually to K-12 schools in the surrounding area for arts and humanities activities.
The Higher Education Cultural Roundtable is a consortium of regional colleges and universities founded upon the recommendation of the 1990 Comprehensive Cultural Plan of the City of Tulsa. Working with the Tulsa City-County Library and the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, the Roundtable promotes intellectual, artistic and social discourse on member campuses and in the larger community, engages in cooperative programming, and shares resources and ideas.
The one-page application for these mini-grants, which range from $50 to $250, can be found on the Higher Education Cultural Roundtable website at www.orgs.utulsa.edu/hecr.
The grant funds may be used to assist with any arts or humanities related expenses including arts materials and supplies, lecturer or artist fees, equipment, transportation to arts events, etc.
Applications for the 2007 calendar year will be accepted through Feb. 15. For additional information, interested schools or individuals may contact HECR president Ellen Cummings at 596-7943 or HECR secretary Linda Gunnells at email@example.com or 631-2530.
Host an Exchange Student! World Heritage Student Exchange Program, a public benefit organization, is seeking local host families for high school boys and girls from France, Germany, Thailand, Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, Denmark and Italy.
Students are already awaiting word on their host family for the 2007-2008 academic school year. Host families provide room, board and guidance for a teenager living thousands of miles from home. Couples, single parents, and families with or without children in the home are all encouraged to apply.
The exchange students arrive from their home country shortly before school begins Fall 2007. Each World Heritage student is fully insured, brings his/her own personal spending money and expects to bear his/her share of household responsibilities, as well as being included in normal family activities and lifestyles.
Celebrate the New Year by choosing to host an exchange student. For more information, call Terri Knode at (800) 888-9040 or visit www.world-heritage.org.
Think Summer. Now is your chance to be part of a Tulsa tradition in performing arts: SummerStage.
SummerStage is a performing arts festival held at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center for nine weeks during the months of June, July and Aug. The festival consists of local productions that include musicals, plays, dances, music concerts, cabaret theater, children's and family shows and comedy. The festival includes 25-30 individual productions.
Applicants who are committed to the performing arts and to being part of a balanced and entertaining festival are needed. SummerStage welcomes local and area community arts organizations as well as individual artists and strives to offer quality, diverse and innovative programs that appeal to all segments of the Tulsa community.
SummerStage is presented by the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust. For more information and guidelines, please email Shirley Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 596-7122.
Oklahoma Tourism Releases 2007 Travel Guide. Even if you think you know your home state, to make sure you know what's happening where during this year's Centennial celebration, you'll want to be the first to request a Centennial Edition of the 2007 Oklahoma Travel Guide.
That's because the first people requesting the 162-page comprehensive guide can ask for one of 40,000 complementary copies of the captivating "Oklahoma Rising" DVD.
Mark Keller's fiery rendition of the Oklahoma Centennial Anthem, Oklahoma Rising, coupled with video imagery brings to life the state's diversity, as well as its rich history and culture. The dramatic images build a moving visual experience of Oklahoma's rise from struggles such as the Dust Bowl to a state bursting with promise, hope, and beauty.
Chock full of ideas for weekend getaways, even the most well traveled Oklahoman will find something to experience in the 2007 Oklahoma Travel Guide. Zeroing in on the six regions of Oklahoma, the guide includes the very best of what the state offers from newly discovered "off-the-beaten path" attractions to the finest in urban adventure. The guide features a comprehensive directory of available lodging, dining, and attractions in most every town or city across the state.
The 2007 Travel Guide celebrates Oklahoma's Centennial, which was named the #1 Event in the United States for 2007 by the American Bus Association.
So, be sure to request your 2007 Oklahoma Travel Guide early to receive a copy of the highly applauded Oklahoma Rising video courtesy of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. You may request the guide by calling 800-652-6552 or by visiting TravelOK.com, where you can also build your own itinerary online.
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