Keep It Local. More than 250 Black Friday shoppers crowded into the back room of the Blue Dome Diner, listening to local musicians, snacking on Mod's gelato and Ann's Bakery cakes, and most importantly, checking those raffle tickets -- all in celebration of ShopTulsa's inaugural Black Friday Party.
Organizers gave away more than 1,000 raffle tickets to partygoers who brought in big ticket receipts from their Black Friday shopping adventures. And, with nearly $15,000 in raffle prizes to win, those who spent big, won big.
"My decision to Shop Tulsa not only paid off big for the City, but also paid off big for me thanks to all the great prizes I got at this year's Black Friday Party," said Scott Grizzle, System Administrator at AEP-PSO and a winner of nearly $350 in prizes.
The party featured music by local musicians, The Televised, Ty Mayfield, Popular Culture and even an acoustic set by Tulsa native, Andy Skib. Partygoers enjoyed the fun of a Route 66 Photobooth and the great items that filled 200 free party bags.
The Black Friday Party was surely a night to remember and a Tulsa event that will definitely become a local tradition. Party organizers are looking forward to setting the bar even higher next year and making sure that the Black Friday Party in 2011 is even bigger and better.
ShopTulsa will continue focusing its efforts on educating and informing Tulsans throughout the holiday season. Merchants interested in getting involved with store promotions and taking part in social media connections should contact The Engine Room Creative Communications at (918) 949-3860.
For more information on ShopTulsa and how to get involved, or for resources on how to shop locally, please visit shoptulsa.org or call Allison Broyles at (918) 949-3860.
ShopTulsa is a citywide, nonprofit initiative created to educate Tulsans on the positive economic impact of spending their dollars within the city of Tulsa. The campaign encourages Tulsans to shop locally, when they can, thus improving the economy by keeping more money in the city of Tulsa. The ShopTulsa campaign, originally created by The City of Tulsa, launched in November 2010 with the support of The Engine Room Creative Communications and is sponsored by local merchants.
Season of Giving
Osage Million Dollar Elm employees delivered more than 200 meals including 170 pies and many coats, shoes and pajamas to needy residents on Thanksgiving Day 2010.
"It was very heartwarming to see the faces of the people who received the meals and clothes and what it meant to them," said Donna Kelley, Table Games Manager, Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino, Tulsa.
Donna McLain, co-chair of the Sand Springs Community Thanksgiving program, thanked the Osage Nation for its support and service for the second consecutive year of the program which has been going on for 17 years. Meals were delivered to residents in isolated areas in Berryhill, Sand Springs, west Tulsa, Mannford, Skiatook and Cleveland.
"We couldn't have got along without the help of the Osage Nation," McLain said. Volunteers coordinated the Thanksgiving meal delivery from Sand Springs United Methodist Church.
Osage Casino employees who participated included: Brian Harjo, Deborah Barrett, Shelbi Kelley, Shanon Kamm, Kim Jordan, George Morgan, Louis Crossley, Stephanie Blossom, Beth Hoops, Anna Marie Cotton, Rosemary Hammons, David Calvert, Dustin Calvert, Jacob Johnson, Jennifer Cross, Janice Weeden, and Glenda Rose.
Osage Million Dollar Elm casinos are an economic enterprise of the Osage Nation which operates casinos in Bartlesville, Tulsa, Sand Springs, Skiatook, Hominy, Pawhuska and Ponca City.
For more information, contact Chris Barton, Public Relations Coordinator, at (918) 699-7875 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit milliondollarelm.com
New and Exciting
The Visual Arts Department at St. Gregory's University recently unveiled its new online gallery. The gallery consists of three main sections: faculty and visiting artists, alumni, and current art students. It can be accessed by visiting stgregorys.edu/finearts and clicking on the "Visual Arts" tab. The "galleries" link can be found on the Visual Arts page.
The gallery is a result of many years of gathering photographs of artwork, SGU visual arts faculty member Sheryl Cozad said.
"We're very excited about this opportunity to show the high quality of artwork produced here at SGU," Cozad said. "Our visual arts students and graduates can show families and friends their artwork without time or travel to a museum. Our SGU artists can link their gallery pages to their resumes and Facebook pages, which can be a real boost to their careers. In addition, it's a good way to make people more aware of our school and our program."
Each artist featured on the website has a dedicated page filled with paintings, drawings, sculpture, graphic illustration, and other works created during their time at SGU. The alumni gallery features the work of seven art majors who have recently graduated, while the student gallery features work by five artists currently at SGU. Each of the galleries will have additional artists added during the next few weeks, and each artist currently on the site will have additional works of art added to their galleries.
A visual arts activities page is being updated for viewing after Thanksgiving. Many recent as well as past activities will be pictured. For more information about SGU's online art gallery, contact Cozad at (405) 878-5162 or at email@example.com.
The Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture -- better known as Oklahoma Pop -- to be located in the Brady Arts District may still be in its planning stages, but the museum essentially has its first staff member.
Michael Dean, public relations director for the state Historical Society, which is working to make the planned $33 million museum a reality, said the society has named Jeff Moore special projects director, and Moore's first order of business is to concentrate on Oklahoma Pop.
"He's now devoting most of his time to doing prep work on our end in anticipation of us getting funding" for the museum, Dean said.
Historical Society officials are seeking approval for a $25 million bond issue to help fund construction of the museum, which is expected to total 45,000 square feet and focus on all areas of popular culture in which Oklahomans have made their presence felt, including music, radio, television, film, performance venues, concerts and Route 66.
Historical Society officials had hoped to have the museum open by the summer of 2013, but the Legislature did not act on the society's request for the $25 million bond issue during its session earlier this year, a decision that likely will impact the facility's completion date. Still, supporters of the museum remain optimistic about it and have indicated they will continue to lobby lawmakers for the money needed to get the project off the ground.
The museum already has received a $1 million challenge grant from the George Kaiser Family Foundation, but Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Historical Society, has said fundraising efforts won't begin in earnest until the bond issue has been approved. Blackburn estimated earlier this year it would be 2014 before the museum opens.
That doesn't mean Tulsans won't have the chance to enjoy a bit of the state's music history, though. Dean said part of the Historical Society's Another Hot Oklahoma Night: A Rock and Roll Exhibit is headed for the city early next year after it finishes its run this month at the State History Center in Oklahoma City.
"At the end of December, we'll take down the 'Rock and Roll' exhibit here, and the panels are going to be moved to OSU-Tulsa, although none of the artifacts will be," he said.
The exhibition traces the history of rock 'n' roll in Oklahoma, covering bands and artists ranging from Charlie Christian and Woody Guthrie to Leon Russell and the Flaming Lips. Dean described Moore as one of the guiding forces behind the exhibition.
"I would anticipate when we close it on New Year's Eve, it'll probably take two to three weeks to take everything apart and move it to Tulsa, then another two or three weeks to reassemble it," said Dean, who was a rock 'n' roll disc jockey in Tulsa in the 1960s. "I'm kind of excited about that."
Dean recalled that era with a great deal of fondness.
"That time frame was when Leon (Russell) was getting to be his hottest in Tulsa," he said of the Church Studio and Shelter Records co-founder. "There were just countless international artists flying into T-town to record at the Church or Leon's studio on Grand Lake."
One of the benefits of his job working the late shift at a local radio station in those days, Dean said, was that the engineers at the Church Studio often would often bring in rough mixes of material that had been recorded just minutes earlier.
"They'd come in and say, 'Here, Michael, put this on,' " he said.
Dean said he also had a friend who worked in the control tower at Tulsa International Airport who used to call him and tell him whenever an aircraft ferrying a famous musician had just landed.
"He'd call and say, 'It's George Harrison or Eric Clapton or whoever,'" Dean said.
Stories like that help illustrate the city's rich musical heritage, he said.
"I knew what Tulsa was about then, and I know if you went back to the 30s or 40s, there were plenty of people active in the music business or broadcasting in Tulsa then who went on to become famous," he said.
While state funding for the museum remains up in the air, Dean said Historical Society officials are committed to making sure Oklahoma Pop someday opens its doors.
"I'm really excited about it," he said. "It's something we've always needed to do. And I think we're going to get it done."
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