Oklahoma Contemporary

Media Release

Oklahoma Contemporary appoints new executive director, Eddie Walker

February 11, 2019
Walker_portrait_sweater
Photo by Shevaun Williams

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Brooks, Director of Communications
405 951 0000 | lbrooks@okcontemp.org
Media kit: bit.ly/OCWalkerhire

After 30 years at the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Eddie Walker assumes a new leadership role: executive director of Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center. Walker took the helm on April 1.

“I am so thrilled to be invited to join Oklahoma Contemporary as it claims its bold, new presence in downtown Oklahoma City,” Walker said. “Oklahoma Contemporary’s founders and its current leadership have positioned the organization to have a transformative impact on the arts in our community, and their vision will draw national attention for this vibrant and engaging programming.”

Oklahoma Contemporary’s board is excited to welcome Walker.

“It was important to us to hire locally – we need a visionary who knows the ins and outs of Oklahoma City’s arts and nonprofit landscape,” said Board President and Founder Christian Keesee. “Eddie brings three decades of leadership in a stellar sister organization. He’s the right person to guide us to our new location at NW 11th and Broadway as we reimagine what our new arts center will bring to Oklahoma City.”

Oklahoma Contemporary has raised nearly $21.5 million for the construction of the state’s next cultural destination, a contemporary arts center in downtown Oklahoma City. The new facility, designed by architect Rand Elliott and built by Smith & Pickel Construction, will open this fall.

The organization has been working toward the move since 2011, when a study found Oklahoma Contemporary could better serve the city and state from a more central location in the Oklahoma City art scene. At NW 11th and Broadway, Oklahoma Contemporary will serve an estimated 90,000 annual visitors and more than triple programs and class offerings.

Walker’s accomplishments at the Philharmonic include the planning and execution of a $9 million endowment campaign and the successful relocation from and return to the renovated Civic Center Music Hall. In partnership with the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, he oversaw the revitalization of the Orchestra’s education programs, now serving preschoolers through adults. 2017-18 marked the Philharmonic’s 20th consecutive season with a budget surplus.

Walker holds a bachelor of music degree in piano pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma. He joined the Philharmonic staff in 1989 and served as operations coordinator, operations manager, director of operations and general manager before becoming executive director in 1999.

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A portrait of Eddie Walker as well as renderings of the new campus can be found at bit.ly/OCWalkerhire. Interviews can be organized through Director of Communications Lori Brooks (lbrooks@okcontemp.org). Past press releases and information are archived at oklahomacontemporary.org/media.

About Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

Oklahoma Contemporary is an inclusive center for the arts where people of all ages and backgrounds can experience art, encounter new ideas and ignite their creative potential. Through visual art exhibitions, performances, public programs, community-building initiatives, outdoor installations and special events, we create opportunities for everyone to come together in celebration of contemporary culture and artistic expression. With year-round classes and camps across multiple disciplines, the arts center’s education programs encourage youth and adults to express their ideas across a variety of media and learn new skills.

In January 2020, Oklahoma Contemporary will open a spectacular new center on a 4.6-acre campus at NW 11th and Broadway in Oklahoma City. Our 6,000 square foot main gallery, classroom studios, performance spaces, community lounge, café and outdoor spaces ensure that there will always be something new to see and experience. Oklahoma Contemporary is your arts center. Exhibitions are always free. You are always welcome here.

Oklahoma Contemporary is a regional 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by businessman and philanthropist Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers.

Hours

Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. see additional holidays

Location

3000 General Pershing Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
Phone: 405.951.0000
Fax: 405.951.0003
info@okcontemp.org

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