FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Brooks | 405 951 0000 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Aimee Ahpeatone, Paulette Black, Derrick Ott and Sam Wargin join; Robert Clements takes the helm
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center welcomed four new members —Aimee Ahpeatone, Paulette Black, Derrick Ott and Sam Wargin — to the Board of Trustees at its annual meeting. In addition, Robert Clements was sworn in as president. Clements succeeds founder and now Chairman Christian Keesee, who assumed the role of president in 2012, as the organization began fundraising for its new $30 million campus.
Wargin has served on the arts center’s Education Committee for a number of years, while Ott and Ahpeatone have been active in the Development Committee. Black comes to the board from the Kirkpatrick Foundation. Clements joined the Board of Trustees as treasurer in 2013.
“We are very pleased to welcome to the board four new Trustees who bring a collective wealth of experience that is so well-suited for where Oklahoma Contemporary is today. They are artists, educators, developers and entrepreneurs, and we look forward their contributions.”
The four are the newest additions to Oklahoma Contemporary’s board, which guided the organization from its fairgrounds home to its new location at 11 NW 11th in downtown Oklahoma City. The arts center was poised to open the new facilities just as the COVID-19 public health emergency hit the state. Board and staff are now working toward a phased opening later this summer.
Also at the June meeting, four long-term members moved to the board’s Founders’ Circle: Todd Edmonds, Ann Johnstone, Joan Maguire and James Pickel. Each served as board president at one point in their tenure. Edmonds was most recently co-chair of the Building Committee. Maguire was co-chair of the Opening Celebrations Committee. Johnstone and Pickel were co-chairs of the Capital Campaign committee.
See a complete list of board members here. New member bios are below.
Aimee Ahpeatone, LPC, LADC | Co-Founder and CEO of Mosaic Mental Health
Aimee Ahpeatone is a mental health professional, real estate developer and entrepreneur. She co-led the placemaking initiative in Oklahoma City’s Plaza District as a community volunteer, small business owner and real estate developer. She spends her time investing in several of Oklahoma City’s most under-resourced neighborhoods.
She is a LOYAL Class IV graduate and serves on the boards of NorthCare Counseling and Mental Health, Mother Huggers and her local SOSA Neighborhood Association. Aimee previously served with Lyric Theater Understudies, as an advisor to Factory Obscura, as day chair for the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts and as president of the Plaza District Board.
Aimee has served on Oklahoma Contemporary’s Development and Art of Brunch committees.
Paulette Black | Retired Senior Program Officer of the Kirkpatrick Foundation
Paulette Black retired from the Kirkpatrick Foundation as senior program officer in 2019 after nearly 13 years with the organization. Prior to that position, she led the art education divisions for both the Oklahoma Arts Council and the State Department of Education.
She is a board-certified art therapist, providing volunteer art therapy services. Paulette has worked with dozens of nonprofit organizations and has served in an advisory capacity for the board of directors for many them. She studied art therapy, secondary education, psychology and art education at Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma.
Derrick Ott | Managing Director at PARA Equity
Derrick Ott graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of Oklahoma in 2003.
From a young age, Derrick learned the importance of supporting art from watching his mother help revitalize a local arts festival into a Governor’s Best Art Event award-winning weekend. While not an artist herself, Derrick’s mother instilled a love and passion for art appreciation and fostered her son’s proclivity for supporting a growing group of artistic ventures.
Derrick serves as president of the Ironworks District. He is a veteran of more than 100 political campaigns, a founding advisor of Engage Learning (a STEM education platform through which thousands of central Oklahoma youth explore science in diverse ways) and an advisor for Factory Obscura. He is an active member of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Development Committee.
Sam Wargin Grimaldo | Legal Intern at Oklahoma County Public Defender’s Office
Sam is a juris doctorate candidate at the University of Oklahoma College of Law and the legal intern at the Oklahoma County Public Defender’s Office, He is also a visual artist and until recently an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at U.S. Grant High School. He was named the Multicultural Teacher of the Year in 2019 by the UCO Multicultural Education Institute.
He has served on Oklahoma Contemporary’s Education Committee for several years.
Interviews with Oklahoma Contemporary board or staff can be organized through Lori Brooks. Past press releases and information are archived here.