Artistic Director Jeremiah Matthew Davis and Executive Director Eddie Walker on what's ahead for your arts center
Leer en español. Đọc tiếng việt. (Read plan in Spanish or Vietnamese.)
In the best of times, we look to the arts for fun, entertainment and celebration. In times of crisis, the arts bring inspiration, connection and affirmation of our shared humanity. On March 12, just before our opening, Oklahoma Contemporary decided we must support our community by closing our doors to help slow the spread of COVID-19. After weeks of following the public health emergency and consulting with medical professionals, civic officials and peer organizations, we have developed a data-based, phased plan to support our local arts community, expand our digital programming and, eventually, open our doors to the public.
We are eager to share our incredible exhibitions, engaging arts classes and new programs. But the well-being of our community comes first. In light of the continuing threat, we have decided to cancel all programs and remain closed to the public through at least mid-July. Unfortunately, this requires us to cancel the summer session of Studio School and the majority of art camps planned for Camp Contemporary. We have begun working with families on tuition refunds and engaging instructors to create digital content inspired by their adult classes and youth camps.
Our phased opening plans
Though we wish we could hold our opening celebrations, the current climate does not allow us to do so. Just as with the rest of our plans, we'll phase in what we can, when we can — from virtual parties to small on-site events — with the bigger events to come when safe. Staff are reimagining our opening celebration cocktail event, with a focus on delivering value to our sponsors and a meaningful experience to our ticket buyers.
As we plan to return to the building in phases as restrictions ease, we’re advancing our cleaning, maintenance and staffing protocols. We have retained all of our full-time staff and have no plans at this time to reduce that talented team. If conditions allow, late in the summer, we will begin to offer timed ticketing to our exhibitions, a limited number of camps, and evening and weekend art workshops for adults. Registration for Studio School’s fall session will open Aug. 17, and classes will launch Sept. 28. We’re also planning fall break camps in October. The timing of these programs will be fluid and adjust as necessary, and we will use modified on-site strategies to support public health as conditions require.
We’re working to extend Bright Golden Haze and Shadow on the Glare into the fall and to move Ed Ruscha: OKLA to early 2021. This extended viewing period will allow you more time to experience these inspiring exhibitions.
Creative digital content and programs
We will continue to increase content on this blog, New Light, and across social media. Once we can safely return to our facilities, we’ll share more virtual exhibition tours and workshops, projects with local artists and other programs. This creative content will allow you to engage even more deeply with your new arts center and the artists, creatives, students, staff and stakeholders who form the Oklahoma Contemporary community.
None of our journey to this moment would be possible without our donors, whose commitment has never been more crucial. Some of you have been with us for decades; others just joined as members. Thank you for continuing to be there for us so we can be here for you and for this community.
We will get through this. And when we do, Oklahoma Contemporary will be there to connect you with the kinds of arts experiences that will help us heal and to celebrate art’s unique power to bring people together.
- Artistic Director Jeremiah Matthew Davis and Executive Director Eddie Walker
Return to New Light.