For our city, for our community and for our supporters
Serving a community is an act of love and collaboration. To make art accessible to Oklahomans, to provide a home for contemporary art and ideas, to be a leader in arts education and a contemporary art beacon for the region takes a village, filled with supporters who believe in our mission and live our values. They help Oklahoma Contemporary flourish in and for the Oklahoma City community — and the entire region.
“Oklahoma Contemporary Founders Day affords the arts center the opportunity to celebrate the people in our community who make it their mission to advance our mission,” says Director Jeremiah Matthew Davis. “Without the artists, educators, volunteers and philanthropists who work tirelessly to ensure we encourage artistic expression in all its forms to the fullest — all day, every day — our impact would be a shadow of what it is today. Thanks to their vision, creativity and hard work, Oklahoma Contemporary has become a thriving cultural resource for the state and region.
As we approach this Founders Day, March 10, we honor and celebrate those special friends who go above and beyond. Inspired by the vision of our founder and chairman, Christian Keesee, we recognize some of the individuals who have helped to make the arts center an indispensable resource.
This March, our honorees are Renate and Chuck Wiggin, Hui Cha Poos and Joan Maguire.
Thanks to the two long-time supporters challenge our community to give — they’ll match every donation that supports our mission up to $50,000. We are already 68 percent of the way toward our $100,000 goal!
Each of the 2023 honorees brings their own expertise, experience and background as artists and educators, volunteers and philanthropists. Supporting exhibitions, education, public programs and our move downtown, these community members help Oklahoma Contemporary form connections between the community and contemporary art.
“I remember coming to Oklahoma Contemporary when we needed space for RACE Dance shows in 2010,” says Poos, a longtime dancer, artist, community member and Paseo Arts Association's 2022 Artist of the Year. “They have always had a vested interest in our success. Although space connects us through those opportunities, what bonds us is intent and investment. I have always felt and continue to feel the support from everyone who works here, and that energy, enthusiasm, and hope is a driving force for me. I’m grateful to grow alongside other artists as we are exposed to and given opportunities to engage in our creative practice for as long as we can.”
Learn more about each of the 2023 award winners below.
Renate and Chuck Wiggin
Renate and Chuck Wiggin came to Oklahoma City as newlyweds in 1978. Since adopting Oklahoma as their new home, their generosity, both “in time and treasure,” have helped support civic engagement, education and the arts across the city.
“The visual and performing arts enrich our lives and our city and challenge us to think creatively. Arts organizations also help to define our city, its quality of life and its attractiveness as a place to live, work and play,” Chuck says. “Renate and I have always believed that it's our responsibility to do our part to build, support and set an example for others to build and support these institutions — as essential building blocks of our community.”
The move to Oklahoma Contemporary’s new location was made possible by foundational supporters like Renate and Chuck. Their support is inspired by the vision of our founder, Christian Keesee, and what he does for organizations around the country. We’re honored to have the Wiggins as part of our engaged community.
“We were at Oklahoma Contemporary for the opening of OKC Rep’s performance of Otto Frank, which was followed by a discussion of antisemitism and racism. It was a great evening and a great complement to the other activities of the Contemporary.”
Chuck and Renate have long been volunteers, board members, officers and donors to many Oklahoma nonprofits, including, among others: the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Rotary Club of Oklahoma City, Positively Paseo, Oklahoma City Community Foundation, the Downtown OKC Partnership, Friends of the Oklahoma History Center and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. We are thankful for them and all that they do for our city.
Hui Cha Poos
Hui Cha Poos says she “very much aligns with Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center’s mission to encourage artistic expression, its vision of a lifetime appreciation of art and its demonstration of modeling consistent inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility.”
For 20 years, the mother of two has taught jazz and hip-hop at the University of Central Oklahoma, where she serves as dance education coordinator. She co-founded Oklahoma Dance Alliance, OKLA Dance Connection and Groove Street Productions (Vancouver, BC). Hui is also the founder and academy director of RACE Dance Collective. She has choreographed and produced projects from LA to Seoul (and from Netflix to Apple TV) and had films in festivals from SXSW to Hamburg, Germany.
The artist says she’s seen first-hand the difference the arts center has made in our community, and she’s had the pleasure of witnessing the hard work and growth as the arts center moved from the fairgrounds to its beautiful new space.
Hui was named one of “6 Theatre Workers You Should Know” by American Theatre Publication and Artist of the Year by the Paseo Arts Association. She’s also received the Governor’s Arts Award for Arts in Education.
For three decades, Joan Maguire has been an active member of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Board of Trustees, serving as chairman of the Development Committee as well as the board’s treasurer and president. She also served on the Capital Campaign Cabinet to raise the $30 million needed to build the arts center’s “dream facility.”
“Volunteerism has been an integral part of my life,” Joan says. “I am rewarded as I see the fruits of my endeavors become reality. Our new facility is the pinnacle of the dreams and hard work of many who volunteer to enrich our own lives and those of our community.”
Joan was born in and resides in Oklahoma City. She was married to Mac Maguire for 54 years, until his passing in 2013, and she continues to operate the investment company they founded in 1980. She is the proud mother of three grown children, grandmother of eight grandchildren and great grandmother of three with a fourth soon to be born. They are the joy of her life.
Joan currently serves on the Allied Arts Board Honorary Board, in the Oklahoma Contemporary’s Founders Circle and as past president of the Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma Board of Directors. Her other board involvements include United Way of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, OCU Societies, Oklahoma Arts Council and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
She has been honored with the following: chairman of Oklahoma Contemporary’s Opening Gala, Allied Arts campaign co-chair and honorary campaign chair, Juliette Lowe Leadership Society honorary chair and luncheon co-chair, OCU Societies Women of Excellence Award and the Governors Arts Award.
Donate in one of our honorees’ names (you can choose who to recognize!), and grab your free tickets for the March 10 celebrations.
Return to New Light.