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Journal Record | Business Strategy: Art flourishes with everyone’s support

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

By: Kenton Tsoodle

Allied Arts kicked off its 2024 campaign this month –– on the heels of Mayor David Holt and the City of Oklahoma City’s proclamation of February as Allied Arts Month.

Chances are you know a child who enjoys dance, music, drama or other forms of art enrichment. Sharing art with young people helps nurture creativity and self-esteem and build resiliency and that means cultural and economic benefits for OKC.

Recall back to 2017, when young Darci Lynne won America’s Got Talent season 12. She later shared that she discovered ventriloquism at an early age and her goal was to bring ‘the dying art’ back to life, especially to kids her own age. Darci got her start at Oklahoma Opry and the same Saturday night performances still take center stage, funded in part by Allied Arts.

Allied Arts supports Oklahoma Opry and over 40 other arts and cultural organizations, enriching the arts landscape across the state through visual arts, theater, dance, film, music and Native American and Western heritage. The 2024 campaign will increase capacity for our network of art agencies that impact underserved populations with quality programming.

An investment in the arts is an investment in our local creative economy. We realize community and economic benefits that attract developers and new businesses, support jobs across the city and generate economic activity that supports our city.

Oklahoma artist Joe Slack recently completed a 26-foot steel sculpture commissioned in commemoration of Allied Arts’ 50th anniversary in 2021. The beautiful steel sculpture sits in front of the Oklahoma City Convention Center at Mick Cornett Drive and Robinson Avenue, in the heart of downtown, fueling interest in OKC.

A study by the Americans for the Arts shows that in the greater OKC area, arts and cultural organizations and their audiences have direct economic activity of more than $602.7 million, support 20,571 local jobs and produce over $61.7 million through local and state government revenue.

But we all know it’s not just about the numbers. Allied Arts contributes to the artistic and cultural aesthetic of Oklahoma City, helping to support organizations that host culturally-rich performances and exhibitions, teach our community about artistic expression and give local artists a platform and means to make a living.

We invite you to learn more about Allied Arts, its supported agencies and the full slate of events designed to entertain, support local artists, create community, promote culture and drive investment in Oklahoma City.

Kenton Tsoodle is the president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.

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