By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The annual Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts, a community celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts, will be held April 23 – 28 in downtown OKC’s Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch Drive at Walker Avenue.
The Arts Council’s signature event, the Festival has been an Oklahoma City tradition since 1967, hosting an average of 750,000 Festival attendees. Admission is free.
On Tuesday, April 23, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt will kick off the Festival’s opening ceremony on the main stage featuring live entertainment.
The 2019 Festival of the Arts marks the 53rd annual event for Arts Council Oklahoma City. Event co-chairs for this year’s festival are Susan Whittington and Randy Lewis.
Work by 144 selected visual artists will include oils, water, drawing and printmaking, photography, ceramics, glass, sculpture, fiber, jewelry, wood and two and three-dimensional art.
This year’s festival featured artists, Julie and Kevin Zuckerman, created “Born in a Day” to honor Oklahoma and the legacy of the Native American population.
The popular International Food Row will feature 27 vendors providing a tasty celebration of the culinary arts with proceeds benefitting local nonprofit organizations.
During the festival over 300 performers, including jazz, hip hop and dance artists as well as elementary students, will entertain festival goers on three stages.
On April 24, the Arts Council will hold its annual Angel’s and Friends Celebration fundraising party from 5;30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Civic Center atrium. The evening includes wine dinner and dancing. Food will be provided by Patrono, Big Truck Tacos, Back Door BBQ, Benvenuti’s, Bin 73, Bricktown Brewery and Brown Egg Bakery. The band “Drive” will provide live entertainment. Tickets start at $65.
All proceeds from the Festival of the Arts and the Angel and Friends Celebration support Arts Council Oklahoma City’s year-round, free and low-cost arts programming throughout the greater Oklahoma City community.
This year phone recharging stations and ATMs will be conveniently located across the Festival grounds. No pets are allowed at the festival other than service animals in compliance with the American Disabilities Act.
Arts Council Oklahoma City is a non-profit 501 ©(3) organization dedicated to bringing the arts and the community together through free or low-cost cultural events and a variety of arts outreach activities that impact underserved populations.
Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The full Festival schedule can be found online. For Festival updates, visit the Festival of the Arts Facebook page.