By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — The Paseo Arts Association has announced their move from 3022 Paseo next door to 3024 Paseo, the former home of Rainbow Fleet, Inc.
The new Paseo Arts and Creativity Center (PACC), with triple the square footage of the current location, will allow the PAA to expand programming to better serve artists and carry out their vision to enrich, educate and inspire the public through the arts.
Though the PAA initially thought it best to delay their announcement and request for donations due to concerns about the timing surrounding COVID-19, as the situation has developed, the PAA believes that this expansion could not come at a better time.
“There is already a tremendous need to help our art community heal, and the Paseo Arts and Creativity Center (PACC) will be committed to making that happen,” said Executive Director Amanda Bleakley. “This expansion plan was conceived in direct response to the needs artists were expressing before the pandemic, and it will continue to evolve to meet this new set of needs.”
Possibilities for new uses, programs and public offerings this arts hub will allow for are endless, according to Bleakley.
The facility will include resources for artists such as a second gallery dedicated to group exhibitions, career building trainings and workshops from the PAA and in partnership with other arts groups and non-profits, a photography studio for member use and professional rental, and studio spaces available for rent.
The PACC will be equipped with A/V equipment to host meetings, workshops, and movie screenings, and will feature a new retail shop, offering Paseo branded merchandise, local art and culturally diverse items.
To allow for the facility to come to its maximum fruition, the PAA is asking the Oklahoma City community to consider making whatever contribution they can at this time.
The Paseo Arts Association’s goal is to raise $100,000, and they expect to open the Center on June 1.
The vision for this new endeavor is to create a space that is accessible and beneficial to many, and it will take many to make that happen, Bleakley says.
The PAA will be requesting donated items and volunteers as it is safe to do so in the future.
The PAA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that will enter its 40th year in 2021. With two staff and several dedicated volunteers, the association works to strengthen the foundation of the historic Paseo Arts District by supporting artistic growth within the community.
The PAA offers year-round public events and programs such as the Paseo Arts Festival, free children’s events Fairy Ball and Magic Lantern, and exhibitions in the Paseo Art Space that have grown to feature work of more than 250 artists each year.