AHHA moment

The recently opened Hardesty Arts Center is the crown jewel of Tulsa’s Brady Arts District renaissance.



Part of the Hardesty Arts Center exterior is made from Cor-Ten steel, a steel alloy that creates a rusted, weathered look.

(page 1 of 2)

There was a time when the area just north of the railroad near downtown Tulsa was called the Brady District.

Today, the name Brady is rarely uttered without the word “Arts” after it.

The space, stretching from East Archer Street on the south to Interstate 244 on the north, and from South Boulder Avenue to ONEOK Field, is known for its artistic flair, including the Tulsa Artists’ Coalition Gallery; Brady Artists Studio; Living Arts of Tulsa; Tulsa Glassblowing Studio; and Mathews Warehouse, which houses the Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education.

The newest building is one that hopes to be a bridge for the entire arts community. Standing on the northeast corner of Archer and South Boston Avenue, the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa’s Hardesty Arts Center — or AHHA for short — had its grand opening Dec. 16.

It now houses the council’s offices and active arts areas such as studios and classrooms.  

The entire structure was designed with arts and culture in mind, says Ken Busby, AHCT executive director and CEO. His instructions to the architects were “iconic on a budget.”

The west side of the building is made from Cor-Ten steel, a steel alloy that causes a layer of rust to form in a few months, creating a weathered look and eliminating the need for paint. Thus, the new building already reveals shades of brown and orange.

A wall of windows along Archer is actually folding doors that open to a creative studio.

“People will be able to stroll along the sidewalk and have an arts experience,” Busby says.

The front facade is a metal mesh made of die-cut steel panels — not only to provide a modern look, but also to create some relief from direct sun for artists and to cast artistic, circular shadows on the floor.

Inside, the gallery space leads to more windows and a courtyard, with sculptures and a stage for performances. Anchor points have been built into the ceiling to accommodate a hanging sculpture up to 2,000 pounds.

The four floors house a variety of studios and classrooms, including a wood shop; children’s lab; film and lecture hall; research library; 2-, 3- and 4-D classrooms; and a public photography studio.

An artist’s deck wraps around the building to provide outdoor inspiration, and a party deck on the third floor is available for weddings and party rentals.

On the top floor, artists in residence have studios where they can work, teach and learn the business of art. Their studios look out over a roof of red, yellow and green sedum — a beautiful, floral scene and a way to incorporate nature into the building, Busby says.

The concrete and steel building is meant to get messy, and Busby envisions that several hundred schoolchildren and adults will be able to work and play in the 42,000-square-foot building every day.

Not only is the Brady Arts District location beneficial for arts synergy, it also allows the Hardesty Arts Center to be close to the areas that need art most, Busby says.

“It’s an easy distance for the people who have the least access to the arts,” Busby says. “Our idea is to be transformative because the arts do change people’s lives.”

Ken Busby, Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa executive director, with Kathy McRuiz, Hardesty Arts Center director, surrounded by several pieces of art from the “Concept/OK: Art in Oklahoma” exhibit that runs through Feb. 16 at the center.

The AHCT still owns its former home, the 12,000-square-foot Harwelden Mansion. It will continue to house partner agencies, including the Tulsa Children’s Chorus, Chamber Music Tulsa, LOOK Musical Theatre and the Hispanic American Foundation.

The Mayfest office has taken over the former AHCT administrative space. The American Institute of Architects continues to office from the Harwelden carriage house, and the mansion continues to be available for event rentals.

Busby began the project of fundraising for the Hardesty Arts Center four years ago. He and the campaign cabinet already have raised $15 million, enough to cover the $12.6 million construction project. His goal is to raise about $3 million more to pay for additional programming, expanded staff for the gallery and education programs, and an endowment.

Central to the fundraising campaign was Chairwoman Billie Barnett. The lead gifts are from The Hardesty Family Foundation, E. Ann Graves, The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Jean Ann and Tom Fausser, George Kaiser Family Foundation, Raymond & Bessie Kravis Foundation, The Mary K. Chapman Foundation, the City of Tulsa, the Hille Foundation and the Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation.

Such a big undertaking didn’t occur overnight, says Bill Andoe, a board member and past AHCT chairman.

An arts center has been on the agenda since the council’s infancy in the 1960s, but Busby was the force that made it happen.

“A lot of people had their hand in this,” Andoe says. “It took a lot of people to make a dream a reality. But it couldn’t have happened without the vision of Ken Busby. He has been relentless.”

See Out & About for photos of the Hardesty Arts Center’s Dec. 14-16 opening weekend. 

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Holland Hall Primary School
5666 E. 81 St.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Sponsor: Holland Hall
Telephone: 918-481-1111
Contact Name: Heather Brasel
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The Orbit Initiative, produced by The Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Trust, resumes its FREE community satellite adventures at seven local community centers this Saturday, January 12th, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Various
Various
Tulsa, OK  Various
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Sponsor: The Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Trust
Telephone: 918-596-7119
Contact Name: Jeremy Stevens
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As Lakota artist Oscar Howe wrote in 1958, “There is much more to Indian art than pretty, stylized pictures.” This exhibition highlights this depth and the 20th century American masters who...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Do you and your pup have "cabin fever"? Come out to the Botanic Garden during our "Dog Days of Winter" - Fridays and Saturdays during January and February only when four-legged...

Cost: Free for Garden members & their dogs. Admission + $4 per dog for non-members.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles — both “over there” and on the home front — in helping the Allies win World War I. The American Expeditionary Force (AEF)...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Few animals conjure the power and symbolic presence of the North American bison. Whether painted on a tipi or an artist’s canvas, minted on a nickel, or seen grazing in Yellowstone National Park,...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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The Museum’s Dickinson Research Center is home to more than 700,000 photographs, 44,000 books, and perhaps unexpectedly, at least 1,000 horses. Meet some of the herd in Horseplay, the new...

Cost: $12.50 adult entry

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Pain Management Class Non-medical Treatments for Pain Non-medical treatments may be used to treat chronic pain, along with pain medicines. They might also be used alone for mild pain or...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Glenpool Library
730 E. 141st Street
Glenpool, OK  74033
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Sponsor: Success Skills
Telephone: 405-401-3519
Contact Name: Ron Watkins

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34th Chelsea International Fine Art Competition—Opens on February 5th, 2019   Agora Gallery is pleased to invite artists from across the globe to enter the 34th Annual Chelsea...

Cost: $45 entry fee for up to 5 images ($5 for each additional image)

Where:
Agora Gallery
530 W 25th St.
New York, NY  10001
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Sponsor: Agora Gallery
Telephone: +1 212-226-4151
Contact Name: Carolina Carilo
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Winter's Grace Publishing, of northeast Oklahoma, is holding its inaugural Dead of Winter Flash Fiction Contest. It opened January 1 and it closes February 28. It's open to all creative writers...

Cost: $15 per story

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Winter's Grace Publishing
Telephone: 918-852-6311
Contact Name: C.D. Smart
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Youth members of the six area Boys & Girls Clubs compete for college scholarships in the Annual Youth of the Year competition. The winners are announced at this banquet. Volunteers making a...

Cost: $75

Where:
ORU Global Learning Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Sponsor: The Salvation Army
Telephone: 918-587-7801
Contact Name: Samantha Knappen
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Cocktails, dinner and program with live and silent auctions followed by a Casino and dancing.

Cost: $200 per person, sponsorships available

Where:
The Mayo Hotel
115 W. 5th Street
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa CASA, Inc.
Telephone: 918-584-2272
Contact Name: Paula McKay
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Dancing, cocktails, Cajun and jazz...all of the goodies that Mardi Gras has!  Come join New Hope Oklahoma in a night of Mardi Gras fun!  New Hope Oklahoma strives to end generational...

Cost: TBD

Where:
The Bond
608 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Dancing, cocktails, Cajun and jazz...all of the goodies that Mardi Gras has!  Come join New Hope Oklahoma in a night of Mardi Gras fun! New Hope Oklahoma strives to end generational incarceration,...

Cost: TBD

Where:
The Bond Event Center
608 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Cocktails, dinner and program;  silent and live auctions followed by a Casino and dancing.

Cost: $200 per person, sponsorships available

Where:
The Mayo Hotel
115 W. 5th Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa CASA, Inc.
Telephone: 918-584-2272
Contact Name: Paula McKay
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Support youth leaders emerging from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa. Each candidate is competing for higher education scholarships. Our goal is for youth leader to be a winner and advance with...

Cost: $50 Individual Tickets and Sponsor Levels

Where:
Global Learning Center at ORU
7777 S Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Sponsor: The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa
Telephone: 918-587-7801
Contact Name: Samantha Knappen
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America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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6-10:30 p.m. Southern Hills Country Club, 2636 E. 61st Street. The 2019 Lunar New Year Gala at Southern Hills Country Club will be an elegant evening of candlelight, fine dining, children’s party...

Cost: $150, individual tickets; $1,000-$25,000, sponsorships.

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Dillon International
Telephone: 918-748-5613
Contact Name: Marcia Graham
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COOKING UP COMPASSION FACT SHEET ABOUT THE EVENT:  Long time donors Margo and Kent Dunbar are Honorary Chairs for the event. Now in its fourteenth year, Cooking Up Compassion raises funds for the...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tulsa Ballroom at the Cox Business Center
3rd & Houston
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Sponsor: Catholic Charities
Telephone: 918-508-7115
Contact Name: Jennifer Allen
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Winterset is an annual formal event of the Osteopathic Founders Foundation which brings together the osteopathic profession and their community partners to benefit projects which improve the health...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hyatt Regency Tulsa
100 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Osteopathic Founders Foundation
Telephone: 918-551-7300
Contact Name: Michele Caine
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Sunday in the Park with George follows painter Georges Seurat in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." Consumed...

Cost: $25.00 for adults, $22.50 for students & seniors with ID

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: (918) 747-9494
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
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TULtalk


Art film meets dance at Oklahoma Dance Film Festival

This year's program features more than 20 films from around the world, presented on Sunday at the Central Library.

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2.4: #KnopeLife — Anna America

Anna America took the helm at Tulsa’s Parks and Recreation department in the fall of 2018, but she is certainly no stranger to life in the public eye.

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7 strategies to help you make the A-LIST

The competition is tough for small businesses on our annual readers' choice survey, but a few smart strategies can help you get ahead.

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“Sunday in the Park” is no walk in the park

American Theatre Company prepares for the Oklahoma premiere of the very technically challenging “Sunday in the Park with George,” Feb. 15-24

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2.3: Get that “Woo!” — Tom Basler

A conversation with dueling piano phenom Tom Basler about his many reinventions, both personal and professional.

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