Sisters in service
Lindsay Hunter and Brooke Sturdivant became acquainted through the Junior League of Tulsa, a service organization established in 1923.
Brooke Sturdivant and Lindsay Hunter have what some would call a sisterly bond. They eat, shop and exercise together, a relationship that formed after meeting through the Junior League of Tulsa. The longtime organization has helped shape their lives and their friendship.
“Everyone in the Junior League has been encouraging, but Brooke has had such a powerful impact on me,” Hunter says. “She’s just pretty stinking awesome.”
“Word, sister,” her friend agrees.
Sturdivant, marketing chairwoman and three-year Junior League member, joined the group to build connections when she moved to Tulsa in 2010. Hunter, a second-year member, also joined to become more involved in the community. The women’s eagerness to volunteer connected them to an array of women who serve the community.
“The Junior League of Tulsa is a group of women who want to make their city better and put forth the time and resources to do so,” Sturdivant says.
In 1923, 13 women formed the Junior League of Tulsa to help women and children in transition. The organization is divided into three main branches. At the forefront is the Community Council, under which five key initiatives are cultivated yearly. Each initiative is a partnership with a community-based program that the Junior League helps launch or continue through volunteer hours and training. The current initiatives are the Laura Dester Children’s Shelter, Harvest Market/Kids in the Kitchen, Resonance, the Philbrook myMobile Me project and IMPACT.
Hunter is the committee chairwoman for the Laura Dester Shelter, a short-term emergency care facility that houses children while the state Department of Human Services investigates cases of alleged abuse and neglect. The Junior League’s Laura Dester committee members each volunteer one hour twice per month and work on projects with the children.
“Our goal is to give them normalcy and to make them smile,” Hunter says. “I love the feeling that we have done something to make them feel special.”
For Sturdivant, the benefits of Junior League membership are extensive, from making friends, to connecting to the city, to learning how to serve. The connections that members are privy to are another benefit, she says. Members include Tulsa leaders Deidra Kirtley, Ronald McDonald House of Tulsa former board president and executive director of Resonance, and Mary Collins, former Tulsa Zoo Friends executive director.
“So many women have made incredible strides before us,” Sturdivant says. “That is what has impressed me most, the dedication of women and the power of a goal.”
A for the arts
by Alana Jamison
Last fall, Tulsa Public Schools began partnering with the Arts and Humanities Council and the Mayor’s Office to launch Any Given Child, an initiative of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The program’s primary goal is to assist communities in developing a plan for expanding arts education for students in grades K-8, according to the Kennedy Center.
“Each grade level is matched up with a local arts organization, ensuring that TPS students have at least nine live arts experiences by the time they reach high school,” according to Chris Payne, TPS director of public information.
11 Cities across the United States, including Tulsa, are participating in the Any Given Child program.
11 Arts organizations in Tulsa, including Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Opera and Philbrook Museum of Art, are program sponsors.
16 Percent: projected growth of art industry jobs in the next 20 years.
3 Other lesson plans will ensure students have one meaningful arts experience across four disciplines: visual arts, theater, dance and music.
7th Grade students will visit the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art this year in conjunction with the Any Given Child program.
86 Percent of artists vote, compared to the average 60 percent of Americans who vote.
91 More points, on average, are scored on the SAT by students involved in the arts. They also are three times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
44 Percent: reduced likelihood that students in art programs will use drugs when compared to those not involved in art programs.