Passion player

Damario Solomon-Simmons helps a generation of boys through his MVP Foundation and Manhood Summit.



Damario Solomon-Simmons, center, speaks with students at Monroe Demonstration School who attended this year’s MVP Foundation Manhood Summit. Solomon-Simmons founded the MVP Foundation with his wife to create a mentoring program for African-American boys growing up without a father.

On a fall morning, a group of African-American men and adolescent boys gather in and around the Cox Business Center in downtown Tulsa and begin shouting.

The sounds are audible from blocks away. Patrons at the DoubleTree Hotel across the street gather outside to witness the ruckus. 

The closer you get, the clearer their words become: “All in,” shouts one man in a black tracksuit and white baseball hat. “For young men” comes the resounding response from 70 men waiting inside the building.

Outside, the eighth-grade boys stand with looks of surprise. As they enter the building, the men surround them, holding signs that read, “Your life matters” and “We love you,” and giving pats on the back. 

Then, the boys proceed through the line and begin the registration process for the fourth annual MVP Foundation Manhood Summit, the legacy of Tulsa attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, TulsaPeople’s 2017 Tulsan of the Year.

 

Filling a void

If you ask anyone who knows him to describe Solomon-Simmons, they will undoubtedly use one word: passionate. He even uses it to describe himself. He is “passionately in love with his high school sweetheart” and now wife, Mia Fleming. He is passionate about law, justice and history. He is passionate about sports. He is passionate about the north Tulsa neighborhood he grew up in and the families who live there and on the entire northside. 

But for all that passion, Solomon-Simmons also is remarkably likable.

He takes his hat off to pray silently over his food and has a strong handshake. In the course of a casual conversation, he smiles easily and often, revealing straight, white teeth that he attributes to his mother’s dogged determination to ensure her son had all he needed, including braces. This also was an era “when it was noble for government to invest in poor people,” he says. 

He has a self-deprecating sense of humor most noticeable when he talks about his high school GPA. However, he still feels the most at ease in a three-piece suit. He has the ability to make the person he is talking to feel comfortable and heard, but he also can command the attention of a room full of 70 eighth-graders with cell phones or make an argument to a jury in a courtroom. 

But Solomon-Simmons’ infectious smile fades when talking about the challenges facing African-American youth. “I’m concerned for black boys,” he says. “Unfortunately, dysfunction is the norm for most families in America. When you add in rampant poverty, racism and injustice, you get what you get.” 

The added impact of absentee fathers creates another pain that Solomon-Simmons is all too familiar with. “There’s a void,” he says, “It’s real, and it’s painful.”

And so, in typical passionate fashion, Solomon-Simmons set out to do something about it.

 

Tulsa roots

A native Tulsan and a proud Booker T. Washington graduate, Solomon-Simmons was raised by his mother, Kathy L. Brown-Banks, with his younger brother, Damen Banks. 

Both sets of his grandparents were the first black families to move into the Tulsa neighborhoods they called home in the late 1950s and early ’60s. Sadly, both sets of grandparents had a similar experience. Verbal and physical abuse, school integration clashes and property damage, all motivated by racial hatred scarred Brown-Banks’ childhood. 

As an adult single parent, Brown-Banks moved in 1978 to a predominantly black neighborhood near East 36th Street North and North Peoria Avenue, when Damario was 2 years old. 

At the time, a Dillard’s department store, a bowling alley and various major retailers were nearby. But “by the time I was 10 years old, all of that was gone,” Solomon-Simmons recalls. The neighborhood is now home to an inordinate number of churches, nonprofits and vacant buildings. 

Brown-Banks has cerebral palsy, so the family income was limited to Social Security benefits of around $550 a month. 

Solomon-Simmons remembers growing up in the age of high-dollar designer sneakers. “I was probably in fifth grade when Filas were really hot,” he remembers. On a family outing to Promenade Mall, Solomon-Simmons saw the shoes of his dreams. They cost $79. 

When Brown-Banks declined to buy the shoes, her son got mad. “I thought she was so unfair,” he says. As an adult, “I realize I was asking her to spend basically one-fifth of her income on a pair of shoes.”

Despite other, more major challenges, including a speech impediment and life-threatening asthma, Solomon-Simmons says, “We never went without,” thanks to the support of his grandparents and uncles.

Their support was especially significant because, like many other young men in his neighborhood, Solomon-Simmons was, essentially, a boy without a father. The two never lived in the same house. His father moved from Tulsa to St. Petersburg, Florida, when Solomon-Simmons was 12 years old. For the next 12 years, he saw his father only a handful of times. 

An estimated 24.7 million children live in a home without their biological father, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Fifty-eight percent of black children — compared to 21 percent of white children — are living absent their biological fathers, according to a 2012 Family Structure and Children’s Living Arrangements report.

The National Center for Fathering reports that these children are four times more likely to live in poverty, are significantly less likely to graduate from high school and are more likely to experience or witness violence in the home. The “epidemic of fatherlessness” has inspired speeches from President Barack Obama, social media posts from LeBron James and an Oprah Winfrey Network special broadcast.

When Solomon-Simmons was growing up, however, this was a personal problem, albeit one he shared with many of his peers. To his knowledge, fatherlessness was not the subject of national conversation.

 

“Damario is a remarkable man with enormous energy, talent and a committed heart. He is dedicated to lending a hand to others, always brave and true to what he believes is right.” — Ken Levit, executive director of GKFF.

 

A sporting life

As a child, Solomon-Simmons was drawn to sports. His mother says football was his “first word,” and he began playing the sport in fourth grade.

Years later, 13-year-old middle school student Mia Fleming saw Solomon-Simmons’ photo in a friend’s yearbook and thought he was cute — and might be good high school boyfriend material. At her best friend’s request, Solomon-Simmons gave her a call. When she answered, he mispronounced her name, got flustered and hung up the phone. The next semester, they both began their freshman year at Booker T. Washington High School and Solomon-Simmons saw Fleming for the first time. “I was like, oh, man! That’s Mia?” he remembers. The two began “going together” intermittently for the next five years.

Mia Fleming and Damario Solomon-Simmons began dating as students at Booker T. Washington High School. Courtesy.

Solomon-Simmons credits his admission to Booker T. to his athletic prowess. It certainly wasn’t his low grades in middle school — which didn’t improve in high school. After graduation, he enrolled and promptly dropped out of both Northeastern State University and Tulsa Community College. 

He and Fleming started dating (again) on Christmas Day 1994. The two have been together ever since.

The couple moved to Dallas, where Solomon-Simmons experienced an epiphany. “I had wrecked my car, was living in a crappy apartment and was making about $10 an hour,” he says. “I realized there was more for my life than that, but that I had to have an education.” 

It marked a turning point in his life. 

At each phase of the academic and professional career that followed, he credits mentors (ranging from Edward Perkins, the first black U.S. ambassador to South Africa and a professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma, to a pizza delivery guy with a fortuitous aptitude for math) with helping him gain vital experiences and opportunities. 

The couple moved back to Tulsa in 1996, and Solomon-Simmons went on to earn an associate’s degree at TCC, then a bachelor’s degree from OU, where he walked on to the football team and worked his way onto the field for the Sooners. The Sooners beat Texas Christian University 10-9 his senior year by scoring 10 points in the last minute of the game. “As a former walk-on and career backup, I had my best game, finishing with four tackles and a sack,” Solomon-Simmons says. He stayed at OU to earn a master’s degree in higher education and his juris doctorate in 2004. 

In 2005, he opened SolomonSimmonsSharrock with partner Susan R. Sharrock. The practice grew to be one of the largest majority black firms in Oklahoma. He has represented dozens of professional athletes and served as counsel on consequential cases relating to racial injustice. He joined the Riggs Abney law firm in 2015 and is now lead counsel representing the family of Terence Crutcher. He also is lead counsel representing the family of Monroe Bird III, as well as the Tulsa Transit 6, and is co-counsel for six sexual assault victims of former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw. 

Although Solomon-Simmons has grown more successful over the years, he has not forgotten where he started. And his passion for helping youth has not waned.

“To go from a low-income black boy to travel the world and be part of what I think is the best firm in Oklahoma, working on consequential cases and making a difference is possible because I was given mentorship and access to resources,” he says. “And when I did mess up, I wasn’t thrown away. I was given opportunities to learn from my mistakes.” 

 

A foundation is born

In 2009, Solomon-Simmons and Fleming founded the MVP Foundation as a fund through the Tulsa Community Foundation. They partnered with Solomon-Simmons’ high profile NFL clients to offer a free elite football training camp for hundreds of boys from north Tulsa. The events incorporated academic encouragement and life skills for boys and single mothers alike. 

After three years of this camp, Solomon-Simmons was still frustrated. “All these boys said they wanted to be professional athletes,” he recalls. “If that’s your ‘Plan A’ and you don’t have anything to fall back on, that causes a big problem.” 

He complained about it to Fleming. “Mia was like, well, you know … you do football academies.” Knowing  the pain her husband felt not having his father, Fleming had always thought it would be good for him to help other young boys going through what he had experienced.

 

“I’m concerned for black boys. Unfortunately, dysfunction is the norm for most families in America. When you add in rampant poverty, racism and injustice, you get what you get.” 

 

That’s when Solomon-Simmons turned his attention to mentorship and finding ways to provide young men with father figures. He contacted David Miller, founder of Dare to Be King, an international organization aimed at engaging boys and men of color for emotional development, familial reconciliation and academic success. Solomon-Simmons and his assistant, Darrell Mercer, began offering a curriculum, written by Miller, to about 30 boys at KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory. 

Miller describes the curriculum as “life lessons” but admits the course is really a supplement to the relationships that develop between the adult males facilitating the curriculum and the adolescent boys who often have no positive relationships with adult men. 

According to Miller, the course “dramatically reduces suspensions and behavioral challenges” by “creating relationships that these boys desperately need and that they yearn for.” 

Unfortunately, in 2016, these courses have been suspended due to Solomon-Simmons’ busy schedule and lack of funds to hire and train additional mentors. 

But the MVP Foundation continues. In 2013, the foundation hosted the first Manhood Summit as part of a larger weekend of events for eighth-grade boys from single parent households. 

Solomon-Simmons asked his longtime friend, Phil Armstrong, chief operations officer for restaurant development of Subway in eastern Oklahoma, to prepare a presentation that he could share with the boys. “I said, ‘I bet these young men have never had a father teach them how to tie a tie or shake a man’s hand and look him in the eye,’” Armstrong remembers. “So, that was my presentation.” 

After giving the presentation for the fourth year, he admitted that from the outside, a tie or handshake lesson might seem less than thrilling to an eighth-grade boy. But it’s more about the connection between adult and teenager. “If you’ve never had that before, it really plants something,” Armstrong says. And each boy is given his own tie. “(When they receive the tie) you would think we’d given them a million dollars.”

Eric Teeson, a student at Monroe Demonstration School, says the hardest part of the Summit was learning to tie a tie, but once he got it, “It felt good.”

Attorney Kevinn Matthews teaches an MVP Manhood Summit attendee how to tie a tie, just one of the lessons of the day. Photo by Valerie Grant.

NBA veteran and Booker T. graduate Etan Thomas has spoken at three Manhood Summits. “Guys like Wayman Tisdale, Lee Mayberry, John Starks and Clint McDaniel spoke at my school,” Thomas recalls. “I listened to every word they said. I remember the lessons learned, and I carried them with me.”

Over time, MVP began partnering with schools that serve its target demographic. Schools identify students who would benefit from the Manhood Summit, coordinate permission slips and provide transportation.

In 2016, the Summit included candid conversations with officers from the Tulsa Police Department and inspirational messages from sports stars like Thomas and Titus O’Neal. It culminated in a meet-and-greet with Oklahoma City Thunder players and seats at the team’s exhibition game in Tulsa. 

 

58 percent of black children — compared to 21 percent of white children — are living absent their biological fathers

 

“(The Summit) taught me a lot of things about what I’m going to do in the future, how I’m going to act,” says Teeson, one of more than 200 Summit attendees this year. His future plans now include wearing suits, shaking hands, looking people in the eye and taking care of himself financially.

Many Summit participants found it easy to open up and absorb the lessons due to the unique atmosphere. “It kind of brought us closer, like family, just getting to know each other,” says eighth-grader Tyree Brooks. 

“I actually comprehended the material,” says Monroe eighth-grader Terrieon Buckley, “because everybody was actually getting along. We got in touch with kids from other schools, made friends.”

 

MVP support

Monroe Demonstration School students Corejon Ballard, Xavier Williams,  Trevin Corona and Tyree Brooks with Damario Solomon-Simmons. These four students were some of the 200 young black men that attended the October 2016 MVP Manhood Summit.

Since 2012, the Manhood Summit has been made possible through the support of organizations including Metropolitan Baptist Church, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Walton Foundation, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Bank of America and Westview Medical Center. 

Ray Owens, senior pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church, says he sees the church’s involvement not as a gift but “as an investment in the boys who will grow up to be men in our community.”

Owens believes in the power of mentorship because he also grew up in a single-parent home and was mentored through most of his junior high and high school years. He admits, “There are a lot of things we could do with the kind of money (we invest in MVP’s Manhood Summit), but I don’t think there’s anything more powerful than raising young men who learn stability and how to engage in meaningful conversation and develop a strategic plan for life.”

“Damario is a remarkable man with enormous energy, talent and a committed heart,” says Ken Levit, executive director of GKFF. “He is dedicated to lending a hand to others, always brave and true to what he believes is right.”

Andrew McRae, principal at KIPP, says, “I don’t see (the Manhood Summit) as a day away from learning. I see it as a day of learning differently. Our students appreciate the opportunity to be vulnerable and honest in a non-judgmental environment.” He hopes spending the day with men from similar backgrounds helps students “gain a sense of what’s possible.” 

Metropolitan Baptist Church Senior Pastor Ray Owens, right, has been one of the MVP  Foundation’s biggest supporters, and considers the church’s involvement not as a gift but  “as an investment in the boys who will grow up to  be men in our community.”

With increased funding, Solomon-Simmons sees limitless possibilities for MVP, including programs and training for parents and year-round, in-school mentorship. 

“If I can have the success that God has blessed me to have, then I think anybody, given the right opportunities and resources and support, can do the same thing,” he says. “So, I’m always looking for ways to give back and touch that population of kids.”

“He’s a good role model,” says Buckley of Solomon-Simmons. “He tells us what to do right, and that you can choose the right path no matter what happens.”

 

Healing for himself and others

In April 2015, Solomon-Simmons was at his uncle’s funeral. He hadn’t spoken to his father in several years but was sitting right next to him. As his cousins stood to eulogize his uncle, each one described him as a wonderful father. Meanwhile, Solomon-Simmons’ heart was breaking. “I wish I had that,” he thought, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with his dad. 

When the service was over, his father turned to him. “I’m sorry,” he said, crying. The two men stood in the parking lot hugging and crying for a long time. “From that day on,” says a teary Solomon-Simmons, “we have been father and son. I have a father. That’s the best feeling ever.”

Solomon-Simmons knows he cannot create a moment like that for each of the boys with whom he interacts. But by sharing his life and taking steps to heal the hurt that he understands so well, he is interceding for a generation of boys.

 


 


Since 2013 the MVP Foundation has provided the following:

  • Intense manhood training to over 400 boys
  • Dedicated mentoring training to over 75 men
  • Mentoring opportunities to over 200 men
  • Parenting training to over 40 single-moms/women raising sons
  • In-school mentoring programming to over 200 boys
  • Hosting and facilitating community-wide fatherhood panels attracting over 1,200 attendees  

 

MVP needs: mentors, funding and support

The MVP Foundation currently has a database of approximately 115 mentors ranging from ages 16-70 that they can call upon to participate in different activities. How many more do they need? Solomon-Simmons says, “You can never have enough positive, successful men available to deploy to other organizations or participate in our events.” 

Those interested in becoming mentors can visit solomonsimmons.com to learn more. The organization also needs funding and technical support to hire a program director and build on-site facilities to scale up the operation and fulfill the vision of an organization that, in addition to the Manhood Summits and Fatherhood Weekends, provides: training for men wanting to specifically mentor boys from single-mother households, on-going training for women raising boys alone and year-round school-based mentoring services.

 

 

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View map »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
Website »

More information

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
Website »

More information

Every Wednesday Live Event Trivia is at The Willows Family Ales - Show starts at 7 and is free to play! Movie scenes, Finish the Lyric, Classic Trivia, and more! The crew from T-Town Tacos will be...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Willows Family Ales
418 south peoria ave
tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: The Willows Family Ales
Telephone: (918) 895-6798
Contact Name: Julian Morgan
Website »

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Mothers of Preschoolers (and preschool means prior to school, ages 6 weeks to 5 years old). MOPS warmly welcomes any mom that has at least one child age 6 weeks to 5 years old. By joining MOPS, you...

Cost: Free

Where:
Eastwood Baptist Church
948 S 91st E Ave
Tulsa, OK  74112
View map »


Sponsor: Eastwood Baptist Church
Telephone: 918-836-8686
Contact Name: Shirley Pittenger
Website »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Agora Gallery
Telephone: +1 212-226-4151
Contact Name: Carolina Carilo
Website »

More information

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
Website »

More information

The Bixby Freedom Celebration is the largest free, public fireworks extravaganza in this area. In it’s second year the 2016 Bixby Freedom Celebration brought approximately 13,000 people from our...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bentley Sports Complex
8505 E 148th ST South
Bixby, OK  74008
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Sponsor: The Bridge Church
Telephone: 918-394-4330
Contact Name: Martha Roark
Website »

More information

"Night of Dreams" is Tulsa Dream Center's annual gala that raises funds for those in greatest need in North Tulsa. Tulsa Dream Center feeds hungry families, educates children, clothes those who are...

Cost: Tickets-$200, Sponsorships - $1500-$25000

Where:
Mayo Hotel
115 W 5th St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa Dream Center
Telephone: 918-284-4571
Contact Name: Olivia Martin
Website »

More information

Borrowed Forms Learn to craft content regardless of the format. Turn your mortgage payoff letter into a personal essay about purchasing a home or an orthodontist report transformed into an...

Cost: $225

Where:
Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa
700 N. Greenwood Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74106
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Sponsor: Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa
Website »

More information

After headlining across the globe, Denise is thrilled to be back in her hometown bringing her power and passion to the Rainbow Room with tunes from Broadway, Standard Classics and Jazz to Rock...

Cost: $10 General Admission

Where:
OkEq - Lynn Riggs Theatre
621 East 4th St.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: Oklahomans for Equal Rights
Telephone: 918-637-25866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs
Website »

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Friday, February 22, 2019 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Oklahoma State University - Tulsa Conference Meeting Room: North Hall, Room 150 The 2019 Chautauqua will focus on the relationship between family...

Cost: $20-$75

Where:
OSU-Tulsa
700 N. Greenwood Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: OSU Center for Family Resilience and the OSU Center for Wellness and Recovery
Contact Name: Dr. Amanda Harrist
Website »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Agora Gallery
Telephone: +1 212-226-4151
Contact Name: Carolina Carilo
Website »

More information

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
Website »

More information

Sweets & Cream will be reopening Friday, February 22 at 3PM! Come on by for a $1.99 ice cream cookie sandwich and give a small donation to the Tips for Charity effort to help support our local...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Sweets & Cream
1114 S Yale Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74112
View map »


Sponsor: Sweets & Cream
Telephone: 918-633-3182
Contact Name: Erik Collins
Website »

More information

5:00-6:00 Nature & Madness is the contemplative indie-folk project of Ryan Pickop. Ryan's work is rooted in Americana, rooted in the Earth. Challenging without being confrontational, we are offered...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heirloom Rustic Ales
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: Heirloom Rustic Ales

More information

Solo performance. Originally from the OKC area, Adrienne Gilley is a vocalist, guitar player, songwriter. Drawing from co-writers and influential mentors and supporters in the Tulsa music scene,...

Cost: Tipping encouraged

Where:
The Colony
2809 S. Harvard
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Website »

More information

Sample various whiskey, have dinner and hear some fabulous music! 

Cost: 150.00

Where:
Studio 308
308 S. Lansing Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Lindsey House
Telephone: 918-933-5222
Contact Name: Diana Denny
Website »

More information

JAKE OWEN Multiple chart-topping singer/songwriter Jake Owen’s new single “Down To The Honkytonk” is rapidly climbing the Billboard Country Airplay charts. With seven #1 songs to...

Cost: $50, $75, $100

Where:
Osage Casino
Tulsa, OK

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: (918) 747-9494
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
Website »

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Join us for the 59th Annual Book Fair! Saturday, February 23, 2019 8:00 am–3:00 pm Holland Hall Primary School Gym Open to the public. Tickets $1, 18 and under free. No RSVP required,...

Cost: $1

Where:
Holland Hall Primary School
5666 E. 81 St.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Holland Hall
Telephone: 918-481-1111
Contact Name: Heather Brasel
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: The Tulsa Performing Arts Center and Trust
Telephone: 918-596-7119
Contact Name: Jeremy Stevens
Website »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Success Skills
Telephone: 405-401-3519
Contact Name: Ron Watkins

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Agora Gallery
Telephone: +1 212-226-4151
Contact Name: Carolina Carilo
Website »

More information

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
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: The Salvation Army
Telephone: 918-587-7801
Contact Name: Samantha Knappen
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa CASA, Inc.
Telephone: 918-584-2272
Contact Name: Paula McKay
Website »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa CASA, Inc.
Telephone: 918-584-2272
Contact Name: Paula McKay
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Tulsa
Telephone: 918-587-7801
Contact Name: Samantha Knappen
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Dillon International
Telephone: 918-748-5613
Contact Name: Marcia Graham
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Catholic Charities
Telephone: 918-508-7115
Contact Name: Jennifer Allen
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Osteopathic Founders Foundation
Telephone: 918-551-7300
Contact Name: Michele Caine
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: (918) 747-9494
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
Website »

More information

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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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