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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A Modern Dance inspired exercise class. Fifty minutes of fun, freedom, and flow.  Who: ALL levels Bring: movement clothes, layers, cotton socks When: Wednesdays, Nov. 29 - Dec. 20,...

Cost: $12/class or $10 with punch card

Where:
Fly Loft studio 3
117 N Boston
Tulsa, OK  74103
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The second in our Healthy Eating Series to get you back on track after all the holiday indulgence. We're losing the fat and calories but keeping all of the delicious flavor! In this class,...

Cost: $65 per person

Where:
The Girl Can Cook Cooking Studio
315 South Main Street
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Sponsor: The Girl Can Cook
Contact Name: Chef Candace Conley
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Class draws from release technique, classical modern dance, improvisation, and various somatic practices. We combine technique, interior awareness, and specific movement qualities in floor work and...

Cost: Donations. Thanks to support from Tulsa Community Foundation and donors like you

Where:
Fly Loft studio 3
117 N Boston
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $10

Where:
The Venue Shrine
112 E 18th St
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Centennial Lounge at VFW Post 577
1109 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $10

Where:
Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
5 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $5-$12

Where:
Loony Bin
6808 S Memorial Dr
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
The Coffee House on Cherry Street
1502 E 15th St
Tulsa, OK
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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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2-WEEK SPECIAL EXHIBIT ON OKLAHOMA-BORN ASTRONAUT WILLIAM "BILL" POGUE AT TASM TULSA, Okla. – From Jan. 22 through Feb. 3, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
3624 North 74th East Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74115
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Sponsor: Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
Telephone: 918-834-9900
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For Remind & Renew 2018, we're going to be dealing with the intersection of brain research, congregational life, change, conflict, and resilience. These days are very hard for doing...

Cost: $20-$100

Where:
Phillips Theological Seminary
901 N. Mingo Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74116
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The Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma will host “Sweet Opportunities,” a reception for interested volunteers on Thursday, January 25 at 1:30 p.m. The Food Bank will share myriad...

Cost: Free

Where:
Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
1304 N. Kenosha Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74106
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Sponsor: Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-936-4512
Contact Name: Teressia Kehr
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Part of our new "You Can Make It" Series, Paella!  Yes, Paella!  And, pictured is one of the many times we have made paella in our workshops...look delicious?  You bet...

Cost: $65 per person

Where:
The Girl Can Cook Cooking Studio
315 South Main Street
The Rose District
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Sponsor: The Girl Can Cook
Contact Name: Chef Candace Conley
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Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
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Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
The Hunt Club
224 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

2-WEEK SPECIAL EXHIBIT ON OKLAHOMA-BORN ASTRONAUT WILLIAM "BILL" POGUE AT TASM TULSA, Okla. – From Jan. 22 through Feb. 3, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
3624 North 74th East Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74115
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Sponsor: Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
Telephone: 918-834-9900
Website »

More information

For only January and February - four-legged family members can join you for a walk at the Botanic Garden - Fridays and Saturdays in January and February only.  Dogs must be on a leash (no...

Cost: FREE for Garden members and member dogs; Regular admission for non-members and $

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
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Who wants to learn about some new wines?! Yes, we're back with another wine class experience with Sommelier Joe Breaux and his new online wine store, Bevio. French wine sets the standard...

Cost: $65 per person

Where:
The Girl Can Cook Cooking Studio
315 South Main Street
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Sponsor: The Girl Can Cook
Contact Name: Chef Candace Conley
Website »

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  An entire evening of musical contrasts of both time period and style, this chamber series concert will feature Bartók’s Contrasts, Duo Sonatas by Beethoven and...

Cost: $40

Where:
Fly Loft
117 N Boston Ave #208
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa Symphony
Telephone: 918-584-3645
Contact Name: Amy Roark
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Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
The Run
3141 E Skelly Dr
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
River Spirit Casino - Volcano Stage
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Soundpony
409 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Osage Casino Tulsa - NINE18 Bar
951 W 36th St N
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
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Where:
Inner Circle Vodka Bar
410 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Lefty's On Greenwood
10 N Greenwood Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
The Hunt Club
224 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $10-$12

Where:
Woody Guthrie Center
102 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK
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This contemporary ballet company is known for its distinctive repertoire of groundbreaking works and vituoso dancers.

Cost: $15-$45

Where:
John H. Williams Theatre, Tulsa PAC
110 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
The Max Retropub
114 S Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Peruse nearly 175 exhibitors and servixes in home improvement, gardening, energy conservation, home furnishings, and more.

Where:
The Exchange Center at Expo Square
4145 E 21st St
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
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Where:
Bad Ass Renee's
6373 E 31st St
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Crystal Skull
1005 S Sheridan Rd
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Bistro at Seville
10021 S Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $5

Where:
Centennial Lounge at VFW Post 577
1109 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Blackbird on Pearl
1336 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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For only January and February - four-legged family members can join you for a walk at the Botanic Garden - Fridays and Saturdays in January and February only.  Dogs must be on a leash (no...

Cost: FREE for Garden members and member dogs; Regular admission for non-members and $

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

More information

2-WEEK SPECIAL EXHIBIT ON OKLAHOMA-BORN ASTRONAUT WILLIAM "BILL" POGUE AT TASM TULSA, Okla. – From Jan. 22 through Feb. 3, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium...

Cost: Free with Admission

Where:
Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
3624 North 74th East Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74115
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
Telephone: 918-834-9900
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

SWENext DesignLab is a half-day event on Saturday, January 27, for middle schoolers in grades 6-8 who want to experience the creative and innovative facets of engineering....

Cost: $5-$7

Where:
Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center
6808 South 107th East Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Sponsor: Society of Women Engineers
Telephone: 630-305-0003
Contact Name: Jenny Balogh
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All children ages 13 and under, accompanied by an adult, will be allowed in to all 2017-18 ORU Athletics ticketed sports. ALL KIDS – IT’S FREE! is strictly a promotion. These tickets have no...

Cost: $12, $17, $22

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Sponsor: Mabee Center
Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Box Office
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Hear pieces by Bizet, Monteverdi, Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Wagner, and Tobias Picker, Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera.

Cost: $12-$37

Where:
Van Trease PACE
10300 E 81st St
Tulsa, OK
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The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
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Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
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Dear Diary: Adults reading their teenage diaries Ok, So Tulsa Story Slam presents a show you will not want to miss. Local Tulsan's break out those embarrassing teenage diaries … in...

Cost: 12.00

Where:
Rabbit H
2504 E. 14th Pl.
#B
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Ok So Story Slam
Telephone: 918-264-9915
Contact Name: Ryan HOwell
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The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) continues its 2017-18 Season on Saturday, Jan. 27, with Masterworks II: Mozart & Mendelssohn, featuring Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz; Mozart’s...

Cost: $30-52

Where:
Walton Arts Center, Baum Walker Hall
495 W. Dickson Street
Fayetteville, AR  72701
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Telephone: 479-443-5600
Contact Name: Symphony of Northwest Arkansas
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Making plans for this weekend? You can't do better than The Drunkard & The Olio at the historic Spotlight Theater. You know you've always wanted to go, and now's your chance. And if...

Cost: Adults $20, kids $12, seniors & military $17

Where:
Spotlight Theater
1381 Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Where:
Soundpony
409 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
River Spirit Casino - Volcano Stage
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

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Cost: $5

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


Website »

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Where:
The Fur Shop
520 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

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Where:
The Max Retropub
114 S Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

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Where:
The Hunt Club
224 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Osage Casino Tulsa - NINE18 Bar
951 W 36th St N
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
View map »


Website »

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Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
View map »


Website »

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Where:
Lot No. 6
1323 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Magoo's Billiards
5002 S Memorial Dr
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
The Pit Stop
816 S Sheridan
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
The Run
3141 E Skelly Dr
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Centennial Lounge at VFW Post 577
1109 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

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Cost: $5

Where:
Reynolds Center
3208 E 8th St
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Cost: $10-$40

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Tulsa Rugby Pitch
3772 Riverside Dr
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Tulsa Rugby Pitch
3772 Riverside Dr
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Yeti
417 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Cost: $15

Where:
Woody Guthrie Center
102 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Cost: $10-$20

Where:
The Vanguard
222 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $24.50-$52.50

Where:
Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK
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MUSED. Organization hosts an evening of poetry performance based on Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Women. Local women entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, and artists read poems written by women.

Cost: $40

Where:
The Brooksider
1332 E 35th St
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $5

Where:
Reynolds Center
3208 E 8th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

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Cost: $10-$40

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
Cimarron Bar
2619 S Memorial Dr
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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TULtalk


What are you doing this weekend?

Stumped on what to do this weekend in Tulsa? Take this short quiz and we'll plan the weekend for you, January 18-21.

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QUIZ: Which Iconic Tulsa hat are you?

Find out whether you're a wide-brimmed wonder or ten-gallon titan.

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QUIZ: What kind of soup are you?

Are you more of a sassy sweet potato curry or a cool cucumber gazpacho? Find out in this fun quiz, then get the recipe!

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2018 Charitable Events Calendar

A comprehensive look at at Tulsa's charitable events of 2018.

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GIVEAWAY: Win 2 tickets to NYE at the Mayo!

Take an intergalactic journey into 2018 at the Mayo Hotel's Interstellar Soiree!

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