Notebook: March 2016
Topics of interest to Tulsans
36°North in the Universal Ford Building.
Co-working space opens downtown
A co-working space in the Universal Ford Building at 36 E. Cameron St. opened Jan. 25 with 156 members from various industries working from the facility.
36°North provides flexible, affordable workspaces that promote entrepreneurship. Aaron Miller, program officer for founding partner the George Kaiser Family Foundation, calls it “a tool to attract and retain the best talent.”
Day passes and monthly memberships are available at www.36n.co.
Gordon named ‘Living Legend Artist’
This month, Claremore native Patrick (p.s.) Gordon will receive Living Arts of Tulsa’s inaugural Living Legend Artist Award. The award honors artists who have pushed the art world forward, furthered the reputation of Tulsa as an artistic city and contributed to the encouragement and inspiration of other artists in the community.
In April, Living Arts will exhibit some of Gordon’s paintings never before seen in a public exhibition.
Tulsa houses homeless veterans
Nearly 300 homeless Tulsa veterans now have housing, reports a collaborative group focused on ending homelessness in Tulsa. The group of 23 agencies, called A Way Home for Tulsa, found housing for 298 veterans in 2015, exceeding its goal of 290.
The housing emphasis is part of Zero: 2016, a national initiative to end veteran homelessness by Dec. 31, 2015, and chronic homelessness by Dec. 31, 2016. Tulsa is one of 75 communities to participate.
In 2015, A Way Home for Tulsa found housing for 78 of 95 chronically homeless individuals. The group expects to find housing for the remaining individuals in 2016.
‘Voices’ shares personal stories
Preserving Oklahoma’s oral history is a natural fit for John Erling, who has made his living with his voice.
But the 30-year KRMG Radio broadcaster could not have guessed how his project of the past seven years, “Voices of Oklahoma,” would develop out of a friendship with late oilman Walter Helmerich III.
Erling says Helmerich, a regular KRMG listener, often phoned in anonymous donations for community causes when contributions lulled at the last minute.
“He would call me and say, ‘Don’t tell anyone, but I’ll give you the $10,000,’” Erling recalls.
The men met for lunch in the 1990s at Utica Square — and the lunches continued most months for 12 years, always at the request of Helmerich, who told many stories of his life.
It was through these meetings that Erling came up with an idea to record Oklahomans telling their personal stories.
The financial support of Helmerich, along with many other philanthropists and foundations, helped officially launch “Voices of Oklahoma” in 2010. In 2014, the University of Tulsa acquired “Voices,” which is now headquartered at the Oklahoma Center for Humanities at TU.
Erling has recorded the stories of 175 Oklahomans; so far, 110 are available on VoicesofOklahoma.com. Since he started the project, 35 of the storytellers have died. That’s one of the reasons Erling believes in the project.
“You can read a person’s story, but until you really hear their voice ... It becomes more personal and brings you closer to the storyteller,” he says.
Editor’s note: Starting in April, TulsaPeople will publish excerpts from “Voices of Oklahoma” transcripts. Readers can find the excerpts here in “Notebook” each month.