Female factor

There’s risk in any venture, but women entrepreneurs are taking the chance on themselves and their ideas in Tulsa. And it’s paying off.



Melanie Smith

Valerie Grant

Overcoming challenges

By Anne Brockman

 

Recently, Thumbtack.com named Tulsa the No. 1 city for women entrepreneurs, citing the optimism women have in their business prospects and a community supportive to female business owners.

“There are a lot of great companies here, a lot of great entrepreneurs, and statistics like that are a rallying point for the broader community that says there is some validation happening here,” says Dustin Curzon, executive director of 36 Degrees North. “It also raises the bar for our community. And it makes us ask the question as programmers, ‘How do we live up to that and make it a reality?’”

Although women represent 50.8 percent of the U.S. population, only 35.5 percent of entrepreneurs are women, according to the 2017 State of Entrepreneurship by the Kauffman Foundation. Research shows women excel in entrepreneurial roles but still face unique barriers, including a lack of mentorship, the misguided masculine perception of entrepreneurship and the additional pressure to maintain a work-life balance with family responsibilities.

At 36 Degrees North, a basecamp for entrepreneurs that provides workspace, resources and a diverse community of members, 39 percent of its members are women.

Among them is Melanie Smith. The Arkansas native moved to Tulsa to attend the University of Tulsa, where she earned her doctorate in computer science. After years employed with several organizations, she began working with 36 Degrees North. But while at the entrepreneurial hub, she caught the bug to start her own company, Blue Tree Data Consulting, in early 2017.

36 Degrees North is an entrepreneurial hub that hosts women-specific  events throughout the year. Pictured at the downtown Tulsa center are Operations Manager Shanese Slaton, Executive Director Dustin Curzon and Communications Coordinator Lauren King. Photo by Valerie Grant.

 

“It has taken the fear away of starting my own venture,” Smith says of working from 36 Degrees North. The networking opportunities there have helped her lay her company’s groundwork, as well as connect her with future clients. Blue Tree Data Consulting is already doing business, and Smith expects $150,000 in revenue this year.  

Financing remains one of the biggest challenges with any start-up, but especially those owned by women, who begin companies with nearly half as much capital as men. Women only receive 4.4 percent of small business loan dollars — that’s $1 of every $23 in conventional small business loans — according to a report by the U.S. Senate. Women are one-third as likely to access funding through outside investors or venture capital, according to the Kauffman Foundation. 

To help provide meaningful and strategic mentorship opportunities, Curzon says 36 Degrees North will roll out a mentorship program, which will provide matchmaking, meetup space and training for interested individuals, both male and female. 

Gender-specific entrepreneurial events remain an integral part of networking for women, according to Curzon and Smith, who cite solidarity and relatability as key benefits to events of this nature. 

36 Degrees North provides physical space and hosts women-centric programming like women’s co-working day, Curzon says.

Research shows that women have a more strategic view and heightened sense of risk when it comes to starting a business, which often correlates to greater success. But they have to take that first step.

“Walk it out,” Smith says of her own experience. “Don’t let fear be a hindrance. Take one step at a time.”

Learn more about 36 Degrees North.

 

Balancing act

New coworking facility assists ‘momprenuers’ 

By Morgan Phillips

 

For many parents, juggling work and child rearing can be a major barrier to starting their own businesses. A new resource in midtown seeks to help Tulsa entrepreneurs balance the two.

The Work Life Balance Studio at 3144 S. Winston Ave. offers shared office and conference space in a kid-friendly environment that encourages parents to work with their children in tow. 

The company is the latest venture of Adrienne Kallweit, co-founder of the successful SeekingSitters franchise. At the Work Life Balance Studio, a SeekingSitters-member babysitter is available to provide on-demand childcare while kids’ parents work on site. This service is by reservation and for members only.

Like 36 Degrees North, the Work Life Balance Studio offers various membership levels that allow parents to drop in as needed or rent dedicated office space. Some areas of the facility are adults only, while other rooms allow parents to work alongside their kids.

Young children are provided with age-appropriate activities when they arrive at the Work Life Balance Studio. Hangout areas are available for older children and teens. “The idea is to keep the kids engaged so their parents can work,” Kallweit says. 

For more information, visit coworkingkangaroo.com

 

Find and replace

Tulsa’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year recruits talented pros.

By Julie Wenger Watson

Switchgear Search and Recruiting founder and CEO Dixie Agostino believes the key to successful corporate recruiting isn’t finding the people. According to her, that’s the easy part. Understanding what motivates them is the challenge.

“Breaking up with your work family isn’t as emotional as a romantic breakup, but it has all of the same elements,” says Agostino, who is the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year. “People are messy and wonderful and emotional and unpredictable. You have to understand people, or you don’t last in this business.”

Agostino started Switchgear in 2010 after eight years working in transportation logistics. Her company recruits technical talent for engineering, financial and manufacturing businesses.

Dixie Agostino. Photo by Valerie Grant.

“The only skill I had was being able to sweet-talk truck drivers into getting into their truck and doing their job,” she laughs. “And that honestly transitioned into something that paid pretty well.” 

The business has grown exponentially, garnering local and national recognition. Switchgear made the “Inc. 5000” list of fastest-growing companies in 2015, as well as its list of “50 Fastest Growing Women-Led Companies in America” — notably all eight of Agostino’s employees are female. 

Agostino manages her burgeoning business while raising four kids and regularly volunteering at Tulsa’s startup incubators 36 Degrees North and the Forge. She credits much of her own success to the support and mentoring she received from others. 

“Nobody is alone. I would never have accomplished any of these things if it hadn’t been for somebody else,” she says. “Somebody believed in me enough to say, ‘Hey, you should start your own business.’ Somebody gave me a shot to have space at the Forge when I would never have been able to start my own business from home.”

 

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November 2017

Over the past twelve years, the Williams Route 66 Marathon has become a 26.2-mile party! You might find yourself asking "Is this a race or really just a huge...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Cox Business
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 918-408-1208
Contact Name: Ally Lightle
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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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

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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Open House Celebration   Joys to the World, Inc is NOW a 501(c)3! It is a mindfulness program for individuals with severe/profound multiple exceptional needs and their family....

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wyndham Hotel
10918 E. 41st St
Tulsa, OK  74146
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Sponsor: JOYs to the World, Inc.
Telephone: 918-282-3191
Contact Name: Jenny Joy
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Open House Celebration   Joys to the World, Inc is NOW a 501(c)3! It is a mindfulness program for individuals with severe/profound multiple exceptional needs and their family....

Cost: FREE

Where:
Wyndham Hotel
10918 E. 41st St
Tulsa, OK  74146
View map »


Sponsor: JOYs to the World, Inc.
Telephone: 918-282-3191
Contact Name: Jenny Joy
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  The Harry Potter™ film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. The concert will feature the Tulsa...

Cost: $45-$90

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa Symphony
Telephone: 918-584-3645
Contact Name: Amy Roark
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join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

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Working in large-scale paper and graphite collages, Mark Lewis, Applied Associate Professor at the University of Tulsa, builds up layers of paper to create highly dimensional urban landscapes,...

Cost: Free Admission

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E Mathew B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: 108 Contemporary
Telephone: 918-895-6302
Contact Name: 108 Contemporary Intern
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Big Fish is a story that shifts between two timelines.  In the present-day real world, sixty-year-old Edward Bloom faces his mortality while his son Will prepares to become a father himself....

Cost: $10

Where:
VanTrease PACE
10300 E. 81st Street
Tulsa, OK  74133
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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


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

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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join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Come give those calories one last dance!  We dance in the park behind Jenks Nutrition.  But don't worry, we'll move inside if the weather gets bad.  For $5, you get a fun...

Cost: $5.00

Where:
Jenks Nutrition
124 N 3rd St
Jenks, OK  74037
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Cost: $8

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


Website »

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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


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

Join us on Tuesday, November 21, at 5:30 p.m. in our dining room as the Culinary team from Cancer Treatment Centers of America warms you up with your favorite winter dishes! For more information or...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cancer Treatment Center of America
10109 E. 79th Street
Tulsa, OK  74133
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More information

join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Show More...
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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


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

Come see how Tulsa offers a 'home away from home' for families caring for loved ones in medical crisis at Hospitality House of Tulsa. This free 30 minute tour is free. RSVP at...

Cost: free

Where:
Hospitality House of Tulsa
1135 S. Victor AVE
Tulsa, OK  74104
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Sponsor: Hospitality House of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-794-0088 x205
Contact Name: Rhonda McDaniel
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join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Come give those calories one last dance!  We dance in the park behind Jenks Nutrition.  But don't worry, we'll move inside if the weather gets bad.  For $5, you get a fun...

Cost: $5.00

Where:
Jenks Nutrition
124 N 3rd St
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


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

join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Website »

More information

Get out with the family for a walk. Pick up a Signs of Fall Scavenger Hunt sheet and see how many things you can find on the Garden’s nature trail. Tulsa Botanic Garden is open Tuesday...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3–12; 2 & under are free.

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


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

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Website »

More information

join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Celebrate this Christmas with the experience taking North America by storm! Marking the 25th Anniversary Tour, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker features over-the-top production...

Cost: $28 - $175

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Kick off your holiday shopping with us and support Small Business Saturday! Browse an eclectic mix of antiques, collectibles, vintage items, memorabilia, records, books, crafts and more. Find...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Exchange Center at Expo Square
4145 E. 21st Street
Tulsa, OK  74112
View map »


Telephone: 918-744-1386
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

Come give those calories one last dance!  We dance in the park behind Jenks Nutrition.  But don't worry, we'll move inside if the weather gets bad.  For $5, you get a fun...

Cost: $5.00

Where:
Jenks Nutrition
124 N 3rd St
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Website »

More information

Get out with the family for a walk. Pick up a Signs of Fall Scavenger Hunt sheet and see how many things you can find on the Garden’s nature trail. Tulsa Botanic Garden is open Tuesday...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3–12; 2 & under are free.

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


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

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

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


Website »

More information

Come by for our open house! We’ll have lots of fun for everyone: Face painting by Karen Refreshments Stained Glass Demonstrations Open workshop space for past students and it’s all FREE!...

Cost: Free

Where:
Tulsa Stained Glass
4131 S. Sheridan Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74145
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Stained Glass
Telephone: 918-664-8604
Contact Name: Richard Bohm
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Mabee Center
Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

join us friday november 3rd for our newest exhibit.   Norman artist JASON CYTACKI and his exquisite exhibit, 'Living is Easy with Eyes Closed'   we'll have live music with...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: mainline art bar
Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

More information

This wine, canvas and painting class in Tulsa, OK features step-by-step instruction to help you create a fun acrylic painting on a 16x20 stretched canvas. Purchase wine, beer, and mixed drinks...

Cost: $30 per person (normally $40)

Where:
Tulsa Time Paint & Sip Studio
3807 S Peoria Ave Suite-C
Tulsa , OK  74105
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Sponsor: Tulsa Time Paint & Sip Studio
Telephone: 918-927-0729
Contact Name: Martin Pecina
Website »

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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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Cost: $15-$50

Where:
H.A. Chapman Stadium
3110 E 8th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

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Cost: $15-$44

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


Website »

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Cost: $8

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


Website »

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TULtalk


QUIZ: Which Thanksgiving side dish are you?

Where's your place on the Thanksgiving buffet? Find out if you're a sweet potato or a sour cranberry...

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6 reasons to live downtown

In preparation for Dwell in the IDL, I chatted with a few downtown residents to see what makes the burgeoning area so livable.

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