Archive for December, 2009
Its December 31st, which means bloggers and various publications are publishing their top 2009 lists and highlights. In reading all these, I felt compelled to write our own 2009 highlight lookback. We’ve had a truly amazing year. New businesses, fabulous events, and talented artists have played, displayed and performed. Here’s a look back at Plaza District 2009, a year that really did shine!
The Opening of Velvet Monkey Salon
The much anticipated, beautifully renovated New State Icehouse was once again open as Velvet Monkey Salon. Owner Estrella Evans renovated the building for her full service salon, and also her private residence. Now clients come to Velvet Monkey in the Plaza for the talented stylists, quality service and funky atmosphere!
Held at the esteemed RED Prime Steak, the 2009 Urban Pioneer Awards honored former City Councilwoman Ann Simank. Her tremendous work in inner-city revitalization was recognized by individuals, companies and organizations across Oklahoma City. The Urban Pioneer Awards also serves as the Plaza District Assoication’s fundraising campaign, and the event was a fantastic success in honoring Ann’s dedication to Oklahoma City
1708 is the creative co-op of three dedicated businesses, Cafe Evoke Catering, Josh McCullock Photography and Gibson Events. These three, though separate businesses work together in client relations and together, share office space and ideas. Their hip interior provides for fantastic gatherings, parties and with that, many fun events took place at 1708 throughout the year
Speaking of fantastic gatherings, Cafe Evoke Catering started Free Coffee Mondays, where every Monday anyone can come grab a free cup of delicious coffee. Publicity for the event was held mostly over twitter, facebook and word of mouth. Every Monday a dedicated group would gather, starting the week off with friends new and old. Some stayed to chat, others popped in for a quick hello, either way Free Coffee Monday created new friendships, warmed cold souls and caffeinated all for the busy week ahead.
It was a big deal! A pleasant surprise to learn that Plaza businesses were nominated for 10 categories in the Oklahoma Gazette’s Best of OKC vote. We are so proud of what this says about our businesses and the Plaza District as a Best of OKC destination! Thanks so much to all of you who voted and supported the businesses in that vote. Although we were thrilled about the nominations, were excited to learn that 3 businesses, Lyric Theatre, Velvet Monkey Salon and Cafe Evoke Catering were winners!
What started out in 2008 as a few dedicated friends of Plaza folks coming out to support, in 2009 has turned into the busy, happening and hip place to be every Second Friday! In the past year, we have featured many talented local artists, musicians, performers, as well as hosted deadCENTER film screenings, open houses, grand opening and anniversary celebrations. Heck, there was even a Fanny Pack Fashion Show, an Urban Egg Hunt for kiddos, a Mario Kart tournament and Kareoke! We are so thrilled at the growth of LIVE on the Plaza, and we are looking forward to 12 more fantastic LIVE‘s in 2010.
Even more than Velvet Monkey and 1708, enter Coffy’s Cafe, Shop Good, Curious & Curiouser, the relocation & expansion of Bad Granny’s Bazaar, JuJu Gallery, Studio FJ, Chaparney and Parts&Labor. This blend of retail, local art, vintage, antiques, gluten-free and vegetarian cuisine, and graphic/web design has truly taken the Plaza District to a new level. We are so happy for the support, investment and individual roles all these businesses have played in the development of the district. Each and every one is unique, but all hold quality service, merchandise and creativity. We are looking forward to the continued growth of all the businesses in 2010!
For our little rendition of The Office’s “The Dundees”, “The Plazies” honored Plaza District businesses, people, friends and locals with some very unique awards. Complete with hot dogs, beer and kareoke, the Plazies were a fun way to gather all the Plaza peeps and have a good time. No, Kristen Vails didn’t rap like Micheal Scott, but there is always next year.
What a success it was! It was a day filled with talented visual artists, fabulous stage performers and bands, and plenty of creative and fun activities for the kiddos. We were so thrilled about the large attendance as well as the impact the festival had on our local businesses. It couldn’t have been done without the hard work of many volunteers and the support of awesome sponsors, so to all another BIG thank you! Were are looking forward to the 2010 Plaza District Festival already!
In the News
The Plaza District was featured in so many papers, publications, online posts, videos, blogs, television and more I can barely keep track! Its apparent Plaza District is on the move appearing in almost all local press outlets! A big thanks to the many media contacts who truly see the value and impact Plaza District is having on Oklahoma City. The thanks goes to: Artbeat, ArtFocus Magazine, The City Sentinel, The Daily Oklahoman and NewsOK.com, Discover Oklahoma, Distinctly Oklahoma, Downtown Monthly, LOOK at OKC, Metro Family Magazine, OKC Biz, OKCCentral.com, OKC Friday, The Oklahoma Daily, Oklahoma Today, Oklavision.com, TheLostOgle.com, and the many other online posts from Plaza District supporters!
There are many other great highlights worth mentioning, Lyric Theatre’s packed schedule included The Who’s Tommy, Woody Sez, Steel Magnolias. We hosted the informative and debated “Urbanity”conversation, a panel discussion on urban living at Estrella Evan’s residence. The Plaza District received an Oklahoma Main Street Award for Best Web Presence, The Velvet Monkey Salon was featured on the 2009 AIA Tour, and our very own artist Dylan Bradway traveled to Germany to show artwork. Many of us made new friends in the district, became new neighbors and came together for a common goal. Of all the memories, my favorites involved the many stories I heard one after another. Stories about how the Plaza District used to be, whether it be the happening commerical district of the 50s or the crime-ridden blight of the 80s and 90s. Every story, however, ends with how far it has come and how exciting it is now.
All in all it was a great year, we have made so many strides, made new friends and we are continuing to make the Plaza District a better place. Though we are here, day in and day out, the changes and improvements are easy to see. Here is to 2010, our expectations are that some great things will take place! Please join us in that, you’ll want to be a part of it
-Kristen Vails, Director, Plaza District Association
The Oklahoma Main Street Center and the Plaza District celebrate the release of the January/February issue of Oklahoma Today headlined as “The Complete Guide to Oklahoma’s 42 Main Street Communities” and indeed it is. The glossy pages of the magazine highlight the 42 Main Street communities in Oklahoma who are restoring and revitalizing their communities from the inside out. Even more, this issue is a testimony to the process and the Main Street movement across the state and the nation. In celebration of this anticipated issue, four launch parties will be held across the state, and the Plaza District will host the central celebration.
To kick off the Plaza District’s second Friday artwalk, LIVE on the Plaza, the launch party will commence at the renovated Plaza Theatre, now Lyric at the Plaza. Attendees will be able to view this very special issue, visit with Oklahoma Main Street Staff and other central Main Street communties, as well as tour the historic Lyric Theatre. After the celebration attendees can experience the many open business open for LIVE on the Plaza.
Join us, Friday, January 8th at 7 PM for this exciting moment in Oklahoma Main Street history, and this proud spotlight on many hard-working communities across the state.
Where:Lyric Theatre, 1727 NW 16th, 73106
When: Friday, January 8th, 7-8 PM
More info: Kristen Vails, 405-308-5991, email@example.com
Since it’s December 22nd, now’s the time to post the Plaza Shopping Guide for Guys, because you’ve all just realized Christmas is Friday, and you probably haven’t gotten your special ladies anything yet. Well, here it is all laid out for you fellas, short and sweet:
Velvet Monkey: Gift Card. Get this card for the pampering of your wife, girlfriend or mom. For hair cuts or massage, or go all out and get both!
Collected Thread: Pretty, pretty necklaces. I’m a lady and I would love to get one of these. Simple and pretty-just like your special lady. Trust me!
DNA Galleries: Plenty of pretty jewelry here, plus original art to show you care? Score.
Lyric Theatre: Gift Card, or season tickets. Valid for many dates in the future. Fellas, I’m telling you, dinner and a movie? So cliche. Dinner and Lyric show? Classy, smooth and cultured.
No Regrets Tattoo: Tattoo or gift card. How else to show your forever love, than a forever tattoo, or the chance for her to get a forever tattoo? She’ll be forever grateful.
SHOP Good: Ladies love a guy with a heart, show her you care by shopping good. This retail shop has plenty of accessories, cute clothes and art that are sure to warm her heart.
Bad Granny’s Bazaar: This place is for the fella who really knows his lady. You’re likely to find a funny or funky gift that triggers an inside joke or special memory. Example: Buy a vintage record of a song that holds a certain memory, or a vintage Bridge game to remind her of that time you played with her and Grandma while snowed in all day. I can’t really help you find the perfect gift here, but try and use that left side of the brain and I’m sure you’ll come up with something and she’ll really be impressed.
OK, now get to it! There isn’t much time!
Three Artist studios available for lease in the Plaza District
Geraldine Studios, 1609 Blackwelder Ave
(2 available with retail storefront)1,000 Sq Ft/$1,000 mo
I available w/out storefront 1,000 Sq ft/$800 mo
Studios will be leased to artists seeking to live/work in OKC’s Historic Plaza District
contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
Available Feb 1, 2010
link to video walk-through of one studio (all have different layouts): http://tinyurl.com/ycm9n4b
Ok, It’s Dec 10th, and in terms of the holiday season time is running out! It will be here before you know it, so be sure to shop local and support artists this holiday season. Speaking of shopping local, the Plaza District just happens to be the perfect place to get it all, and get it all LOCAL!
Check out my expert holiday shopping picks below!
Velvet Monkey Salon- So who doesn’t like amazing style, cut and color. Someone you know is bound to need a freshen up for the New Year, so a Velvet Monkey Salon Gift is a great way to go! Also, be sure to check out the Vintage Boutique in the back, packed with you-name-it vintage finds that are sure to be one of a kind!
Collected Thread-While Collected Thread is packed full of handmade goods, I really adore these bags by Pansy Maiden. Perfect for a student starting Spring semester, or just your everyday carry!
DNA Galleries-Usually I go straight for the unique hoodies and tees from DNA, but they now have an assortment of art books.Check out these awesome books featuring Tara Mcpherson, Scott Musgrove, Mark Ryden, Mike Giant, Camille Rose Garcia Xmas card sets and a hardcover collector’s compilation of Hi Fructose magazine.
Everything Goes Dance Studio- Dancing? yes please! EGD has it all, salsa, flamenco, hip-hop, tap, ballet–for all ages! Stop in for a gift card for your kiddo, your aunt or anyone who might be interested in taking a dance class. Take it from your’s truly, my hip hop class prepared me for future dancing endeavors…you never know,”Dancing with the Plaza Stars” anyone?
Lyric Theatre-Mom, dad, friends-pay attention here. My pick for Lyric is a gift card. These cards are forever valid, but this gift probably won’t be stored away for long. With a line-up like this, it is bound to be redeemed right away! Upcoming shows include Snapshots and Driving Miss Daisy at the Plaza Theatre, then Pump Boys & Dinettes, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and 42nd Street at the Civic Center! Great gift for anyone who loves theatre, or might enjoy being introduced to theatre. (plus fits very well in a stocking:)
Shop Good-What’s better than shopping local? Shopping Good! A portion of every purchase at Shop Good goes to a local or global cause! I’m really liking their new messenger bags, knit hats, and Oklahoma hoodies!
Curious & Curiouser- This place is named appropraitely, filled with curious finds and antiques. I especially love this holiday punch set. I found a great lamp shade I was going to highlight, but then I liked it so much I decided to purchase it. Sorry folks, first come first serve!
Bad Granny’s Bazaar-Well, if you’ve been to Bad Granny’s, you’ll understand how much there is to pick from! I really like these handmade felt accessories, which would make great stocking stuffers. There are also vintage ornaments to adorn your tree, but what I really love about Bad Granny’s is the assortment of records and books. They are really fun to dig through, and you’re sure to find a unique book or record that would really make a special gift for someone!
JuJu Gallery-Stop in JuJu, and you’ll find art by local artists, all very different but all with a unique, colorful New Orleans style. From paintings, to small hand painted magnets…you’ll be able to find great gifts and great stocking stuffers!
No Regrets Tattoo- Diamonds are forever, but then again, so is a tattoo! Give a forever gift, a gift card to No Regrets Tattoo! Any of the four artists will be happy to work with your gift recipient, ensuring a quality, custom “no regrets” tattoo.
Parts & Labor-My pick here? There is a wealth of vintage tees and fashion, available for purchase and exchange. Don’t take my word for it, go make your own pick!
1708-No gifts here, unless you’re interested in throwing a party or special event. This wonderful space is available for private parties, meetings and gatherings. Stop in and check it out, available year-round!
So there you have it folks, take some advice from a Plaza District Shopping Pro! Don’t forget to join us THIS Friday for LIVE on the Plaza, where you find all these great gifts!
Learn more about this upcoming art show happening at the Convergence Collective this Friday here
What is Adventus?
Adventus is a city-wide art collaborative responding to the season of Advent.
Christmas and the holiday season has become rather thin for our culture. It comes and goes year after year without us giving much thought to what we’re really doing other than going into debt in gift purchases and thinking about our wish list. We wondered if there was a way to call Oklahoma City to actually take time to think about this season of Advent, reflect on it, its complexities, as well as its beauty, allowing all of us to approach this time of the year with a new vision and understanding. Adventus is playing out practically in two ways:
1) A Call To The Artists
We’ve called all local artists to take time to intentionally engage with this season, and then respond by creating artwork that expresses some of the things they’ve learned or saw along the way.
2) A Call To The City
On Dec. 11th, we’re inviting the city to see the variety of responses submitted to Adventus during Live in the Plaza. We will be hosting an art show at Convergence as well as live performances (music, poetry, etc.) from 7pm-11pm.
LIVE on the Plaza Second Fridays
December 11th, 7-11 PM
NW 16th between Indiana & Blackwelder
Happy Holidays! The Plaza District is the perfect place to shop local this holiday season! Give handmade, local art, local retail and find plenty of gift certificates for everyone!
Here is the scoop for the Holiday fun at this Friday’s LIVE on the Plaza!
8 PM- Holiday Carolers will be out on the plaza!
Be sure to pick up some coffee and cider outside No Regrets Tattoo!
Velvet Monkey Salon- featured artists, live music and holiday shopping in the vintage boutique!
Collected Thread-holiday sales & shopping
DNA Galleries-Featured artist Anthony TW Meyers. Each original work for sale is an illustation from his latest zine “the death of charlie”. Also, holiday shopping & sales!
Lyric Theatre-tours of the historic Plaza Theatre, 7 & 8 pm. Great chance to see the theatre and learn about it’s interesting history!
Coffy’s Cafe- open Mic night
Shop Good- holiday shopping & sales
Convergence Collective-ADVENTUS Art Show. a city-wide art collaborative dealing with themes of advent. The show is 7-11p @ TWO VENUES: Convergence + Geraldine Studios (1609 Blackwelder).
Bad Granny’s Bazaar- holiday shopping & sales
PhotoArt Studios- 8:30 PM deadCENTER Film ShortSuite Screenings: Nothing Says Holidays like Family
These shorts explore with humor, humility, and incredible diversity the challenges and delight of family. Each film tackles our blood relationships in a different way, but stay tied together with the enduring bonds of family. TRT 89min
Studio FJ- Grand Opening! Come out to see the new space, have a drink… and be ready to get your B-Boy on! B-boy Photo Shoot with props provided!
JuJu Gallery-9 PM-Live adult puppet show by Balcum Rancum puppetry “Mr. Pickles Birthday”!, holiday shopping and sales.
Chaparney- open house
No Regrets Tattoo-open house
Parts&Labor- holiday shopping & sales
Paula & Company Realtors- Wii Mario Kart Tournament! Sign up in advance, $5, contact 405-205-4492 to sign up!
Please vote on December 8th. We recognize there are many opinions out there, but the key to having your voice heard is to VOTE on December 8th!
The Plaza District Association believes that MAPS 3 will create a better city for us to live, work and play. In addition, we believe the impact of this initiative will spur further growth for our district in regards to tourism. Our association has been supported by the City of Oklahoma City, and our experience has proven the city’s leadership believes and is accountable for the prosperity of ALL areas of Oklahoma City–even the little 1 1/2 block of NW 16th Street. If you haven’t in a while, talk a walk down our little stretch of 16th Street. You will be able to see how the vision of our city leadership to invest in this area, the hard work of the community and the dedication of our city’s law enforcement have all worked together to create an exciting and energetic district. We feel MAPS 3 will create an even better example of the public/private partnerships that continue to make our city a place we want to live.
The original MAPS created thousands of jobs, encouraged companies to expand and locate here, and resulted in more than $5 billion in private investment. This has helped us weather the national recession better than any other city in America. (We have the lowest unemployment in the nation, and were recently named the best city in America in which to start a small business!)
This MAPS will set the course for our economy for the next 20 years, with a new convention center that will triple the economic impact of our convention business. Economists estimate that nearly 9,000 construction jobs alone will be created over the next 10 years in completing these projects.
Voting YES will create jobs.
Learn more about MAPS and the incredible impact it promises for Oklahoma City’s future at YESforMAPS.com. Don’t take this city’s future for granted, vote Yes on December 8