Archive for April, 2011

Plaza District Internship

Plaza District is looking for an intern!

Internship focus will mostly involve event planning, marketing and PR. These positions are unpaid, but we gladly will work with universities for credit hours. Scheduling is flexible.  Please send resume to, or email for more information.

Check out last year’s intern, Avery and his blog post about his experience:

“Hi. My name’s Avery, and I spent this summer interning here at the Plaza District Association writing most of the blog updates on this page, sending emails, and experiencing the small business struggle. A good resume builder, yes, but also quite an unexpected eye-opener.

It’s hard, impossible really, to understand what goes on behind the scenes at nonprofit organizations until you see it for yourself. From the outside, what seems like a bureaucratic stream of systematic reminders and requests is in reality the definition of dedication; a miraculous one-man-show (one-woman-show really) with so much determination it borders on beautiful.

From site design to finances, advertisement to PR, and event organizing to social networking, Kristen Vails is the ultimate nonprofit acrobat. And this is a theme I’ve noticed down here: People working ten times harder than their paycheck would have you believe.

Struggle and stress, hours and hours of menial tasks with countless obstacles; all of which are endured by these small local businesses at the District just to make ends meet – and to see their personal artistic vision come to life on 16th street.

Like I said earlier, to begin to understand the extent to which these people go JUST to have their storefront and a roof over their heads is more than you would like to believe. It’s easy to forget that we live in a world geared towards Walmart, Pier 1, and Baby Gap. It’s only when people get sick of mass-produced garbage that they turn towards local businesses for a taste of the genuine.

Be that as it may, it is this very desire for authenticity that keeps these artists afloat – and the tides ARE indeed turning.The Plaza District is growing. Fast. And it’s all thanks to people like you, Kristen, and all the ass-busting revolutionaries working round the clock for what they love.

So on behalf of the Plaza District and myself, thank you.”

Please contact Kristen Vails for more information on internships!, 405-367-9403

April 28, 2011 at 12:06 am Leave a comment

Velvet Monkey Shines 2nd Anniversary!

Velvet Monkey Shines on 2nd Anniversary (during LIVE on the Plaza)

1701 NW 16th, Oklahoma City, OK 7-10pm

(Oklahoma City) The Velvet Monkey Salons & Vintage Boutique are pleased to announce Monkey Shines: 2nd Anniversary Fashion Show & Art Extravaganza happening on Friday, May 13th during the historic Plaza District’s Art Walk from 7 to 10 pm. Admission is free. The Fashion Show portion of the evening kicks off at 8:30 pm at Velvet Monkey Salon & Vintage Boutique at 1701 NW 16th Street in Oklahoma City at the corner of NW 16th & Blackwelder. Monkey Shines is celebrating the 2nd anniversary for the new location; the historic New State Ice Company factory built in 1927.

Each Velvet Monkey stylist is featuring a collection of hairstyles & fashion wear on 3 to 7 models. DJ c.hill and his musical stylings, along with art and jewelry on display from local artisans will fill out the evening truly making this affair a fashion and art extravaganza.

In 2009, the original Velvet Monkey Salon & Vintage Boutique moved from its location on NW 23rd Street to the Plaza District after two arduous years of renovations. “People called it the White Elephant of the Plaza District just because of all the repairs needed just to make it a functional and livable space.” says Estrella Evans, owner and resident, “No one wanted to buy this building because it was going to be such a big project.”

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Evans forges ahead purchasing the building in 2007 and transforming 3700 square feet of this historic monolith into a funky and eclectic salon, vintage boutique and loft-style living quarters. This place is only one of three Velvet Monkey Salons in Okc along with the Velvet Monkey Too at 3003 NW 63rd Street and Velvet Monkey Downtown at 317 N Walker.

Velvet Monkey Salon and Vintage Boutique anchors the east end of the vibrant up-and-coming Plaza District. Monkey Shines is a celebration of this revitalization. Evans encourages all ages to come out and enjoy hip hairstyles, funky fashion, jewelry, art and music marking this momentous occasion where history and the present day combine for a truly unique and diverse experience.

April 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Bill and Bob Ross to be honored as 2011 Urban Pioneers

It is the Plaza District Association’s pleasure to announce that Bill and Bob Ross, Chairmen and President of the Inasmuch Foundation, will be the recipients of the 2011 Urban Pioneer Awards. The Ross family is no stranger in Oklahoma City’s nonprofit community –both members of the family have served as active volunteers and supporters of numerous organizations for many years. But their role in the Plaza District has been pivotal! With their family history on NW 16th Street, their long-time involvement with Lyric Theatre, and their leadership role in Lyric’s highly successful capital campaign – their participation in the Plaza District has been instrumental to its success.

Bill and Bob Ross will join an impressive list of past Urban Pioneer honorees including Dr. Tom McDaniel, Lou Kerr, Meg Salyer, Mark Funke, Mike Turpen, Ann Simank and Steve Mason.

The 16th Street Plaza District has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last several years. As arts and culture continue to grow in Oklahoma City, the Plaza District is providing opportunities for new urban spaces, emerging businesses and engaging events focused on the arts. To celebrate these achievements, each year the Plaza District hosts the Urban Pioneer Awards to recognize those individuals who have been instrumental in the rebirth of our inner city – “Urban Pioneers” who have made the Plaza District and Oklahoma City the vibrant and creative community it is today.

Recently, the Plaza District Association hosted a reception for the Ross Family at Bob Ross’s childhood home in the Plaza District on NW 16. “It was truly amazing to listen to Bob recall childhood memories growing up in the district amongst his children and grandchildren,” said Plaza District Executive Director Kristen Vails. “Bill and his son Bob have been so instrumental to the growth of the district through their commitment to Lyric Theatre and the district. Without that leadership, the Plaza District would not be the growing community it is today, and it’s just a small portion of the overall support the Ross Family have infused into projects that are changing the face of Oklahoma City.”

The 2011 Urban Pioneer Awards will be held Thursday, June 16th at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. For ticket information, please visit or call 405-367-9403. Sponsor  Tables are also available. For more information visit

The Plaza District is a neighborhood commercial district boasting Oklahoma City’s local arts flavor. Located on NW 16th between Classen and Penn Ave, the Plaza District is home to art galleries, studios, retail shops, restaurants, and creative services the renovated Plaza Theatre for Lyric at the Plaza. This district, once blighted by urban decay now boasts a renewed energy embraced by Oklahoma City’s youth and diverse culture. Each Second Friday of the month from 7-11pm, enjoy LIVE on the Plaza, a monthly artwalk featuring live music, featured artists, special events and local shopping. The Plaza District Association is a non-profit 501c(3) organization working to revitalize the area, to support district businesses and offer arts opportunities and experiences to the community.

April 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

Gatewood Neighborhood Outreach Committee

Attention Gatewood residents! We are looking to start a committee focused on engaging Gatewood Neighborhood with the district. The committee’s focus would brainstorm ideas to do just this. Some examples might be developing a “welcome bag” for new residents with info, coupons, etc from the district, or planning Gatewood resident-only events in the district. We are very open to new ideas! There are many new families and young professionals moving into the neighborhood and we want to make sure they know all the district has to offer them! Homeowners, renters, anyone living in Gatewood is welcome! If you are interested in serving on this committee, please email or call 405-367-9403.

We would also like to start a similar Classen Ten Penn Committee, so any interest there please contact as well!

April 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Ryan Pack in Plaza District Gallery

We are very excited to host artist Ryan Pack in our gallery this month. I met Ryan in art school about 8 years ago, and have enjoyed seeing her grow as an artist and in her career throughout that time.

Shane and Sara Scribner, of Scribner’s Gallery in Enid, OK had told me about unique opportunity. They had a patron who would offer an artist a free space to live/work and to study with Shane and Sara in their studio. Ryan was the lucky recipient of this fantastic opportunity and over a year in working and studying in Enid, Ryan’s work has developed into a truly fantastic transformation. Please check out Ryan’s blog about her experience. Her portraits reflect her refined skill, yet also stay true to her unique touch of whimsy and mystery. Many of her new works are portraits of females posed a fairytale maidens with a modern twist.

Ryan is now a working artist, as well as gallery assistant at Nault Fine Art located in Midtown. I am thrilled to host Ryan’s work, and to see more of what she will bring to the Oklahoma City art scene!

Please stop by the Plaza District office and gallery to view Ryan’s work and learn about the Plaza District Association. We are located above Midwest Media at 1618 Gatewood Ave, and will be open 7-1opm.

April 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

LIVE on the Plaza- This Friday! Egg Hunt, Art & LIVE music!

April LIVE on the Plaza to feature District Easter Egg Hunt

Get a jump on local spring festivities this month at LIVE on the Plaza. Our monthly event happens early this month, featuring a bevy of amazing shows, theater performances, dance classes, and gallery events on April 8, 2011.  Some of our LIVE on the Plaza happenings will be geared toward Easter, especially our annual Easter egg hunt! Eggs are hidden throughout the main area of the district and they include prizes, coupons AND candy. The Easter egg hunt is for kids and adults, so bring the whole family. The Easter Bunny will be hopping through the district! Anyone who tweets a photo with him and @replies the @plazadistrict and @fowlervw will have a chance to win:

2 Norman Music Festival VIP Passes

$50 gift card to The Wedge

Cool VW accessories

Some other very special events include Midwest Media & Marketing’s artist reception for Brooke Rowlands, an 8:00 performance of Boeing Boeing at Lyric Theater, and DNA Galleries’ featured artist show by Kris Kanaly and Thomas Woodward (with live music by Henry Daggs). Big Truck Tacos and Kona Ice will be in the Plaza District serving up some delicious goodies. The best way to experience the awesomeness of LIVE on the Plaza is to show up and wander around. Stop in stores, bump into friends, meet new people, eat a taco, shop, meet an artist, hear a band – this is all possible in one central place. That’s the rare beauty of LIVE on the Plaza.

Check below for specific information for Plaza businesses. We look forward to seeing you there.

Quick Peek

LIVE on the Plaza Egg Hunt: 7pm outside Lyric Theatre

DNAgalleries: Featured Artist: Kris Kanaly and Thomas Woodward, live music by Henry Daggs

Midwest Media & Marketing @1614: Brooke Rowlands Artist Reception

Gallery1612: featuring Rebekah Ray, Music by Tommy Kennedy

Plaza DistrictGallery: artist reception, Ryan Pack

Cafe Evoke / 1708: Wiseabe Launch

Lyric Theatre: Boeing Boeing at 8:00pm

Everything Goes Dance Studio: Do the Hustle! Dance Class 6-7pm $2.00 all ages

Coffys Café: open mic

Convergence: From Dust We Came: A city-wide arts collaboration during the season of Lent.

Bad Grannys Bazaar: live music by Black Magic Animals and PEACH at 7:30

No Regrets Tattoo: outdoor live music

Open houses: Velvet Monkey Salon, Collected Thread, Wildflower, Warpaint Clothing, Paula & Co, Chaparney, PhotoArt Studios, Curiouser & Curiouser

Outdoor Artist Market

Dog Rescue Corner

Big Truck Tacos, Kona Ice


Other details

LIVE on the Plaza Egg Hunt! Kids AND Parents welcome! Find eggs hidden throughout the Plaza District holding candy for kids, prizes, and coupons for adults! Kicks off 7pm sharp outside Lyric Theatre!

Lyric Theatre: Boeing Boeing at 8:00pm. Are you a high school or college student? Go to Lyric’s Plaza Theatre at 7:30 during Live on the Plaza and get $20 tickets (originally $40) to that night’s performance of Boeing Boeing! We are only except cash and make sure you have your student ID!

Convergence: From Dust We Came: A city-wide arts collaboration during the season of Lent, Other Misc details:  From Dust We Came is a one night art show featuring live performance art as well as visual art. Entry is free, however art will be available for sale, with a portion going to The Spero Project

Cafe Evoke / 1708 Wiseabe Launch. Every bag is handmade from recycled burlap coffee sacks: unique and timeless design.  A portion of the proceeds help send students to college through Compassion International’s Leadership Development Program.

midwestmedia & marketing is proud to present Brooke Rowlands as the first artist in season 2 of @1614. Born and raised in central New Jersey, 28-year-old artist Brooke Rowlands has been a proud resident of Oklahoma since 2002. Originally inspired by her love and fascination for flowers, Brooke found herself drawn to the impeccable art of Georgia O’Keefe and the always-entertaining master of landscape, Bob Ross.

With no formal art training, Brooke thrives when experimenting with new ideas. Over the years she’s developed a homogenous blend of both contemporary and still life, often incorporating flowers, birds, trees and fish into gorgeous abstract backgrounds.

But color has been the consistent driving force behind Brooke’s art, whether it be acrylic painting or paper collage. Her bold choices, strong contrast and amazing sense for complimentary hues and patterns demand attention without begging for it.

Brooke’s ultimate desire would be for her art to be in a home where it is appreciated simply for what it is… something beautiful.@1614 will have their signature salsa’s on hand – and also will be having a beer tasting from a local brewery. Of course – a big part of the @1614 is the film that profiles each and every artist that shows here. Be sure and go to and check out Brooke’s film.

April 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm Leave a comment

Applebee’s Announces Plaza District location!


April 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm 2 comments


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