Downtown Tulsa


A new name, with Christmas included, and a new sponsor bring a unified downtown yuletide parade for Tulsa this year. For the past several years, dropping the word Christmas from the downtown event caused a split that resulted in two separate parades, one downtown, one at Tulsa Hills. This year there will be only one parade. Paul Ross is with American Waste Control, the new sponsor. He says this year's parade will officially be known as the 2014 American Waste Control Christmas Parade in Downtown.

On this installment of ST, we listen back to an interview we did about a year ago with Jonathan Rossetti, who directed, stars in, and co-scripted "Home, James," a newly released indie feature film that was made here in T-Town...and that's now (or was recently) playing --- thanks to a distribution deal with Devolver Digital Films --- in New York City, Los Angeles, Portland, and the aforesaid Tulsa; "Home, James" will be screened at the Circle Cinema (near the corner of Admiral and Lewis) through May 29th.

File Photo-Mayfest

An increase in festivals and events in downtown Tulsa is helping with efforts to improve retail and residential living in the core area. Director of Downtown Development with the Tulsa Regional Chamber, Delise Tomlinson, says the events draw people who might otherwise never go downtown to show what’s available.

This month alone has seen Mayfest, Hop Jam, the Blue Dome festival, BOK Concerts, and two OSU-OU baseball games at OneOk Field.                           


A new hotel is announced for downtown Tulsa. It will provide rooms for those attending events at the BOK Center and Convention Hall. The new seven story, 134-room Hilton Garden Inn will be just a block from the BOK Center. Developer Pete Patel with Promise Hotels says given the resurgence of downtown Tulsa, the time is right for additional rooms for the business and leisure traveler.  

The project will include retail and restaurant space and a rooftop patio. It’s expected to be completed in 2016.

On today's StudioTulsa, we speak with Catherine Whitney, chief curator of the Philbrook Museum of Art, about the first two exhibitions at the museum's new Brady District facility. Philbrook Downtown is currently featuring a pair of exhibits concerning American art. The first, which was curated by Whitney, examines a group of female painters who worked in Santa Fe and Taos in the early 20th Century. "Sirens of the Southwest" draws on the resources of Philbrook's Eugene B.

"The Woody Guthrie Center is dedicated to celebrating Woody's life and legacy and educating a new generation about his important role in American history," as we read on the Center's website.

On this edition of our show, we offer an engaging, wide-ranging conversation with Heather Clark Hilliard, a fiber artist based in Norman, Oklahoma. Hilliard is also the inaugural artist-in-residence at 108 Contemporary gallery (located at 108 East Brady in Tulsa, and formerly known as the Brady Craft Alliance). She tells us about her solo show, "Finding the Fire: Concepts in Fiber," which will be on view at 108 through July 20th, with an Artist Talk scheduled to occur at the gallery on the 19th at 6pm.

On this installment of our program, we speak by phone with the internationally known contemporary fiber artist, Jon Eric Riis, whose tapestry works can be found in private collections as well as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The New York Museum of Art and Design, The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Museum of Art, and elsewhere.

In 1901, the first-ever oil well in Tulsa (from the Creek word, "Tallasi," meaning "Old Town") was established; the city itself had been officially incorporated in 1898. In 1905, the discovery of the fabled Glenn Pool oil field occurred --- and a boom town was born. And not just any boom town, but a petroleum-driven city-on-the-go, as Tulsa's population climbed to more than 140,000 between 1901 and 1930. On this edition of ST, we revisit the pivotal decade in this remarkable growth spurt as we discuss a new exhibit at the Tulsa Historical Society (or THS).

Just when we thought the recently revitalized Downtown Tulsa really couldn't get any cooler.... Guthrie Green, a new park located at the corner of Boston Avenue and Brady Street --- in the heart of Tulsa's increasingly thriving Brady Arts District --- opens today, Friday the 7th, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3pm. Then, at about 5pm, the music gets underway --- and live, festive, free-to-the-public music (of all kinds, for all tastes) is a big part of what this Opening Weekend for Guthrie Green is all about.