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A vibrant urban cultural life is an important city asset.  Over the past decade, Oklahoma City has focused substantial economic development and revitalization efforts and resources on enhancing the city’s “creative” character, especially downtown. 

In 1980, the City Council of Oklahoma City recognized the importance of arts and culture and that the artists, performers, and various artistic and cultural institutions make great contributions to our city by providing education, recreation, entertainment and culture.

City leaders knew that arts and cultural investments make cities great places to live, to travel and study, and more attractive for economic development. Their wisdom has been supported by recent national studies that have found that cities with these types of community and economic benefits instill a sense of pride and loyalty in citizens often resulting in higher rates of gross domestic product growth.

The actions followed the 1980 resolution created the Oklahoma City Arts Commission to:

  • Make regular assessments of the needs of the City concerning the arts.
  • Advise Council on works of art to be placed on public property.
  • Make recommendations to Council concerning grants from the public and private sectors, and when directed by Council, to oversee arts and cultural projects and programs.
  • Increase the public’s awareness of the value of arts and cultural resources.
  • Encourage greater arts and cultural involvement by departments of the City and greater utilization of private arts and cultural agencies for services to citizens.
  • To advise Council concerning the coordination of projects and program which involve arts and cultural matters.

By 2009, City Council recognized the importance of public art investment in leveraging community and economic value from public projects and enacted the One Percent for Arts Ordinance requiring that one percent of the construction cost for any new building or park or major renovation of public property using public funds shall be allocated for public art.

The Oklahoma City Arts Commission both suggests and reviews work anticipated for commission by the ordinance and makes recommendations to City Council.

The Commission is comprised of 15 members, appointed by the Mayor and approved by Council.

The Commission meets on the third Monday of every month at 4:00 p.m., usually at the Will Rogers Park Garden Exhibition Center, 3400 NW 36th Street in Oklahoma City.

For more information contact:

Robbie Kienzle, Liaison
Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs
Oklahoma City Planning Department
(405) 297-1740
robbie.kienzle@okc.gov