The lush Myriad Botanical Gardens serve as the major anchor for the Arts District, which is home to several cultural attractions like the Civic Center Music Hall, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the OKC Arts Council.
The Civic Center Music Hall reopened its doors in September 2001, presenting a classic ambiance from stainless steel accents to authentic art deco chandeliers for all to admire. The state-of-the art facility, a product of MAPS project, showcases performances from ballet to Broadway. Wedding, reception and party facilities are also available at the Civic Center Music Hall.
The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is located in the northern area of the Arts District in Downtown OKC. A treasure that will forever be in the hearts of all Americans, the Memorial serves as a remembrance and hope relating to the terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995 claiming 168 lives. In 2001, 650,000 visitors graced the Memorial with over 90% traveling over 30 miles to see the serene, outdoor Memorial and the Memorial Center Museum. The Memorial is detailed with symbolic elements, including the Survivor Tree, which has endured the tragedy that struck Oklahoma City and has endured as a symbol of hope.
March 2002, marked a new era for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art who outgrew facilities at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds and relocated to Downtown. The 110,000 sq. foot, 3 story facility, was funded totally in the private sector, raising a cool $23 million for the building and nearly $20 million more for endowment. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art in the Donald W. Reynolds Visual Arts Center presents traveling, Museum-organized, and permanent collection exhibitions and is home to the most comprehensive collection of Chihuly glass in the world and the tallest tower . The Museum also offers the most comprehensive film and video program in the region, screening independent, foreign, and classic films as well as year around camps and classes for all ages through its Museum School and extensive visitor services, including the Museum Cafe, Museum Store, and Library.
Downtown is home to the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library . The four-story, 110,000-square-foot Library/Learning Center at Park & Hudson was also a project of MAPS. The facility includes state-of-the-art information services and equipment, classroom space for students of all ages - including adults - as well as traditional library resources. The library is also home to the Downtown College Consortium.
Since 1967, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City has called downtown Oklahoma City its home. Here, in the heart of the city, the Arts Council organizes and hosts a variety of programs and events that bring the arts and the community together. Each year, with the help of more than 5,000 volunteers and community members, one million members and visitors to our community are touched by Arts Council events, programs and services. Festival of the Arts, perhaps the Arts Council’s most widely-known event, brings 750,000 visitors to downtown Oklahoma City every April and is a veritable right of spring for the city. In addition to Festival of the Arts, the Arts Council hosts Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival each August, Opening Night—a family-friendly, music-oriented New Year’s celebration, the Sunday Twilight Concert Series held on Sunday evenings June-September in front of the Myriad Gardens, and Art Moves, an hour-long lunchtime program that brings live music and/or art demonstrations to various downtown locations each weekday. Beyond downtown, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s Community Arts Program serves central Oklahoma’s growing need for arts education by bringing the arts to under-served audiences, particularly, children who have been identified as “at risk” due to their economic status, exposure to substance abuse, violence, or physical and mental challenges. Currently, the Community Arts Program is located in more than 50 school and community based settings.