Downtown Enid Arts & Entertainment District has been selected as an Oklahoma Arts Council Certified Cultural District and was honored to be recognized at Oklahoma Arts Conference in Tulsa.  An Oklahoma Arts Council Certified Cultural District is a mixed-use area of a community in which a high concentration of arts and cultural facilities or activities serves as the anchor of attraction.  A district reflects its community’s unique environment and history, showcases the region’s artists and cultural traditions and increases social engagement, according to Oklahoma Arts Council.

Cultural districts enhance quality of life, boost tourism, foster civic pride, stimulate commerce, increase property values, attract businesses and creative work force.  Criteria to be chosen as an Oklahoma Arts Council Certified Cultural District include evidence of solid, audience-based arts and cultural programming, arts education, a recognized identity with designated boundaries, a committee that oversees the district, a wide range of public and private support and strong collaborations.  Some of Downtown Enid’s cultural assets include: Enid Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma’s longest-running professional symphony; Enid Event Center and Convention Hall, with music concerts and family shows; Gaslight Theatre, including Gaslight Teens and Gaslight Kids’ Drama Camp; Leonardo’s Children’s Museum, including Summer Camp, Art Smart and Adventure Quest; Simpson’s Old Time Museum, with Native American artifacts and multiple 1880s movie sets; Creative Arts Enid, including Skip to My Louvre and Open Art Studio; and Dance Works, providing quality dance education.

Cultural events within the district include the Tri-State Music Festival Parade, Cherokee Strip Celebration, FLY Film Festival, Food Truck & Art Festival, First Fridays, Jazz Stroll, Oktoberfest, Smokin’ Red Dirt Arts Festival and other live music concerts throughout the year. Downtown Enid is home to studios of artists Harold T. Holden, Mike Klemme and Shane and Sara Scribner. There also is public art downtown in the form of bronze sculptures and murals, many of which are indoors. A mural by Rick Sinnett is being painted and other murals are being documented by Main Street Enid.  Benefits of certification include technical assistance from the OAC staff, recognition through the OAC website, statewide conference and Leadership Arts, plus technical assistance for promotion with other state agencies.

Programming, projects and promotional plans continue to enhance the district’s position as a hub of cultural activity, attracting residents, visitors, artists and businesses to the area.

Story by:  Enid News & Eagle