Enid has been selected as the host city for the 2017 Oklahoma Arts Council’s Annual Conference. The announcement came from Enid native and Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb via video today during the 2016 Oklahoma Arts Conference in Stillwater

More than 400 arts leaders and enthusiasts from around Oklahoma are expected to attend the 2017 conference at the CNB Center on October 24-26, featuring workshops and lectures focused on building up the arts community.

“We are so pleased to be able to showcase the thriving arts community of Enid,” said Julie Baird, Leonardo’s Children’s Museum director and local planning committee co-chair.  “Much has changed since the last time Enid hosted the statewide arts conference in 2008.  We hope everyone will make plans to attend.”

Baird and her co-chair, Enid Arts Council past-president Catherine Breyley, have plenty to show off, including Enid’s downtown Arts and Entertainment District, named in 2015 by the OAC as one of seven Certified Cultural Districts in Oklahoma, and the newly-renovated Leonardo’s, which reopened in April, 2016 following completion of Phase I of its $6M renovation. OAC Executive Director Amber Sharples said Enid’s embracing of the arts was a major factor in determining which city would host the 2017 conference.

“Enid is continuing to develop and leverage its cultural resources. It is a model from which Oklahoma communities of all sizes can learn best practices in arts education, quality of life, and economic development through the arts,” she said. “With its thriving downtown area designated as one of the first Oklahoma Arts Council Certified Cultural Districts, it is an ideal setting for the 2017 Oklahoma Arts Conference. We eagerly look ahead to returning to Enid and western Oklahoma.”

Visit Enid director Marcy Jarrett says those who make the trip to Enid in 2017 will not be disappointed.

“Attendees will really appreciate all the grass-roots efforts by the people of Enid to support arts-related projects,” Jarrett said. “Our hope is that by experiencing places like Creative Arts Enid, the sidewalk instruments in front of the Non-Profit Center, the resurgent East Maple Street area and the ongoing growth of our performing groups will give our guests some inspiration to grow cultural offerings not only in their city but throughout Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma Arts Council funding helps communities across Oklahoma strengthen their economies, improve education, preserve their culture and heritage, and enrich quality of life. Learn more about the OAC at their website, Arts.ok.gov.