I have a suggestion, usually we resolve every Jan. 1 not to do something that we have always done. Most of the time this involves not eating something we like or exercising which we don’t like.

This year, because we do not want to participate in a recession, let’s resolve to do something different, something that is exuberating, something that does not cost very much but will give back more than it costs.


I have a suggestion, usually we resolve every Jan. 1 not to do something that we have always done. Most of the time this involves not eating something we like or exercising which we don’t like.
This year, because we do not want to participate in a recession, let’s resolve to do something different, something that is exuberating, something that does not cost very much but will give back more than it costs.
I am talking about taking a stroll down the Arts Corridor of Shawnee. A result of the strategic planning of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is the realization that Shawnee has an “Arts Corridor.” From the newest addition to the arts, the Shawnee High School Performing Arts and Athletic Center, to the oldest stuff in town, mummies and antiquities of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art.
So I am suggesting that you resolve to see a play, listen to a concert or attend an exhibit. There’s so much excitement about the arts in Shawnee that a new organization was formed, the Redbud Arts Council, to help promote the arts and the local economy.
I am talking about starting off this month by attending the performance of “Our Town” (how appropriate). It will be performed by Shawnee High School students in the new Performing Arts Center. They will follow up with “Beauty and the Beast” in March. What a great opportunity to see the success of a bond issue and show support for our students.
I am talking about the Shawnee Little Theatre. The Shawnee Little Theatre is an all-volunteer theater and all of the volunteers live right here in “River City.” The theater just purchased the land where it is located from the city. Two plays remain in its 41st season, “Inherit the Wind,” which opens in February and the musical “Oliver,” which is opening in June. Plans are being reviewed from contractors for restroom renovation and enlargement with capital fundraising programs to be announced soon.
I am talking about OBU/Shawnee Community Orchestra’s spring concert or February Concerto Aria Concert. There are many opportunities to see and hear greater talent than you might find on some sort of star search. All OBU concerts are free and fantastic.
I am talking St Gregory’s where the whole family will enjoy a new musical based on the award-winning books by Arnold Lobel called “A year with Frog and Toad.” And you don’t have to go to a big city to see a superb dance performance. Just go to SGU’S Spring Dance Concert where the Spirit and Sole Dance Ensemble offers a wonderful show with a variety of dance styles.
And last but not least is the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art with many exhibits, classes, community art days, lectures and gallery talks. Many are free. The museum truly brings the world to Shawnee and proves that art is for everyone. In the next few months you can learn about the importance of Oklahoma’s Kiowa Five artists by attending a free lecture Jan. 16 or by viewing the special exhibit until Jan. 25. In February and March, you can see wonderful artwork from native people in the threatened Amazon rainforest. In May and June you can see how some of the leading children’s book illustrators brag about their favorite dogs! Not too mention the permanent collection that shows more than 8,000 years of art. From the only Egyptian mummies in Oklahoma, to medieval, renaissance, 19th and 20th century art, as well as art from all over the world and throughout our history.
Art has the power to change our world and our community. We can learn about other times and other cultures and mostly about ourselves. Support the arts. Visit an exhibition, a performance, take a class and give. Your time and resources can truly make Shawnee an even greater place to live.
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