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Oklahoma City Arts Council will draw New Year's Eve Opening Night to a close

Opening Night New Years Eve 2023, the last year the event will take place.
Oklahoma City Arts Council
Opening Night New Years Eve 2023, the last year the event will take place.

The Oklahoma City Arts Council will end its Opening Night New Year’s Eve celebration and shorten its spring Festival of the Arts as new events and programs lay ahead for the organization.

OKC Arts Council Executive Director Angela Cozby said Opening Night, first happening 37 years ago, was started to give families an entertainment option and bring attention to downtown Oklahoma City.

However, as Oklahoma City grew, the entertainment options for New Year's Eve did as well. And with that growth, Cozby said it’s time for the council to take a step back and focus on enhancing other programs.

“Both ideas have been discussed for years and years with previous executive directors,” Cozby said. “We looked at multiple variables to really make the decision that is best for our organization to effectively achieve our mission of bringing the arts and the organization together.”

The Festival of the Arts will be shortened from six days to four, something Cozby said came at the requests of artists. Cozby said the arts festival is evolving to include a new emerging artist program.

The program will pair new artists with seasoned festival veterans to learn how to market and sell art at festivals and get advice on how to be a successful festival artist.

Other new programs include a continuation of Opening Night’s Fresh Paint mural project, where the public votes on their favorite mural from new artists. In partnership with the Oklahoma City Thunder, this project aims to bring diversity and provide inspiration to artists of color.

OKC Arts Council will also launch a new creative writing program in senior citizen facilities. Cozby said residents can also expect more art performances and new sites for teaching artists to host programs for children.

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Peggy Dodd was an intern at KOSU during the summer of 2023.
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