Current Studio opens Utopia on November 6

The Transition movement utilizes a range of tools to help people think about and envision the future. Art and culture are some of the tools we use, and can be powerful ways of engaging with people and inspiring deeper thinking about the society we have now, the society we want, and the choices we make to get there.

For the above reasons and more, we were excited to read about about Current Studio’s upcoming show, “Utopia,” which sounds meaningful, a means for artists to envision the future and we can imagine some may choose to delve into issues defining current times — such as climate change, rapidly evolving technology, social justice and inequity, and more. The group show opens Sunday, Nov. 6, and will feature work in a variety of media. The show’s curators are Kelsey Karper and romy owens, founders of Current Studio.

Here’s Current’s full description of the show:

“The concept of utopia, a society free of poverty and suffering, has been around for centuries. However, the concept of utopia can shift and change based upon the person imagining such a place. What is your version of utopia? Can such a place exist? Can we have utopia without dystopia?”

The opening reception on Sun., Nov. 6, at 6 p.m. also features Sunday Soup, an ongoing Current program. The idea behind Sunday Soup is deliciously simple – for a suggested donation of $10 (or more) – you get a meal that includes soup, bread, and coffee or tea, a community meal, and the satisfaction that comes from supporting a good cause (donations support upcoming projects at Current Studio which is a locally owned and operated gallery).

We look forward to seeing artists’ interpretations of “Utopia,” and hope you’ll check it out for the thought provoking content it will no doubt possess.

Join SixTwelve for Water in the Urban Landscape Workshop

Another in a string of unique opportunities at SixTwelve in the Paseo District is coming up in less than two weeks. On Sat., Oct. 29, join Paul Mays, SixTwelve’s Director of Permaculture and botanist Phillip Koszarekz, of Super Awesome Landscaping, for a three-hour workshop on creating a rain garden using run-off from street water through the implementation of curb-cuts.

Learn about passive water catchment basins and native plants and their ability to soak water into landscapes and to clean pollutants from street run-off. These retention basins can minimize flooding and erosion and keep harmful substances out of our waterways. They can also reduce home owner and city water cost and help to beautify our community and add valuable wildlife habitat.

The cost for the workshop is $30 for non-members and $15 for SixTwelve members. Registration and more info here.

Whoop it up at CommonWealth Urban Farms Hoopapalooza

In case you missed it, CommonWealth Urban Farms has been in the process of building a hoop house for extending their season — a smart and huge undertaking — and an expensive one. Fortunately, CommonWealth received a generous donation from Thunder player, Kyle Singer, earlier this year to help offset the expense.

CommonWealth is celebrating the grand opening of the hoop house with the clever moniker, Hoopapalooza. Festivities kick off Sat., Oct. 22 and noon (that’s tomorrow ya’ll), and include music, food, tours, silent auction, all kinds of stuff for kids and more.

Address: 1016 N.W. 32nd Street, Oklahoma City, OK
Rain date: Sat., Oct. 29

For more details, check out the event on their Facebook page.

 

A salute to community catalyst Elia Woods

With deep gratitude and appreciation for catalyzing Oklahoma City’s resiliency, sustainability and health, last October Transition OKC presented the second Community Catalyst Award to Elia Woods, co-founder of CommonWealth Urban Farms, located in the Central Park Neighborhood. Wood’s vision led her to form a small group of people who began meeting in the fall of 2010 with the common goal of turning vacant lots in central Oklahoma City into food-producing green spaces designed to benefit surrounding neighborhoods. Her inclusive leadership has led many to join in and help develop the urban farm sites, composting systems and educational programming.

Kyle Singler donates $10,000 to CommonWealth Urban Farms in OKC to grow and provide healthy food for the community. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder
Kyle Singler donates $10,000 to CommonWealth Urban Farms to assist with growing and providing healthy food for the community. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder

Woods began cultivating her urban farm in 2011. Veggies are sold through the farms’ CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) a.k.a. the Veggie Club, as well as to local restaurants. In addition the farms grow cut flowers in partnership with friends at Guilford Gardens in northwest Oklahoma City, and offer bouquets and bulk flowers for direct sale.

More recently, Woods’ and CommonWealth’s determination and commitment to help their community led to Oklahoma City Thunder player, Kyle Singler, to donate $10,000 after visiting the farm and being impressed with their mission of providing fresh, healthy, locally grown food to the community. Woods said the money will be used to buy tools and improve the farms’ infrastructure.

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Local artists Tracey and Rick Bewley designed Transition OKC’s Community Catalyst Award.

Transition OKC created the Community Catalyst Award to recognize unsung heroes in the Oklahoma City community who work collaboratively and inclusively with individuals, organizations and businesses to catalyze more resilient, sustainable and healthy communities, and Elia Woods reflects the award’s purpose in every way. Talented local artists, Rick and Tracey Bewley designed the Community Catalyst Award. See more of their amazing work at Art Fusion Studio.

Warmest wishes for Elia’s and the farms’ continued success, and if you’d like to be a part of growing their vision, every Saturday morning CommonWealth hosts CommonWork, an opportunity for volunteers to dig in and get in some hands-on experience in urban farming. More about CommonWork here.

Thank you Elia and CommonWealth for being a part of Oklahoma City’s journey to resilience!

Growing community with trees

Because planting fruit trees grows community resilience for many years to come, Transition OKC initiated a program to plant fruit tree seedlings in Oklahoma City at selected sites. In February 2015, we kicked off the first tree planting at SixTwelve in memory of Don Rose, a dedicated TOKC volunteer, and plans are in the works for a second tree planting sometime in 2016 at a site to be determined.

Fruit trees build community resilience by providing an array of benefits:

  • Are a source for healthy, delicious, locally grown food, and help grow food security
  • Grow well in urban and suburban settings
  • Are perennial and with a small amount of maintenance, will last for many years
  • Fruit is a gift you can give to others, exchange or barter, or sell
  • Help protect the soil and environment, help provide cleaner air
  • Give nectar to bees, provide shade and habitat for a variety of creatures
  • Connect people to the food growing process

Growing resilience

Find out how to grow community resilience on your street and in your neighborhood at rteams.org, a program Transition OKC developed with ideas and free downloads. A printed Facilitator’s Guide with steps for organizing your own resilience team, and agendas and activities for your team’s first three meetings will be available at a resilience team launch coming this year at SixTwelve.