Paseo Arts Festival

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The Paseo Arts Festival located in the historic Paseo District in Oklahoma City
The Paseo Arts Festival located in the historic Paseo District in Oklahoma City

The Paseo was developed by Oklahoman G.A. Nichols in 1929 as the first shopping district north of downtown Oklahoma City.  The curved, two-block street has maintained its Spanish revival architecture with original stucco buildings and clay tile roofs still intact. The Paseo is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the arts have always been a part of the Paseo.

The Elm’s, a resident art gallery and studio built in 1920 located at 27th and Walker, was the first Oklahoma City artist studio and gallery.  In the 1950’s Paseo was home to small businesses, student partying and jazz clubs.  The 1960’s brought the counter-culture with its creativity.

The Paseo began its transition into an arts district in the 1970’s.  The first Annual Paseo Arts Festival was held Memorial Day Weekend in 1976 and the Paseo Arts Association was formed in 1982 to organize and further energize its place as Oklahoma’s arts district.

Paseo Arts Festival is a showcase for the original works of visual artists from across the country, selected by jury, along with performance art, interactive installation, child activity centers, great festival food and live music on two sound stages.

A focus of this years arts festival will be the green initiative; as by next year the Paseo Arts Festival expects to be the first Green Certified festival in Oklahoma City.

Currently, 60,000 people enjoy the annual Memorial Day weekend festival.  This years’ 36th Annual Paseo Arts Festival will be held Saturday, May 26th, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Sunday May 27th from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Monday, May 28th from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  There will be off-site parking available with parking shuttles running attendees from the parking area to the festival grounds free of charge.

The Paseo Arts Association seeks to preserve and maintain the Paseo in Oklahoma City as an historic arts district.  The association also seeks to foster an environment of cultural exchange between the public and the arts through performances, festivals and educational programming.

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