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‘Art is a necessity’: Vision Tulsa grant money supports Theater North summer camp

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Jun 27, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa’s oldest black theater company, Theater North, is introducing the arts to the next generation.

Executive Director Maybelle Wallace said it wouldn’t be possible without grant money from the City of Tulsa.

It’s part of $150,000 in grants passed out to local nonprofit arts, humanities, and cultural organizations.

“Acting has been a part of me since I can remember since I was 4 years old,” said Sonya Wallace.

Sonya Wallace loves to perform and her dedication to the craft is evident.

“We all have voices, and we all need to be able to express what’s inside of us,” said Wallace.

Her mom, Maybelle Wallace is the Executive Director of Theater North, an award-winning, black-run theater company.

“You have artists to tell our stories by us, for us,” said Maybelle Wallace.

The mother-daughter duo’s passion for the stage is spilling over into the next generation. A $6,750 grant from Vision Tulsa funding allows the nonprofit to host a summer camp teaching spoken word and mime to students.

“It’s important for young people to learn different skills and to see that they have talent in them that they may not even realize that they have,” said Maybelle Wallace.

Theater North is one of 20 arts organizations awarded a piece of $150,000.

Arts Commissioner Machele Dill helped make the final picks, “Art and culture is a necessity. It defines who we are as human beings.”

The awardees ranged from smaller groups to Tulsa arts mainstays like the Circle Cinema Foundation, The Philbrook Museum of Art and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust.

“Our arts organizations and culture, I should say that as well, bring in so many tourism dollars,” said Dill. “It’s responsible for millions and millions just in the Tulsa economy alone.”

For Theater North, they say their camp will expose wills in north Tulsa to a new world and potentially foster a new passion.

“You need the opportunity to perform to grow, and I think the performance and acting is a wonderful, wonderful thing for children,” said Sonya Wallace.

Theater North’s summer camp kicks off on July 1-13, and it’s completely free. You can register on-site at Rudisill Library at 1520 North Hartford.

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Camp is from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday with the Grand Finale July 14 at 3:00 p.m.

Who else got Vision Arts 5 grant money?

  • $56,000 to seven performing arts organizations:
    • $10,000 to Heller Theatre Company
    • $10,000 to Portico Dance Theatre DBA Oklahoma Movement
    • $6,750 to Theatre North
    • $15,000 to Chamber Music Tulsa Inc.
    • $5,250 to American Theatre Company
    • $4,000 to Clark Youth Theatre
  • $23,500 to three miscellaneous organizations:
    • $10,000 to the Red Dirt Relief Fund
    • $5,000 to Art House Tulsa
    • $5,000 to MapWorks Tulsa, Inc.
    • $3,500 to Oklahoma Fashion Alliance
  • $15,000 to three film or media organizations:
    • $5,000 to Twisted Arts, Inc.
    • $5,000 to Circle Cinema Foundation
    • $5,000 to Tulsa Film Collective
  • $8,000 to one art gallery:
    • $8,000 to Brady Craft Inc. / 108 Contemporary
  • $12,500 to one art gallery:
    • $12,500 to Living Arts of Tulsa
  • $7,500 to one art museum:
    • $7,500 to Philbrook Museum of Art, Inc.
  • $5,000 to one culturally focused institution:
    • $5,000 to East Tulsa Main Street Inc.
  • $5,000 to one miscellaneous organization:
    • $5,000 to the Downtown Tulsa Partnership
  • $17,500 to two performing arts organizations:
    • $12,500 to Tulsa Symphony Orchestra
    • $5,000 to Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust

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