On June 1st, the Paseo Arts Association (PAA) will put out a shingle on their new home, right next door in the adjacent building located at 3024 Paseo. From the outside, this seems like a small change of address, but what it truly represents for the Paseo district is monumental. With the new digs comes triple the square footage and more possibilities to fulfill the longer-term vision and goals of the organization.
The new space, aptly titled the Paseo Arts and Creativity Center (PACC), will allow the organization to better serve not only the artists and vendors of the Paseo but the greater OKC community. In addition to a new space to host the current gallery programming, the venue allows for a second gallery dedicated to group exhibitions, career-building training and workshops. They also will have room to provide a photography studio for member use and professional rental, along with studio spaces available for rent. The new facilities will be technologically equipped to host a wide range of public and private events such as community gatherings, meetings, workshops, and movie screenings. Attached to the creative spaces will be a full retail shop as well, offering Paseo-branded merchandise, original works of art from local artists and offerings from the culturally diverse creative community that is represented in our fine city.
Earlier this year when the PAA was initially looking to share the good news of the center with the world, the tragic COVID-19 pandemic struck our OKC community. It was their first thought to delay the opening of the PACC due to concerns about the timing and the seriousness of the current situation we all are experiencing. After considerable deliberation and monitoring of the developing events, the PAA believes that not only will their June 1st opening be timely, but necessary to better serve this tight-knit community of residents, merchants, and creatives.
“There is already a tremendous need to help our art community heal, and the Paseo Arts and Creativity Center will be committed to making that happen,” said Paseo Arts Association Executive Director Amanda Bleakley. “This expansion plan was conceived in direct response to the needs artists were expressing before the pandemic, and it will continue to evolve to meet this new set of needs.”
For over a century now, The Paseo has been home to a creative collective of artists offering up some of the finest visual, performing, and now culinary arts OKC has to offer. The PAA seeks to only deepen these roots to weather the next one hundred years of creativity in the Paseo with the new arts center. This is just the beginning for the PACC, though. The organization is looking to raise the $100,000 needed to complete the implementation of its vision to enrich, educate, and inspire the public through the arts. Learn more and donate to the PACC at thepaseo.org/support or call 405-525-2688.
The PAA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that will enter its 40th year in 2021. With two staff and numerous dedicated volunteers, they work to strengthen the foundation of the historic Paseo Arts District by supporting artistic growth within the community through year-round public events and programs such as the Paseo Arts Festival, free children’s events like Fairy Ball and Magic Lantern, and exhibitions in the Paseo Art Space that have grown to feature work of more than 250 artists each year. For more information visit thepaseo.org.
This story originally ran on VeloCityOKC.Com.