City Arts Center
Since its formation in 1989 by Christian Keesee, with the assistance of Kirkpatrick Foundation director Marilyn Myers, City Arts Center has been committed to providing the community with quality, accessible and affordable arts programming and education.
City Arts Center's current building at the Oklahoma State Fair Park has had a long association with the Kirkpatrick family which supported its creation as the home of the Oklahoma Science and Arts Foundation in 1961. John and Eleanor Kirkpatrick wanted Oklahoma City residents to have a place where art, science, technology, and education went hand in hand. The facility housed the OSAF until 1978 when construction of the Kirkpatrick Center was complete and the OSAF relocated to the new facility.
City Arts Center was the recipient of the first grant ever awarded by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund
The building at the fairgrounds was leased to the Oklahoma Art Center (OAC), renamed the Arts Annex, and served as the OAC's educational outreach center for several years, offering pottery, sculpture, lithography, printmaking, drawing, and dance classes. It was used by the State Fair and several community organizations until 1987.
In December 1988 the OAC transferred the lease for the building to the Kirkpatrick Foundation. A new nonprofit entity - City Arts Center- was formed to manage and operate the facility as a home for the arts. Within the first year twenty-two different faculty members were listed on its class schedule offering everything from sculpture and creative writing to dance and fencing.
City Arts Center was the recipient of the first grant ever awarded by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund. They are considered our key strategic partner in the Fund's desire to develop Oklahoma City's visual arts landscape.