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Greater Tulsa Reporter

Upcoming, New Festivals to Promote Design, Music

FEMALE EMPOWERMENT: Musician Bat-or Kalo performs a song at the announcement of MisFest, an all-female one-day music festival, to be held May 13.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

In the coming months, Tulsa will welcome two new festivals, both making their debut – one for the very first time and one for the first time in our region – and both upping the ante for cultural draws within our city.

In April, Tulsa will welcome the New York City-based Architecture and Design Film Festival, a festival that is making the journey here largely due to our exquisite architectural landscape and through the tireless efforts of the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture (TFA). This festival will not only encourage the already-abundant interest in our local architecture but also, no doubt, add another ember to the growing fire of our local filmmaking scene.

And in May, the newly-created MisFest, an all-female one-day music showcase, will come to River West Festival Park.

The Architecture and Design Film Festival, presented by Tulsa Foundation for Architecture, will take place April 20-23, at Circle Cinema, 10 S. Lewis Ave.

This film festival was launched in 2009 by Architect Kyle Bergman, with his goal of engaging the design community while also opening up the design world to a wider group of people, he says. The festival only visits a handful of select cities annually; among them, this year, are Seoul, South Korea; Los Angeles; and Orlando.

The four-day festival features over 20 diverse films, all with varying points of view and unique stories but all unified by their design focus.

“(TFA’s) intent is to provide students and the public the opportunity to learn about design and architecture in order to better appreciate what we have in Tulsa,” says TFA Executive Director Amanda DeCort – a mission that fits seamlessly with the film festival.

The festival, she expects, will also help to capitalize on the current interest in downtown Tulsa architecture.

TFA regularly sells out its Second Saturday downtown walking tours and saw over 700 people attend its downtown residential tour, Dwell in the IDL, last year.
“There is a lot of design curiosity in Tulsa,” Bergman says. “We want, through this festival, to foster and raise the design level of thinking.”

A small sampling of the documentaries, and some on my watch list, to be shown include Strange and Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island, a look at an architecture project on Fogo Island, the largest offshore island of Newfoundland and Labrador; Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey, an exploration of the photographer’s collaborations with three of the most iconic American artists of the 20th century, including Frank Lloyd Wright; If You Build It, a story about an innovative high school design and build project and the changes it brings to students and their poor rural North Carolina community; Yarn, highlighting the reinvention of knitting and crocheting; and Getty Frank Gehry, showcasing one of the world’s greatest architects and some of his greatest and most controversial projects.
Tickets go on sale March 1 at

For music lovers and those wishing to encourage female empowerment, MisFest will be held May 13, with its goal to put a spotlight on female artists and their talents, says Ryan Howell, River Parks events coordinator.

The festival will feature upwards of 12 female musicians in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City area.

“There are a great number of female musicians in Tulsa,” says musician Amira Al-Jiboori, who is organizing the festival with Howell and fellow bandmate Casii Stephan. “It’s been our dream to bring female musicians together.”

Al-Jiboori hopes to see this festival return annually and to grow Tulsa’s already large female music scene.

Although Tulsa already has a lot to offer, these new festivals provide further testament to the creativity teeming all around us in our city. It’s hard not to be inspired.

Updated 02-28-2017

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