By EMILY RAMSEY
ART IN ABUNDANCE: Attendance was high again for this year’s Art on Main event on Saturday, Oct. 13. “We use this event to show visitors the creativity and unique offerings of Main Street and its shops,” says Communications Intern Callie McCurdy. Various children’s activities were offered as well, including an interactive street chalk area and arts-and-crafts stations. In the future, city officials hope to expand Jenks’ art offerings by enhancing its downtown antique and arts district.
Courtesy Jenks Chamber
Pans are in the works to create an arts district in Jenks.
The city recently received a grant that will allow it to invest in and develop its popular antique and arts district on Main Street.
“We want to make Jenks a destination for the arts,” says Callie McCurdy, communications intern with Jenks Chamber of Commerce. City officials plan to make more art offerings in the city, including art studios, an art incubator that will feature various local artists, and increased arts and cultural events.
Jenks’ Art on Main just completed its ninth year on Saturday, Oct. 13.
“We use this event to expose Oklahoma to the creativity and unique offerings of Main Street and its shops,” says McCurdy. The event featured local businesses including the recently-opened GreenAcres Market, artists, arts-and-crafts vendors, and entertainment.
Event organizers expected an attendance of 12,000, and despite the threatening weather, the turnout was still very high, McCurdy says.
Each year, new activities are added to help grow the festival. This year, on the list of new activities were artwork by students, a children’s section with arts and crafts and an interactive street chalk area, and a second entertainment stage featuring local students from the Jenks’ Abbey Road Academy.
Village on Main continues to move forward. Josh Driskell, Chamber of Commerce president, expects to see offices and retail businesses added in 2013 to the mixed-use building, where currently GreenAcres is the sole tenant.
The Village on Main project began in 2009 with Utica Park Clinic, followed by the Waterfront Grill. Construction of an office building and parking garage are in the plans for the future.
GreenAcres Market was the third tenant to be included in the project.
“We are glad to have GreenAcres in the community,” says Driskell. “They are a great partner with community organizations and are very active in the community. We have gotten great feedback from residents.”
Besides its community classes held at its store, GreenAcres also conducts classes at Jenks High School as a part of the school district’s Community Education program. The health classes are open to both children and adults and focus on various aspects of healthy living such as gluten-free diets, conventional and organic products, and how to effectively lose weight.
The market was present at the homecoming parade this year, with its mascot, Gus the Asparagus, riding on a float in the parade.
“If we could be there all the time, teaching students about health, we would love that,” says GreenAcres Communications Director Angie Ramsey, “because health really starts in the womb. The earlier that kids learn to eat healthy, the easier it will be to get in that pattern as they get older and the better it will be for them in the long run.”
In the store, educational seminars and classes are held weekly. “What’s most notable is how much the community has embraced our events and classes,” Ramsey says. “The community has really embraced the educational aspect of our store, which is what we’re here for: to educate the community and help them see what they can do to incorporate more healthy lifestyles into their daily life.”
In November, GreenAcres will hold a cooking contest, where participants can submit their favorite recipes. The top five best recipes will be sampled at the store’s holiday tasting fair, which will also feature items for Thanksgiving dinner. The cooking contest winner will get his/her dish in the deli for a month.