Tulsa's Movers and Shakers of the Decade
By Staff Reports
Published: 12/27/2009 2:27 AM
Those who had a hand in the entertainment scene that moved and/or shook our city.
You, the voters: Thanks to a "yes" on Vision 2025, we got ourselves a pretty nice arena, the BOK Center. You've also filled that arena, shopped your city and attended your events. You've supported the arts, demanded more, and you're getting it.
Tom Green and Angie Devore-Green: They started DFest in 2002, and now it's a top destination for festival lovers, attracting big-name bands and tons of folks.
J. Elliot Nelson: His refusal to give up on downtown nightlife has given us something to do on the weekends and something delicious to eat with our pints.
Marcello Angelini: As artistic director, Angelini guided the Tulsa Ballet to international acclaim and developed it into one of the best dance companies in the nation.
G. Barry Epperley: During times of plenty and times of crisis, he has kept orchestral music alive in Tulsa through the Signature Symphony. Last year the orchestra which he founded and leads celebrated its 30th anniversary, making it (after the Bartlesville Symphony) the longest-lived orchestra in the state.
Dr. Frank Letcher: A longtime supporter of classical music in Tulsa, he developed the idea for
the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, and he tirelessly worked to make this musician-run orchestra a reality.
Steve Liggett: Under his guidance, Living Arts of Tulsa has developed into a national leader in presenting and fostering interdisciplinary art, most notably through its annual New Genre Festival.
Carrie Underwood: Not only has she earned the "America's Sweetheart" crown, but she's never forgotten where she came from. She comes back to Oklahoma often, either for charitable reasons or to play a show at the BOK Center.
SMG Management: The company that runs venue management, marketing and development for the BOK Center has an international outreach and down-home approach to business. They run the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, La., Soldier Field in Chicago, the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and the Odysseum in Cologne, Germany, to name a few. Yet they still have the sense to bring Oklahomans the music they love for shows in Tulsa.
Louis and Cluck: Zuri Louis and Steve Cluck are the designers/artists behind the "I (heart) Tulsa" and "Don't Hate the 918" T-shirts. The hometown pride is evident, and even people who come to town as guests notice it. For instance, the band Cake's lead singer, John McRae, praised Tulsa's self-love while he was in town during DFest.
P.C. Cast: Tulsa has been home to its share of best-selling authors, but no local writer has cast quite as powerful a spell on the reading public as Cast's "House of Night" vampire fiction series.
The Snyder Family: They succeeded where others failed in re-establishing the Mayo Hotel. After sitting empty and being close to wreckage, the historic building was restored to its original luster when the family swooped in.
Rodgers family: James and Alice Rodgers purchased the Cain's Ballroom in 2002, and sons Hunter and Chad run the venue. They keep bringing in top-tier acts and are keeping Bob Wills' home in good, sound condition. They took out the church pews and added air conditioning (thank heavens) and also improved the interior immensely, restoring the lower section of the bar and opening a second venue inside, Bob's Place. They also opened Ida Red in Brookside, a spot where Tulsa's creativity and community collide. It's called a rock n' roll boutique.
Jerry Gordon: The builder and developer is responsible for the RiverWalk Crossing in Jenks, which attracts many for its nightlife, food and entertainment. Gordon's vision sees a more well-rounded Tulsa, with the fun being spread throughout the county.