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New York-based philanthropist Christian Keesee is the founder and president of Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center. He serves as a trustee of two charitable foundations, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and the Kirkpatrick Foundation, both of which are very focused on arts and arts education. Christian is a board member of the Frick Collection in New York and Trustee Emeritus of American Ballet Theatre in New York. He serves on the North American Acquisitions Committee of the Tate in London.
Originally from Oklahoma City, where he focuses his attention on philanthropic issues, he is also co-founder of the Greenbox Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colo., where his family has spent summers since 1899.
Get involved with Oklahoma Contemporary
As many of you heard from Founder and President Christian Keesee, late this summer, Oklahoma Contemporary will open our new arts center on a 4.6-acre campus on the north end of Automobile Alley. Outdoor spaces paired with the 54,000 square foot main building (housing a main gallery, classrooms, performance spaces, community lounge, café) and the Studios building (ceramic, fiber arts and sculpture studios) ensure there will always be something new to see and experience.
Thanks to the generosity of more than 200 donors – including many loyal Rotarians, Oklahoma Contemporary has raised more than $27.6 million toward our $30 million Capital Campaign. Funds support construction and opening-year programs, ensuring that admission to exhibitions and most public programs remains free for all ages.
The new center, designed by architect Rand Elliott and built by Smith & Pickel Construction, will quickly become a spectacular new cultural resource for Oklahoma City. In addition to providing a world-class facility for exhibitions, performance and education and a breathtaking addition to the OKC skyline, it will be a “creative commons,” a place for our community to gather, create and experience art. From blockbuster exhibitions featuring international and local artists to education that encourages youth and adults to find their own creativity and free programs for all ages and interests, Oklahoma Contemporary will be a hub for artistic experiences of all kinds.
There are so many ways Club 29 Rotarians can get involved:
- Take a summer workshop or fall class in the Studio School.
- Register your kids for Camp Contemporary.
- Join us as a member, getting advance access to our exhibitions (including Bright Golden Haze) and a range of special events.
- Partner with our Corporate Council to take advantage of a variety of great benefits for your company and your employees.
Watch our website and social platforms for details about our timed-ticketing system, which we’ll launch soon. We hope to see all of you in our new spaces in the coming months!
Todd Edmonds is an architect and partnering principal at HSEarchitects, located in downtown Automobile Alley. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and has 30 years of architecture, planning and design experience. Some of his work includes Paycom Headquarters, Oklahoma Contemporary Showroom, United Way of Central Oklahoma renovation, Saxum PR at The Heritage, Campbell Apartments in Edmond and the new BC Clark Jewelers in Classen Curve.
In addition to Rotary, Todd is active in several social, business and non-profit related organizations including United Way of Central Oklahoma, Allied Arts and Oklahoma Contemporary Board of Trustees where he currently serves as Vice President and Chairman of the Building Committee. Todd was co-founder of United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Emerging Leaders and was recipient of the 2009 Ray Ackerman Leadership Award. He is also a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City class 31. His extracurricular activities include enjoying local craft beers, home improvement, gardening and spending time with his wife Becky and children Cody and Emma.