Tradition in trouble: OCCC pulls the plug on annual arts festival

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A traditional festival for art aficionados in Oklahoma City is coming to an end.

“This was a very tough decision,” said OCCC President Jerry Steward. “Arts Festival Oklahoma has provided our community with a wonderful way to enjoy the arts. But with the current economic landscape, we have to focus funding our core mission of learning and teaching, and OCC’s core mission is the academic enterprise.”

Arts Festival Oklahoma has been held at Oklahoma City Community College for the past 37 years, but organizers say the festival is being discontinued.

A news release on the college’s website puts the blame on the state’s $1.3 billion budget shortfall, which caused a nearly 10 percent cut to the school’s midyear funding.

Also, the festival has seen a drop in attendance in recent years.

Organizers confirm last year’s festival was the final installment of the Arts Festival Oklahoma.