Allied Arts

For me, this week has been all about wrapping up the 2009 Allied Arts Annual Campaign. As one of this year’s campaign co-chairmen, I have spent a lot of time recently trying to raise funds and awareness for the arts in Central Oklahoma.  

Allied Arts is unique in that it is Oklahoma’s only United Arts Fund. Since 1971, Allied Arts has served as an advocate for the arts in Oklahoma. Each year, the annual campaign strives to raise the necessary funding to allocate and assist its 20 member agencies….Lyric Theater, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Mabee- Gerrer Museum of Art in Shawnee, the Science Museum of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Ballet are just a few who benefit from the dollars raised.  These dollars not only help with their operating budgets, but ensure the success of their community outreach programs, arts education programs and help provide the necessary resources to support their artistic growth.  
Throughout this year’s campaign,  there were over 4,000 volunteers, individuals and corporate donors who contributed their time, money and resources, and they did so generously, despite the many fiscal challenges associated with the current economic climate.

This photo was taken last year, as we embarked on the beginnings of the 2009 Campaign.  I want to promise that I will take lots of photos this week at the 2009 Victory Celebration…  but you know me, I will walk around with my camera and forget that I even have it in hand.  Especially since there will be several hundred people in attendance celebrating their hard work and tireless efforts.  Too much fun. And I can’t wait to announce the total amount raised for the arts this year.  I am optimistic that it will be enough to provide our amazing Oklahoma artists and their supporting organizations the economic freedom to do what they do best…create, enlighten and inspire.
Love, the Senator’s Wife

Why Good People…

Seven years ago when my Senator ran for an elected office, he did so as a husband, father and small businessman who desired to provide an environment for individuals and businesses to succeed.  He felt that in our great state, the government was more of a hindrance than a help in these efforts and decided to act.  (I am sure that my constantly telling him to put his money where his mouth was had something to do with it too!)  In plain truth, I was tired of hearing him complain about government and encouraged him to get involved.   And he did.  And he was a natural.  How could he not be?  My Senator was just a real person, with a real background and real life experiences.  He did not have political aspirations, just hopes and dreams that were being adversely affected by the decisions made by politicians.

Fortunately, he had already read How to Win Friends and Influence Others, by Dale Carnegie and The Art of War, by Sun Tzu which prepared him for this experience.  Have I mentioned that politics is a blood sport?
Last week politics became personal around here.  On Wednesday evening the Senator was home and out back playing basketball with the kids. As I was cleaning up from our family dinner, I played the messages on our answering machine and had the pleasure of listening to a ‘robo call’ disseminated throughout the district about my Senator.
Just for definitions sake, a ‘robo call’ is an automated phone call. It is also an inexpensive (less than 5 cents per call) and efficient method of getting a message out to targeted households, which is why it is commonly used by politicians and special interest groups. The only legal requirement that pertains to the ‘robo call’ is that the person paying for it, whether an individual or group, must include their name and phone number in the message.  So, basically when someone decides to send out an automated message, they can say pretty much whatever they want, true or false, as long as they include that little name and number at the end of the call.
Simple enough.
After a few phone calls it appeared that this particular robo call was used by a special interest group to promote a cause and to advance the political aspirations of another legislator.  However, at the end of the day I know the robo call only accomplished three things:
1.  It provided my Senator with the opportunity to talk to a lot of his constituents.  He has a lot of friends in and out of his district who were confused by the obvious politicization of an important issue.  So, in that regard, this was the silver lining and a great opportunity for him to stay in touch with his constituents.  He has really terrific constituents!
2.  It put one political relationship in jeopardy, strengthened several others, while the status of this particular issue remained the same.
3.  It helped me realize why good people are skeptical about running for public office.  Because at the end of each day full of political drama and stress, the Senator and I know one thing to be true; the political games being played by career politicians and their special interest groups at the Capitol pale in comparison to family dinners and shooting baskets out back with our children. 
That is what life is all about, really.
Love, the Senator’s Wife

Speaking of Mothers…

This is my mom…

…and she is amazing.  I want to be like her when I grow up.  Oh, wait.  I think I missed that chance already.
Anyway.  She does a lot of things and she does them well.  In fact, she makes everything seem so easy.  
For example, this past weekend she up and walked a half marathon.
That’s cool.  I think I’ll go try that tomorrow. NOT.
Love, the feeling really out of shape Senator’s Wife!