The ninth event in its fundraising series, Thursday’s Paseo Feast event includes a cocktail party with appetizers and sweets. 

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Paseo Feast serves up sustenance for both mind and body. The micro-fundraiser secures grants to promising Oklahoma artists and is presented by Paseo Arts Association.

The ninth event in its fundraising series, Thursday’s event includes a cocktail party with appetizers and sweets.

Feast is an acronym for Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics. It was founded two years ago by Paseo Arts Association (PAA) board members to help artists statewide.

The concept isn’t new; it’s a trend in communities across the country.

“Microfunding” feasts raise donations, much like a Kickstarter campaign, to share as small grants to new and emerging Oklahoma artists.

“[Feasts] are very helpful and encourage communities across the country and the world to start their own micro-grant funding,” said Ashley Griffith, co-chairwoman of the event.
Griffith helped build this campaign by modeling it after others in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Brooklyn. In fact, even the name is borrowed from Feast Brooklyn. Griffith was inspired.

“With the help of an excellent committee, we sat down and figured out how to do this in Oklahoma,” she said.

At Thursday’s event, patrons will receive a ballot along with their appetizers and sweets. As they nosh, artists will present multiple projects and guests can vote for their favorite. The artist with the most votes wins a grant comprised of the night’s proceeds, Griffith said.

Featured presenters are Suzanne Henthorn, Beatriz Mayorca, Shaun Perkins, Holly Wilson and collaborative artists Yiren and James Gallagher.

Griffith said PAA hosts three dinners a year and has raised $13,000. A five-person committee carefully selects five Oklahoma-based finalists for each event, Griffin said. Then, the committee reaches out to local venues to host the events.

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“Nothing is off the table. We try to help artists of all disciplines achieve their goals,” Griffith said.

Amanda Bleakley, PAA executive director, said with 75-125 in attendance and growing, each Feast raises about $1,200-2,400 for grants, not including core event expenditures.

Griffith hopes her Feast concept gains traction.

“We wanted to share our experience and encourage others to start one in their community,” she said.

As each Feast grows in popularity, PAA scouts local venues with more space to meet its needs. More space means more seats for ticket-buying guests, which means larger grants for artists.

This Feast also is held in conjunction with Oklahoma Arts Conference (OAC), a state-organized event that brings together both the arts and cultural professionals to provide professional development and networking opportunities, Bleakley said.

Griffith and two others will participate in a panel discussion about micro- and crowd-funding at OAC’s Oct. 22-23 conference.

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Paseo Feast

5 p.m. Thursday


2262 W. Main St., Norman



Meet the artists

At Thursday’s Paseo Feast event, five finalists will give five-minute presentations of their work. They also will be available afterward to discuss projects with guests.
Holly Wilson (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Holly Wilson

Holly Wilson, Native in America Her project interprets how modern Native American children live through five individual yet overlapping themes. One theme uses Wilson’s own masks worn by youth in everyday situations.

click to enlarge Shaun Perkins (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Shaun Perkins

Shaun Perkins/Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry (ROAM), Poem Life “I didn’t choose the poem life; the poem life chose me,” she said. Her one-woman show showcases her mission to not only bring poetry to a larger audience, but to bring it out of the people she meets.

click to enlarge Gallagher (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Gallagher

NOMI (Yiren and James Gallagher), Greenbelt Meridian The collaborative duo creates a surreal visual corridor that winds through Tulsa’s Hardesty Arts Center to “actualize” collages of greenery, animated nature and “enclosure” as it relates to conservation and ancient city design.

Beatriz Mayorca (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Beatriz Mayorca

Beatriz Mayorca, Oklahoma Mad: Functional Art Mayorca developed a collection of timeless, clean and functional wooden furniture, lights and burlap rugs and pillows. They will be on display at Mainsite Contemporary Art in Norman in December.

click to enlarge Suzanne Henthorn (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Suzanne Henthorn

Suzanne Henthorn, Touched by Fire Henthorn’s goal is to remove the stigma of mental illness by showing that “ill” is not synonymous with “crazy.” She describes her work as a “visual journal” of her own experiences with mental illness and includes unusual self-portraits.

Print Headline: Feed your head, Paseo Feast helps provide grants to new and emerging Oklahoma artists.

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