The Festival of the Arts returns April 25. (Photo courtesy of the Arts Council OKC)
By Katrina Crumbacher and Jacobey Brossie
Editor in Chief and Staff Writer
On April 25, downtown Oklahoma City will transform into a hub of art and culture as the Festival of the Arts returns.
The Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts is one of the most anticipated events of the year. For six days, Bicentennial Park will be filled with food trucks, artwork and live performances suitable for all ages.
“I love the food. I love the art. I love the whole week. I love being there,” said Farooq Karim, Festival of the Arts co-chair. “It’s almost like the living room of the city for the week. Everybody’s just there hanging out and enjoying being outside and enjoying each other.”
The Festival of the Arts draws more than half a million people and generates over $2.2 million in art sales every year. The proceeds go toward various activities and educational opportunities offered throughout the year by the Arts Council.
“It brings the arts and the community together,” said Susie White, Festival of the Arts co-chair. “I personally enjoy it because not only is it a festival and not only is it allowing people to have an excuse to come downtown and eat lots of food and see lots of art, but it’s bringing monies into the community.”
It takes 11 months, 22 committees and over 5,000 volunteers to prepare for the Festival of the Arts. In the seven to 10 days prior to the festival, countless contractors transform Bicentennial Park into a trendy festival venue.
“I had never come down before the festival starts,” she said. “You go from a park one day to truckloads of scaffolding and tents. All the equipment arrives, then people start to build it. You go from the flat park to a festival all of a sudden.”
Oklahoma City has cultivated a love for the arts for generations. C.J. Bradford, 77, is an award-winning artist and has participated in the Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts for nearly 40 years.
“When I was a young man, [the Festival of the Arts] was the biggest thing all over the nation,” he said. “It was a big deal to be in that show.”
As a college student, Bradford attended the University of Oklahoma and was mentored by Hsiao-yen Yeh, an accomplished artist of traditional brush painting.
“I’ve been doing this all my life,” he said. “I was a very poor student, so my way of communicating was through my art.”
Bradford said having opportunities to interact with people is what makes the Festival of the Arts fun.
“The Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts is very well run and very organized,” Bradford said. “You don’t realize until you go to other shows just how well run it is.”
The Festival of the Arts has grown and improved over time as more people have attended.
In 1967, Marion DeVore organized the state’s first Festival of the Arts with a measly $15,000 budget. The event highlighted 43 artists and even offered homemade tuna sandwiches to visitors. Since then, the Festival of the Arts has showcased thousands of artists from across the globe.
“It’s the artist meeting the public,” Bradford said. “It’s not like a gallery or a museum where the artists aren’t really meeting you there. We get to hear the questions and see the interaction. You get to have conversations with the artists as the artist gets to have conversations with the people. It’s more human.”
Bradford has said he will be attending the Festival of the Arts, and his work will be available for purchase.
Lighthouse fitness trainer John Tigloo working with client Elizabeth Ybarra. (Photo By Michael Palacios)
By Michael Palacios
Change isn’t easy and in the realm of fitness; it is a great challenge to overcome habits that have become second nature.
This isn’t to say that peak physical shape should be the standard that all should follow. There are some who think the idea of a lifestyle change is too difficult. It’s not.
Getting started is the first step into a different world, which can be confusing. This is the point where many people who are new to exercise or nutritional maintenance are met with a world of daunting transitions.
Though the transitional stage is expansive, it is an inspiring point for those who are beginning a journey into fitness due to the scope of the possibilities of what can be one day.
What better challenge to aspire to overcome than the most formidable opponent there is; yourself.
One thing to understand is not everyone needs to diet. Whether it be an Atkins diet, which is a diet that cuts out most, if not all carbohydrates, found in foods, or the popular ketogenic diet, which has an emphasis on high-fat, low-carbohydrate and fair-protein intake.
Not to dismiss any of these diets-they can be effective-but there are other much more enjoyable routes to take when reducing weight. However, it is not always about losing weight. In some instances, it is a great idea for certain individuals to gain weight for their own benefit.
“People think you need to eat only rice and chicken to lose or gain weight … look, people, it’s okay to eat bread; you can have French toast year-round,” said Greg Doucette, bodybuilder and author of the “Anabolic Cookbook.” “The whole point is to show a diet doesn’t have to be restrictive, know your body type.”
It is important to understand one’s own body mass index. The BMI is a quotient-derived from both the height and mass of a person. The scale often ranges from 10-30, a BMI below 18.5 refers to an individual being underweight; 18.5-25 tends to be a normal weight, while 25-28 is considered overweight. Beyond those numbers is obesity, which can be detrimental for an individual’s health.
Recognizing the BMI category one falls into can provide options for personal maintenance. Like an individual being underweight would ideally want to gain healthy weight. Vice versa, an individual in the overweight category may consider losing weight.
BMI charts are calculated estimates of what someone’s body type currently is. There are multiple websites that compute height and mass values for people, such as tnhlbi.nih.gov.
“It starts in the kitchen,” said John Tiglao, a personal trainer for Lighthouse Fitness Management. “Properly portioning your meals throughout the day will have better results than working out.”
Much of the greatest changes in people’s bodies begin with proper eating habits. Subscribing to a diet plan is a good idea but it can often limit people in food diversity. Fats, carbohydrates and sugars are all part of a well-rounded diet, but in proper moderation.
Limiting variation in foods does not need to be the only method of weight loss. In fact, another popular approach is the calorie deficit.
A calorie is the unit of energy used to describe how energy has been absorbed from consuming everyday foods and drinks. The caloric deficit is simple, intake fewer calories than are burned. Plain, yet extremely effective for weight loss over time.
Ingesting fewer calories than the body needs to perform the daily calorie usage will result in a calorie deficit. On the contrary, eating above the recommended caloric intake needed to maintain a steady weight will cause the body to enter a calorie surplus.
There are plenty of sites across the internet that specialize in calculating daily caloric intake, one such application is the Calorie Intake Calculator found on Calculators.org.
From foods to physical exertion, there are various methods to pursue when seeking casual weight loss or strength training. General exercise benefits more than just the body.
Cognitive changes occur for those that partake in exercises. Beyond the strengthening of muscle density, the perks of an exercise routine are beneficial to the mental health of the person who invests in exercising.
Walking is a great start. Just 30 minutes of walking is ample exercise to help people experience the positive effects. In many instances, regular exercise is found to help alleviate symptoms of mental fogginess or stress.
Going to the local gym is usually accompanied by a slight sensation of hesitation. However, someone new to strength training at a gym holds an advantage that makes any long-time weightlifter jealous.
The concept of beginner’s muscle gains also popularly known as “newbie gains” is a rapid increase in body muscle for the individual who has hardly trained in their life.
The cause of physiological change is due to muscle protein synthesis. MPS is a process by which amino acids begin to bind to skeletal muscle during post muscle repair. Muscles grow from being damaged during training, the more torn a muscle group is, the stronger and thicker it grows back. Those new weight lifting experience a prolonged MPS for up to 60 hours, while those who are long-time lifters only experience a 36-hour period of MPS.
This innate advantage for beginners lasts 3-6 months, which is the time frame beginners make the greatest amount of gains. Consistency is a necessary factor for these advantages to be beneficial.
Beyond the beginning phase of physical health maintenance awaits an entire spectrum of possible changes that are only proven to help mental and physical health.