Past News Articles
September 11, 2022
From big-name soloists like Joshua Bell and Oklahoma native Kelli O'Hara to a world-premiere work memorializing Sooner State Civil Rights icon Clara Luper, the OKC Philharmonic has grand plans for its 2022-2023 season.
The new season will launch with the Classics program "Opening Night" at 8 pm Sept. 17 at Civic Center Music Hall, with renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson as soloist on a concert including selections by Gabriela Lena Frank, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Richard Strauss.
September 9, 2022
Operating Partner for Luper Center Named
The City Council voted last week to name the Freedom Center of Oklahoma City, LLC, as the operating partner for the Clara Luper Civil Rights Center, a MAPS 4 project.
Christina Beatty was named as project director of the non-profit.
September 9, 2023
Center Monument Relocated, for now
The iconic monument that has stood prominently outside of the Freedom Center for the past 30 years has been temporarily relocated, signaling progress as the restoration of the historic building moves forward.
The restoration, originally part of the MAPS 4 Projects, is moving forward with raised private funds.
Originally installed in 1992, the four-tiered granite memorial honors local civil rights heroes alongside nationally recognized figures.
On July 6, it was carefully disassembled and transported by Wilbert Memorials to their production plant, where the names and images on the monument will also be restored, and the whole monument will be stored safely away from the construction site until time for its reinstallation.
August 19, 2022
Honoring Clara Luper Who Helped Shape The Civil Rights Movement
Sixty-four years ago today, Clara Luper - an Oklahoma City history teacher and NAACP Youth Council advisor - along with 13 Black youth took a stance against segregation and helped to shape the civil rights movement. She and the children from the Youth Council entered Katz Drug Store in Oklahoma City and peacefully protested its whites-only opposition. All of them sat down at the lunch counter and ordered thirteen Cokes.
Luper instructed the students to remain calm and to turn their heads in disregard to the hateful action any white people did unto them. One of the students was her oldest daughter Marilyn Luper Hildreth. She was 10 years old when they took their stance.
August 20, 2022
Oklahoma City community organizes reenactment of sit-in for Civil Rights
64 years later, the Katz drug store is gone but what it stood for is still alive. In celebration of Clara Luper, community members organized a reenactment.
Americans all across the country know the story of this sit-in that sparked the civil rights movement on its way to ending segregation.
"I feel good on the inside, knowing that somehow, I know I have, I don't see it now, but I know that through our efforts we've made a difference. In our city, our state, and our nation," said Marilyn Luper Hildreth, daughter of Clara Luper.
August 2, 2022
Freedom Fiesta Celebration - 64th Anniversary Schedule
Freedom Fiesta Celebration Schedule:
Thursday, August 18, 2022: 6p - 9p
Featuring acclaimed composer and jazz trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe
Yale Theatre - 227 SW 25th, OKC
Friday, August 19, 2022: 6p - 9p
Art Exhibit and Panel Discussion on the "Freedom Story"
Paseo Art Gallery - 3024 Paseo, OKC
Saturday, August 20, 2022: 8:30a
Reenactment March - Frontline Church to Kaiser's Grateful Bean Cafe
Frontline Church - 1104 N. Robinson, OKC
Sunday, August 21, 2022: 6p - 8p
Keynote Speaker - Rev. Bryan Carter, Senior Pastor of Concord Church - Dallas, TX
Fifth Street Baptist Church - 801 NE 5th Street, OKC
August 1, 2022
Composer and jazz trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe to perform during Freedom Fiesta
Hannibal Lokumbe is an American Classical composer, poet, community activist, and noted jazz trumpeter. His career spans more than four decades, originally from Smithville, Texas.
Hannibal is the founder and director of the Music Liberation Orchestra, a program that teaches music, poetry, and genealogy to incarcerated men in the Bastrop County Jail (Texas), New Orleans Parish Prison (Louisiana), the Holmes burg Prison (Pennsylvania), and the prison system of Nashville, Tennessee.
Hannibal's notable awards and recognitions: Too numerous to list, but to name a few - Harlem Jazz Hall of Fame Lifetime Inductee, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), 2020 recipient, American for the Arts, and Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities.
Commissions: The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia; The Philadelphia Orchestra; St. Louis symphony; Detroit Symphony Orchestra; The American Composers Orchestra; Houston Symphony; Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; New Jersey Symphony/Performing Arts Center; Carnegie Hall; Philadelphia Orchestra Composer-in-Residency, 2016-2019 and the Nashville Symphony. His most recent endeavor is with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Symphony, where he has been commissioned to write the score for the 2022-2023 Classics featuring the Clara Luper Centennial, scheduled for May 2023.
August 1, 2022
Eastside Pizza Celebrates Clara Luper in August
In celebration of the 64th anniversary of the Katz Sit-Ins. For the month of August, Eastside Pizza House will donate a portion of Clara Luper Pizza sales to the Clara Luper Legacy foundation.