After a long break, I’m rekindling my Five Questions With… series today to give you all the information you’ll need for this Friday’s ARTonTAP fundraisder at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. This will be the seventh year for ARTonTAP, and more than 80 beers are expected. ARTonTAP is great because it not only features a wide array of beer, but combines that with one of the most unique venues in the city. Without further delay, here’s my conversation with Whitney Cross, associate development officer at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
1. The Thirsty Beagle: Tickets are still available, right? How can people score tickets to get in?
Whitney Cross: Yes, we still have about 100 tickets available as of (Monday). People can go online to www.okcmoa.com , call 236-3100, ext. 237, or come into the museum to purchase tickets. Tickets are $45 for museum members and $50 for non-members. We will sell tickets up to 5:00 this Friday if they are still available.
2. TTB: This is the seventh ARTonTAP — how much have you seen the event grow over the years? Are you expecting this one to be the biggest to date?
WC: I remember the very first ARTonTAP event and hoping that we would sell at least 200 tickets so we could actually raise some money for the museum, but we ended up selling over 350 tickets that year! Since then, we have expanded as much as physically possible, offering the roof, the café, the Theater Lobby… pretty much every square inch of the building we can use. Now, for the last three years we have sold out at about 700 guests, which is so exciting to see the amazing response from the community. We are thrilled with the growth of this event — I just wish we had more room to grow!
3. TTB: The local beer scene has really grown in the past couple years with COOP, Marshall, Mustang, Choc and Battered Boar. How do you feel the introduction of so many local beers helps the event?
WC: I love having our local beermakers at the event because guests can talk directly to the brewmaster or other people directly involved in the process. I also think it is a great way for the local breweries to mingle and get feedback from guests. Hopefully, it’s a win-win for all.
4. TTB: I think it’s great that you guys are going green with the goal of putting on a virtually waste-free event; do you think that will be difficult to pull off? Can you elaborate a little on your plans?
WC: I am thrilled with this new initiative and I am crossing my fingers that it all goes as planned. We have made some great recycle containers that will be labeled for either plastics, compostables, or glass. All of the cardboard will be collected behind the scenes and recycled. We are working with a great organization called Closer to Earth Youth Gardens, who will haul away compostables including food waste, compostable plates, compostable forks, and paper napkins. These products cost us a little more, but we think it is worth it. I am hoping that with clearly labeled containers and volunteers to help assist people, we really can make this one of the first waste-free events in the state. I get excited just thinking about it! Our friends at the DEQ and ECO (Encouraging Conservation in Oklahoma) have also been great advisers through this process.
5. TTB: In addition to the more than 80 beers available for sample, what else will you offer for guests on Friday night?
WC: In addition to our regular selection of 80+ beers to taste, this year we will have three gluten-free beers for our celiac friends to try. We will have great food from Adobe Grill, McNellie’s Pub House, Old Germany Restaurant, and the Museum Café, plus the Stella Artois Rooftop Beer Garden with seating, terrific views, and music from Born in November. And of course, what’s ARTonTAP without the art? We have several fantastic exhibitions on display currently, including “La Serenissima: 18th Century Venetian Art from North American Collections” and a contemporary exhibition, “Jonathan Hills: Intersection,” plus the world’s most comprehensive collection of Dale Chihuly glass, and so much more.
Thanks Whitney! The Thirsty Beagle can get behind beer, of course, and environmental responsibility as well, so good luck to organizers as they try to pull off the greenest beer event Oklahoma City has seen to date. And to all the guests who attend ARTonTAP, have a great time and do your part to help make it happen.