OKC Zoo Joins Kung Fu Panda to Combat Wildlife Trade

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is joining WildAid, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and AZA’s program, the Wildlife Trafficking Alliance in a campaign featuring DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda’s Master Po Ping to educate children and families about the illegal wildlife trade. The OKC Zoo is one of more than 15 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums across the United States that will host a series of video messages, billboards and posters at its facility as well as on social media.

Po, the protagonist of DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda franchise, proclaims, “poaching steals from us all,” as he helps defend elephants who are killed for their ivory, rhinos for their horns, lions and tigers for their bones and skins and pangolins for their scales and meat. He helps remind the public that the “big guys” still need help. The campaign will be ongoing throughout 2019.


USAF Undersecretary Scores Importance of State’s Aerospace Industry

With more than 230 aerospace firms and a workforce of nearly 40,000 employees in the region, aerospace plays a key role in the Greater Oklahoma City economy. An audience of about 350 local officials and business leaders gathered at the Sheraton Midwest City Hotel at the Reed Conference Center for the State of the Aerospace Defense Industry event. Hosted annually by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the event highlights opportunities and challenges in the aerospace defense industry.

In the past, speakers have included Tinker AFB commanders, Sen. Jim Inhofe and executives from private aerospace companies such as Boeing.

This year, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Dr. William Roper was the keynote speaker, discussing Air Force innovation initiatives and the implications for Tinker Air Force Base and Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Spring Career Fair Set for April 16

The Oklahoma Spring Career Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 16 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City Centennial Building.

The free event will see more than 500 attendees. 

The Oklahoman Media Company will provide job seekers and local employers with the opportunity to meet face-to-face, apply, interview and more. The event offers a print, digital and in-person approach to attract job seekers with the talent, attitude and skills a company needs. For more information or to register, visit JobsOK.com.

OKC Dodgers Announce Improvements to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark

As Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark gets ready for its 22nd season as the home of professional baseball in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Dodgers have announced a series of improvements and renovations to the facility for 2019 and beyond.

The total costs for the projects are approximately $2.5 million and are funded either by the 10-year general obligation bond approved by Oklahoma City voters in 2017 as part of the “Better Streets, Safer Cities” initiative, or by the city-instituted facility fee on event tickets, implemented in 2014. All projects will be completed by April 4, when the Dodgers open the 2019 season.

“Without the leadership at City Hall and the citizens of Oklahoma City casting their votes, none of this is possible,” said OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes. “We are so fortunate to have this level of extraordinary community support committed to investing in itself.”

OKC National Memorial Museum Launches Augmented Reality Experience

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is launching a leading-edge Augmented Reality (AR) experience powered by Google as part of the Called2Change program for Oklahoma City ninth-grade students.

This technology provides students and teachers with an in-classroom experience that sets up their visit to the Memorial and Museum. Artifacts from the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, integrated with digitally created content, photos and videos stories of family members, survivors and rescue workers, make this story authentic and relevant in today’s world. Using tablets, students interact with 3D buildings, videos, overlays and more, immersing them in the experience and bringing real-world environments about the story into their classroom.

The devices, training and AR software development for the program was made possible by a $75,000 grant funded through the Google, Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of the Tides Foundation.

OKC Offers Discounted Rain Barrels to Citizens

The city of Oklahoma City and the Central Oklahoma Storm Water Alliance are still selling discounted rain barrels to encourage residents to conserve water. Barrels can be purchased at Upcycle-Products.com for $63.50 each. The deadline to order is May 8.

The barrels can be picked up from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 17 or 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. May 18 at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, 1621 S. Portland Ave.

OKC Museum of Art Acquires Two Significant Paintings

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has acquired two significant works of art that are different, yet complementary. Together, “Jacob de Graeff” by Kehinde Wiley (2018) and “Still Life with Fruits, Flowers, Game and Fish (Vase of flowers, furred and feathered game, fruit cups with a guinea pig and a parrot)” by Jan van Kessel the Elder (mid-17th century) represent the diversity of the Museum’s permanent collection.

“Jacob de Graeff” will be displayed beginning March 1. After conservation, “Still Life with Fruits, Flowers, Game and Fish” will be shown later this spring.

“Jacob de Graeff” will be on display on the second floor as part of the Museum’s exciting new presentation of its permanent collection. Wiley’s painting will anchor a new portrait gallery that also features works by Anthony van Dyck, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and George Bellows.