Creating a Profitable Pairing: Tulsa-Based WaterWorks' First Fundraiser to Be Wine, Art Event

Article excerpt

At 6 p.m. Sept. 19, Tulsa's nonprofit WaterWorks Art Center will launch the first fundraiser in its long history, hoping to establish a quarterly cycle for its new Wine and Art event.

"We're optimistic and calling it Pairing No. 1," said Executive Director Lee Anne Zeigler, who assumed her post in December.

This two-hour, reservation-only event at the 1710 Charles Page Blvd. center will explore Spanish wines and artists under the tutelage of certified wine educator Randa Warren and University of Tulsa art history professor Maria Maurer.

Maurer, who joined the TU staff this week, said she would discuss the works of five different Spanish artists, while Warren will offer insights on appropriate wines.

"Everyone thinks of going to French and Italian wines, and that's easy, but Spanish wines are up-and-coming and so are Spanish artists," Zeigler said. "So this is a nice pairing."

Sponsored by the WaterWorks Advisory Council, the event will fund scholarship programs by the 501(c)3 organization, along with various equipment and workshop needs at the arts center. At $50 per person or $90 per couple, Zeigler said the goal is to raise $2,000 above the program's $1,200 cost.

The center will take reservations for up to 70 people. With just under three weeks to go, Zeigler said there are 35 reservations in hand.

"We hope to have 50 people," she said. "We'd love to have more than 50 people, but we need 50 people for this to be a successful fundraiser for us. Our seating is somewhat limited, so we'll only take as many people as we can seat."

This city of Tulsa arts education organization dates back several decades. Zeigler recalled taking weaving classes under the program in the 1970s, when it operated under the name Johnson Atelier. The WaterWorks name came in 1999 when the programs moved to the city's original municipal water treatment plant, a 7,300-square-foot facility built in 1908 beside the Newblock Park, just west of downtown. …