A few years ago, Tulsa started to see many positive changes, first with the resurrection of downtown and everything that came with it: ONEOK Stadium, the BOK Center, Guthrie Green, Woody Guthrie Center, etc. Lately, the light is shining strong on the Gathering Place. I could go on and on about these new Tulsa jewels, as most do. But no, that’s not me.
I was 11 years old when my parents immigrated from Monterrey, México in 1978. At a very early age I had discovered a propensity to wander, so my new city offered many exciting opportunities to explore. I would wander through Tulsa, close to my new neighborhood in the 11th and Sheridan area, and found so many of the old Tulsa jewels we had at that time. The Big Driller and Bell’s Amusement Park were among the top. Many years later, when I could explore further, I heard of the Gilcrease Museum and the many artworks that were on display. I was about 17 when I first visited the museum. I was amazed.
Since then and until this date, every time I get visitors from out of town I make sure I take them to the museum. I am always certain of its capacity to wonder. Gilcrease amazes and inspires every single time. Gilcrease gives each visitors an opportunity to discover something new, to surround oneself with beauty and to appreciate the human capacity to create.
I’ve had the opportunity to partner or collaborate with the museum in many capacities. In my early 20’s I performed several times for private functions, but on my break, I would just stroll around the museum and take in whatever it had to offer.
In my decade as Executive Director of the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber, I made it a point to collaborate with our local arts community. I defied those that don’t believe in the undeniable link of the arts and business and partnered on many occasions with the museum. I knew the Hispanic community was largely unaware of its existence, hence it was important to raise awareness and increase the community’s partaking of its beauty.
I continue to do that now in my role as Executive Director of Casa de la Cultura, an organization whose mission is to promote and showcase the Latin arts and artists in our great city of Tulsa. And, as the principal in Vega & Treviño Consultants, a company that unites the professional and community leadership expertise of my wife and I to help companies reach their community engagement and diversity representation goals, Gilcrease Museum is and will continue to be a forever partner and ally with events like “Día de Reyes Magos,” where we had more than 2,000 people in attendance.
I am grateful for, and proud of the Gilcrease Museum’s leadership’s latest efforts to be more inclusive of the Hispanic community in everything they do, from their programs and exhibitions to their outreach and community partnership with Casa de la Cultura. Gilcrease Museum will be my number one choice to show off Tulsa’s best for years to come.
Executive Director, Casa de la Cultura
Principal, Vega & Treviño Consultants