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The Nescatunga Art Council

The Nescatunga Arts and Humanities Council, Inc. (NAHC) was established in 1971 with the mission of promoting the arts and humanities in the community of Alva, Oklahoma and making the arts accessible to all. To accomplish this mission NAHC holds one of the longest running art festivals in the state, organizes an elegant Evening of Art, makes financial donations to the art, music, and speech departments in our schools, awards scholarships, and led Alva’s first community-wide historic preservation project. Our membership is composed of approximately 100 area citizens. All of our activities utilize volunteers -- we have never had any paid employees.

The annual Nescatunga Arts and Crafts Festival is NAHC’s largest effort for promoting the arts. Ten committees work for months prior to the festival, which draws some 150 artists and 1,500 attendees from all over Oklahoma. Each year, on the first Saturday in June our town square is alive with displays of fine art and large crowds of festival attendees viewing and buying the work. The art works are judged by a visiting artist and generous cash awards are given to the top three artists in eight categories plus an award for Best of Show.

The Art Festival also showcases a wonderful variety of local singing, dancing and musical talent who perform on a bandstand in the midst of the festival area. Various food booths are managed by the school music and speech departments and by NAHC members who bake food items for a Gourmet food booth. The festival is supported by civic clubs, the Chamber of Commerce and county and city officials who offer their services to assure the success of our festival.

NAHC supports Alva’s vocal, band, speech, and art departments by providing generous annual donations and by awarding a $500 scholarship to a graduating senior who intends to study in the arts or humanities. Working with the art instructors in our schools, NAHC annually organizes a public exhibit of the art student’s works

NAHC had long recognized the need for a facility that could be used for school art exhibits and art workshops, but also could be used by the community at large for recitals, lectures, support group meetings, receptions, and many other events. Using donations, the NAHC purchased the historic Runnymede Hotel building on our downtown square in 1998 for this purpose. A series of town meetings reinforced our intentions. After the building was purchased NAHC immediately appointed a Runnymede Restoration Project committee to oversee the renovation of the building. This committee organized cleanup activities, hired an architect, raised money though fundraisers and grants and oversaw the renovation of The Runnymede. The Nescatunga Arts Council continues to support The Runnymede with an annual Tag Sale and Sunday Dinners.

Here is more information on The Nescatunga Arts Council.

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