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Arts conference boosts area businesses


ARDMORE, OK - At the Oklahoma Arts Conference artists attended panels, listened to lectures and shopped for new pieces right here in Ardmore.

The Oklahoma Arts Council chose to hold their annual conference here because of the city's development over the past few years.

"In that short time there have been tremendous leaps and bounds with the downtown cultural district," said Molly O'Connor, director of cultural development at the Oklahoma Arts Council. "The programs that are provided for the arts that really enhance the community."

O'Connor says conferences like this help artists network and develop their skills. But they also leave a mark on the communities they're in.

"They've really focused on having the attendees come downtown and that has been great for our downtown businesses, especially our restaurants," said Julie Longest, Ardmore Main Street executive director.

Café Alley had a waiting list Tuesday night, and Wednesday, floor supervisor Tamara Wray said they're eating up the extra business.

"We got slammed," said Wray. "So it was a great time, we were really busy and didn't expect it."

So whether these artist artists are here for paintings or sculptures the bustle of extra customers is music to their ears.

"It really picks up our business so we enjoy having them," Wray said.


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