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Oklahoma State Capitol

2021 Oklahoma Arts Conference

Embracing the Dawn

Michelle Brown-Burdex
Michelle Brown-Burdex is a native of Tulsa where she currently serves as the Program Coordinator for the Greenwood Cultural Center (GCC), a nonprofit organization that preserves African American heritage and promotes positive images of the African American community. As Program Coordinator, she has implemented and managed several award-winning programs such as the Young Entrepreneurs Summer Arts Program, GCC’s Performing Arts Program, and the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program. During her 25-year tenure, Brown-Burdex has contributed to the development of several pictorial exhibits at GCC, as well as several publications, including “A Century of African American Experience, Greenwood: Ruins, Resilience, and Renaissance.” She is the tour guide for GCC and has given guided tours to thousands of students, educators, and tourists from around the world. She has a unique ability to educate people about the tragic history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and the triumphant history of Black Wall Street through storytelling. Brown-Burdex is a member of the Tulsa Mass Graves Historical Narrative Committee, a subgroup of the Public Oversight Committee. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for A New Way Foundation, Tulsa. In 2020, she was accepted into the Leadership Tulsa Thrive Program and the Oklahoma Arts Council’s 2021 Leadership Arts class. A member of the American Folklore Society and the Tulsa Area American Red Cross Sickle Cell Advisory Committee, Brown-Burdex recently founded the Black Wall Street Historical Society and Michelle Brown-Burdex, LLC. She is married to Brock Burdex, is the mother of three children, and has five grandchildren.

Michelle Brown-Burdex's Schedule
Oklahoma Black Arts Leaders Affinity Group Meeting
Date: Wednesday – October, 27 2021 Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm
Room: Meeting Room
Affinity groups are a safe and protected environment that allow community members who share a common cultural or social identifier a means to foster collective peer support. For any artist or arts leader who identifies as Black or African American, the Oklahoma Black Arts Leaders Affinity Group Meeting will provide a safe space to affirm identity, build community, and cultivate leadership. The group will work together to discuss common issues and innovative opportunities for working together in the future. The guiding principle for this affinity group is based on Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum’s ABCs approach for inclusive leadership:

· Affirming Identity

· Building Community

· Cultivating Leadership

This meeting does not require conference registration. To RSVP, please email Eyakam Gulilat at

A Seat at the Table and a Voice in the Conversation
Date: Friday – October, 29 2021 Time: 9:15am - 10:15am
Room: Theatre
What often starts as a strong desire for our organizations to become more inclusive and diverse leads to the recognition that there is tremendous work to do in shifting our operational practices and organizational culture. It is not always obvious where to begin in this work, but listening with an open heart and mind is a good place to start when it comes to building trust and fostering new connections. Members of the newly formed Oklahoma Black Arts Leaders Affinity Group will share recommendations on how Oklahoma’s arts and cultural sector can build meaningful and sustainable connections with Black and African American artists, organizations, and communities.

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For more information contact our Assistant Director.