Meet the 2023 Festival of the Arts Co-Chairs: Susie White & Farooq Karim


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We’re excited to announce the two Festival of the Arts Co-Chairs who have dedicated countless hours of their time to produce this year’s event: Susie White and Farooq Karim!

Both Susie and Farooq are familiar with all things Festival and have volunteered for over a decade. Susie began volunteering at Festival in 2011 at the insistence of one of her friends but says she stuck around thanks to Arts Council OKC’s mission and work in education.

“I have a grandson in public school, and I’m a believer in the importance of bringing and keeping the arts in our schools. I’m so proud of all the things Arts Council OKC does to support that mission,” Susie said. “Festival is six days each spring of FUN, but the money raised provides so incredibly much to OKC throughout the year.”

Farooq began volunteering at Festival in 2009 and says he quickly fell in love with the environment and the people who work to bring Festival to life.

“I love walking Festival grounds and seeing people with smiles on their faces having a wonderful time in the heart of our amazing city,” Farooq said. “There are so many incredible people that help make Festival happen. The artists, the vendors, the performers, the first responders, the visitors, the staff, and especially the volunteers. It takes an army to make this wonderful Festival happen.”

As work continues to make this year’s Festival of the Arts the biggest and best yet, both Farooq and Susie are thankful for the opportunity.

“It is an incredible honor and a privilege to be a Festival Co-Chair and get to help lead and represent something that I love so much,” Farooq said.  “It’s also a wonderful honor to be part of that amazing group of past Festival Co-Chairs who have given so much in service of Arts Council OKC, Festival of the Arts, and the Oklahoma City community.”

“To me, it means that someone in the organization saw something in me that I didn’t know I was capable of,” Susie said. “I am very honored to have been asked to serve with Farooq in this capacity two years ago. Over the past two years, I have been able to meet and work with so many great volunteers who share a similar excitement for the visual, performing, and culinary arts.”

Festival of the Arts is April 25 – 30 in Bicentennial Park, and both Susie and Farooq are excited for you to see months of hard work come to fruition.

“Ultimately, my goal is for people to come and enjoy the experience and leave Festival grounds feeling great,” Susie said. “I would hope people would simply say ‘WOW, what a great time we had downtown.”

 “I hope that visitors to Festival will see and enjoy some of the things that they love from past Festivals as well as experience some new art, food, friends, and experiences that they maybe didn’t expect,” Farooq said. “I want everyone who comes to have an amazing time, whatever it is that they are there to see or do.”

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