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Seeking Crafters, Performers, and Musicians for Pride Events

To kick-off PRIDE month, we are planning a weekend of events from June 3-5 at The Starlite Bar and OKEQ. It’s a little too soon to announce all of the details but on Sunday, June 5th, Twisted Arts is hosting a Queer Artist Market and have spots available for queer crafters. The event will be free to attend and there is no cost to reserve a space as a vendor. We are also looking for performers for a variety show. If you are interested, contact Executive Director, Kevin Lovelace, at kevin@twistedfest.org for more details.

Spotlight Tulsa: Sarah Popejoy

Sarah Popejoy, a singer-songwriter born and raised in Broken Arrow, OK has a new album coming out later this year and we sat down for a conversation about what inspired her to write “The Oklahoma Storyteller”.

TA: Hey Sarah! Thanks for meeting with me today. Your new album sounds fascinating. Before we get into the details, tell me a little about yourself.

SP: I grew up in Broken Arrow with a musical family, which inspired me to begin playing music at a young age. Musicians like Ani Difranco and Dar Williams were early influences in my songwriting and at the age of 23 I moved to Nashville, where I spent many years honing my craft in legendary bars like the Bluebird Cafe. To make ends meet, I become a geriatric nurse. I moved back to Broken Arrow in 2014 where I am still writing songs and working as a geriatric nurse.

TA: My aunt owns Broken Arrow nursing home, so I have some idea of how hard and rewarding that must be. How did you decide to write an album about Oklahoma history?

SP: I had the idea about writing an album about Oklahoma history for 10 years while living in Nashville then, in 2019, I had a conversation with my dad on Father’s Day about how his dad was abandoned by his parents in 1932 at the age of 12. That imagery of life during the Dust Bowl and Depression inspired me to write a song about it. Later I went to a Dar Williams retreat and more songs started coming together, especially because the anniversary of the Tulsa Race Riot was coming up. I also have a song about Mickey Mantle (who grew up in Oklahoma) because my dad was such a huge fan and would take me to Yankees vs Texas Rangers games. As a child, I got to meet Mickey Mantle, as well!

TA: Writing about the Tulsa Race Riot and Dust Bowl must have been interesting research.

SP: What‘s been fun about writing the songs has been speaking with experts and visiting historical societies. For example, while working on the song “The Victims Have Names”, I sent my lyrics to author Hannibal B. Johnson, author of “Black Wall Street 100”. It really meant a lot to get his notes and approval.

This album has been an interesting journey of weird synchronicities. While recording my song about Leon Russel in his restored Church Studios, they had just reopened the studio the same week I recorded. I had booked it months in advance without knowing when they were going to reopen to the public. Also, while recording my song about the Oklahoma City bombing, one of the recording engineers said he was a fireman on duty that day and helped provide medical assistance to those who were in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building when the blast occurred.

TA: Wow, sounds like life is telling you that you are on the correct path making this album. When do you think it will be released?

SP: I’m pushing to have the songs recorded and mixed by the end of the year, with an album release date in January 2023.

For more information about Sara’s new album and links to her music, visit: https://sarahpopejoy.com/