The Norman Transcript

Local news

November 30, 2012

Dean honored for his creativity

NORMAN — Governor names Rich Taylor as ambassador

A University of Oklahoma dean was recently named by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin as an official Oklahoma Creativity Ambassador.

Rich Taylor, dean of the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, received the award from Creative Oklahoma for his life-long contributions to the art. Ambassadors agree to share their ideas and expertise on how to best advance the state using new approaches that will change perceptions about Oklahoma.

Taylor, a native of Enid, graduated from OU in 1980. In 1996, Taylor was named vice president of Disney Entertainment and Costuming, where he served as the creative executive responsible for numerous Disney parades, shows and special events, including the grand opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the gala christening of all Disney Cruise line ships.

Taylor also co-created and produced the Emmy Award-winning Walt Disney World Christmas Parade aired Christmas morning on ABC, and the Super Bowl XXXIV half-time show. Taylor has cast more than 4,000 performers and entertainment professionals while at Disney and has been a two-time judge of the Miss America Pageant.

Since 2008, Creative Oklahoma and the governor of Oklahoma’s office have worked together to recognize Oklahomans for their national and international creative and innovative contributions representing a wide range of disciplines from the arts to aeronautics to medical research, with 39 Creativity ambassadors around the world now representing Oklahoma.

Other individuals recognized this year include television personality Jane Jayroe Gamble, athlete and artist Desmond Mason and Jesse Tabish, lead vocalist for the band Other Lives. Sir Ken Robinson, the national advisor for Creative Oklahoma, also was named a Creativity ambassador for his work on Oklahoma’s behalf.

Ambassador involvement will include public service announcements, performances, speaking engagements and sharing of their knowledge in their respective fields. This group of ambassadors is expected to grow to include many other recognized Oklahomans over time.

Formed in 2006, Creative Oklahoma is a statewide nonprofit organization that promotes creativity and innovation in education, commerce and culture. The goal is to transform Oklahoma through initiatives that lead to a more entrepreneurial and vibrant economy along with a better quality of life for its citizens.

For more information visit stateofcreativity.com.

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