NORMAN, OK – 2011 is a special year for the Firehouse Art Center’s annual fundraiser, the Chocolate Festival.  2011 will mark the Firehouse Art Center’s 40th year in Norman.   In 1971, the Firehouse Art Center was started by 3 potters who wanted to create a community art center.  Over the years, the Firehouse has grown into one of the premiere community art education centers in the region, offering visual art classes for adults and children and gallery exhibits of the highest quality.


In addition, the Firehouse Art Center remembers Dan Davis, the founder of the Chocolate Festival, who passed away January 4.  Davis was the Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Liberal Studies from 1988-1995, was an FAC board member for many years, and taught stained glass classes at the FAC.   In 1983, Davis decided that a Chocolate Festival would be an exciting way to raise money for the Firehouse Art Center.  He asked five restaurants, including current Chocolate Festival restaurants Legends and La Baguette, to donate chocolate samples.  His initial goal was to have 200 people buy tickets, but the first year over 600 tickets were sold.  Over the years, the funds raised have gone to help support visual arts education, exhibits and programs offered by the Firehouse Art Center. 


Tickets are on sale now for the Chocolate Festival, which will be Saturday, February 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the University of Oklahoma’s Forum Building, located at 1704 Asp Avenue (at Asp and Timberdell).


The Chocolate Festival will host 35 restaurants, bakeries, candy stores and chocolate makers.  Also included is a fun day of visual art for the whole family.  All proceeds support the Firehouse Art Center to offer high quality visual arts education, experiences and exhibitions in the Norman community.


Tickets are on sale now, and may be purchased online by visiting  There are two types of tickets available.  The Premiere ticket is for a one-hour session from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and includes 15 chocolate samples for $30.  The $20 tickets include 10 samples and will be available for sessions every 30 minutes from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.


Visual art experiences will be available for children.  The Children’s Art Wall provides an opportunity for children to explore their imaginations with acrylic paint. After the Chocolate Festival, the Art Wall panels will be on display in Lions Park for all of Norman to see.  Children will also have an opportunity to sculpt animals with clay and contribute to the Creative Clay Animal Project.  All children are encouraged to participate in these free events; paid admission to the Chocolate Festival is not necessary. Firehouse faculty and University of Oklahoma Fine Art students will assist children with their works.  The Children’s Art Wall and the Creative Clay Animal Project will be available 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.


The Firehouse Art Center’s Chocolate Festival was ranked third among food festivals in the United States by the Food Network, has been featured in Southern Living Magazine, and won the 2009 Frontier Country Grand Award for Outstanding Food Festival in Central Oklahoma.


All proceeds of the 29th Annual Firehouse Art Center’s Chocolate Festival will help support visual arts education, exhibits and programs offered by the Firehouse Art Center.


For additional information on the Chocolate Festival, contact Carla Chew at the Firehouse Art Center at 329-4523 or visit


ABOUT THE NORMAN FIREHOUSE ART CENTER – The Norman Firehouse Art Center, Inc. is a non-profit organization that serves Norman and surrounding communities by offering visual art classes for students of all ages, as well as gallery exhibitions of the highest quality.




Jennifer Skinner

Firehouse Art Center

Phone: (405) 329-4523

Fax: (405) 292-9763