Eric Himan, an award-winning recording artist based in Oklahoma City, serves at the director of events for Myriad Botanical Garden as well as the music director for the Scissortail Park Foundation. He has toured nationally with Leon Russell and Ani DiFranco, and has produced 10 original albums. We caught up with Eric and got his thoughts on …
… being a music director.
As the talent buyer for our Scissortail Park Concert Series, I am always on the lookout for who to bring to our Love’s Travel Station Stage and Great Lawn. Oklahoma City has such a wide pool of talent in all genres, and to mix those great artists with nationally recognized ones makes for a perfect mix. I want our series to feel diverse, and I get really excited when all the stars align. Our series will run from May through September this year.
… working at Myriad.
My day to day responsibilities at Myriad Gardens include working with my amazing events team (Emmy French, Kristen Milburn, and Laura Gipson) to create and execute a wide range of events from our big yearly fundraisers – Pumpkinville and Children’s Garden Festival – to our monthly series – Full Moon Bike Rides, Myriad in Motion Fitness classes, Dancing in the Gardens and more. We love to brainstorm as a team on how to provide the best experience for our members and patrons.
… what drew him to OKC.
After running events in Tulsa at Guthrie Green and The Gathering Place for the past four years (I was a Tulsa resident for 14 years), I was looking for an opportunity to learn a new city and what it has to offer for live production and events. When I saw that Myriad Gardens was on the hunt for a new Director of Events, I immediately threw my hat in and met with our wonderful leader – executive director Maureen Heffernan. I always want to feel like I am growing as an artist and a person and these spaces have allowed me to feel that way already.
… his musical background.
I started playing guitar and singing when I was eight. When I was 13, I started applying those skills to the music that was speaking (rock with Janis Joplin, folk with Tracy Chapman, pop with 10,000 Maniacs). By the time I got to Penn State to go to college, I began playing at fraternities and festivals, and that changed the game for me. I started touring once I graduated. I was driving all over the country (all 48 states I could get to with a car) performing anywhere I could play (bars, concert venues, opening for other artists at theaters, malls, etc). After 15 years, I was able to put out 10 albums independently with listeners all over the world.
… his greatest achievements.
My greatest accomplishment musically was touring with one of my main musical heroes, Ani DiFranco, and getting to share the stage with her on a few songs throughout that tour. When I was sixteen, I was in my room learning her tunes, and to have been 35 playing on stage singing with her was such a huge stepping stone for me. I also got to perform at Wrigley Field for an event back in 2006 with Cyndi Lauper.
In my roles as an events director, helping to produce Pumpkinville last year at Myriad Botanical Gardens was a highlight. It is a three week festival that typically has a theme and brings out tons of people. Booking Leann Rimes at Scissortail Park (May 21st!) was also a big highlight to date.
… his life in 20 years.
20 years, wow. I hope I am still producing events that range in style and genre. I’d love to see that I am still brainstorming and trying to think outside the box. I also hope that I am still writing and performing music that speaks to my heart and resonates with others.
… events on the horizon.
I am looking forward to a year of fun, festive events in OKC with our SONIC Summer Movie Series to this year’s Children’s Garden Festival and Pumpkinville. Scissortail Park’s Concert Series is sure to bring out crowds of music fans this year and I will be right there with them listening to some of my favorites artists.
Personally, I am all about a team dynamic, whether that is my events team or my band, the Nightly Dues. This year is already building fast, so I’m just trying to hang on with a big smile on my face.
Photo by Tony Li