Uncovering Oklahoma is a travel and interview series showcasing creative people and places in Oklahoma. I, Dennis Spielman, started this series back in 2009 to show teens and young adults that Oklahoma wasn’t as boring as we thought. In 2021, the Oklahoma Arts Council awarded me the prestigious Governor’s Arts Award for Media in the Arts in reconigation of my media coverage of the state’s art scene throughout the years.
Ali Heidari, a host at the time, and I filmed the first two places, The Downtown Underground and Put A Cork In It, on April 15, 2009. This is the date I count as the anniversary of the show even though the first episode, Gems in Bricktown and Downtown, was released on June 2, 2009, with Ali and Charmaine as my first hosts. Today, I still focus on uncovering creative people and places geared toward young adults. Episodes have a variety of styles ranging from brief artist statements to documentaries and guest-hosted specials.
Uncovering Oklahoma is also known for date ideas and season guides. The collection of date ideas was popular enough to inspire me to put them in a book. I released the first digital date guide book on February 12, 2012. On January 20, 2013, the date guide book changed to date ideas and was available in print for the first time. The final book was released on January 15, 2015, being discontinued in favor of other projects and having an updated online guide.
Uncovering Oklahoma’s first feature-length film, District Up!, made its World Premiere at the deadCenter Film Festival on June 10, 2016, at 8:00 pm to a packed house. The movie was later released online, with some changes and improvements, on November 18, 2016. I’ve made other feature documentaries, including Inviting Art and Welcome to the Plaza Walls.
In 2018, Jeff Provine and I started a docudrama podcast series to explore Oklahoma’s ghost stories. Tales Unveiled combines real Oklahoma urban legends in a narrative of a greater mystery. Journalist, Sam Saxton, (voiced by Dennis Spielman) meets fiction author and paranormal researcher, Geoff DeRoot, (voiced by Jeff Provine) at a ghost tour at a reportedly haunted house in old Oklahoma City. Following a strange encounter, the two decide to unveil local hauntings.
Currently, I live in Norman with my wife, Leslie, and our dogs. Uncovering Oklahoma is a fun side project for me as I freelance videography for clients. Sometimes I get sponsors for episodes, but mostly this series is a labor of love. Join me on Patreon to help support my creative endeavors if you love what I’m doing. Patrons get early access to content and exclusive treats. Be sure to follow Uncovering Oklahoma on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.