A Special Welcome to Our New Chair
Ashley Terry Begins Term as Chair of ULI Oklahoma
Downtown Oklahoma City Initiatives has funded $30,000 in grant applications from artists and individuals with public art and placemaking projects that help welcome back the community to downtown. Micro-grants awardees will receive grants of $1,000 to $3,000 for projects in the downtown area.
Last summer during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization partnered with Urban Land Institute of Oklahoma to launch the micro-grant program to activate downtown and drive support of downtown businesses through such a challenging time.
“We were so thrilled with the success of the projects last year, we decided to launch this program for a second year in hopes of capturing the ideas and creativity within our community to help welcome people back downtown,” said Kristen Vails, Director of Placemaking for Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership. “It’s amazing to see what artists and creatives can do with these small grants to offer unique experiences for the downtown community.”
One project, titled “CW Think Park” was submitted by Bekah Hammontree, Community Manager at CREW Workspace, to transform the sidewalk in front of their business into a public “think park” offering interactive puzzles, games, and seating. “Our coworking space was built by, and is filled with, local entrepreneurs who know some of our best ideas come from being relaxed and allowing our minds to wander,” said Hammontree. “The brain is involved in everything we do, and like any other part of the body, it needs to be cared for to succeed. That’s why we’re so excited to open the CW Think Park right outside our front door, a place for both adults and children to gather and workout the oh-so-important brain muscle.”
Downtown sidewalks are the perfect canvas for artist Matin Avali’s project, “OKChalk Walk”. Pedestrians will be surprised and captivated by 35 chalk drawings on public sidewalks and walkways throughout downtown districts over the summer.
The capacity to listen and solve problems is at the core of who architects are. In Michael Höffner’s project, “Talk with an Architect”, a bare-bones outdoor office will be set up to give returning downtown workers an opportunity to talk to someone about how the pandemic has reshaped their relationships with the built environment, or really, any topic they care to explore with a good listener.
The various projects are expected to take place between July and October 2021. For more information, contact Kristen Vails, Director of Placemaking at Downtown OKC.