Plaza District Festival 2011 [Photos]
Oklahoma City’s inaugural (first) Plaza Festival took place about a decade ago with leadership from area resident who banned together for renewal efforts. These early endeavors were underscored by public funding for the arts via the Oklahoma Arts Council, which awarded the Plaza District a festival grant.
Public funding from the City of Oklahoma City was also paramount to the critical streetscaping that transformed the district’s main corridor, Northwest 16th Street between Classen Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue.
|The new Classen Ten Penn neighborhood signs on display.|
Without the commitment of Gatewood and Classen-Ten-Penn residents along with these initial public funds, it’s hard to imagine the entrepreneurial (and “artrepreneurial”) success the district has realized.
|Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s Instrument Playground|
Public funding for the arts courts private investment, and yet, since 2009, the Oklahoma Arts Council budget has been cut by nearly 22 percent for a total loss to arts organization of well over $1 million.
Based on a 2008 economic impact study of arts and cultural organizations in Oklahoma, this $1 million loss equates to a more than $8 million loss to Oklahoma’s economy.
Congratulations to the Plaza District for another great festival!