The “old days” (two years ago)
Last night, I enjoyed a beverage with Amanda and Lindsay (DNA Galleries & Collected Thread) at McNellies. We were reminiscing about the “old days” of the Plaza District, which in our experience is only about 2-3 years (the revitalization effort goes back 13+ years). Amanda told the story of coming across the studio amongst empty storefronts, we all remembered when Lindsay was showing “Housewares” in empty Plaza spaces, I talked of my first experience in the district–which was the job interview. We went on, and on–remembering last year’s “Plazies” (our annual version of the Dundees). It was amazing to think just in the last year who wasn’t there–Shop Good, Warpaint, Diana at Bad Granny’s, Coffy’s, Chaparney, Midwest Media, Keep It Local. It seems like ages ago, but we were once again reminded how amazing the last two years have been. The first year of LIVE on the Plaza was pretty much a few of the businesses opening late, showing some art, playing some music. We were lucky to have our friends, family and a few neighbors join us. These days, each LIVE is better and better, with more and more people supporting and enjoying our cause. It’s truly amazing.
As the director of the district, many probably don’t know my face. I spend most of my time behind the blogs, facebooks, twitters and hustling the district from my office. One of my favorite things to do at LIVE on the Plaza is to walk and listen. I hear new visitors talk about the district, the energy, the potential–comparing us to arts districts in great cities. I watch children play on the sidewalks, and I see high school kids have a good place to hang out. I see older couples enjoying the youthful energy and seeing new creativity, and young professionals take a break from busy life to enjoy a night in the Plaza. All in all, I see a city full of people who are making and appreciating the local flavor of our city. It’s a really beautiful thing to see so many different kinds people experiencing community in the name of culture.
With that, a huge thank you to those who have been there from the beginning, to those that have supported us in recent years, and those that have just now discovered our district. We wouldn’t have come this far without you! We are so appreciative that people in Oklahoma City want fresh, local and creative flavor. It is that attitude which will shape our city for years to come!
I’ve added some “vintage” LIVE on the Plaza/Festival photos for fun
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