Bill and Bob Ross to be honored as 2011 Urban Pioneers

April 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

It is the Plaza District Association’s pleasure to announce that Bill and Bob Ross, Chairmen and President of the Inasmuch Foundation, will be the recipients of the 2011 Urban Pioneer Awards. The Ross family is no stranger in Oklahoma City’s nonprofit community –both members of the family have served as active volunteers and supporters of numerous organizations for many years. But their role in the Plaza District has been pivotal! With their family history on NW 16th Street, their long-time involvement with Lyric Theatre, and their leadership role in Lyric’s highly successful capital campaign – their participation in the Plaza District has been instrumental to its success.

Bill and Bob Ross will join an impressive list of past Urban Pioneer honorees including Dr. Tom McDaniel, Lou Kerr, Meg Salyer, Mark Funke, Mike Turpen, Ann Simank and Steve Mason.

The 16th Street Plaza District has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last several years. As arts and culture continue to grow in Oklahoma City, the Plaza District is providing opportunities for new urban spaces, emerging businesses and engaging events focused on the arts. To celebrate these achievements, each year the Plaza District hosts the Urban Pioneer Awards to recognize those individuals who have been instrumental in the rebirth of our inner city – “Urban Pioneers” who have made the Plaza District and Oklahoma City the vibrant and creative community it is today.

Recently, the Plaza District Association hosted a reception for the Ross Family at Bob Ross’s childhood home in the Plaza District on NW 16. “It was truly amazing to listen to Bob recall childhood memories growing up in the district amongst his children and grandchildren,” said Plaza District Executive Director Kristen Vails. “Bill and his son Bob have been so instrumental to the growth of the district through their commitment to Lyric Theatre and the district. Without that leadership, the Plaza District would not be the growing community it is today, and it’s just a small portion of the overall support the Ross Family have infused into projects that are changing the face of Oklahoma City.”

The 2011 Urban Pioneer Awards will be held Thursday, June 16th at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. For ticket information, please visit or call 405-367-9403. Sponsor  Tables are also available. For more information visit

The Plaza District is a neighborhood commercial district boasting Oklahoma City’s local arts flavor. Located on NW 16th between Classen and Penn Ave, the Plaza District is home to art galleries, studios, retail shops, restaurants, and creative services the renovated Plaza Theatre for Lyric at the Plaza. This district, once blighted by urban decay now boasts a renewed energy embraced by Oklahoma City’s youth and diverse culture. Each Second Friday of the month from 7-11pm, enjoy LIVE on the Plaza, a monthly artwalk featuring live music, featured artists, special events and local shopping. The Plaza District Association is a non-profit 501c(3) organization working to revitalize the area, to support district businesses and offer arts opportunities and experiences to the community.

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