The Tulsa Art Alley Project will transform the alley behind Elote (downtown Tulsa between 5th Street and 6th Street/Boston Avenue and Main Street) in spring of 2019.
In cooperation with the City of Tulsa, local businesses, property owners and volunteers, we will clean up the alley, add artwork, work with artists to paint murals, clean up trash, consolidate dumpsters and add amenities like lighting and greenery.
Through this project, we will take an underused space and transform it into a truly special place. We believe that Tulsa Art Alley will draw people to Tulsa’s increasingly vibrant downtown and inspire them to come up with new uses for forgotten, underutilized places in our city.
By making this alley cleaner, safer and more vibrant, we hope to encourage people to visit downtown Tulsa and provide more enjoyable routes for those who already work and play in the area. We also hope that visitors to Tulsa Art Alley will benefit local business and property owners.
Tulsa Art Alley Founders
Libby Billings is a graduate of Oklahoma State Institute of Technology. She owns three restaurants in the downtown Tulsa Deco District, and is the previous Chairwoman of the Downtown Coordinating Council. When she’s not downtown, she enjoys spending time in nature with her two very busy children.
Kelly Cook has a bachelor’s degree in visual communication and a master’s in urban planning and design from OU. She is a graphic designer at Williams, and has more than 25 years of design experience. She lives in Tulsa and loves spending time with her family.
CREATE A MORE WALKABLE CITY
Shortcuts and better city connections make alleys quieter, safer and more interesting routes than existing streets.
MAKE SPACE FOR GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
Alleys can be places for bird habitats, local plants, stormwater drainage and other green city initiatives, acting as symbols and catalysts of a healthier, more eco-friendly city for all.
CREATE PERSONAL CITY SPACES
Places to step out of the bustling street, places with birds and plants, and places to sit. Places to lunch with friends and appreciate art. Alleys are human scale, and often the “back building” quality makes them interesting and charming compared to streets.
CREATE ADDITIONAL POTENTIAL BUSINESS FRONTAGES FOR A GREATER ECONOMY
Taking advantage of ground floor spaces on buildings facing alleys provides denser retail districts and additional opportunities for entrepreneurs. Our alley already has a great example: Boston Title & Abstract restaurant and bar!
USE OFF-STREET SPACES FOR FESTIVALS AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
Activating alleys can provide safe, interesting places for public events, without taking over streets. Art Alley’s proximity to the H.A. Chapman Green will allow organizers to use both the Alley and the Green for special events and programming, such as movie nights, alley mural debut nights and more.
CREATE UNIQUE EXPERIENCES
High quality alleys feature good lighting, good paving, and offer attractions like public art, vegetation, store and business entrances and seating. Quality alleys are important: They offer a unique experience that can’t be found elsewhere in the city.
Adapted from the Integrated Alley Handbook, Seattle, Washington