Apart from being home to service shops, galleries, museums, bars, music venues, and parks, the Tulsa Arts District boasts eclectic and rich arts. The Tulsa Arts District is one of the oldest parts of the Tulsa city. The Cain’s Ballroom and the Tulsa Theater are some of the cultural icons that surround this place.
This district is situated in the northernmost part of downtown Tulsa. Denver Avenue borders it on the west, Elgin Avenue on the east, the Inner Disposal Loop (IDL) on the north, and a network of railroad tracks on the south. If you continue walking, you’ll also run along Greenwood Avenue where Black Wall Street once flourished!
Did I forget to mention that the one-hit-wonder boy band, Hanson, is also from Tulsa!
*Ques the 90s hit song*
Just a little nostalgia. Now back on topic.
Tate Brady, a prominent businessman in the real estate industries, mining, and oil is one of the proclaimed founding fathers of the Tulsa Arts District. It is also important to call out that Brady was also a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). This is part of the unfortunate history of Tulsa. I mention this because there still remains many businesses and buildings named after this racist today. So please know exactly the type of person that Tulsa chooses to remember.
Upon moving to the Native American Territory, Tate Brady set up a small shop that is today known as Tulsa. It later became known as the Brady District. Between the 1960s and 1980s, the district transformed into a hub for warehouses, repair shops, and pipe yards. This led to its neglect and rundown look.
The Brady District name was changed to “Arts” in 2009 to reflect the visual and performance arts that dominates the city.
What You Will Find in the Tulsa Arts District
The Tulsa Arts District has vibrant art collections that make it a tourist destination. One of its landmarks is Cain’s Ballroom. Formerly a dancehall in 1924, it is one of the Oklahoma’s famous historic music venues.
Throughout the Arts District, you will find street arts, shops, niche studios, and its characteristic red brick buildings. Tour around the district to find unique and spirited painted murals on building walls across the area. Satiate your artistic appetite viewing an extensive portfolio of several professional Tulsa artists. When you come across any street art in Tulsa, make sure to enjoy its unique and historical elements.
This district has since morphed into an area filled with bars, restaurants, private businesses, remote workspaces, and arts establishments. It has been an area that attracts a huge number of tourists annually. This area is slowly growing and becoming one of Tulsa’s most visited areas!
Although Oklahoma may not be at the top of your travel list, if you have a day to explore, you may want to add the city of Tulsa to your list!
Street Art in Tulsa
All Photos were taken and owned by me, thruherlenz
Related Article: Black History: A 2020 Look At Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma.