As we cross into 2020, we take a moment to pose one question: What do you hope to see in Tulsa’s future for the next decade?
“Music, art galleries, museums, fashion — by 2030 Tulsa is going to be the city everyone is talking about. Our stories will be told by Hollywood, and it’s being fostered now. Tulsa is becoming more of an art city, and I think by 2030 (we) will be in our prime.”
— Ricco Wright, founder of Black Wall Street Arts, on art
“I wanna see who’s up next and I want to see the artists that I consider to be up next flourish. It’s exciting for me to see people grow and do these projects and try to find different ways to roll it out to the masses and try to keep that love in it. The love for the craft and the love between an artist and their community really allows us to thrive and be proud of what we have here because I think we have something really special. I just want to see it continue to flourish.”
— 1st Verse, musician, on hip-hop
“The bright future of Route 66 in Tulsa is magical in my mind. What I’m hoping to see is something similar to Route 66 in Williams, Arizona : retail, restaurants, more boutique hotels, museums and more! All of the shops are aglow with neon and people are traveling from Chicago to LA, but they know they must stay in Tulsa more than one day.”
— Mary Beth Babcock, owner, Buck Atom’s Cosmic Curios, on Route 66 tourism
“In the past few decades, Tulsa has grown due to our increasing immigrant population, so it is imperative we continue to be a welcoming city for all. Packing up everything and moving to a new place takes resilience — the same value that defines us as Tulsans. In 10 years, I believe immigrants and their families will see themselves fully represented in all public spaces and will continue to contribute to the vibrant diversity that makes our city prosper.”
— Christina da Silva, Deputy Chief of Staff, City of Tulsa, on resilience
“I think we’re in a really great position where we can do some really intentional planning work to build this city from a proactive stance instead of a reactive stance. I think the next 10 years for Tulsa is going to be a lot of really intentional planning in thinking, how we can meet the needs of our citizens today, but also anticipate the needs of new citizens and work in that direction? I think public transit is a perfect example of that.
For a long time, Tulsans have maybe not embraced transit the way that we had hoped that they would, but we’re still pushing for investment into that system. We know for young people and recent college graduates, transportation is one of the top three things they consider before they move to a new city. Having young people say, I have a car, but I don’t want to drive my car every day. I want to be able to take transit to the grocery store. I want to be able to walk to restaurants in my neighborhood. In some ways, that’s a departure from how we’ve built our city. I think those are the conversations Tulsans are really eager to dig in on and work on together.”
— Maggie Hoey, former executive director of Tulsa’s Young Professionals and now assistant director of the Downtown Coordinating Council, on public transportation
“I’d love to see the Tulsa food scene stay on the exact route it is on, with creative local chefs and restaurateurs flourishing. I think this past year (Lowood, Amelia’s Brasserie, etc.) has really shown what our locals can do, which is a creative and innovative and exciting food scene, and in the coming years it will be proven even more, I guarantee.
For us at Three Sirens Restaurant Group, going into the next decade we intend to start focusing more energy into our nonprofit and giving back to the community of industry workers who have given so much to us these last two years. The foundation, we hope, will provide hotlines and direct texting with volunteers, financial assistance and rehabilitation options for those who cannot afford insurance or who need a safe place to go and get help. We also hope to provide education and bring in employees going through rehabilitation to give them a new beginning.”
— Johnna Hayes, co-owner, Three Sirens Restaurant Group, on the Tulsa food scene