Established Oklahoma districts that meet program criteria may be eligible to receive formal certification as an Oklahoma Arts Council Certified Cultural District.
Certified Cultural Districts
Learn more about each Oklahoma Arts Council Certified Cultural District below (coming soon):
- Brady Arts District (Tulsa)
- Kendall Whittier (Tulsa)
- Paseo Arts District (OKC)
- Plaza District (OKC)
The purpose of the Cultural District Certification program is to:
- Establish a set of standards and provide accountability for ensuring successful and sustainable arts and cultural districts across Oklahoma.
- Support the continued success of established districts through the provision of technical assistance and increased visibility.
- Highlight and promote established districts as models for other communities.
Benefits of being a Certified Cultural District
- Service from the Oklahoma Arts Council as an accountability partner to ensure a healthy and sustainable district
- Standards that establish a foundation for potential growth
- The seal of approval from the official state arts agency
- Recognition and promotion by the Oklahoma Arts Council
- Technical assistance from Oklahoma Arts Council staff
- Technical assistance from state agency program partners
Criteria for Certification
To be considered for certification, applicants must demonstrate the following in their application:
- Evidence of solid, audience-based arts and cultural programming, including arts education, for the previous three years
- A recognized identity as a district with designated boundaries
- A wide-range of public and private support through funding and partnerships
- Strong collaborations with arts and non-arts organizations, including individual artists
- A healthy and diverse committee to oversee the district
- Support for a district coordinator
Application and Renewal of Certification
The Oklahoma Arts Council accepts program applications every three years. Districts that have been certified in the past must demonstrate that they continue to meet certification guidelines by applying for renewal every three years.
- Applications can be submitted anytime during the calendar year. Support materials must be submitted as noted in the application.
- Oklahoma Arts Council staff pre-screens all applications to validate requirements compliance.
- Panelist review: scoring of application and support material by an outside panel of professionals.
- Submission of panelist recommendations to the Governor-appointed Oklahoma Arts Council board for final approval.
The Oklahoma Arts Council reserves the right at any time to check compliance for certification.
What is a cultural district?
In general, a cultural district is a mixed-use area of a community in which a high concentration of arts and cultural facilities or activities serves as the anchor of attraction. Cultural districts can be found in communities of all sizes - rural and urban. Ideally, a district reflects its community's unique built environment and history, showcases the region's artists and cultural traditions, and increases social engagement.
Cultural districts act as an agent for positive growth in a community by:
- Incentivizing new and relocating businesses
- Stimulating commerce
- Boosting tourism
- Fostering civic pride
- Enhancing quality of life
- Increasing property values
- Attracting a well-educated and creative workforce
For more information contact our Community Arts Director.