About Our Organization
The Plaza District Association and the Plaza Business Alliance are 501c3 and 501c6 organizations that work to revitalize NW 16th in Oklahoma City. Over the last 21 years, the district has risen out of intolerable crime and disrepair into a hub of creativity and a haven for local business. A neighborhood once threatened is now thriving, and historic buildings have been renovated for new, creative uses. The work of the association that began as meetings in living rooms, weed pulling on the weekends and dragging friends to a street festival has now blossomed with over 17 million dollars in investment, over 45 thriving businesses, property values on the rise and crime rates falling quickly.
The association has accomplished this work through focused efforts in building capacity for our organization, promotion of the district, economic development and public space. With two dedicated Boards of Directors, a passionate staff and a visionary group of business owners and volunteers, 16th Street is shaping into Oklahoma City’s emerging district for the arts and local business. Community is at the heart of this work, and engaging our neighbors, the business community, the art community and our local government has resulted in making the Plaza District a place where people want to be.
As a small, grassroots organization, it is imperative the association maintain effective and professional non-profit operations. As our district has grown, so has the responsibilities of our organization and we are constantly evolving to adjust to that growth and prepare for the future. Though our accomplishments over the last 21 years have been great, we still press on the challenges that remain in building our community to be the best it can be. The strength of our organization will carry that progress, and we continue to shape the operations and programs of the association to the excellence we hope to see on 16th Street.
The Plaza District Association works to maintain the Plaza District as a vibrant and diverse place where arts, local business, and community thrive.
The Plaza Business Alliance supports Plaza District businesses by fostering collaboration, attracting patrons, and enhancing the local, Plaza experience.
The vision of the Plaza District Association is to cement the Plaza District as a destination in Oklahoma City for arts and entertainment. Fueled by creativity, the mixed-use district embraces the eclectic diversity that makes the area so unique, and highlights the wealth of artistic talent residing within the city. As arts and culture continue to grow within Oklahoma City, the Plaza District aims to nurture this growth by providing opportunities through spaces, businesses, and events focused on the arts in Oklahoma while also to support businesses serving the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Plaza Business Alliance believes their mission can be achieved by focusing on:
1. Growing financial sustainability
2. Enhancing urban experience
3. Strengthening businesses
4. Improving ease of access
In the 1920s a commercial niche formed along NW 16th Street between Blackwelder and Indiana Avenues. This development was in response to the area’s location at the end of the trolley line as well as the growth of neighborhoods around the district. With the addition of the Plaza Theatre in the mid-1930s, the area became known as the Plaza District.
Throughout the 1950s and 60s, the area remained economically viable holding neighborhood needs such as drugstores, cleaners and shopping. However, considerable changes occurred from the 1970s to the 1990s as the area began a slow and steady decline. Population demographics shifted, the commercial area diminished and crime rates rose.
Thankfully, neighborhood residents and volunteers stepped up to spearhead the Plaza District revitalization, and now the Plaza District Association continues to work to restore the area as a thriving district in Oklahoma City.
SELENA SKORMAN, Executive Director
JOEL PARKS, Program Assistant
PLAZA DISTRICT ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President - Cary Pirrong
Vice President - Leah Roper
Secretary - Sandra Cassimus
Business Liasions - Rachael Crawford and Lindsay Zodrow
Treasurer - Angela Cozby
Emily Rothrock Tate
PLAZA BUSINESS ALLIANCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President - Darcy Schein
Vice President - Rachel Cope
Secretary - Emily Pomeroy
Treasurer - John Harris
Business Representative - Lindsay Harkness