The community has two opportunities this month to offer feedback and input as Kendall Whittier Main Street crafts its newest three-year plan.
The second is a photovoice activity where residents and guests can take photos of things they want to preserve, add, remove or keep out of Kendall Whittier. The activity takes place now through Oct. 17.
“We did a lot of reflecting in 2020 when everything shifted due to the pandemic. After we won the Great American Main Street Award in October of that year, we knew it was time to look at the next phase of Kendall Whittier Main Street,” said Jessica Jackson Seay, executive director. “This year, we’ve hired an additional staff member to give us more bandwidth, and we’re spending this fall really looking closely at the next three years.”
You can learn more about both opportunities below.
The community forum allows attendees to participate in interactive stations to easily offer their input quickly. Stations will be in English and Spanish.
Stations will include highlighting parts of Kendall Whittier that need more attention, priorities within the district, ideas for future programming and potentials businesses to recruit. There will even be a station specifically for children. Attendees should be able to participate in all the stations in about 10 minutes.
Representatives from Kendall Whittier Main Street, Oklahoma Main Street Center and Main Street America will be there to monitor and provide additional discussion opportunities (in Spanish as well as English) for anyone interested in a more in-depth conversation.
“It’s important as we vision and move forward into the future that we be more intentional about including Kendall Whittier’s Hispanic residents and heritage,” Jackson Seay said. “We will make sure everything about the forum is accessible to our Spanish-speaking neighbors.”
Pastries will be provided. Masks are encouraged and will be provided.
The forum will wrap up two full days of stakeholder and community meetings with Norma Ramírez de Miess from Main Street America and Buffy Hughes, the director of Oklahoma Main Street. They will be in Kendall Whittier on Sept. 21-22, and will submit findings to the Kendall Whittier Main Street Board of Directors after their visit.
The photovoice activity is a partnership with Camila Coronado, a student at the OU Urban Design Studios. Coronado is working on a graduate-level project called Imagining Whittier Square. Her final product in spring will be an urban design concept at Whittier Square and in the parking lot.
“When I moved to Tulsa in 2019 from Buenos Aires, Argentina, I noticed over designed parking lots, which are being underused or almost empty all around the city,” Coronado said.
KWMS representatives approached Coronado and her classmates with the project idea.
“In that exact moment, I knew that I wanted to be involved and help Kendall Whittier neighborhood to continue growing,” she said.
The first steps of her project are to seek public input using photos. Photovoice allows anyone to share photos to shape their ideas.
“In this case, it is crucial that people get involved and help me understand ‘What Kendall-Whittier is and wants to be in a future,’” Coronado said. “I hope that neighbors of Kendall Whittier share with me, through photographs, how they see and feel the neighborhood. If there are things they want to change or keep in it.”
Using just a smart phone, anyone can share photos using the PARK method.
Preserve – Something already in Kendall Whittier you want to preserve
Add – Something you’ve seen else you want to add to Kendall Whittier
Remove – Something you want removed from Kendall Whittier
Keep Out – Something you’ve seen in Kendall Whittier or elsewhere you want kept out
Coronado is working on the Professional Project as part of her capstone course for her Master of Urban Design.
Kendall Whittier Main Street is a nonprofit organization that inspires the ongoing revitalization and growth of a historic and cultural neighborhood in Tulsa, striving to transform it back to a thriving, walkable commercial district. KWMS is a 2020 Great American Main Street Award winner and an Oklahoma Certified Cultural District.