By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY – The 2nd annual ONE OKC block party, highlighting Northeast Oklahoma City and its residents, businesses and culture will take place on Saturday, May 6, at Northeast 23rd Street between N. Kelham Avenue and N. Hood Avenue, from 12 – 4 p.m. The event is hosted by NEOKC Renaissance.
The free outdoor event will feature visual and performing arts, food trucks, live music, pop-up vendors, a community mural, and themed activities for the whole family including kid-friendly, wellness, and education zones.
According to organizers, ONE OKC mission is to showcase the resilience and modern renaissance of the Northeast corridor and the surrounding neighborhoods. The fun, culturally rich, economically vibrant and socially inclusive atmosphere forecasts a vision of the future of Northeast Oklahoma City, designed to engage the youth and young professional of the area.
“Join the Northeast community on May 6 for the Second Annual ONE OKC event,” said Quinton Hughes, NEOKC Renaissance co-chair. “There will be food trucks, live music, a kid’s zone, health and wellness zone, vendors, and much more. The location is the block of 23rd St. and Rhode Island in Northeast Oklahoma City.
“In 2015, the Northeast Renaissance Steering Committee (NERSC) requested the support of Leadership Oklahoma, Inc’s LOYAL Class XI to assist in the design of an annual experience that would represent the future vision of Northeast Oklahoma City, and on April 30, 2016 “ONE OKC: A Northeast Renaissance was born,” Hughes said.
The event was so successful that the event received the Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma’s Good Neighbor Awards for Best Community Project.
This year NEOKC Renaissance (formerly known as the Northeast Renaissance Steering Committee – NERSC) will try to build on the success of the inaugural event to further help establish ONE OKC as one of the Oklahoma City’s greatest attractions.
“The event is really aimed at sharing information with the public about the development efforts in northeast Oklahoma City – and not just sharing it with them, but encouraging folks to participate in those efforts,” Hughes said. “We want them to know that the future for us is bright and we plan to be an economically thriving, visually vibrant and beautiful community where you’ll see minority businesses and business owners thrive.”
Sponsors for the event include the Inasmuch Foundation, Full Plate Living, Presbyterian Health Foundation, Gear Up, OG+E, Oklahoma County Health Department, Embassy Suites, Whole Foods Market and High Impact Management.
“ONE OKC represents the renaissance that is coming to this community,” said Michael Owens, Community Development Director, The Alliance for Economic Development. “It coalesces people around the idea of redefining and recreating their community.”
Aviano’s Italian Gelato & Sorbet, OKCity Grill, Kurvy Kitten Clothing, The After School Spot and Whole Foods Market will be among the many vendors and organizations on site.
Julie Coffee, president and founder of event sponsor High Impact Management said, “Even that name, ONE OKC, helps us to understand that we’re building one community – and that’s what we’re excited about.”
Skip Hill, a Norman artist and the creator of the inaugural ONE OKC community mural stated, “The City should know about this event primarily because it’s about the burgeoning of something new, something exciting. There’s a lot of development going on around Oklahoma City. It only stands to reason that in historical Northeast Oklahoma City there would be a revitalization there as well. I believe art is one of the ways you can revitalize a community and that’s why I’m here.”