View All News
Downtown Tulsa Receives International Awards for Excellence in Urban Place Management, Leadership
Oct. 17, 2022 — The International Downtown Association recently recognized Downtown Tulsa Partnership for a resourceful local place enhancement effort and its leadership driving similar innovation.
The Majestic mural, which spans 15,000 square feet on the Main Park Plaza parking garage at 410 S. Main St., earned a Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence from IDA. The award acknowledges an excellent response to an urban place management challenge, demonstrating application of industry knowledge.
The project was commissioned by Tulsa Parking Authority, now part of PartnerTulsa, with community engagement and artist selection support from Downtown Tulsa Partnership. The Majestic was designed and installed by Los Angeles-based artists Ryan “Yanoe” Sarfati and Eric “Zoueh” Skotnes in 2021. A community engagement committee of area stakeholders provided input on the final design, which was approved by the Tulsa Parking Authority and Arts Commission of the City of Tulsa before being formally unveiled in October 2021.
The Majestic includes art deco signs and symbols, such as an angel representing guidance, protection and love, and includes plants and animals native to Oklahoma. Using their mobile device on site, visitors can access a 3D interactive experience where the artwork is activated to come alive with animations and audio content offering a deeper dive into the art’s themes and the way it connects with the community. Visit majesticmural.com for more information.
“For PartnerTulsa, The Majestic is a symbol of the power of thinking creatively about the role public assets like parking garages play in bringing cities and downtowns to life,” said Kian Kamas, Executive Director of PartnerTulsa. “We are anxious to have the opportunity to expand this type of work across our other assets as we continue to invest in quality spaces and public places in Downtown Tulsa.”
The Majestic was among 21 qualified entries in the category of Public Space Management and Operations, which IDA identifies as one of seven professional urban place management practice areas. This category features unique organizational approaches and projects in the areas of clean, safe and hospitality; placemaking and activation; and facilities management. A jury of peer professionals reviewed, deliberated and evaluated all entries in the 2022 Downtown Achievement Awards.
“Downtown Tulsa has demonstrated skillful application of urban place management principles with their project The Majestic mural,” said David Downey, IDA President & CEO. “The Majestic should serve as a framework to all member communities within IDA.”
Additionally, IDA recognized Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith with the IDA Inspired Leader Award. This award honors those who have shown clear achievements in recent years in addressing a broad range of issues impacting how people live, work and play in downtowns and city centers.
A current member of DTP’s Board of Directors, Keith was Board chair of the Downtown Coordinating Council during the strategic planning effort that led to the transition of programs and services from the City of Tulsa to the Downtown Tulsa Partnership. During that time, Commissioner Keith worked with her County colleagues to allocate nearly $500,000 in federal CARES Act funding to the Downtown Coordinating Council to support Downtown Tulsa businesses and outdoor expansion efforts during the height of the pandemic. DTP nominated Keith for the award for her unwavering support of Downtown Tulsa’s place management and development efforts.
“From advocating for funding to build the BOK Center and Downtown housing to serving as the concluding chair of the Downtown Coordinating Council, Commissioner Keith has long championed our neighborhood,” said Brian Kurtz, President & CEO of Downtown Tulsa Partnership. “We are thrilled that Commissioner Keith’s achievements and significant contributions to Downtown Tulsa have been recognized among some of the world’s leading place management professionals and allies.”
In response to the award, Keith said, “It’s been easy to advocate for the DTP, and their outstanding performance is now being recognized by business leaders throughout the core of our city. I’m thrilled to be recognized by the IDA. This organization works hard to share best practices and ideas that are inspiring and lifting the standards of all of our downtowns. This was a wonderful surprise. I’m humbled to be among the IDA honorees.
“It has been thrilling to watch our community invest in Downtown,” Keith continued. “Public dollars have been followed by multiples of private investment. Our sleepy Downtown is now vibrant and filled with life. I’m so thankful for our Downtown Tulsa Partnership team as they work to fill the gap in cleanliness, safety and beautification. This effort is a critical piece of Downtown’s revitalization.”
Washington, D.C.-based IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Downtown Tulsa Partnership is the urban place management organization representing the interests of property owners in Downtown Tulsa. Both awards were received at IDA’s annual conference on Sept. 22, 2022, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Additionally at its annual conference, IDA announced DTP President & CEO Brian Kurtz was elected to serve a three-year term on its Board of Directors. Kurtz has been an active member of IDA for 11 years and serves on the organization’s education and awards committees.
“I’m honored to be elected by industry peers and colleagues around the globe to support our growing and important industry,” said Kurtz of his appointment. “There’s never been a more important time for the role of urban place management organizations, and it’s a privilege to serve our community in this capacity. I look forward to sharing the innovative programs and tactics we are implementing in Tulsa with our international colleagues and adapting their lessons for application here in our emerging neighborhood.”
About Downtown Tulsa Partnership
Downtown Tulsa Partnership Inc. was established in 2021 by property owners, business representatives and civic leaders to advocate for and champion the continued improvement of Downtown Tulsa. The organization has entered into an agreement with the City of Tulsa to provide enhanced maintenance, beautification and livability services; mobility and public realm planning; and marketing and place enhancement initiatives funded through the Tulsa Stadium Improvement District that result in a thriving, vibrant and inclusive urban neighborhood.
The International Downtown Association is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are city builders and downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit downtown.org.