Knowledge Center

Project Hope, Unity and Compassion

Throughout history, downtowns and town squares have served as the foundation of society’s freedom of expression and the center of community discourse. Downtown Tulsa is certainly no different. At an incredibly tense time in our community, and in the midst of planning for unprecedented events, we found an opportunity to showcase Downtown Tulsa’s core values on temporary canvases.

On June 10, 2020, the Trump campaign announced it would hold its first campaign rally since the outbreak of the pandemic in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the weekend of June 19. Amid a global pandemic that deeply impacted our Downtown businesses, less than a month after the murder of George Floyd sparking Black Lives Matter demonstrations throughout the country, on the weekend of Juneteenth and 99 years after the Tulsa Race Massacre—the single worst incident of racial violence in American history—a campaign built upon racist undertones was visiting Downtown Tulsa.

As tensions rose and ticket requests reportedly surpassed one million, Downtown Tulsa business owners took steps to secure their storefronts in anticipation of large crowds. These boarded up windows provided an opportunity to show a broad audience the core values of our Downtown and the resilience of our community. While we couldn’t control the outcome of the weekend, we could do our part to control the message.

More than 300 artists responded to a last-minute call for art on June 18, 2020. Within hours, commissioned artists began painting storefronts thanks to permission from businesses and the generosity of an anonymous donor. Within two days, we mobilized more than a dozen artists to paint murals and messages inspiring hope, unity, and compassion throughout Downtown.

While the storefronts were restored and businesses reopened the following week, the conversations sparked by this art and the core values it represents continue.

Project Details

Project Hope, Unity and Compassion

Downtown Coordinating Council


Public Space Management and Operations
$100001 - $300000