Jenks Art on Main Receives OCI Award

ENERGIZED, ENRICHED & ENGAGED: Jenks movers and shakers receive the OCI Award. Photographed here, from left are Robert Bell, City Planner; Annette Bowles, Jenks Chamber President; Brittany Sawyer, Jenks Chamber and Mike Tinker, City Manager.

Courtesy Jenks Chamber of Commerce

The Oklahoma Community Institute (OCI) presented Jenks’ Art on Main project with the Outstanding Community Improvement Initiative Award at OCI’s 10th Annual Conversations on Community Renewal Conference Tuesday, March 24.

To preserve the image and reputation of Jenks’ downtown district, community leaders formed a collaborated idea to display local art in the windows on vacant storefront spaces. In the fall of 2004, the first Art on Main event was held. The art show has become an annual tourism attraction and economic rejuvenation for the community, attracting more Oklahoma artists and visitors every year. Over 120 Oklahoma artists, wineries and musicians participate in the event, which showcases local artisans to the community.

Last year, Art on Main had nearly 8,000 attendees, and Jenks Main Street merchants have expressed that they receive some of their highest retail sales of the year in conjunction with Art on Main. Because of the cultural and economic success Jenks experiences from this art show, a grant has been awarded to the community each year by the Oklahoma Arts Council to host the event. The Jenks Chamber of Commerce’s Community Foundation and the City of Jenks also support the show.

Community leaders in Jenks say they believe that art and cultural initiatives enhance the quality of life for residents and businesses and contribute significantly to the social economic vibrancy of the community.

OCI’s Outstanding Community Improvement Initiative Award is designed to acknowledge, reward, and share the great things that are happening in Oklahoma communities. Selection is based on the degree to which the project, program or activity has had a positive impact in the community, demonstrates the spirit of partnership, collaboration and innovative ideas. It lends itself as a model for other communities.

Art on Main was one of two recipients of this award. The other recipient was Ardmore’s Young Professionals Organization. The Outstanding Community Improvement Initiative Award is sponsored by the Oklahoma Community Institute. The Oklahoma Community Institute is a 501©3, not-for-profit organization that has been helping build leaders and their Oklahoma communities since 1995. OCI specializes in community-wide strategic planning, the Citizens Academy leadership program and the annual Conversations on Community Renewal Conference.

Updated 05-11-2009

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