Event to celebrate development, engagement in northeast Oklahoma City (The Oklahoman)

In a city that has reinvented itself over the past few decades, northeast Oklahoma City is searching for its own renaissance.

“We want to show the rest of Oklahoma City that there is a new northeast side coming and you're invited,” said Quintin Hughes about oNE OKC, a free community event planned for Saturday. “The goal here is to showcase and honor the past, present and future of northeast Oklahoma City. We want to make sure people have the chance to be informed about what is happening and have an opportunity to be involved in it.

“But we also want to attract the broader city and really kind of announce the northeast is a future destination and is a place we see as an economically and socially vibrant community.”

Remaking itself

Divided from the city's core by a highway, littered with empty lots left over from failed urban renewal efforts and plagued by high concentrations of poverty, northeast Oklahoma City is a predominantly black community that has struggled to participate in the economic development growth seen in other urban communities.

But Hughes, who is co-chair of the Northeast Renaissance Steering Committee, believes his part of town has a chance to remake itself through economic development and neighborhood renewal projects currently in the works.

Saturday's event will be held at the stadium at Douglass High School and include food trucks, musicians, vendors and all the common sights of the type of community events often held in the city's downtown and Midtown neighborhoods.

And while the event aims to entertain, there is also a goal to tap the community into the current redevelopment effort underway by the city.  

“It's an uphill battle against the past and the perception of urban renewal,” said Michael Owens, community development director for The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.

Read the entire story at newsok.com.

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