Forecast is one of three public art collaborators that will work with MacArthur Fellow Rick Lowe on “The Greenwood Art Project” in Tulsa, named a Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Public Art Challenge winner. Tulsa will receive $1 million for the project, a group of temporary public artworks that celebrate and commemorate a vibrant community in the Historic Greenwood District known as Black Wall Street.
“Forecast is deeply honored to be a part of the artistic team at this historic moment in Tulsa,” said Theresa Sweetland, executive director of Forecast. “We look forward to supporting Rick and local artists to help tell the story of this vital community and inspire a new future.”
Jack Becker, founder and lead principal consultant of Forecast, will spearhead the organization’s work on the “Greenwood Art Project.”
Black Wall Street was the most prominent district of black-owned businesses in the United States in the early 20th century. In 1921, the community was devastated by racially motivated attacks known as the Black Wall Street Massacre. Urban renewal projects in the 1950s and 1960s, including the construction of a major highway through Greenwood, further harmed the area. This public art project seeks to celebrate the history of Black Wall Street and create a more equitable future for residents and visitors.
Lowe, founder of Project Row Houses, will work with local artists to tell the story of this neighborhood through a series of installations. He and lead collaborators—Becker of Forecast and Tom Borrup and Harry Waters (who was born in Greenwood, and whose parents were born and raised there) of Creative Community Builders—will use hands-on communal art-making to encourage Tulsans to explore and express the values and priorities they want to see embodied in the long-term redevelopment of Greenwood.
“The story of Black Wall Street is already one of triumph and tragedy,”said Lowe. “Through the Greenwood Art Project in time for the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, we have the opportunity to establish a future of prosperity, reconciliation and unity – a narrative that every city in America stands to learn from. I am committed to this project because of everything that it stands for.”
Forecast will focus specifically on supporting the engagement phase of the project and facilitating artist identification, selection and activities for the participation and presentation phases. Forecast will also provide technical assistance and capacity-building support for participating artists.