Saltatio is the Latin word for renaissance; meaning a rebirth or a renewal of interest. So appropriately, I coined a new term… Tulsa-ltatio, pronounced Tul-salt-ta-tio, meaning the renaissance of Tulsa. As in the great European Renaissance, where religion, art, politics and economics influenced the cultural rebirth, I believe that Tulsa is experiencing a revival of its own.
I frequently hear Tulsans referring to and symbolically acknowledging the architectural milestones that recently occurred in the downtown district with the building and opening of the BOK Center, ONEOK field and Guthrie Green. It seems the success of these additions have provided moving momentum to aspire even more growth. Currently, I see a city and a people trying to put into perspective the challenges of the past while focusing on the hopes of tomorrow. Most would agree that there is still a lot of work to be done, but perhaps we are headed in the right direction.
The before mentioned investments in the downtown area is significant. Equally significant is the recent addition of Tulsa’s newest riverfront park, Gathering Place. A $465-million park designed to be a vibrant and inclusive space for all Tulsans. With such a mission, coupled with a great product, Gathering Place was also named best new attraction in America. It’s an exciting time for Oklahoma as the entire nation looks to and acknowledges middle America. But the accolades don’t start or stop there. Tulsa, without a doubt, has an awesome collection of world-class attractions that I believe collectively forms a compelling regional destination.
We have a world-class zoo and aquarium, not to mention one of the most prominent collections of museums led by Gilcrease and Philbrook. Tulsa could arguable offer one of the most comprehensive museum tours outside of the big metros of Washington and New York. The pedigree of our museum collection is impressive and respected on a national level. I was absolutely astonished to learn that right here in North Tulsa, Gilcrease houses the world’s largest, most comprehensive collection of art of the American West, as well as a growing collection of art and artifacts from Central and South America. Truly a story and experience we need to share with the rest of the country.
With the opening of the Gathering Place, I believe Oklahomans are starting to see firsthand the social and economic impact a vibrant, inclusive and interactive space can have in unifying and influencing a city. But the assignment of this regional renovation is not the sole task of just one attraction, but rather the sum thereof. We must promote our attractions and speak proudly of the uniqueness and diversity of our portfolio. There is something contagious whenever parks and attractions are geographically centralized and in sync. It attracts other hospitality entities and businesses, thus creating a dominant nucleus of compelling attractions.
At the end of the day, it enhances the quality of life for its residents contributing to the halo-effect and attractiveness of a city.
Tony Moore, Park Director
Gathering Insight: A Candid Chat About The Future of Gilcrease