Greenwood Art Project Wins $1 Million Award

News on 6

TULSA, Oklahoma - $1 million earmarked for an art project is on its way to the Greenwood District thanks to a gift from one of the wealthiest men in the world.

The former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg is donating the money to The Greenwood Art Project. The art will be created over the next two years and will tell the story of Black Wall Street and the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Massacre. 

“As you may have guessed since we were all here surprise, surprise, Tulsa Oklahoma has won the public arts challenge congratulations," said Bloomberg.

It is an accomplishment that took dozens of people working together to see through, applying for the competition alongside hundreds of other cities. The prize? $1 million, every penny going towards creating art that tells a community's story.

“This place is a reminder and it should be for all Americans of what happens when that hate is allowed to go unchecked. It can destroy the hopes and the dreams and the hard work of good people," said Mayor G.T. Bynum.

The $1 million recipient is The Greenwood Art Project in Tulsa. The money will go towards art installations that tell the story of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots.

“I will admit that art will not bring reconciliation or even help some restore and revitalize our precious Greenwood but it can remind us of what gentrification can do to a community's history," said Vanessa Hall-Harper.

The artist, Rick Lowe wants the community to help.

“This place not only represents a tragedy but a triumph," said Lowe. "It is way too important that the people here in this city tell this story. This is not a story that needs to be conceptualized and conceived by someone from out of town.”

Bloomberg said he is a Harvard graduate and never learned about the Tulsa Race Riots until a few days ago. He is hoping the art installations will help educate future generations.

“We have to make sure that they understand what happened, that they have some feeling as to why it happened, and why it was wrong and how we can make sure that it never happens again," said Bloomberg.

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