College Hill Association of Merchants and Professionals (CHAMP)

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I spoke tonight at the Florence Park Neighborhood Association's meeting about neighborhood visioning and planning. The meeting was held at the Tulsa Little Theater, and it was great to get another look at the wonderful job that Bryce and Sunshine Hill have done in restoring that cultural landmark.

I also learned tonight that alongside the many active neighborhood associations in the area, there's an active business association -- the College Hill Association of Merchants and Professionals (CHAMP), representing a variety of businesses located between and on both sides of Lewis and Harvard Avenues, 11th and 21st Streets.

CHAMP has a well-organized website at The members' page has business card type ads for each member, with links to webpages. There's a page with printable coupons, too.

I hope the idea catches on and helps knit together the whole area, including the surrounding neighborhoods, into a cohesive district that can work together to conserve and improve itself, with residents supporting the businesses and the businesses providing useful services and good value for the residents.

In my talk, I noted that Brookside residents regard Peoria as its heart -- one neighborhood joined together by the commercial strip down the middle. In CHAMP's area, residents tend to look at commercial streets like 15th and Harvard as boundaries that divide one neighborhood from another. As Florence Park Neighborhood Association works on its neighborhood vision, it should see its neighborhood as inclusive churches, shops, and offices as well as houses. The traditional neighborhood commercial buildings along 15th should become the heart of the community, a gathering place. A partnership between CHAMP and the surrounding neighborhood associations is the key to making that happen.

(Thanks to the CHAMP website, I learned about a deli called Ella's that has free wifi, sandwiches named for jazz musicians, and live music on Friday and Saturday nights. I shall have to give them a try.)

(Note to self: Start adding links to neighborhood and merchant associations to my sidebar, and add the Tulsa Little Theater blog to my blogroll.)

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Hopefully you recorded this are going to make it available as a download from your online store. Or at least a snippet for YouTube.

In fact, you should do a set of these for general audiences of this type and put them into your online store.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 24, 2008 11:40 PM.

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