Citizens work together at a Community Visioning Workshop.

Citizens work together at a Community Visioning Workshop.

What is a Community Hope Workshop?

 It is a gathering where citizens from all walks of life come to discuss their hopes and goals for the future of their community, in this case Downtown Muskogee.

Why is it called a Hope Workshop?

The presence of hope improves coping skills, predicts achievement, enhances positive relationships, and promotes health adaptive behaviors and resiliency of individuals. We think it is just as important for communities.

What is hope exactly?

Hope is a cognitive process requiring the capacity to develop pathways toward a desirable goals and the ability to direct and sustain mental energy toward those goals. In other words, it involves seeing yourself or your community in a positive future state and finding the willpower and way power to reach that state.

Where will it take place?

 It will be at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center at 300 West Martin Luther King Street. Come and visit this beautiful new facility.

When is it going to happen?

The workshop is Tuesday, November 15, 2016 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

Do I need to RSVP or make a reservation?

No, but we do have an event listed on Event Brite that you can register at: Registering will help us estimate how many people will attend and make it easier for us to order food.

So there will be food?

Yes, we will have light refreshments for the first 100 participants to arrive or until the food runs out.

Is there any charge?

No, this a public event sponsored by the City of Muskogee and Downtown Muskogee Incorporated.

Who will be there?

The whole city is invited. The design and planning team will be there and so will be the project steering committee. Many of the elected officials and city staff will be there as well.

Can kids come?

This event is primarily meant for adults, but children are welcome as long as they are supervised.

Who are the designers?

The team is from the University of Oklahoma Urban Design Studio and the Institute for Quality Communities. They are professors and students in the College of Architecture. They have years of experience working on plans and studies like this one.

What is the steering committee?

 The steering committee is a group of stakeholders and civic leaders volunteering their time to guide the project. They meet each month with the design team to review the project progress and offer their input. They have helped organize and produce this workshop.

Who is on the steering committee?

The following individuals represent a variety of groups and organizations:

  • Wren Stratton, Committee Chair – Depot District
  • Darla Bennett – City of Muskogee, Economic Development Coordinator
  • Hon. Bob Coburn – Muskogee Mayor
  • Hon. Marlon Coleman – Muskogee City Council
  • Frank Cooper – Arrowhead Mall
  • Reggie Cotton – Muskogee Police Department
  • Joel Cousins – Historic Preservation Commission
  • Gary Garvin – City of Muskogee Director of Planning
  • Hon. Wayne Johnson – City Council / Chairman Downtown Muskogee Inc.
  • Eric Miller – Port of Muskogee
  • Mike Miller – City of Muskogee, Assistant City Manager
  • Ann Barker Ong – Action in Muskogee, Co-Chair
  • Ron Ramming, Ph.D. – Connors State College
  • Oscar Ray – Bare Bones Film Festival
  • Johnny Teehee – Muskogee Police Department
  • DJ Thompson – Muskogee Chamber of Commerce
  • Sue Vanderford – Small Business Owner:  Pinon Creek / Hoope’s Hardware
  • Johni Wardwell – Muskogee Community Foundation

Will there be boring speeches?

Definitely not, this is an open house where people can come and go as they please. There will be hands-on activities and small group discussions like at a social gathering.

What kind of activities?

We will ask you to record your hopes for the future of Downtown Muskogee on a wall of ideas. There will be a large map for a PARK Analysis where you will use colored stickers and post-it notes to identify things to Preserve, Add, Remove, and Keep out of downtown. There will be scale models to explore and test street design for Broadway or Main Street. We will also have a Collective Hope Survey to fill out.

What is the purpose of these activities?

These activities are designed to identify and prioritize important issues and set goals for the Downtown Muskogee plan.

What is the Downtown Muskogee Plan?

The General Comprehensive Plan for Muskogee identified the need for a plan to specifically address the unique needs and challenges of the downtown area as the historic hub and center of the city. The downtown plan will set and prioritize goals and identify ways to implement them. It will guide future private investment, human capital development, and public infrastructure projects.

 What happens after the workshop?

All of the data and information collected will be summarized and used to develop goals for the downtown plan. The plan will explore ways to meet these goals and make recommendations for finding pathways to implement those goals. There will be future events next spring that will share the goals and recommendation with citizens to gather feedback and suggestions.

I cannot come to the workshop, can I still take the survey and participate?

You can fill out the survey by clicking on this link: Hope Survey . You can also leave us comments on this project website.

Where can I find out more?

Visit the project website to learn more about the project and follow its progress: