“Rarely have I ever witnessed a space as magnificent, humbling and welcoming as the Hardesty Arts Center. It manages to both celebrate the origins and history of its surrounding neighborhood while re-imagining the role of the arts in building a community-based, creative hub for the 21st Century. ”

- Alex Sarian, Director of Finance & New Business, Lincoln Center Education, New York City

Hardesty Arts Center

The University of Tulsa

In 2012, the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa brought in Narrate to design the Hardesty Arts Center — the first flagship building in the Tulsa Arts District. The goal was to bring an art exhibition and education facility to downtown Tulsa and engage the community in the arts. For years, this mission played out as other art centers and museums joined them and built what we know today as the thriving Tulsa Arts District.

On February 2, 2023, The University of Tulsa announced the acquisition of the Hardesty Arts Building, ensuring the original anchor property for the Tulsa Arts District remains a centerpiece of the community’s arts scene. “The University of Tulsa wants to be a foundation upon which the Tulsa arts community can grow. We envision this building to be the epicenter of the arts and humanities community, and we will use it as a community resource,” said university President Brad R. Carson.

The Hardesty Arts Center will now house the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities and the Tulsa Mayfest offices, with additional uses for the space to be defined in the future.

“With this purchase and TU firmly set in the heart of Tulsa, we can now begin the great work of involving the community to create the most inclusive and engaging art space in America,” said Carson.