Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) community development corporation founded in 1983 by Pennsylvania State Representative Dwight Evans. Our mission is to create and stimulate sustainable economic development through innovative and creative use of our available resources while improving the quality of life for residents in West Oak Lane and other neighborhoods throughout the Northwest section of Philadelphia.
We take a holistic approach toward community revitalization, by focusing on our Five Pillars: Housing and Economic Development, Business Development, Education and Community Relations, Cleaning and Greening, and Arts and Culture. OARC is also the executive producer of the internationally acclaimed West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival. This world-class event is Philadelphia's Music and Culture Festival, and is now going into its ninth year.
We work with community leaders and various organizations who encourage new business development and homeownership in West Oak Lane, and share in our vision to revitalize our neighborhood. From the very beginning, OARC realized there was a need to give Ogontz Avenue a new look, a new feel. More than 25 years later, the fruits of our labor can still be seen in the mix of businesses that exist here; including a variety of service and retail shops, a fine dining restaurant featuring live jazz, a number of take-out food establishments, civic and political organizations, and churches.
OARC has expanded its successful revitalization model to other commercial corridors in the Northwest; including Stenton Avenue and Washington Lane, Upper Ogontz Avenue between Washington Lane and Cheltenham Avenue, Chew and Chelten Avenues, and Germantown Avenue. We work with community groups in these areas, and incorporate their ideas in putting together a comprehensive plan for each of these corridors.
Our success was built on our ability to collaborate with government agencies, elected officials, other CDC's and community organizations, private developers, local universities, and neighborhood public schools. These collaborations have allowed us to access the resources needed to solve difficult problems and improve the quality of life in our community. We welcome the opportunity to share our experience with others that have an interest in making West Oak Lane a better place to live. If you would like to partner with us, we invite you to join in our effort to bring innovative programs and services to the community, giving hope and inspiration to families here and throughout the region.