ECU Arts Business Incubator

The vision for the ECU Arts Incubator is to create successful arts entrepreneurs that contribute to Ada's Economy.  We do this by providing opportunities for unique arts-related entrepreneurs to meet needs in the community for economic development, and enhanced learning and cultural experiences utilizing local talent.  Arts-related is broadly defined to include traditional forms of art such as painting and sculpture, but also music, dance, photography, writing, graphic and software design, culinary art, and other mediums for creativity. The Incubator opened in July 2010 and is a 4500 square foot facility, certified by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. 

Benefits of the ECU Arts Incubator Program

  1. The ECU Arts Incubator provides a sheltered environment of low rental rates.  Leases for the space begin at 30% of the full market rate and increase by 10% every 6 months.  This allows a business to launch and grow without the burden of the full market lease rates right from the beginning. As the businesses become self-sustaining, it is anticipated that they leave the incubator program and locate within the Arts District, assisting with the growth and development of the District and providing an opportunity for new arts-related businesses to form.
  2. In the ECU Arts Incubator, income from the business qualifies for tax breaks with the State of Oklahoma. Visit the Oklahoma Department of Commerce website for more information on the Incubator Certification benefits. 
  3. You will receive guidance from an advisory committee comprised of knowledgeable experts who are happy to answer questions from the owners of the Incubator businesses. 
  4. The Stonecipher School of Business Economic Development Director is located next door on the 3rd floor of the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center. This office provides direct assistance for entrepreneurs looking to start or expand or strengthen a business.
  5. East Central University will promote the opening of a new business within the Incubator and assist with promotion of special events. 
  6. Your business will be located in a growing hub of cultural activities and businesses adjacent to a University with nearly 5000 students and 500 employees.
  7. ECU provides high speed internet and trash service at no additional charge and water, electricity and gas are included in the lease. 
  8. ECU covers the expense of the lettering for the name of your business on the building signage and all facility maintenance costs.
  9. According to the National Business Incubation Association, business that start in an incubator have an 80% overall success rate. 
  10. A vast amount of ECU parking is available nearby, open to the public after 12:30pm daily.
  11. A shared break room, storage room and restroom facilities
  12. Access to a copy and fax machine

The ECU Arts Business Incubator Suite B will be available around March/April after the District Shirt Shop moves to its new and expanded location. Suites A, C, and D will be available soon as well. Get a start on your application and inquire today with Bridget Forshay at 580-559-5296 or Whether your plan is to open a business in the coming months or a year or more, it is never too early to begin planning. To download an application, click here.  We have a team of people who will assist you with the application as well as planning for and forming your business.

The ECU Arts Incubator was featured in the May 2011 edition of the Ada Hub.  The article can be read by clicking here at

Arts Incubator Floor Plan

Front of business incubator

Rear of the Arts Incubator Building
The entrance at the back of the ECU Arts Incubator building faces the alley between East Main Street and East 10th Street.  The parking lot off of the alley is accessible via Center Street and East Main Street. 

The East Main Enterprise Center (EMEC) was made possible by a Rural Enterprise Grant from the USDA Rural Development.  


Tri-County Indian Nations Community Development Corporation


OK Department of Commerce

OSU Cooperative Extension


Contact the ECU Arts Incubator Manager, Bridget Forshay:
Office: 580-559-5296
Fax: 580-559-5767

Office Address:
Chickasaw Business and Conference Center Building
830 East Main Street, Room 111
Ada, OK 74820

Mailing Address:
1100 East 14th Street, PMB E3
Ada, OK 74820