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Oklahoma Arts Council News

April 2012

6 ways to foster creativity in students

"Creativity training” is quickly becoming the new buzzword in public education. Educators and legislators across the country are looking for ways to inject more creativity training into the classroom. One might assume that adding more fine arts classes in k-12 schools is the answer, but perhaps there’s more to it. Could it be that there are things we can do in our existing arts programs that will enhance the level of creativity training?

Click to learn six activities that can help foster creativity at any age...

Be a part of Arts Day at the Capitol!

Arts organizations and individuals from around Oklahoma are invited to the State Capitol on April 30 for "Arts Day at the Capitol," hosted by Oklahomans for the Arts. The event is an opportunity for arts and cultural organizations to showcase their work and inform state leaders about their role in communities and schools.

Oklahoma Arts Council executive director, Kim Baker said, "We appreciate Oklahomans for the Arts for bringing our industry together for this event. This is an important way to show your elected officials how valuable your work is to Oklahoma."

To reserve your organization's table for Arts Day at the Capitol, visit the Oklahomans for the Arts website or contact Jennifer James, executive director at or (405) 401-1354.

Can't make it to the Capitol on April 30? Email or call your state legislators on April 30 instead!

Grants of $75,000 available from Fred Jones Foundation for central Oklahoma arts

May 15 is the deadline for central Oklahoma arts nonprofits to apply for grants of up to $75,000 from the Fred Jones Family Foundation. With many organizations experiencing declines in fundraising revenues because of the recent recession, the foundation is making an effort to make up for losses through an increase in their granting.

To be eligible organizations must be focus on arts, culture, and/or landscaping improvement - projects that increase the quality of life in central Oklahoma. A past Fred Jones foundation grant helped underwrite costs of a new state-of-the-art performing arts theater at Oklahoma City Community College.

To complete the simple application click here. Deadline is May 15.

New "intrinsict impact" survey method helps marketing, development

by Danyel Siler, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma

This past fall I attended the National Arts Marketing Project Conference with 450 of my peers from across the United States and was inspired by the work they are doing. One of my biggest takeaways from the conference was how to update our surveying system to get vital results for marketing and development.

The session that drew my attention focused on an "intrinsic impact" study done by WolfBrown (research firm) with Theatre Bay Area. “Intrinsic impact” is the intellectual, emotional, social and aesthetic effects of art on an individual. While evaluating our programs was not a new concept to us at Lyric, we wondered - would our patrons take the time to answer these types of questions? Would we gain valuable information?

As we soon found out after sending out our first survey, the survey method is well worth doing for the information we received from our patrons, who were eager to participate in giving us feedback. In one word - results were AMAZING!...

Read how Lyric used an intrinsic impact survey to help their marketing and development efforts.

Artists join Council rosters

Several artists are the newest additions to the Oklahoma Arts Council's performing and teaching rosters. Approved by the 15 Governor-appointed members of the Oklahoma Arts Council board in March, these artists join a growing list of some of the best performing and teaching artists in Oklahoma. Learn more about them!

Performing Artist Roster

Teaching Artist Roster

Listing on the Council's rosters gives artists the state agency's "stamp of approval," a distinction artists can leverage in marketing themselves to presenters.

If you are interested in joining the Oklahoma Performing Artist Roster please contact Molly O'Connor at or (405) 521-2025. If you are interested in joining the Oklahoma Teaching Artist Roster, contact Michael Eddens at or (405) 521-2023.

Oklahoma organizations awarded NEA Fast-Track grants

The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced recipients of its fiscal year 2012 Challenge America Fast-Track grants. Two Oklahoma organizations were among the nationwide list of recipients!

  • Lawton Philharmonic Society, Inc.
    To support the concert "Music Makes Us One!" - an original, collaborative symphonic work that will pay tribute to Native Americans music. Partners will include the Kiowa Tribe, Chickasaw Nation, and the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center

  • Oklahoma State University
    To support a performance of Montana Repertory Theatre's production of Doubt by John Patrick Shanley and related activities. Additional activities will include a pre-performance, faculty-led lecture and a post-performance discussion with the cast.

Congratulations to our two Oklahoma recipients! The deadline for the next round of Challenge America Fast-Track grants is May 24. For information about NEA grants click here.

Leadership Arts sees arts' impact on Norman economy

Members of the 2012 class of Leadership Arts recently completed their second of four spring sessions during a two-day visit to Norman. The session focused on the arts' role in economic development and included a panel of Norman community and civic leaders who spoke about the impact of the arts on their downtown district.

Topics of the panel discussion included the benefits of partnerships, overcoming resistance to change and collaboration, trying new things (don't be afraid to "fall forward"), and Norman's local hotel tax - which provides a dedicated funding source to the arts.

The panel included Anthony Francisco from the City of Norman, Erin Gavaghan of the Norman Arts Coucnil, Richard McKown - a local property developer, and Stefanie Brickman from the Norman CVB.

Property developer Richard McKown said, "An artist's job is to be 20 years ahead of the rest of society (as urban pioneers)." Citing Paducah, Kentucky as a model, McKown said a city can remove barriers like ordinances and costs to encourage artists to revitalize and ultimately increase the value of real estate in dilapidated areas.

Advocacy versus lobbying - where's the line?

If you're part of a nonprofit organization you likely understand the importance of keeping legislators and policy makers informed about your organization's value to the community. You probably also realize there are rules that govern advocacy and lobbying by nonprofits.

If you've ever had questions about the line between advocacy and lobbying, this brief explanation might help:

  • Advocacy means arguing in favor of a general cause or educating lawmakers about the value of your cause. Advocacy by nonprofit organizations is legal and permitted.

  • Lobbying is defined as an attempt to influence a legislator to support or oppose a specific piece of legislation. Nonprofits can lobby, but there is a ceiling on lobbying-related expenses.

To learn more about the advocacy and lobbying be sure to check out this free resource from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.