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Oklahoma Arts Council News

April 2016

Seeking Nominations for State Poet Laureate

The Oklahoma Arts Council is seeking nominations for Oklahoma’s next State Poet Laureate. Nominations are being accepted through June 30, 2016 from poetry societies, libraries, local arts and humanities councils, colleges and universities, and writers’ groups. The poet selected for the honorary position will serve a two-year term, beginning January 1, 2017.

Nominees must be distinguished poets who are residents of Oklahoma and have a published body of work that includes at least one original book. They must also be committed to outreach and the promotion of poetry statewide.

To submit a nomination, click here >>

Learn more about the State Poet Laureate program here >>

Arts Day at the Capitol is May 4

Oklahomans for the Arts is encouraging individuals, groups, and businesses to attend 2016 Arts Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 4. Free and open to the public, the event will give community leaders, artists, arts administrators, museum leaders, board members, volunteers, educators, and others the opportunity to share their experiences of how arts and culture impact communities and schools across Oklahoma.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. with registration and coffee, followed by a 9:00 a.m. Kickoff Rally, the event will last until 2:00 p.m. and will feature displays by arts and cultural organizations in the fourth floor rotunda as well as musical performances, tours of the Capitol, and interactive art displays.

Register for Arts Day at the Capitol >>

Students Can Submit for Congressional Art Competition

Oklahoma high school students are encouraged to submit artwork soon for the 2016 Congressional High School Art Competition. Sponsored by the Congressional Institute, the program is designed to recognize and encourage young artists in each congressional district. Winning students from each district will have their artwork displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol and may be eligible to attend an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Students should visit their Congressman's website for entry deadlines.

Learn more about the competition here >>

First Peoples Fund Seeks Nominations for Community Spirit Awards

Through the Community Spirit Awards, First Peoples Fund recognizes exceptional American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian artists whose work helps sustain the cultural fabric of their communities.

Now through July 15, First Peoples Fund is accepting nominations for the 2017 Community Spirit Awards. Nominees must be practicing artists of demonstrated maturity in their field who have continually practices for at least 10 years. They must also be a documented affiliate of a United States tribe.

Awards will be given to artists who demonstrate artistic practices that pass on cultural traditions, show commitment to building native communities, and are deeply rooted within their tribal community.

Submit a nomination here >>

Deadline Approaching for OVAC Fellowships, Student Awards

April 15 is the deadline for visual artists to submit applications for $5,000 fellowships available through the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC). April 15 is also the deadline for student artists to apply for OVAC's $500 Student Awards of Excellence program. Both sets of awards, selected by a guest curator, reward qualified artists who have outstanding vision.

Fellowships are open to artists of all media who are Oklahoma residents. Student awards are open to Oklahoma graduate and undergraduate students.

Learn more about the fellowships and student awards >>

Crayola Funding for Educational Program Development

Crayola, in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), is currently accepting applications for the Champion Creatively Alive Children grant program. Selected school applicants will receive $2,500 and $1,000 worth of Crayola products to develop an art-infused education program. The goal of the program is to assist with the development of creative leadership team building.

Examples of the type of programs that may earn funding include professional development workshop series, partnerships with arts organizations, the organization of grade level creativity teams to implement cross-curricular lessons, and more.

Deadline to apply is June 20.

Learn more about the Champion Creatively Alive Children program >>

Funding Available to Serve Students with Disabilities

May 4 is the deadline for eligible and qualified organizations to submit proposals to implement one of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' VSA programs. Formerly known as Very Special Arts, the center's VSA department provides arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities.

Requests for proposals are being sought for nine programs, including professional development programs, workshop and residency programs, visual art and music education programs, digital storytelling programs, and more. Funding of up to $20,000 is available, depending on the program category.

Read the Request for Proposals >>

Report Describes Changing Arts Leadership Landscape

A new report on arts leadership shows that the current landscape is in a state of flux but offers individuals in the nonprofit arts field opportunities to reimagine how leadership is defined and practiced. Made possible by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the report suggests that strategic investments in three areas could improve the health of the arts sector:

  • Supporting individual career pathways

  • Building capacity for cross-generational leadership

  • Fostering the shared values of diversity and innovation

The report also describes forces such as economic pressures, professionalization, cross-generational workplaces, and more that are shaping the arts leadership landscape.

Read more about the report here >>

Teaching Artist Roster Spotlight

Nick Lillard is the newest member of the Oklahoma Arts Council Teaching Artist Roster. Working in sculpture, ceramics, and mixed-media sculpture, Lillard is available to provide instruction for students of a wide variety of ages in community and academic settings.

Among his programs, Lillard offers a course specifically for elementary students titled "The Art Cart." He also offers courses such as metal fabrication that are more suited for mature students.

Read more about Lillard's background and course offerings >>