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Oklahoma Arts Council News

March 2016

Arts industry adds more to national economy

The arts and cultural industry contributed almost 33 percent more to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013 than it did in 1998, according to a new report from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Outpacing sectors such as food services, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing in its growth, arts and cultural production contributed $704.2 billion to the U.S. economy, or 4.23 percent of GDP.

Highlights of the report include:

Performing arts grew faster than other arts sectors

Arts and culture produced more than the construction ($619B) and utility ($270B) industries

Since 2006, the U.S. has run a growing trade surplus of arts and cultural exports

Read more about the findings here >>

View the infographic here >>

Noted in the report, "Today's creative economy gets a big boost from the arts."

Art in Public Places proposals sought

The Oklahoma Arts Council is seeking artist proposals for a work of public art to be included in the remodeling of a state-owned building in Oklahoma City. With a budget of $32,000, the project calls for a glass art installation comprised of two glass panels, each measuring 103 1/2 inches x 90 inches.

A project of the Oklahoma Arts Council's Art in Public Places program, deadline for submissions is March 7, 2016.

View the Request For Proposal for complete details >>

Council's pilot program benefiting military veterans

A new pilot program being conducted by the Oklahoma Arts Council in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs is giving residents of the Norman Veterans Center access to high-quality arts instruction. A nine-week course that began in December and ended in January provided veterans with weekly photography courses led by teaching artist Sarah Engel-Barnett. Participants were given a special opportunity to exhibit their work during Norman's 2nd Friday Circuit of Art, thanks in part to Firehouse Arts Center.

Veterans center residents are currently participating in creative writing lessons taught by poet Jason Poudrier, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a Purple Heart recipient. Visual arts courses are also planned.

The pilot program was organized following the launch of the Council's Arts and the Military Initiative and a statewide survey in 2015 that assessed programs for service members, veterans, and military families.

Read about the program in The Norman Transcript >>

Creativity and Aging Summit report

Does your organization serve older adults? A new report published by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) highlights challenges and opportunities for serving older Americans through the arts and design. The report stems from a summit held by the NEA and NCCA last May in preparation for their participation in the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.

Summit attendees were asked to identify needs, issues, and barriers and suggest solutions related to three areas:

  • Age-friendly community design

  • Arts and wellness

  • Lifelong learning in the arts

Recommendations proposed by the NEA based on summit feedback include:

  1. Launch a national campaign to reframe arts services

  2. Build a leadership council of arts, aging, health, and community services organizations

  3. Convene a summit of social entrepreneurs in technology and community service

  4. Establish a research network to build an evidence base to support funding

Read more of the report here >>

Learn about our grant funding for serving older adults >>

2016 Leadership Arts class underway

Class members of the Oklahoma Arts Council's 2016 Leadership Arts program met as a group for the first time on February 24-25 at the Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center in Sulphur. Among the activities class members participated in during the first of their four spring sessions were identifying local cultural assets and discussing group dynamics.

Class members also toured several of the area's arts and cultural spaces and heard from prominent Oklahoma Native American artists Tim Nevaquaya and Margaret Roach Wheeler.

The group will meet for their second session on March 23-24 in Guymon. Upcoming sessions will focus on the value of arts education and the role of the arts in strengthening local economies and enhancing quality of life.

See the list of 2016 class members >>

Learn how you can apply for Leadership Arts >>

Free online course can help arts leaders innovate

A free online course being offered by National Arts Strategies will help arts leaders implement new ideas in their organizations. Developed and presented in partnership with Vanderbilt University, the course, Leading Innovation in Arts & Culture, presented on the online platform Coursera, is an eight-week course requiring approximately 2-3 hours per week that will show leaders how to gain traction for new ideas and make innovation a part of their organization's culture.

Since 1983, National Arts Strategies has been making the arts and culture sector stronger through custom educational experiences for leaders.

Learn more and enroll for the course here >>

State Farm offering Service-Learning Grants

Nonprofit organizations, public K-12 schools, colleges, and other eligible entities can apply for school-based Service-Learning Grants from the State Farmâ„¢ Youth Advisory Board. Grants ranging from $25,000-$100,000 are available in issue areas that include arts and culture.

Service-learning is a teaching approach that integrates service to the community with classroom curriculum. Because projects funded through the program must be school-based, nonprofit organizations, colleges, and other eligible applicants must collaborate with K-12 public schools.

Learn about the service-learning program "Hang12: Youth Curatorial Board" >>

Deadline to apply is Friday, April 29.

Click here for Service-Learning Grant guidelines >>

Kelli O'Hara to champion arts education

Tony Award-winning Oklahoma actress Kelli O'Hara is the new national spokesperson for a program to raise awareness of the value of arts education. The program, Theatre in Our Schools, is sponsored by the Educational Theatre Association and the American Alliance for Theatre & Education in an effort to promote the need for more access to quality programs for all students.

A graduate of Deer Creek High School, O'Hara earned a Tony Award in 2015 for her lead role in The King and I. O'Hara credits her high school drama teacher for showing her how to love art and acting.

The Theatre in Our Schools program comes as the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act includes arts education in the definition of a well-rounded education.

Learn about Theatre in Our Schools >>