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National Endowment for the Arts announces $934,500 in funding for Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (June 27, 2017) – Durant, Spencer and Weatherford are among the Oklahoma communities that will directly benefit from the second round of fiscal year 2017 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grants, announced June 14. The federal arts agency will invest seven grants totaling $934,500 in Oklahoma, serving areas across the state. Grants were announced in several categories including the NEA’s Art Works and Our Town programs and its State Partnership Agreement with the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Grantees include the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, awarded $10,000 to support a documentary film series showcasing Choctaw art and culture; Bring Back the Music, awarded $75,000 to redevelop abandoned property in Spencer, Oklahoma as a community arts center; Oklahoma State University, awarded $20,000 to support a retrospective exhibition on Oklahoma artist J. Jay McVicker; Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, awarded $20,000 for “The Collective,” the museum’s teen outreach and engagement program; Tulsa Foundation for Architecture, awarded $75,000 to install temporary public art and program related activities to rejuvenate Tulsa’s Deco District; Southwestern Oklahoma State University, awarded $10,000 for a series of cultural events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Washita River Massacre; and, the Oklahoma Arts Council, awarded $724,500 to support the agency’s efforts to make the arts accessible to Oklahomans statewide.

Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples said, “This is the most NEA funding our state has received in one year in nearly a decade. Amid a series of challenging state budget years, when our agency’s ability to invest in Oklahoma’s arts industry has been eroded, an increase in the number and amount of NEA grants to Oklahoma is welcomed. We are pleased that the NEA recognizes the outstanding cultural programs that will help rural and urban Oklahoma communities flourish.”

The first round of fiscal year 2017 NEA grants to Oklahoma, announced in December 2016, included funding for Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Arts Institute, Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, and Tulsa Ballet. Including the newly announced second round of grants, the NEA’s investment in Oklahoma for fiscal year 2017 totals $1,004,500.

About the Oklahoma Arts Council
The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. The agency’s mission is to lead in the advancement of Oklahoma’s thriving arts industry. The Oklahoma Arts Council provides more than 450 grants to nearly 250 organizations in communities statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state's arts and cultural industry, and manages works of art in Oklahoma Public Art Collection and the public spaces of the state Capitol. Additional information is available at

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. For more information, visit

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