FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Joel Gavin, Director of Marketing & Communications
OKLAHOMA CITY (February 10, 2016) – The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced the names of individuals selected to participate in its 2016 Leadership Arts program. The list includes 33 individuals from 23 Oklahoma communities who will gather throughout the spring to learn how to impact their communities through the arts and arts education.
Members of the 2016 class will join more than 240 individuals from 75 communities statewide who have participated in the program since it began in 2008.
Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples said the diversity of the 2016 class fits the agency’s vision for the state’s arts industry.
"This diverse group of future arts leaders represents a broad cross section of industries across Oklahoma, complementing our goal to see the robust nature of the arts influence every aspect of our citizens’ lives. In addition to artists, educators, and nonprofit administrators, our class includes a social worker, a college dean, marketing professionals, small business owners, chamber of commerce personnel, and city and tribal administrators.”
The Oklahoma Arts Council places a high priority on geographic, cultural, and professional diversity during the application process. Listed by community, members of the 2016 class of Leadership Arts include:
- Lizabeth Rolfson, OK Mozart (Bartlesville)
- Lori Lewis, The Museum of Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow)
- Margaret Goss, community volunteer (Carmen)
- Cady Shaw, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism (Catoosa)
- Gina Flesher, Duncan Little Theatre (Duncan)
- Greg White, University of Central Oklahoma (Edmond)
- Lisa Magyar, Creative Arts Enid (Enid)
- Josh Setzer, Guymon Community Theatre (Goodwell)
- Mary Moeller, Jenks Public Schools (Jenks)
- Mary Helfenbein, McAlester Area Arts & Humanities Council (McAlester)
- Randall Barnes, Inclusion in Art (Midwest City)
- Taylor Mauldin Wagner, Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau (Norman)
- Emily Smart, Firehouse Art Center (Norman)
- Christina Beatty, Oklahoma Arts Council (Oklahoma City)
- Michelle Bui, Norman Music Festival/Bui PR, LLC (Oklahoma City)
- Cynthia Calloway, Territory Tellers of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)
- Mandy Messina, Oklahoma Visual Art Coalition (Oklahoma City)
- Kelly Rogers, Heartline, Inc. (Oklahoma City)
- Suzanne Thomas, Rose State College (Oklahoma City)
- Jerron Scott, Okmulgee Main Street (Okmulgee)
- Joni Nash, Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce (Pawhuska)
- Kelsey Wagner, Ponca City Art Center (Ponca City)
- Rita Montgomery, Sand Springs Public Schools (Sand Springs)
- Shawna Goodwin, Oklahoma State University Museum of Art (Stillwater)
- Janina Graves, Wesley Foundation at Oklahoma State University (Stillwater)
- Tanya Lowrance, Murray State College (Sulphur)
- Elizabeth Toombs, Cherokee Nation Businesses (Tahlequah)
- Julianne Clark, Will Rogers College High School (Tulsa)
- Okcate Smith, Ursa Minor Fiction, LLC (Tulsa)
- Lauren Teague, Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa (Tulsa)
- Beth Brady-Edwards, Brady Edwards Pottery & Art (Wagoner)
- Crystal Simmons, Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Woodward)
- Audrey Fitzsimmons, City of Yukon (Yukon)
About Leadership Arts
Through the Leadership Arts program, individuals receive in-depth training and strategies for using arts and cultural resources to strengthen local economies, improve education, and enhance quality of life. Approximately 30 class members are selected each year to meet during four two-day spring sessions where they participate in panel discussions, group activities, hands-on learning, and tours of community art spaces.
Class sessions for the 2016 program will take place at the Chickasaw Conference and Retreat Center in Sulphur (February 24-25), Guymon (March 23-24), Muskogee (April 27-28), and Norman (May 25-26). Class members will graduate during the 2016 Oklahoma Arts Conference in Stillwater (October 25-26).
Nationally recognized, the Leadership Arts program is sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council and funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. The program is a project of the Oklahoma Arts Council in cooperation with the communities of Sulphur, Guymon, Muskogee, Norman, and Stillwater.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 approximately 500 grants to almost 250 organizations in communities statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state's arts and cultural industry, and manages hundreds of works of art in the public spaces of the state Capitol. Additional information is available at arts.ok.gov.