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Oklahoma Arts Council News

October 2017

Last Chance to Register for the Oklahoma Arts Conference

It's not too late to register for the 2017 Oklahoma Arts Conference. Now through MondayOctober online registration remains open for the annual convening of Oklahoma's arts community.

Featured presenters for this year's conference include:

In addition to these nationally-known featured presenters, local Oklahoma speakers and panelists will highlight innovative and inspiring projects happening right here in our state. Oklahoma Arts Conference sessions are geared for arts administrators, artists, community developers, educators and others involved in the arts. 

View the conference schedule.

Each year, the Oklahoma Arts Conference brings together more than 400 individuals from across the state for two-plus days of professional devolopment and networking. The 2017 conference will take place October 25-26 at the Central National Bank Center in Enid. Preconference activities will take place on October 24.

Click here to register for the conference.

Interested in the Leadership Arts Program?

October 4, 2017

Each fall, the Oklahoma Arts Council accepts applications to its Leadership Arts program. The spring program consists of four two-day sessions in different Oklahoma communities that equip Leadership Arts class members to use the arts as tools to improve their local communities and schools. Class sessions include group work, reading assignments, panel discussions, and tours of community art spaces. Members graduate at the Oklahoma Arts Conference in the fall.

Who can benefit from Leadership Arts?

  • Staff or board members of arts organizations

  • Artists

  • Civic leaders

  • Community developers

  • Educators and school board members

  • Business leaders

  • Volunteers and others

See our list of Leadership Arts graduates.

The program and curriculum is free (members must pay for their food, lodging, and travel). 

Visit the Leadership Arts page to learn more about the program.Applications will be available soon. Stay tuned to learn about your chance to be a part of Leadership Arts. 

Watch a New Video on the Economic Impact of Arts, Culture in Oklahoma

October 4, 2017

Want to learn more about the new report on the economic impact of Oklahoma's nonprofit arts and cultural industry? A new two-minute video produced by Oklahomans for the Arts (OFTA) gives a quick, easy-to-understand snapshot of how spending by arts and cultural organizations and their audiences effect our state and local economies.

From spending by out-of-town visitors to the number of jobs supported, get an insightful look at how investments in Oklahoma's nonprofit arts and cultural industry provide an impressive return-on-investment. 

Watch the two-minute video.

View the full economic impact report.

Leadership Arts Leads to Collaboration on Veterans Guitar Program

October 4, 2017

A conversation between two 2016 Leadership Arts class members has led to a partnership that is helping to provide guitar lessons to local veterans.

Through the GIVE (Guitar Initiative for Veterans) initiative, participating veterans receive 12 weeks of training, learning to play the guitar, studying music theory, and covering concepts such as pitch and tone.

Marcus Hill, a veteran who helped create the program, said it not only offers the benefits of hands-on arts learning, it also helps veterans with the effects of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Rob Arrington of ODVA said the idea for the partnership came up during a conversation he had with Opry Heritage executive director Cindy Scarberry while both were participating in Leadership Arts. While Arrington credits Hill and Scarberry for doing the "heavy lifting," he said ODVA has been working to promote the opportunity for veterans to participate.

The ODVA has been a partner with the Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) on two pilot arts programs at state veterans centers. The Oklahoma Opry Heritage Foundation won an Arts in Education Award at the 2015 Governor's Arts Awards.

Learn more about the program in this interview on KFOR.

Watch a video about the GIVE initiative.

Community-minded Artists Sought for Obama Foundation Fellowships

October 4, 2017

The Obama Foundation is seeking artists, entrepreneurs, inventers, community organizers, and others as its seeks to create a diverse inaugural class of fellows who are "community-minded rising stars."

The two-year non-residential fellowship will provide training, resources, and leadership development and will include four gatherings that will stress collaboration, potential partnerships, and the collective advancement of each fellow's work. 

The foundation seeks to bring together people with a diverse set of opinions and perspectives as a means of pursuing innovative approaches to addressing public issues.  

Applications will be accepted through October 6.

Time to Apply for M-AAA Artistic Innovations Grants

October 4, 2017

Funding for the creation of new, innovative artwork is available to Oklahoma artists and organizations through the Artist Innovations grant program of the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA). 

Available to support all artistic disciplines, the program provides up to $15,000 to underwrite expenses related to the art-making process. Works must result in performances, presentations, publications, exhibitions, and/or workshops.

Recent Oklahoma projects funded through the program include the production of a set of short films, the creation and performance of a theater project, and a public art initiative. Read more about these projects here.

A Letter of Intent for the program is due on October 30, 2017 for projects occuring between July 1, 2018 and June 20, 2019.

Download the Call for Letters of Intent.

Learn more about the Artistic Innovations program.

Counties, Local Arts Agencies Can Apply for Placemaking Challenge

October 4, 2017

Through the Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge, counties with populations of less than 250,000 can form multidisciplinary teams and apply for support to identify and strengthen ways to use arts-based solutions to address local challenges. The program was created to offer strategies for improving local economies. 

Selected teams will attend a workshop in late March that will offer expert guidance for identifying and leveraging local place-based assets.

Deadline to apply is October 13.

The program is offered by the National Association of Counties in partnership with Americans for the Arts with support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Binding Communities Together through Arts in Transportation

October 4, 2017

A new resource from ArtPlace America shows how the arts can be a robust tool in transportation design.

In partnership with Transportation for America, ArtPlace America has published the results of a survey analysis, offering solutions to challenges in transportation and providing opportunities for transportation to be a tool for binding communities together.

The publication, Arts, Culture and Transportation: A Creative Placemaking Field Scan, identifies ways that artists could be integrated in to the transportation design process to improve safety and to build community support.

The analysis shows that artists are equipped to help:

  • Overcome the constraints of traditional processes

  • Empathize with pedestrians, cyclists, and others

  • Promote equity in transportation investments

  • Engage stakeholders for an inclusive process

  • Foster local stewardship

  • Create a more inviting environment

  • Heal wounds and divisions

Learn more about the creative placemaking field scan in transportation.

One-Year Artist Fellowships Available through First Peoples Fund

October 4, 2017

Fellowships provided by First Peoples Fund enable Native artists to strengthen their business skills and ensure that their heritage in art and culture is passed to future generations.

Through October 31, enrolled members of federally recognized tribes can apply for one-year fellowships in one of two categories:

  • Artist in Business Leadership – $5,000, technical support, and professional training are available through this self-directed program to aid artist entrepreneurs.

  • Cultural Capital – $5,000, tools, and resources to further the work of culture bearers.

Previous fellows have come from diverse disciplines, including photographers, painters, hip-hop, basketweaving, and more.

Full details about the fellowships are available at

Creative Teens Can Earn Scholarships, Awards

October 4, 2017

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is now accepting submissions from students, grades 7-12, for the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Categories range from painting, photography, comic art, sculpture, and film to poetry, short story, science fiction and more. Each year, the awards provide $300,000 in direct aid and scholarships to students and teachers with millions of dollars more provided by national and regional partners. Among the awards offered through the program are Gold Medal scholarships of $10,000 and Silver Medal scholarships of $1,000.

Guidelines and other information are available at

Videos on submission questions are available here.

Share this opportunity with a creative student or a teacher in your Oklahoma community!