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Oklahoma Arts Council News

April 2018

Funding Outlook Remains Unclear for State Agencies

Despite bills that will provide teacher pay raises and generate more than $400 million in state revenue being passed by the state Legislature and signed by Governor Mary Fallin recently, the amount available for legislators to appropriate to state agencies such as the Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) in fiscal year 2019 remains unclear. Estimates for the next budget, which begins in July, show a shortfall of $168 million.

With compounding budget cuts totaling 46 percent for the Oklahoma Arts Council since 2008, education programs such as the Performing Arts Corps have been shuttered; development programs such as Leadership Arts and Cultural District Certification are inactive; and, investment in grant programs for schools and communities statewide has been slashed.

As the current Oklahoma legislative session continues, the Oklahoma Arts Council will provide updates on the outlook of our fiscal year 2019 budget and its implications on our ability to serve the state's arts industry.

To learn how budget cuts have impacted Oklahoma Arts Council programs and services, see our Fiscal Year 2017 Impact Report.

OFTA's 'Arts Day' April 11 at the Capitol

PLEASE NOTE: Oklahomans for the Arts has announced a change in the schedule for their annual Oklahoma Arts Day event. Please visit their website at for details.

Oklahomans for the Arts (OFTA)—Oklahoma's statewide nonprofit arts advocacy organization—is inviting art supporters from across the state to gather at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Wednesday, April 11, for the annual Oklahoma Arts Day event.

Convening nearly 400 artists, arts and museum administrators, community leaders, nonprofit board members, educators, and others, Oklahoma Arts Day features a kickoff rally in the morning and presentations of performances throughout the day. Registration for the event is free and open to the public.

Be sure to stay up-to-date on details about OFTA's Oklahoma Arts Day, especially as the teacher walkout may impact Capitol traffic. Instructions for parking and more are available at

Artwork to be Unveiled at Arts Day

PLEASE NOTE: The unveiling of the painting commissioned by Rep. Sears has been postponed. The unveiling will not take place on April 11.

In conjunction with Arts Day, the Oklahoma Arts Council and Oklahoma State Representative Earl Sears of Bartlesville will unveil a painting commissioned by Rep. Sears for the Oklahoma State Capitol Art Collection. The artwork pays tribute to the heritage of family ranching in northeast Oklahoma.

Arts Day participants are encouraged to attend the unveiling and dedication, which will take place on the floor of the House of Representatives at 1:00 p.m. Participants can observe from the House gallery located on the Capitol's fifth floor. Learn more about the unveiling here.

Leadership Arts Alumni Meeting as Part of Arts Day

PLEASE NOTE: This meeting has been moved from its originally scheduled location at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The meeting will take place at the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. Click here for details.

Alumni of the Oklahoma Arts Council's (OAC) Leadership Arts program will meet from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11 at the Oklahoma State Capitol as part of Arts Day activities.

The meeting will include an update on the status of the program, which was not offered this year due to budget cuts. Alumni will have the opportunity to offer feedback on how the program has influenced them, and to be part of a discussion of how the program can return with greater purpose, relevance, and accessibility.

RSVP by emailing OAC Assistant Director Molly O'Connor at

Leadership Arts alumni are urged to be part of this discussion on the future of the program.

Deadline for Oklahoma Poetry Out Loud Bids

The deadline for organizations to submit bids to administer the state Poetry Out Loud contest is April 20.

Organizations eligible to administer the program include 501(c)3 nonprofits, public universities, public libraries, and city, county and tribal governments. Organizations should have the capacity to implement the contest statewide for high school students, and bids should demonstrate how Poetry Out Loud aligns with the organization's mission.

The organization that submits the successful bid will receive grant funding ranging from $13,500–$17,500. The amount is contingent on the allotment from the National Endowment for the Arts for the program.

For complete instructions, download the Invitation to Bid.

Related: Lawton's Kristine Guerrero wins the 2018 state Poetry Out Loud competition. Guerrero will represent Oklahoma in the national competition in Washington D.C. in late April.

Poet Laureate Nominations to be Accepted Soon

Every two years, on behalf of the Governor's office, the Oklahoma Arts Council solicits nominations for the honorary position of Oklahoma State Poet Laureate. With a history dating back to 1923, the Oklahoma Legislature formally codified the position in 1994, giving the Governor the authority to appoint a laureate in odd-numbered years.

In even-numbered years, the Oklahoma Arts Council announces a call for nominations from cultural organizations such as poetry societies, writers' groups, colleges and universities, local arts and humanities councils, and libraries. The Oklahoma Arts Council facilitates the review of submitted nominations, organizing a selection committee that makes a final recommendation to the Governor's office.

Nominations for the 2019-2020 Oklahoma State Poet Laureate will be accepted soon. For more information about the progam, visit the poet laureate page on our website.

NOTE: Due to Oklahoma Arts Council budget cuts, direct compensation in the form of honoraria is no longer provided to the Poet Laureate. However, Oklahoma Arts Council grant funding may be available to support organizations and schools with presenting the Poet Laureate.

OVAC Artist Fellowships and Student Award Applications Due April 30

Applications are currently open for a fellowship and student award program of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC).

Each year, OVAC provides two $5,000 fellowship awards to professional Oklahoma visual artists and two $500 student awards to reward qualified artists who have demonstrated outstanding vision. Recipients are chosen from submitted applications by a guest curator.

Fellowship applicants must be older than 21 years of age, legal residents of Oklahoma, and cannot be students of a degree-seeking program.

Student award applicants must be in a graduate or undergraduate in Oklahoma, seeking a degree in art, design, film, or a related degree.

Deadline for applications in both categories is April 30.

Click here to learn more.

HoganTaylor® Foundation Offers Grants in Oklahoma

The HoganTaylor Foundation provides grant funding to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations based in the U.S., with a preference for giving to organizations serving Oklahoma and Arkansas. The foundation's mission is to support the needs of communities by giving back through sponsorships, grants, and volunteer support.

Through May 31, the foundation is accepting applications for its 2018 grant cycle. Funding may be used toward capital campaigns, operating expenses, or special projects. Organizations can make multiple grant requests but are limited to one award per calendar year.

Download the HoganTaylor Foundation grant application form.

View their "at-a-glance" report to see a list of organizations supported in 2016.

Crayola Program Can Help Schools 'Champion Creative Students'

Crayola's Champion Creatively Alive Children® grant program provides funding to assist with innovative leadership team-building within elementary and middle schools. Applications are currently being accepted to assist schools with building creative capacity. Schools that are selected for funding will receive $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000.

Schools interested in applying should form a collaborative team that will create a leadership program to enrich creative capabilities within the school community. A rubric used in assessing grant applications is available to assist with program planning.

Click here for complete guidelines. Applications are due June 22.

Community Investment Grants from Cox Charities

Through its Community Investment grants program, Cox Charities supports programs serving youth, education, social issues, and the arts. Requests for up to $10,000 will be considered for programs that impact residents in the Cox Communications Oklahoma City service area. (View eligible communities in the service area here).

Eligible organizations include 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. Applicants must demonstrate financial health and sustainability. Funding is not allowed for special or one-time events. Grant eligibility criteria is available here.

Applications for Community Investment grants are due May 1.

Student Artists Can Submit for Congressional Art Competition

Sponsored by the Congressional Institute, the annual Congressional Art Competition has recognized the excellence of student artists in congressional districts across America since 1982. Oklahoma high school students can now submit artwork to their Oklahoma congressional representative for the chance to have their creations exhibited in Washington, D.C. and to be part of an annual awards ceremony in the nation's capital.

Works must be original and two-dimensional. Accepted media includes paintings, drawings, collages, prints, mixed media, computer-generated, and photographs.

The deadline varies according to each congressional member. Visit the appropriate link below for deadline and submission information:

Learn more about the Congressional Art Competition.

Cultural Exchange Program Can Expand Artists' Experiences

Oklahoma artists and other eligible entities interested in building partnerships and collaborations outside of the U.S. may benefit from a travel grant program of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP). The Cultural Exchange Fund assists APAP members with expanding and deepening their knowledge of artists and cultures. Grants of up to $2,000 are available to individuals, while grants of up to $10,000 are available for groups.

With funding provided on a rolling basis, the next deadline is April 30. Travel for this deadline should occur between July and december 2018. In addition to individual artists and groups, presenting organizations agents, managers, and producers may be eligible to apply.

Visit the APAP website for complete details.

Grants for Commissioning of New Works by American Composers

Through its Classical Commissioning Program, Chamber Music America provides grants to professional U.S.-based presenters and ensembles for the commissioning and performance of new works. The program supports works by American composers that are scored for 2-10 musicians in musical styles associated with contemporary classical music.

With a deadline of April 29, the grant program requires compositions to be finished by September 2019. A minimum number of public performances is also a requirement. Funding may range from $5,000 to $20,000.

View grant guidelines here.