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Oklahoma Arts Council News

July 2018

Oklahoma Arts Council Announces 2018 Conference Theme

Hundreds of Oklahomans will descend on Oklahoma City's Film Row district in October for the 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference where they will take part in the annual convening of artists, nonprofit administrators, community developers, educators, and others.

The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced "Panchromatic: Spectrum of Possibilities" as the theme for the 2018 event. The theme centers on encouraging participants to see the full scope of possibilities the arts offer for meeting vital needs in our state.

The conference will take place October 24-25 with additional activities scheduled October 23 and October 26. Look for more details on the 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference soon!

Registration for the conference begins in early August. An earlybird deadline will be set for mid-September.

Follow the Oklahoma Arts Council on Facebook and Twitter and follow the Oklahoma Arts Conference on Instagram for the latest on the conference.

Nominations Now Being Accepted for Governor's Arts Awards

Nominations are now being accepted in several categories for the 2019 Governor's Arts Awards. Deadline for submissions is September 6, 2018.

Categories of awards include education, business, community service, media, and public service (mayors and government officials).

Since 1975, the Oklahoma Arts Council has presented the awards to individuals and organizations whose efforts have had an impact on communities, schools, or across the state. Criteria for consideration of an award includes a nominee's involvement and leadership in the arts, their work to increase funding and resources for the arts, their work to strengthen arts education, and more.

A nomination form and award guidelines are available at

The 42nd Annual Governor's Arts Awards took place in February 2018. View photos from the event here.

Oklahoma's Harvey Pratt Selected to Design National Memorial

Oklahoma artist Harvey Pratt's design is the unanimous selection for the National Native American Veterans Memorial for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Titled "Warriors' Circle of Honor," Pratt's design was selected from among 120 designs submitted from across the world.

A member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations, Pratt is a Marine Corps veteran who served in the Vietnam War. His winning concept involves a path inside the memorial's walls where Pratt hopes people will take time to reflect. An elevated stainless-steel circle–often a sacred shape in tribal cultures–rests on a carved stone drum and symbolizes the cycles of life and death as well as unity.

The memorial is set to open in 2020, honoring American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians who have served in the armed forces dating back to the Revolutionary War. It will be featured in a prominent location on the museum's grounds, which is near the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.

Read more about Harvey Pratt's design for the National Native American Veterans Memorial.

Oklahoma Projects Awarded Innovation Grants

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) has announced more than $180,000 in grant funding for innovative new works of art in the organization's six-state region. Four Oklahoma projects were included in M-AAA's list of this year's Artistic Innovations Grants. The program provides up to $15,000 for the creation and presentation of new artistic endeavors.

Oklahoma projects receiving Artistic Innovation Grants in fiscal year 2019 include :

  • The Black Utopia Project ($15,000) – an archive, publication, and traveling film with workshop modules related to the historic Black towns of Oklahoma by artist Crystal Z. Campbell.

  • Circle Cinema's 90th Birthday—A Week-Long Festival of Film, Art and Culture ($15,000) – To support a variety of activities for the event in Tulsa including classic silent films with traditional pipe organ accompaniment and modern versions of experimental music and film projects.

  • Then and now ($2,923) – By artist Jamil Jaser of Tahlequah, this project will feature the recording and creation of 3D models of historic and cultural sites in northeastern Oklahoma. Data will be turned into 3D models for exhibition.

  • Symbiotic ($7,150) – Led by artist Jarica Walsh, this project will encourage ambitious concepts and innovative work through mentorship. It will feature an exhibition at the Fowler VW dealership in Norman.

Funded projects must take place between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

The grant program is made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Read the announcement here.

Learn more about Artistic Innovations Grants.

Aid for Teachers to Attend State, National Arts Conferences

Oklahoma teachers interested in attending state or national arts conferences can apply for financial assistance to help cover related costs through a program of the Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE). More than 50 teachers have benefited from OAAE Professional Learning Grants over the past two years. The program offers up to $500 to active Oklahoma educators who are planning to attend conferences approved by OAAE. Eligible expenses include registration fees, travel fees, lodging, meals, and more.

To be eligible, teachers must be certified in music, art, drama, speech, or dance by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). Teachers must be full-time Oklahoma K-12 educators.

Deadline to apply is August 1.

View the 2018-19 OAAE Professional Learning Grant Application Guide.

RELATED: The 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference in Oklahoma City will feature arts education sessions.

NSU Seeks Artist Proposals for Veterans Memorial Sculpture

A request for qualifications from artists has been issued by Northeastern State University (NSU) for an upcoming public art project on NSU's main Tahlequah campus.

The university is seeking an artist to create a veterans memorial sculpture related to the concept "NSU Veterans: Serving and Communicating through the Decades." The work should be a large-scale figurative representation of military service from Cherokee Code Talkers in WWII to Vietnam, the Gulf War and present day service women and men from different branches of the military.

Artists should be prepared to submit a one-page letter of interest, a resume, images of recent work, and references. Applications are due July 26.

Download the RFQ here.

For related questions, contact Johnny Johnson at NSU at

Levitt Foundation Can Bring Concert Series to Oklahoma Communities

The Levitt Foundation's annual matching grant program that uses live music to bring communities together opens July 17.

Through Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards, select small and mid-sized towns and cities across America are awarded $25,000 in matching funds to present a music series that features a minimum of 10 free outdoor concerts presented over 10 to 12 consecutive weeks.

Grants are awarded to communities will populations of up to 400,000 people. Host communities receive a toolkit with sample artist contracts, sample press releases, and more to assist in making the series successful.

The goals of the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant program is to amplify community pride, enrich lives through the power of live music, and illustrate the importance of vibrant public places. From Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a set of diverse cities hosted the series in 2018.

Applicants must have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Eligibility critieria is available here.

Learn how to apply for the Levitt Amp [Your City] Grant program.

Grants Can Help Advance Understanding of American Art

Through Responsive Grants in American Art, the Henry Luce Foundation supports collection-based projects that advance the understanding and presentation of art of the United States. Letters of inquiry are accepted at any time for the program.

Collection areas that are eligible for support include paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs, traditional crafts, design, Native American arts, and more. Applicants are encouraged to consider the reinvigoration of collections as a goal and they should consider how to initiate fresh approaches to collection-focused documentation, reinterpretation, reinstallations, and in-house or touring exhibitions.

For more information, visit the Henry Luce Foundation website.

Showcase for Oklahoma Performers Scheduled in Stillwater

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries has announced the date and location of its 2018 Oklahoma Performers Showcase.

Scheduled September 14, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Stillwater Public Library, the event will give artists the opportunity to present a brief sample of their programs for attendees including public librarians, school librarians and teachers from across the state. Presentations should focus on the summer reading program theme for 2019, "A Universe of Stories." There are costs for performers to participate.

Deadline to apply is August 3. For more information, visit the 2018 Oklahoma Performers Showcase website.

Creative Aging Grants Available

Is your organization interested in launching a new creative aging program?

Members of the National Guild for Community Arts Education may be eligible to apply for funding through the guild's Catalyzing Creative Aging Program to help in the establishment of professionally-led arts education for older adults.

The multi-phase program provides funding, training, and technical assistance to community arts education organizations. Applications are being accepted through August 7, 2018.

Seed grants of up to $7,000 are provided in phase 1, covering training and technical assistance. Additional grants of up to $7,000 are available in phase 2 for the implementation of new creative aging programs.

Details of the Catalyzing Creative Aging Program are available here.

Oklahoma Arts Council Welcomes Governor's Latest Appointments

The Oklahoma state Senate has confirmed five new appointments to the Oklahoma Arts Council governing board made by Governor Mary Fallin. New appointees were confirmed during the legislative session in May. Their three-year appointments officially began July 1, 2018.

New board appointees include Tracie Chapman (Mannsville), Sangita Chatterjee (Tulsa), Graham Colton (Oklahoma City), Fred Hall (Oklahoma City), and Robert H. Henry (Oklahoma City).

Fifteen volunteer citizens representing communities across the state are appointed to provide oversight of the Oklahoma Arts Council, assuring accountability and effectiveness in the state agency's activities.