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Oklahoma Arts Council News

June 2018

Oklahoma Organizations Earn NEA Grants

Three Oklahoma organizations have earned funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in its second round of fiscal year 2018 grants, announced May 9. The announcement included a total investment in Oklahoma of $799,250 by the federal arts agency.

NEA grants awarded include:

  • Oklahoma Arts Council – $745,750 to support programs, services, and activities as part of its state partnership agreement with the NEA. 

  • Philbrook Museum of Art – $30,000 to support the exhibition "Innovative Impressions: Cassatt, Degas, and Pissarro as Painter-Printmakers."

  • University of Oklahoma – $23,500 to support the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art's touring exhibition of "Visual Voices," featuring works by Chickasaw Nation contemporary artists.

Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples urged more Oklahoma organizations to apply for NEA grants.

"The focus of NEA funding is to ensure access to meaningful and impactful programs across the nation. Oklahoma organizations should take advantage of this and avoid leaving funding for our state on the table," Sharples said.

Read the NEA announcement.

RELATED: Two NEA grant programs have upcoming deadlines:

Art Works – grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 are available to support a wide variety of activities across disciplines. Deadline to apply for an Art Works grant is July 12.

Our Town – grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 can support the engagement, planning, and design of projects that feature art and cultural assets as tools for improving quality of life in communities. A partnership between a nonprofit organization and a local government entity is required. Deadline to apply for an Our Town grant is August 9 .

Nominations Due June 30 for Poet Laureate

The Oklahoma Arts Council is now accepting nominations for the state's next poet laureate. Submissions will be accepted through June 30 from poetry societies, writers' groups, colleges and universities, local arts and humanities councils, and libraries.

Every two years, on behalf of the Governor, the Oklahoma Arts Council accepts nominations for the honorary position of Oklahoma State Poet Laureate. The history of poets laureate in Oklahoma dates back to 1923. The state Legislature formally codified the position in statute in 1994.

A nominations review committee coordinated by the Oklahoma Arts Council and comprised of individuals with experience in the literary arts will make a recommendation to the Governor. The Governor has the authority to make the final determination and appointment.

For guidelines and a nomination form, download the nomination packet.

For more information about the program, visit our website.

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

National Materials Feature Oklahoma Arts Education Insight

A recently published case study from Americans for the Arts (AFTA) highlight the recent work of a statewide group of Oklahoma arts education stakeholders led by the Oklahoma Arts Council. The publication summarizes the findings of Oklahoma's State Policy Pilot Program (SP3) Task Force, which spent three years researching the state's current arts education landscape and developing recommendations for ways to strengthen it.

Cited in the publication is the positive outcomes of the group's work including the establishment of new networks of arts education supporters and the gathering of new research-based data that will guide ongoing efforts. The task force's work is already impacting efforts such as the development of state standards for dance, drama, and early childhood arts education. In addition to the early positive results of the initiative, the materials detail the unique challenges facing arts education supporters in their ongoing efforts.

View and download AFTA's State Policy Pilot Program: A Case Study From Oklahoma.

About AFTA's SP3 Initiative

The State Policy Pilot Program (SP3) was a three-year initiative of Americans for the Arts focused on expanding state support of arts education in policy and appropriations. Ten states were selected to participate and required to form task force teams to guide their work. As one of the 10 states selected, Oklahoma's task force was led by the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Nominate an Oklahoman for a National Heritage Fellowship

Recognizing individuals who have contributed to the traditional arts heritage of our nation, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded more than 400 National Heritage Fellowships since 1982.

The awards celebrate the vitality of America's folk and traditional arts, supporting cultural diversity as a strength of national character.

From Irish folk musicians, to cowboy poets, basketweavers, quilters, storytellers, gospel singers, and more, fellows have represented a wide variety of disciplines. Oklahomans such as Bruce Caesar (1998), Wanda Jackson (2005), Doc Tate Nevaquaya (1986), and Georgeann Robinson (1982) are among those who have been honored with fellowships.

Now through July 30, 2018, nominations are being accepted for 2018 National Heritage Fellowships. Fellows will be honored at an awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. in the fall. Recipients are nominated by the public, often by members of their own communities. Nominations are judged by a panel of experts in folk and traditional arts.

DID YOU KNOW?: The ribbonwork of Oklahoma's Georgeann Robinson inspired the design of the award given to National Heritage Fellows. Robinson was a member of the Osage Nation. Learn more about the design.

Native Artist Professional Development Training in Tahlequah

A free upcoming two-day workshop in northeast Oklahoma will give Native artists training on growing their art-related businesses.

Workshops of the First Peoples Fund's Native Artist Professional Development Training Program benefit artists by showing them how to express their personal vision and values through their business, budget and establish successful pricing structures, market their businesses through a variety of tools, and more.

First Peoples Fund will host a workshop June 26-27 at the Cherokee Arts Center in Tahlequah. The workshop will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.

The workshop is free thanks to a partnership between First Peoples Fund and the Cherokee Arts Center in Tahlequah.

Register for the workshop here.

About First Peoples Fund

Founded in 1995, First Peoples Fund provides support and voice to creative Indigenous artists who share their inspiration, wisdom, knowledge and gifts with their communities. They are dedicated to building the field of Native arts and culture across the country.

Grants for Theater Educators to Attend National Conference

Oklahoma teachers and members of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) can apply for financial assistance to attend the association's national conference, September 13-16 in Denver. The conference features workshops and keynotes led by award-winning Broadway actors, nationally-known playwrights, and experienced directors and producers.

The EdTA National Conference Grant for Theatre Educators was created to assist theatre educators and association members with reaching higher levels of professional achievement, provide access to valuable continuing education and networking opportunities, and enhance the knowledge and skills of experienced theatre educators.

Check out the EdTA Justification Toolkit, which helps teachers make the case for attending the conference to administrators.

View the conference schedule here.

Deadline to apply for the grant is June 15, 2018.

21st Century Community Learning Grants Available

Through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) provides grants for student learning opportunities during out-of-school time. The program assists students attending high-poverty, low-performing schools with meeting academic standards.

Schools, school districts, colleges, nonprofit organizations, and other entities are eligible to apply to serve students who attend a school site that is eligible for designation as a Title I school-wide program. Programs eligible for funding may take place before school, after school, and during summer and other breaks.

OSDE is accepting Letters of Intent to Apply until Thursday, June 14, at 3:00 p.m. All applicants must complete a letter of intent form.

Visit the FAQ page to learn more.

Learn how to apply for the grant here.

Chenven Foundation Offers Funding to Individual Artists

Individual artists living and working in the United States may be eligible to apply for grant funding from the Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation.

Annual awards of $1,500 are available to artists engaged in or planning a new craft or visual art project. Grants are unrestricted cash awards meant to assist artists in the continuation of their work. Winners will be selected by a panel of jurors who include past grant recipients, curators, and art historians.

Applications must be postmarked or emailed no later than July 15.

Visit for information on how to apply.

Proposals Sought for Tulsa Public Art

The City of Tulsa arts commission is currently seeking proposals from artists for two upcoming public art projects. The commission facilitates the city's percent-for-art ordinance.

Lacy and McLure Park Pools – A commission value of $35,000 is available for a project involving public art at two City of Tulsa aquatics facilities. Submissions of credentials are due June 22 at 12:00 p.m.

Air National Guard Mission Training Center – A commission value of $70,000 is available for a project honoring past, present, and future 138th aviators. Submissions of credentials are due June 27 at 12:00 p.m.

Follow the Tulsa Arts Commission on Facebook to stay updated on artist opportunities.

Performing Arts Professionals Can Apply for Emerging Leadership Institute

An intensive two-and-a-half day seminar available to members of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) can help participants advance their careers by developing critical leadership skills and engaging in new professional relationships.

Applications are due June 18, 2018 for APAP's 2019 Emerging Leadership Institute, which will take place during the pre-conference of the association's annual New York City gathering in January. Each year, approximately 25 individuals with three to seven years of experience in the presenting and touring field are selected to participate.

Read Q&As from alumni of the Emerging Leadership Institute.

Click here to learn more.