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Oklahoma Arts Council News

November 2018

Oklahoma Arts Conference Participants Hear Message of Hope, Unity

As participants concluded their 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference experience on October 25, they left with a final commission: Featured speaker Arlene Goldbard charged the crowd–a mix of artists, nonprofit administrators, community developers, civic leaders, and others–with using the arts as a positive force for change in their communities.

For the first time, an Oklahoma Arts Conference ended with a general session, bringing participants together for a departing message of empathy, equity, and transformation through the arts. The final session followed more than two days of uplifting sessions, workshops, networking events, and performances that focused on issues ranging from placemaking and community engagement to board training, accessibility planning, creative aging, fundraising, and much more. The schedule also featured a series of dance workshops to enrich participants' appreciation of Oklahoma's many diverse cultures.

Take a look back at the 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference in our Facebook photo album.

Photos (clockwise from left to right): Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt speaks during a keynote luncheon panel discussion that included Fred Hall, Alice Gray Stites, and Graham Colton; 21c Museum Hotels Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites gives a special tour of the 21c Museum Hotel OKC artwork; Vietnamese lion dancers; the registration table is busy as hundreds of participants check in.

OSDE Offering Upcoming Workshops for Fine Arts Educators

Two upcoming workshops being offered by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) will offer professional development opportunities for fine arts educators.

As part of OSDE's EngageOK cycle, free workshops with content aligned with Oklahoma Academic Standards will be offered December 11 in Oklahoma City and December 12 in Broken Arrow.

The December 11 workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Francis Tuttle Technology Center (map) in Oklahoma City. The session will have a drama/theatre education focus. Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) Arts Education Director Jennifer Allen-Barron will present on grant opportunities available through the OAC in the morning. The afternoon portion will include presenters discussing drama pedagogy and curriculum. Read the workshop description.

The December 12 workshop will take place at the Northeastern State University Broken Arrow campus (map). The session will focus on teaching elementary music in the suburban and inner city classroom. Strategies for working with high needs student populations will be shared as well as strategies for culturally-responsive classroom management. Read the workshop description.

Visit this page to register for a workshop. There is no cost to attend.

Oklahoma Arts Council Seeks Grants Director

The Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) is seeking an experienced Grants Director to administer the agency's various grant programs. Enthusiastic, creative people with an entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to public service are sought. The Oklahoma Arts Council strives to build a diverse team comprised of the best and brightest individuals to support our mission to lead in the advancement of Oklahoma's arts industry.

The Grants Director manages the overall review process of applications for funding received by the OAC. He/she oversees teams of panelists and the awarding of grant contracts. Other responsibilites include analyzing the grantmaking process in order to identify and recommend methods of improvement; preparing and submitting the Oklahoma Arts Council's state partnership grant application to the National Endowment for the Arts; and, providing direction and supervision to the Grants Assistant.

Successful candidates will have knowledge of arts and arts programming as well as best practices in grantmaking. Experience with budget development and proven administrative skills are necessary. A minimum three years of experience or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience is required.

Click here to view the complete position description. The position is open until filled.

The Oklahoma Arts Council is an equal opportunity employer that strives to build a diverse team to support our mission to lead in the advancement of Oklahoma's thriving arts industry.

Oklahoma Arts and Military Included in New National Arts Resource

Americans for the Arts (AFTA) has a unique new resource to help people understand the many ways the arts impact society, and a resource from the Oklahoma Arts Council has been included.

AFTA's Arts + Social Impact Explorer is a one-stop interactive tool that pulls together published research, example projects, and information from AFTA partner organizations. Using the tool, the arts' impact on 26 different sectors can be explored. Among the sectors, the military sector features the Oklahoma Arts Council's (OAC) Engaging Veterans through Creative Expression publication as a resource for individuals and organizations to use in offering programming for veterans and members of the military community.

Other sectors featured in the explorer include education, social justice, health and wellbeing, faith, and more. Check out the interactive Arts + Social Impact Explorer.

Download the Arts + Military sector fact sheet.

Organize a Community Reading Program with Support from ‘The Big Read’

Nonprofit organizations, public libraries, school districts, divisions of local and tribal governments, and others can apply now through January 24, 2019, for the NEA Big Read, a community-wide reading program made possible through grants of up to $15,000.

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest, the program provides funding to select organizations along with training opportunities, digital resources, and outreach materials. Applicants choose from a diverse NEA Big Read booklist and organize activities such as author readings, book discussions, art exhibitions, lectures and panel discussions.

A broad range of organizations are eligible, including arts organizations, universities, community service organizations, faith-based organizations, historical societies, museums, and others.

Applications must be submitted by January 24.

Click here to learn more about the NEA Big Read.

Funding Available to Take Shakespeare to Schools

Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and/or units of local government that have produced Shakespeare or classically-based repertoir within the past five years may be eligible to apply for the Shakespeare in American Communities program—a program of Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The program offers funding to provide performances and related educational activities for students from 10 or more middle and/or high schools. Standard grants are $25,000.

December 7 is the deadline to submit a letter of intent to apply for projects taking place between August 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020. Guidelines and more are available here.

Related: Shakespeare in American Communities: Juvenile Justice program supports programs that reach youth within the juvenile justice system.

Tulsa-area Artists Can Apply for Artist INC Program

Artists of all disciplines seeking to update or improve their business skills can benefit from participating in Artist INC, a program of the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA). Through the program, selected artists attend eight weekly evening seminars where they gain skills in planning, marketing, finance, law, technology, and more.

Artists in the Tulsa area can now apply for Artist INC Tulsa. Offered through a partnership between M-AAA and the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, 25 artists will be chosen to participate in the program, which will feature facilitator mentoring, small group activities, and large group discussions.

Deadline to apply is January 7. Sessions will start in March 2019.

See Artist INC Tulsa application requirements here.

Museums for America Grants Available

Grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 are available through the Museums for America program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Through the program, IMLS supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public. Projects in one of three categories may be eligible for support:

  • Lifelong Learning

  • Communitty Anchors and Catalysts

  • Collections Stewardship and Public Access

The deadline to apply is December 14. A pre-application webinar is available for those wishing to learn more.

Visit for details.

Rural Oklahoma Communities Can Benefit from Carolyn Watson Grants

New or expanded projects serving select rural Oklahoma counties may be eligible to receive support through Community Grants provided by the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation. Arts programming, public art, artist residencies, festivals, and cultural preservation projects are among the activities eligible to be supported.

A list of recent art projects supported through Community Grants is available at the bottom of this page.

Grants of up to $10,000 may be provided to eligible nonprofit organizations or entities of state and local government for projects serving a single community or county. Grants of up to $15,000 may be provided for projects serving multiple communities or counties. Projects must take place in select counties.

The deadline to apply will be in January 2019. Click here to learn more.

Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards

Each year, The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards recognizes teachers whose efforts have left a lasting impression on the students they have served. On March 22—noted American composer Stephen Sondheim's birthday— selected teachers are presented with $10,000 awards for their contributions to the field of teaching.

Through December 31, 2018, nominations are being accepted for the 2019 awards. Nominations must be presented as a written, audio, or video story that details a single, specific interaction that made a significant impact on you as the nominator. Written submissions are limited to 500 words. Audio or video submissions must not exceed three minutes.


  • Must be at least 18 years of age

  • Must have been the Nominee's student

  • Must no longer be enrolled in the school where the Nominee was their teacher


  • Must be legal residents of the United States

  • Must teach or have taught in a K-12 school, or college or university in the United States

  • Teachers of all grade levels and subject areas are eligible

To view the full guidelines, visit The Kennedy Center's website.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's USArtists International Program

A program of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, USArtists International offers support for U.S.-based artists to perform at cultural festivals and arts marketplaces around the globe. Ensembles and individual performers in dance, music, and theatre may be eligible for funding of up to $15,000 to assist with artist fees, travel, accommodations, per diem, and more.

Deadline to apply is November 30, 2018, for projects taking place between March 15, 2019 and March 14, 2020. Applicants who do not have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status are required to have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor.

Learn more at

Research Grants from Oklahoma Humanities Due December 15

Oklahoma Humanities is offering grants of up to $500 to scholars to encourage and increase original humanities research. Their Research Grants program is available to scholars who are independent and those who are affiliated with an institution.

Scholars must hold an earned Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy degree in one of the humanities disciplines as defined by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Disciplines include the study of literature, criticism of the creative and performing arts, history, languages, and more. Grants are intended to assist with costs related to carrying out the research project. Travel and materials are examples of eligible expenses. The program requires applicants to include a plan for disseminating their research.

Deadline to apply is December 15. View Oklahoma Humanities Research Grants guidelines.