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Oklahoma Arts Council News

October 2018

Final Deadline to Register for 2018 Conference

Registration for the 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference  ends this Wednesday, October 10. If you missed the earlybird rate, there's still time to register, and the fee is only $159 for two full days of events, workshops, breakout sessions, and much more.

New sessions and speakers continue to be added to the lineup for this year's convening of Oklahoma's arts and cultural industry. Artists, nonprofts administrators, community developers, educators, students, and others from across the state will come together in Oklahoma City's Film Row district on October 24 and 25 for the conference.

Register for the 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference.

Sessions for Artists

The Oklahoma Arts Council is pleased to present Naomi Schliesman and Jun-Li Wang of Minnesota-based Springboard for the Arts as presenters for several Oklahoma Arts Conference sessions for artists. The duo will address issues related to public art, artist marketing, pricing artwork, and creative placemaking during their sessions. Read their bios to learn more about their impressive work benefiting artists and communities.

Learn more about the 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference.

Participate in an Oklahoma Traditional Arts Forum on October 23

Uniquely passed down from one generation to the next, traditional and folk art forms in Oklahoma are inseparable from our identity as a state. In order to preserve and elevate these art forms, and as a way of supporting cultural practices and engaging refugees and new immigrant populations in our state, the Oklahoma Arts Council will present the first-ever Oklahoma Cultural Arts, Heritage, and Folk Art Forum on Tuesday, October 23.

Set to take place at The Paramount on Film Row in Oklahoma City from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the forum is open to the public at no cost as a free pre-conference offering of the 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference. Conference registration is not required to attend the forum.

The forum will center on a discussion of ways to support deeper engagement with Oklahoma's diverse cultural practices. Oklahoma folk artists, tradition bearers, cultural representatives, and others are encouraged to take part. The schedule includes a collective visioning session that will identify needs, goals, and opportunities that will enable traditional art forms to thrive in Oklahoma. Oklahoma teaching artist and storyteller DWe Williams will be joined by California-based public folklorist and cultural organizer Jennifer Joy Jameson to facilitate the forum.

The forum is being offered through a partnership between the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sign up to participate in the Oklahoma Cultural Arts, Heritage, and Folk Art Forum.

The forum is offered at no cost. Conference registration not required.

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. The person in this position 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.

OAC Accepting Letters of Intent for Cultural District Development Grants

The Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) is accepting letters of intent for its fiscal year 2020 Cultural District Development grant program through November 15. The program is part of the OAC's Oklahoma Cultural District Initiative.

Up to $7,500 per year is available to successful applicants. Grants require a 1:1 match, and applicants may participate in the program for up to five years, receiving a maximum of $25,000 in funding.

Applications must demonstrate support from community stakeholders including cultural organizations, city/county officials, businesses, artists, and educators.

Funding may be used to pay professional consultants to advise on cultural planning; for the hiring of a district coordinator to oversee operations during district development; for marketing and promotion of district activities; or, for other eligible expenses.

Awards are based on community readiness and capacity. Grant amounts are subject to availability of Oklahoma Arts Council funding.

Visit the Cultural District Development page for details.

Download a sample letter of intent.

Muskogee Benefits from OAC Cultural District Initiative

Participation in the Oklahoma Arts Council's Cultural District Development program by community members in Muskogee is paying them dividends. An $800,000 multi-year grant from the City of Muskogee Foundation was recently secured toward the creation of the Depot Green, a future downtown community gathering place. The grant is in addition to funding totaling $165,000 from other sources for the project.

Through the Cultural District Development program, various arts and cultural groups, local businesses, civic leaders, and volunteer citizens came together to create a vision for the green space. In addition to providing seed funding for district development, the program requires community stakeholders to forge an agreement and collaborate with their local government.

When completed in late 2019, the space will offer opportunities for the community to gather for performances and more.

The Cultural District Development program is part of the OAC's Oklahoma Cultural District Initiative.

Read about Muskogee's Depot Green here.

International Conference Features Oklahoma Arts and Military Program

Oklahoma Arts Council (OAC) Arts Education Director Jennifer Allen-Barron was recently part of a team of Oklahomans that presented on the OAC's Oklahoma Arts and the Military Initiative at the 2018 War, Literature & the Arts Conference.

The two-day event brought artists, arts administrators, veterans, and members of the academic community together at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs to discuss the intersections and evolution of literature and the military experience. Attendees came from across the globe, including Australia and the United Kingdom.

Allen-Barron was joined by Cameron University creative writing instructor Jason Poudrier, Firehouse Art Center Executive Director Douglas Shaw Elder, and teaching artist Albert Gray Eagle. The team discussed their individual roles in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of two recent pilot arts programs at Oklahoma veterans centers. The pilot programs were part of the Oklahoma Arts Council's Oklahoma Arts and the Military Initiative. The Oklahoma team provided sessions participants with tools and knowledge needed to start similar efforts in their own communities.

Artistic Innovations Grants Due October 15

Funding for the creation of new, innovative artwork is available to Oklahoma artists and organizations through the Artistic 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. The program is designed to encourage experimentation and collaboration. Works must result in performances, presentations, publications, exhibitions, and/or workshops.

See Oklahoma projects funded last year through the program.

A Letter of Intent for the program is due October 15, 2018, for projects occurring between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

Click here to learn about Artistic Innovation grants.

Art Educator Named Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

Oklahoma's 2019 Teacher of the Year is an elementary school art educator from Yukon. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced Becky Oglesby of Ranchwood Elementary School as this year's winner on September 18. Superintendent Hofmeister praised Oglesby's creative teaching style and her optimism as a model of excellence.

Incorporating core academic subject areas into her art lessons, Oglesby gives students opportunities for self-expression while emphasizing state academic standards. She has become known as the "Batman Teacher" because of the comic book related materials she keeps in her classroom.

The Oklahoma Teacher of the Year program is organized by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE).

Learn more about Becky Oglesby in this OSDE announcement.

NALAC Announces New Pod Grant for Latinx Artists

A new grant category introduced by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) will support projects that mobilize advocacy, organize networks and build community, amplify visibility, sharpen aesthetic or critical thinking, or refine leadership skills. The new NALAC Pod Grant category offers up to $2,500 in support of these activities, which builds upon the NALAC mission of promoting and advancing the Latinx arts field.

Applicants must be NALAC members. (Learn about membership here). Deadline for applications is October 25, 2018.

Learn about NALAC Pod Grants here.

Gottlieb Foundation Accepting Applications from Artists

Since 1976, the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation has provided assistance to visual artists through two programs.

Through the foundation's Individual Support Grant, U.S. based visual artists who have dedicated 20 years or more of their lives to developing their art may receive support of up to $25,000. Conceived as a way to recognize and support fully-committed artists who have attained a certain level of maturity in their work, the grant program supports artists working in the disciplines of paintings, sculpture, and printmaking. Deadline to apply is December 15.

The foundation's Emergency Grant program provides financial assistance to qualified painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, such as a fire, flood, or emergency medical need. Grants of up to $15,000 are available, and the program has no deadline. Artists must demonstrate a minimum involvement of 10 years in a mature phase of their work to be eligible.

Learn more at the grants by visiting

IMLS Offering Grants for African American History and Culture

Grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 are being offered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for activities that build the capacity of African American museums and support the growth and development of museum professionals at African American museums.

Eligible applicants include museums whose primary purpose and focus is on African American life, art, history, and/or culture are eligible to apply. Nonprofit organizations that support museums as described above may also apply. Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs) are also eligible.

Visit the IMLS website to apply.

Artist Proposals Sought for Parking Garage Mural

Qualified artists and teams of artists are invited to submit proposals for a large-scale public art mural planned for a new parking garage located near Oklahoma City's Film Row district.

Selected artists will be contracted to create murals on the exterior west- and south-facing walls of the West Village Parking Garage. Jones Avenue Partners in collaboration with Downtown Oklahoma City Initiatives are seeking original works that express downtown Oklahoma City's unique character.

The project has a budget of $40,000. Up to two proposals from each artist or artist team will be accepted. Proposals are due October 15.

View the Request for Proposals.