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Oklahoma Arts Council News

September 2018

Conference Earlybird Rate Ends September 28

The deadline to get the $109 earlybird rate for the 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference is September 28.

Sessions by our five nationally-recognized featured presenters will be complemented by dozens of local  panelists and presenters whose work is impacting their Oklahoma communities. Come learn from individuals doing great work right here in our state.

The schedule is continuing to take shape. Check it often for updates on breakout sessions, workshops, special events, and more.

Join us October 24-25 in Oklahoma City's Film Row district as we explore the many ways the arts can transform our state by giving everyone the opportunity to shape their communities.

Register now at

Pre-Conference AND Post-Conference Events!

Arrive early and stay an extra day! The Oklahoma Arts Conference will be featuring a series of special events before and after the two days of the main conference.

Get an exclusive panorama of Oklahoma City's diverse cultural districts during the pre-conference Kaleidoscope OKC Tour. Or, come be part of launching a new initiative to preserve and elevate Oklahoma's traditional art forms during the Oklahoma Cultural Arts, Heritage and Folk Arts Forum on Tuesday, October 23.

Extend your weekend at the 21C Hotel Museum and participate in Friday workshops that will offer an experience in Oklahoma traditional arts such as basket weaving, sugar skulls, and more. Or, participate in our Oklahoma Arts and Military Summit II, which will equip you to develop collaborative programs to serve veterans and other members of Oklahoma's military community.

See all pre- and post-conference events.

Register now for the 2018 Oklahoma Arts Conference!

Extended Deadline for Governor's Arts Award Nominations

The deadline to submit a nomination for the 2019 Governor's Arts Awards has been extended through Monday, September 17, 2018.

Nominations are being accepted in several categories, including:

  • The Arts in Education Award 
  • The Business in the Arts Award
  • The Community Service Award
  • The Media in the Arts Award 
  • The George Nigh Public Service in the Arts Award

Nominations require a description of the nominee's efforts in the arts. Optional support materials are also accepted.

A nomination form and guidelines are available at

Candidates for Governor to Participate in Arts and Culture Forum

Candidates campaigning to be the next governor of Oklahoma are scheduled to participate in a special forum on arts and culture on Tuesday, October 23, at Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. Staff and board members of cultural organizations, artists, arts educators, and others involved in the arts across the state are invited to attend.

Hosted by the Oklahoma Museums Association (OMA) in partnership with Oklahomans for the Arts, the forum will feature a moderated coversation with the major candidates for governor. The forum will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., with a reception to follow. Topics of discussion will include public funding for arts and culture, the creative economy, and arts education.

Advanced registration is required by October 16. Visit to register and to learn more.

Call for Artists for Three OKC Public Art Projects

Three requests for qualifications have been issued by the City of Oklahoma City for public art projects related to the city's percent-for-art requirement. Artists are being sought for:

West River Trail – Artist qualifications are being sought for a work of public art that will be installed at this recently completed 7.5 mile trail. With a budget of $70,000, the project could include environmental art, land art, use of recycled materials, or art using natural and locally sourced materials. Art that unfolds through time and space along the trail is encouraged. Deadline to submit qualifications is September 19.

Oklahoma State Fair Bennett Event Center – The new 290,000 square-foot event space is the largest event space in the city. The work sought for the center will be situated in the lobby. The exact location will be proposed by the artist. Deadline to submit is September 26.

Will Rogers World Airport – a profesional artist or team of artists are being sought to design and oversee installation of integrated permanent works for two specific sites in the airport's terminal expansion project. Site one is the terrazzo flooring located in the new lobby. Site two is a public circulation area on the mezzanine level. Deadline to submit is September 26.

Visit the Oklahoma City Arts Commission website for more information.

Poetry Out Loud Program Can Benefit Oklahoma Students

Schools across Oklahoma are encouraged to register to participate in the 2018-19 national Poetry Out Loud competition. Since 2005, the program has reached more than 3 million students nationwide, encouraging them to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.

The program begins at the classroom level and winners advance to a school-wide competition for the chance to compete in the state and national finals. State level winners receive $200 and an all-expenses-paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national finals.

Teachers who are interested in implementing the program can contact Oklahoma A+ Schools, the state coordinator for the program. A teacher's guide, lesson plans, and more are available for download at

Poetry Out Loud was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. It is administered nationally in partnership with state arts agencies such as the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Click here to learn how to register your school for the Oklahoma Poetry Out Loud competition.

NEA Research Grants Can Boost Understanding of Arts' Impact

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is accepting requests for funding by organizations interested in conducting arts-related research. Grants of up to $30,000 can support a broad range of quantitative or qualitative approaches that seek to analyze the value and impact of the arts or study the causal relationship between the arts and outcomes through experimental design.

The NEA is interested in research that examines factors that enhance or inhibit arts participation, explores individual-level outcomes of arts participation, investigates community-level outcomes of arts engagement, and more.

Eligible applicants include 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, units of local government, colleges and universities, and federally recognized tribes. October 9 is the deadline to register with

Learn more about NEA research grants here.

Consider an Outstanding Art Educator for an NAEA Award

Each year, the National Art Educators Association (NAEA) recognizes outstanding art educators from each state through the NAEA Awards Program. The awards help increase public awareness of the importance of quality art education.

Nominees must generally be NAEA members, however membership is not required for certain award categories. The 2019 NAEA Awards Program Booklet with details about the awards will be available soon.

Visit the NAEA website for helpful downloads and more on submitting a nomination.

Deadline to nominate someone is October 1. Awards will be presented in the spring at the annual NAEA convention.

Amphion Grant Program Supports Contemporary Concert Music

Eligible organizations with a history of commitment to contemporary concert music are encouraged to learn about grant funding available from the Amphion Foundation.

With an upcoming deadline of September 15, the 2018 Amphion Grant Program can support programs that begin between September 2018 and August 2019. Projects should include one or more performances of contemporary music, which is defined by the foundation as music written in 1960 or later. Selected projects often include related activities that improve the public's knowledge of contemporary music. Grants generally range from $1,000 to $7,500. Grants larger than $7,500 may be given to organizations the demonstrate extraordinary commitment to contemporary concert music.

Presenters, festivals, music service organizations and other eligible applicants can apply. Opera and dance projects involving life performances of contemporary concert music may be eligible. Educational institutions whose projects involve professional musicians may also be eligible.

The Amphion Foundation encourages applicants to consider the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their programming.

For guidelines, visit

Walmart Foundation Offers Grants for Arts Access and More

Seeking to support the needs of local communities, the Walmart Foundation offers its Community Grant Program. Through the program, the foundation awards grants ranging from $250 to $5,000 to eligible organizations for a variety of purposes such as improving access to the arts, providing afterschool enrichment programs, fostering relationships among diverse groups, and more.

Applications are currently being accepted through December 31. Eligible organizations include 501(c)(3) organizations, entities of local government, K-12 public schools, and colleges and universities.

Visit the Walmart Foundation website for details.

Lyric Theatre Awarded Disney Grant

A $120,000 grant from Disney will enable Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma to work with ten Oklahoma City-area elementary schools in an effort to create sustainable theater programs.

Through the Disney Musicals in Schools programs, students at selected schools will have the opportunity to participate in a 17-week musical theater residency led by a team of teaching artists. Performance rights, educational materials, and teaching artist instruction are provided at no cost, and teachers will be provided professional development as they learn to produce, direct, and choreograph 30-minute Disney KIDS musicals. The program will culminate in an event at Civic Center Music Hall in Okahoma City, with students from each participating schools performing a number from their show.

Read a news article about the grant.

Program Can Support Chamber Music in Community Settings

Through Chamber Music America's Residency Partnership Program, grants of up to $6,000 are available to support ensembles and presenters in building audiences for classical, contemporary, and jazz chamber music. The program funds activities that take place in community settings and are not part of a regular concert series.

The program requires a partnership between an presenter or ensemble–serving as the organizing partner–and a community partner. Community partners may include schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, senior centers, parks, and more.

Presenters that serve as the organizing partner on an application must have 501(c)(3) status. Ensembles that serve as the organizing partner on an application must consist of 2-10 professional musicians. Complete guidelines are available here.

Applications are due October 12.

RELATED: Chickasaw composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate earns prestigious Chamber Music America commission. Read about the commission.

Obama Foundation Fellowship Applications Available

The Obama Foundation is looking to support 20 rising stars from around the world who are working alongside their communities to solve public problems in creative and powerful ways. Through the foundation's fellowship program, outstanding civic innovators are selected for a two-year, non-residential program that is designed to increase the impact of the fellow's work. Fellows from diverse background are selected, including the arts, healthcare, education, science, and other fields.

Individuals selected for fellowships receive guidance, tailored skill-building and training courses, individual coaching and mentoring, participation in four gatherings, and more.

Fellowship classes are selected annually. The next deadline to apply is September 18.

Learn more about the Obama Foundation Fellowship program.