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Oklahoma Arts Council News

February 2019

Federal Shutdown Impacts Some Oklahoma Arts Organizations

The effects of the recent partial shutdown of the U.S. government are currently being felt by some in Oklahoma's arts community. In January, the Oklahoma Arts Council notified select grantees (*see note below) of a delay in their grant payments due to the inability of the Oklahoma Arts Council to draw down funding specifically budgeted for those awards from our National Endowment for the Arts state partnership grant (approximately 20 percent of our overall FY2019 budget). Delays are still being experienced despite the agreement between Congress and the President that allowed for the reopening of the federal government on January 28.

All eligible organizations planning on applying for Oklahoma Arts Council grant funding are encouraged to proceed with their submissions as we do not anticipate further impact to FY2019 grants.

(*NOTE: Grantees impacted by the delay have already been notified directly by the Oklahoma Arts Council. The Oklahoma Arts Council will communicate directly with any grantees specifically impacted by delays in NEA funding. All other updates will be posted to our website at

RELATED: Applications for the NEA Art Works grant program are due February 14. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 are available to support a wide variety of programming.

Educators: Take Our 2019 Arts Education Survey

The Oklahoma Arts Council has launched a new survey that will help us respond to the changing needs of schools in our state.

The Oklahoma Arts Council's 2019 Arts Education Survey is a brief, 10-minute survey that will be used to inform decisions that could include the creation of new grant programs specifically designed for schools.

The survey is designed to be completed by classroom teachers, school faculty, and administrators at the school and district levels. If you work in one of these educational capacities, please consider taking a few minutes to give us feedback on the strengths and challenges of providing arts education in Oklahoma schools. Click the link below to begin.

Take the 2019 Oklahoma Arts Council Arts Education Survey.

Not in education? Consider forwarding the survey to an Oklahoma educator.

OAC Job Opportunity: Cultural Development Director

The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced a position opening within our agency that will help expand the reach of our services to all Oklahoma communities. Applications are now being accepted for the Cultural Development Director position.

Among his/her responsibilities, the person in this position will work to strengthen the Oklahoma Arts Council's efforts in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and Accessibility. Duties will include providing research data and identifying needs, resources, and opportunities for increasing the agency's services to all Oklahomans. The Cultural Development Director will develop strategies for addressing related DEI goals, collaborating with agency staff to devise a plan for actionable goals.

The Oklahoma Arts Council seeks enthusiastic and creative individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to public service to contribute to our team as we use the arts as a transformative force for education, quality of life, and economic development in Oklahoma.

A full job description with application instructions can be reviewed at

Tulsa Public Art Project Receives $1 Million Bloomberg Award

A public art project that will commemorate the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre has been awarded $1 million through the Bloomberg Public Art Challenge. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in Tulsa on January 17 to make the announcement about the award with Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum.

The Greenwood Art Project will feature eight art installations located at significant sites throughout the area near downtown Tulsa once known as Black Wall Street. The area was the scene of one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history.

Artist Rick Lowe, renowned for his Project Row Houses programs in Houston, will lead a team of local artists to create works that tell the story of the Black Wall Street area in the Greenwood district. The project will celebrate what was once one of the most prominent districts of black-owned businesses in the United States in the early 20th century.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said, "The Greenwood Art Project will help encourage connections and engage citizens to understand the dangers of hatred, the power of resilience and the importance of reconciliation."

Tulsa was one of more than 200 cities that submitted for the Public Art Challenge. Projects in Alaska, Florida, and Mississippi were also awarded through the program.

Read how community involvement will be vital to the Greenwood Art Project.

Allied Arts of Central Oklahoma Proposal Earns Share of $1 Million

A project of Allied Arts of Central Oklahoma is one of six winning proposals of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation's Great Idea Challenge. Through the challenge, winning proposals earn a share of $1 million in funding for innovative projects intended to impact central Oklahoma.

The Allied Arts proposal, Great Arts for a Great City, which will receive $160,000, is centered on an online cultural calendar of nonprofit arts events that will serve as a hub for people to find out about performances, classes, and exhibitions. It will include a menu of educational programs for youth and will link educators to free and low cost arts opportunities for schools. The concept is aimed at growing audiences and increasing cultural engagement and will include collaborative efforts with the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Read Allied Arts' announcement here.

NALAC Leadership Institute Application Deadline

A weeklong leadership development program for Latinx artists, arts managers, and cultural promoters has an upcoming deadline. Submissions for the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Leadership Institute (NLI) are due February 14. The  program will take place July 15-20, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas.

A rigorous program focusing on on delivering innovative and practical strategies for successful business practices in the arts, NLI curriculum topics include advocacy, budgeting, grant writing, fundraising, governance, strategic planning, programming, marketing, and more. The training can benefit individuals of any age at any career level.

The list of NLI supporters includes the National Endowment for the Arts, Southwest Airlines, Surdna Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

To view application guidelines and tuition information, visit

Western Governors' Association Seeks Student Art Submissions

The Western Governors' Association's (WGA) 2019 "Celebrate the West" high school art competition gives students in Oklahoma and select other states the chance to earn up to $1,200 in cash prizes and have their work exhibited for governors, U.S. Cabinet members, and others at the WGA Governors' Annual Meeting in Colorado in June.

Students can submit original works of two-dimensional art that draw from state history, landmarks, natural resources, culture, and more.

Past Oklahoma winners include Hadley Smith of Cheyenne Public Schools in 2018 and Kaitlyn Haught of Guymon. Haught (pictured) earned second place in the 2016 competition and was invited to exhibit her work in the Office of Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.

Work must be submitted by April 30, 2019. Click here to download rules.

Teachers, download this flyer to share with students.

Opportunity for Oklahoma Public Art Projects to Get Recognition

Through Americans for the Arts' Public Art Network Year in Review, up to 50 outstanding public art projects across the nation are given recognition each year through a juried review process. The program—the only one of its kind in the U.S.—can be a tool for public art administrators, artists, and others to use in advocating and providing education about the value of public art to communities.

The Oklahoma Arts Council encourages the submission of eligible public art projects from communities across the state. Projects eligible for consideration must have been completed by December 31, 2018. Temporary public art projects may also be considered.

Deadline to complete an application for the program is February 27.

Click here to submit an application.

Search the Public Art Network Year in Review Database and view works previously recognized through the program.

AAE Classroom Grants Can Pay for Art Supplies and More

Grants of up to $500 from the Association of American Educators (AAE) can help Oklahoma educators purchase art supplies and more for their classrooms.

Applications for AAE Classroom Grants are due March 1. To apply, complete the online form on the AAE website, and be sure to upload a document, as required, describing the proposed use of funds. Proposals should detail the materials to be purchased, how the materials will benefit students, and a lesson plan that will make use of the materials.

Go here to learn more and to apply.

Oklahoma Cultural Treasure Wins Ken Burns American Heritage Prize

N. Scott Momaday, a Lawton-born Kiowa novelist, poet, and storyteller who was designated as the eighth Oklahoma Cultural Treasure in 1999, has been announced as the winner of the 2019 Ken Burns American Heritage Prize.

Given to individuals whose work has advanced a collective understanding of the American spirit, the prize will be awarded to Momaday at a May 1 event that will include remarks by visionary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, celebrated film actress Meryl Streep, and others.

Momaday has received a number of coveted awards and recognitions including a Pulitzer Prize for his 1969 book House Made of Dawn, considered a landmark work in Native American literature. In 2007, he received a National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush. In 2018, he became one of the first inductees into the National Native American Hall of Fame.

Momaday said he was "speechless" to learn he would receive the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize, a prize that reflects an optimistic approach to preserving a landscape so dear to Native Americans.

Read the announcement here.