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Oklahoma Arts Council News

July 2019

New Classroom Supply Grants for Visual and Performing Arts

A new Oklahoma Arts Council grant program will help Oklahoma teachers buy supplies for their visual and performing arts classrooms. Beginning September 1, eligible schools statewide can apply for up to $500 in funding for qualifying materials through Classroom Supply Grants for Visual and Performing Arts.

The new grant program is being offered in response to feedback from teachers, administrators, and others education leaders across Oklahoma. Hundreds of responses to recent Oklahoma Arts Council surveys showed classroom art supplies among schools' greatest needs for providing sustained, high-quality arts education.

Supply expenses that can be covered through the funding include sheet music, props, instrument rental, drawing and painting materials, clay, and other consumable art supplies. See a list of eligible supplies.

Schools must have at least one part-time arts instructor in the discipline for which they apply. Applications will be available September 1. The deadline to submit an application will be November 1.

Learn how to apply for the grant.

Tulsa's Joy Harjo Named U.S. Poet Laureate

Tulsa's Joy Harjo has made history after being named the first-ever Native American U.S. Poet Laureate in June. The title is bestowed by the Librarian of Congress. Harjo is the 23rd person to be appointed since the title was created in 1937.

In her role as the "nation's official poet," Harjo will give a reading to open the Library of Congress' annual literary series. She will also give a lecture to conclude the series. Harjo will otherwise be free to develop her own projects and emphasis during her two-year appointment. According to a recent interview with NPR, Harjo stated that "humanizing and healing" will be part of her focus as laureate.

A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo has authored eight books of poetry and has received numerous literary awards. She is also a musician and has produced five albums, earning a Native American Music Award in 2009.

News coverage of Harjo's appointment included articles in the New York Times, NPR, Vogue Magazine, Forbes Magazine, and numerous other national media outlets.

Read more about Harjo's appointment on the Library of Congress website.

Oklahoma Arts Council Begins Strategic Planning

Members of the Oklahoma Arts Council board and staff have started laying the groundwork for a new five-year strategic plan for the agency. The plan will identify goals and related objectives to guide work activities from fiscal year 2021 through 2025.

In the coming months, individuals and organizations involved in the arts in Oklahoma will have opportunities to provide input in the development of the plan. From regional meetings to focus groups, surveys, and more, valuable input from our constituents will be requested.

Updates will be provided as the process moves forward. Consider participating and helping us know how to better serve Oklahomans.

Betty Price Gallery Closed Due to Capitol Restoration

With restoration work at the Oklahoma State Capitol entering a new phase, the Betty Price Gallery on the building's first floor has been closed. The gallery is home to the Oklahoma State Art Collection, which is comprised of works by noted Oklahoma artists. All works from the gallery were moved into storage in June.

When the gallery is reopened in early 2020, it will feature all new LED energy efficient lights, a new color scheme, refurbished marble floors, and other features.

See photos of the artwork being removed.

Learn about the Capitol restoration.

Oklahoma Projects to Receive Innovation Grants

Three Oklahoma art projects will each receive $15,000 through the Artistic Innovations grant program. A program of the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA), Artistic Innovations grants support the creation of innovative new work in the alliance's six-state region.

Announced June 28, the latest round of grants through the program will support:

"A Little Peace" - a project of the Oklahoma City Ballet in partnership with the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, this performance will pay homage to those lost in the Oklahoma City bombing. It will take place April 17-19, 2020, in conjunction with the bombing's 25th anniversary.

"Flight: An Immersive Experience of the Tulsa Race Massacre" - Oklahoma Contemporary is planning an immersive, large-scale work that will transport audiences to Tulsa's 1921 Black Wall Street district and make the events of the race massacre visceral and real. 

"The Language of Hope and Courage" - a series of pop-up installations to be created by artist Ginna Dowling in collaboration with The Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City. The program will be designed to empower patients and families through the creative process

Learn about Artistic Innovations.

RELATED: Regional Touring Program grants available from M-AAA.

Levitt Program Brings Music Series to Communities

The Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards can bring your community together through live music. Applications for the 2020 program are available July 10.

Through the program, select small and mid-sized towns across America are awarded $25,000 in matching funds to present a music series that features a minimum of 10 free outdoor concerts presented over 10 to 12 consecutive weeks.

Grants are awarded to communities with populations of up to 400,000 people. Host communities receive a toolkit with sample artist contracts, sample press releases, and more.

Examples of cities selected to host this year's series include Santa Fe, New Mexico; Middlesboro, Kentucky; and, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Applicants must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Deadline to apply is September 20. Apply at the Levitt Foundation website.

Oklahoma Humanities Grants Available

Oklahoma Humanities has announced grant opportunities through two of its funding programs. Arts organizations with programs featuring qualifying humanities components are encouraged to learn more.

Major Grants offer up to $8,500. Challenge Grants offer up to $15,000 in matching funds.

Eligible projects must explore culture and history, diversity, current events, issues of civics or justice, or other areas within Oklahoma Humanities' categories.

A mandatory draft for grant applications is due August 1.

Visit the Oklahoma Humanities grants page for information.

OAAE Offering Professional Learning Grants for Teachers

Financial assistance from the Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) is available for teachers who are interested in attending state or national conferences for professional development. OAAE's Professional Learning Grant provides up to $500 and may be awarded to applicants to attend approved state or national conferences related to music, dance, drama/theatre, or visual art.

Teachers must hold full-time a position and be certified in Oklahoma in music, art, drama/speech/debate, or dance. Submissions require an essay of between 300-600 words describing the nature of the conference and how the professional development will impact your students, program, or community.

Expenses that can be covered by the grant include conference registration, travel, lodging, and per diem.

Apply for an OAAE Professional Learning Grant.

Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship

The Luce Foundation is partnering with First Nations Development Institute in launching the Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship. The program will award $50,000 to Native Americans engaged in meaningful work benefiting Indigenous people and communities.

Intended to support individuals whose knowledge and work has the potential to create change in their communities, the fellowship is open to emerging and experienced leaders from a wide variety of fields, including traditional and contemporary arts. The fellowship involves a 12-month, self-directed enrichment program. Fellows will gather three times during the year to pool their collective knowledge.

Submission deadline is September 13.

Download a fellowship application here.

Fellowship for Artists Working in New Surrealism

Painters living in the United States who work in the New Surrealist style can apply for a $5,000 fellowship being administered by the New York Foundation for the Arts. The Recharge Foundation Fellowship for New Surrealist Art is open to artists working in the genre who are at least 18 years of age. Students in bachelor's or master's degree programs are eligible to apply.

The New Surrealist style is an extension of the Surrealist movement. It features a combination of relatable imagery in unexpected situations. The fellowship program is intended to celebrate the ingenuity of the style and further the voices of artists who work in it.

Applications are due August 7. Click here for guidelines.

Showcase Opportunity for Oklahoma Performing Artists

The Oklahoma Department of Libraries will host its 2019 Oklahoma Performers Showcase on Friday, September 27 in Stillwater. Oklahoma performing artists interested in presenting brief samples of their programs for the library's 2020 summer reading program can submit an online form to be considered for the showcase. Selected artists will have opportunities to distribute promotional materials and speak with librarians from across the state.

The theme for 2020 will be "Imagine Your Story," which will focus on fairytales, mythology, and fantasy. Programming should be appropriate for children, teenagers, and families. Participation costs apply for the showcase.

Click here to learn more.

Submit an application for the 2019 Oklahoma Performers Showcase.

Establish a Creative Aging Program

The National Guild for Community Arts Education is offering support for organizations to establish new creative aging programs.

Eligible nonprofit organizations nationwide can apply for the the guild's Catalyzing Creative Aging program. Organizations selected for the program receive group training, one-on-one coaching, and funding.

The program is aimed at increasing organizations' capacity to serve older adults, providing models of high quality creative aging programs, and raising public awareness about the benefits of creative aging programs.

Deadline to apply is August 6. Learn more here.

Governor Stitt Appoints Two to Oklahoma Arts Council

Two new Oklahoma Arts Council board members started their tenures July 1, following their appointments by Governor Stitt in May.

Kristie Buergler of Oklahoma City and Shelley Phillips of Tulsa have joined the 15-member council that oversees activities of the agency. Their three-year appointments required approval by the state Senate.

Buergler is a former middle school teacher and pharmaceutical representative. In her 12 years working in the pharmaceutical field, she traveled extensively to communities across Oklahoma. In addition to being a longtime supporter of the arts, Buergler has volunteered with local nonprofits such as the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, United Way, the Wes Welker Foundation, and Fields and Futures.

Phillips' background is in speech-language pathology, and she is an advocate for child development and arts education. She resides in Tulsa with her husband, Chad, of 21 years, and their three children. Phillips has more than 25 years of volunteer experience with nonprofit organizations including Theatre Tulsa and Staccato Musicals and Theatrical Productions (now CRAFT Productions). Her efforts have included local school musicals, nonprofit arts fundraisers, and events benefiting children.

A new Oklahoma Arts Council grant program will help Oklahoma teachers buy supplies for their visual and performing arts classrooms. Beginning September 1, eligible schools statewide can apply for up to $500 in funding for qualifying materials through Classroom Supply Grants for Visual and Performing Arts