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Oklahoma Arts Council News

October 2019

Oklahoma Arts Council Selects Muskogee to Host 2020 Oklahoma Arts Conference


OKLAHOMA CITY (October 28, 2019) – The Oklahoma Arts Council has selected Muskogee as the host community for the 2020 Oklahoma Arts Conference. Scheduled October 14-16, the conference will provide professional development and networking opportunities for hundreds of individuals from across the state who want to use the arts to benefit their communities and schools.

"We are thrilled to bring the Oklahoma Arts Conference to Muskogee for the first time," said Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples. “Muskogee reflects its roots as a thriving African American community, an important center of Oklahoma American Indian cultures, and a vital outpost for commerce and the exchange of goods and ideas. Its diverse artistic and cultural heritage are assets that we look forward to highlighting during the conference.”

Read the full news release.

Oklahoma Arts Council Announces Return of Leadership Arts

The Oklahoma Arts Council Leadership Arts program is set to return after a two-year hiatus. Applications will be available beginning November 1.

Leadership Arts was suspended in 2018 and 2019 due to compounding cuts to the Oklahoma Arts Council state appropriation. As the program remained a priority for our agency, staff used 2018 and 2019 to evaluate ways to make the program sustainable while meeting our goal of ensuring the program is accessible.

New for 2020 is a program tuition of $499, which covers all sessions, curriculum, tours, and the registration fee for the Oklahoma Arts Conference . Conference attendance is a requirement of the program. Leadership Arts class members will continue to be responsible for their travel, lodging, and food.

Also new for 2020 is the opportunity specifically for Leadership Arts members to apply for grant funding from the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) to offset Leadership Arts expenses. Details about the Leadership Arts support grant from M-AAA and other potential sources of financial assistance will be provided soon.

Learn more about the Leadership Arts program here . Applications will be available on November 1. Deadline to apply will be December 1.

For questions, contact Oklahoma Arts Council Assistant Director Molly O'Connor at (405) 521-2013 or

Call for Artists for Sallisaw Veterans Center Public Art

Artists and artist teams have through October 15 to submit their qualifications for the design and installation of an Oklahoma Art in Public Places project at the new Sallisaw Veterans Center.

With a total artwork budget of $350,000, potential areas of interest for the inclusion of public art include but are not limited to: a large outdoor sculpture on the entrance plaza; sculptures for resident garden spaces; and/or, sculptures on a walking trail.

Application requirements include a letter of interest, resume, and 10 images of previous work with image descriptions.

Download the request for qualifications for more information about the selection process, timeline, requirements, and renderings of the veterans center.

Submit an application by October 15.

Apply for the Oklahoma Teaching Artist Roster

The Oklahoma Arts Council is now accepting applications for its Oklahoma Teaching Artist Roster . The roster is a resource used by schools and organizations statewide seeking qualified teaching artists for residencies and programs. Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in their discipline and an ability to provide instruction.

Artists must be current Oklahoma residents. Artists representing cultural traditions are encouraged to apply. To view complete roster guidelines and requirements, download the Teaching Artist Roster Applicant Handbook.

Applications are accepted on an ongong basis. Applications submitted before January 1 will be considered for approval by the Governor-appointed Oklahoma Arts Council board during its March meeting. Applications submitted before July 1 will be considered for approval by the Governor-appointed Oklahoma Arts Council board during its October meeting.

Apply for the Oklahoma Teaching Artist roster.

NOTE: Roster artists are not employees of the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Classroom Supply Grant Applications Due November 1

Schools across Oklahoma have until November 1 to apply for the Oklahoma Arts Council's new grant program for purchasing classroom art supplies. Through Classroom Supply Grants for Visual and Performing Arts , schools can receive up to $500 in funding to purchase eligible materials.

Schools must have at least one part-time arts instructor in the discipline for which they request funding . The application is streamlined with the goal of making funding easy for schools to access.

The grant is designed to support the purchase of consumable, non-permanent items. Examples of items that may be purchased using the funding can be found here . Classes that may be supported include dance, drama/theatre, music, and visual arts (including media arts).

** Schools are urged to request their login to our grant system immediately in order to meet the November 1 deadline for submitting an application. Please allow 5 days for the Oklahoma Arts Council to process and provide you with login credentials for our system (NOTE: Requesting a login is not the same as submitting an application).

Apply for a Classroom Supply Grant for Visual and Performing Arts.

Woodward Selected for National Rural Placemaking Program

Woodward, Oklahoma, is one of 23 rural communities nationwide selected to receive support through the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design (CIRD). A National Endowment for the Arts initiative, CIRD empowers communities with populations of 50,000 people or less to enhance quality of life and economic viability through planning, design, and placemaking.

CIRD is designed to help rural communities build capacity, plan revitalization strategies, introduce arts and design as economic drivers, and prepare communities to compete for federal funding opportunities.

Three communities were selected to participate in multi-day community design workshops. Woodward was selected to take part in CIRD's inaugural peer-learning cohort, which will meet in West Virginia, October 9-11.

Read the announcement.

Learn more about CIRD.

Woodward is one of several communities that have received Cultural District Development funding through the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Oklahoma Arts Council, OSU Dedicate New Public Art

On September 27, the Oklahoma Arts Council joined Oklahoma State University (OSU) President Burns Hargis and others to dedicate a new work of public art outside the soon-to-open McKnight Center for the Performing Arts in Stillwater. "DNA IV," was created by Bill Barrett, an internationally known figure in the second generation of American metal sculptors.

The event was emceed by Vicky Berry, executive director of the OSU Museum of Art. State Senator Tom Dugger, state Representative Trish Ranson, and state Representative John Talley presented a citation of recognition from the Oklahoma State Legislature.

In her remarks, Representative Ranson commented that, "Where words fail, art speaks."

Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples noted the role that the public art process can play in strengthening community ties. In thanking President Hargis and OSU for partnering with the Oklahoma Arts Council on the Oklahoma Art in Public Places project, Sharples said "DNA IV" will be a stirring image people will forever associate with their enjoyment of the McKnight Center.

See photos of the dedication.

Construction Begins on Harvey Pratt's Native American Veterans Memorial

Construction has begun on the new National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Designed by Oklahoma's Harvey Pratt, the memorial is being built on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian , which is part of the Smithsonian Institution. A veteran and member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, Pratt's design features symbols that are meaningful to many Native American communities such as an elevated stainless circle and elements of fire and water. It was selected from among 120 submitted proposals.

The memorial will be dedicate during a special ceremony, set to take place in 2020 on Veterans Day. Read about the memorial in this Stars and Stripes article.

Watch Harvey Pratt discuss his winning design in this YouTube video.

Watch Harvey Pratt discuss his education in this Oklahoma State Department of Education ShapEd My Life video.

Apply for the Artistic Innovations Grant Program

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.

Letters of Intent for the program are due November 1, 2019. Projects must take place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Click here to learn about Artistic Innovation grants. See Oklahoma projects funded last year through the program.

Grammy Museum Grants for Music Research or Preservation

The Grammy Museum Grant Program supports music research projects and projects to archive and preserve music and the recorded sound heritage of North America. Organizations and individuals are eligible to apply for up to $20,000 per project. An assistance, assessment, or consultation award of $5,000 is also available.

Download the research grant guidelines.

Download the preservation grant guidelines.

Letters of inquiry are due October 15. Funding requests for projects that include public access are more likely to be considered.

View projects funded in 2019.

IOBY and ArtPlace Partner to Offer $15K for Creative Solutions

IOBY and ArtPlace America have partnered to offer Artists Lead! , a program that offers up to $15,000 in matching funds for artist-led creative placemaking projects that address local issues.

Projects should be designed to create concrete change in a neighborhood, town, city, or region. Projects can be related to food, transportation, safety, social interactions, or other aspects of community life.

Funds from Artists Lead! can be used to purchase property, make capital improvements, purchase food, pay for event costs, support marketing, and cover a wide range of other expenses.

Learn more about Artists Lead! here.

IOBY is a crowdsourcing platform for making positive change in neighborhoods. IOBY stands for "in our backyards."

ArtPlace America is a collaboration of foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions seeking to position arts and culture as a core sector of community planning and development.

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