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Oklahoma Arts Council News

February 2020

Share Your Thoughts and Shape the Next Five Years of the Arts in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Arts Council is creating its 2021-2025 strategic plan, and we need your input. As a state government agency, our efforts should align with the needs of Oklahomans in every corner of our state representing all of our diverse communities. Your responses to a series of questions in this brief 10-minute survey will be a valuable part of informing us of those needs.

This survey is intended for any Oklahoman who would like to share their thoughts on how the arts can shape the future of Oklahoma communities and schools. Please consider taking a few minutes to give us your input. Thank you for letting us know how we can continue to serve you.

Click here to take the 10-minute survey.

Deadline to complete the survey is Thursday, March 5.

Oklahoma Arts Council announces 2020 Leadership Arts class

OKLAHOMA CITY (February 19, 2020) – The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced the names of 34 Oklahomans selected to participate in the 2020 Leadership Arts program. The list includes individuals from 18 communities statewide who will convene at four two-day spring sessions to learn how the arts can positively impact education, economic development, and quality of life in Oklahoma.

Read the full announcement...

Apply for an Oklahoma Arts and the Military Grant through March 1

March 1 is the deadline to apply for the Oklahoma Arts Council's new Oklahoma Arts and the Military Grant program. Up to $5,000 in funding is available to organizations through the program to support learning-based and audience-based programs serving primarily individuals who are connected to the military. Programs may be new or ongoing. Military-connected individuals include active-duty service members, reservists, National Guard members, veterans, and immediate family and caregivers.

Eligible organizations include 501(c)(3) nonprofits; city, county, and tribal governments; colleges and universities; and, public libraries. Military and veterans support organizations are encouraged to apply.

Organizations currently receiving Oklahoma Arts Council funding in other categories may also apply for an Oklahoma Arts and the Military Grant.

Click here for application guidelines.

Interested organizations are urged to request login credentials to the Oklahoma Arts Council grant system immediately in order to meet the March 1 deadline.

Oklahoma Arts and the Military Grants are made possible in part by support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mid-Amerca Arts Alliance.

New Communities Added to Statewide Listening Tour

More dates have been added to the Oklahoma Arts Council's listening tour across the state. Open to any Oklahoman wishing to attend, upcoming stops for the Cornerstone Conversations tour include:

  • Weatherford (Weatherford Public Library), February 13, 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

  • Idabel (Museum of the Red River), February 20, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

  • Ardmore (The Goddard Center), March 3, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

  • Miami (Miami Public Library), March 5, 4:00 to 6:30 p.m.

  • Lawton (Museum of the Great Plains), March 30, 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Cornerstone Conversations sessions feature individual and group exercises and discussion, opportunity to provide written feedback, and a 30-minute networking break with light refreshments. There is no cost to attend, however RSVPs are requested. Send an email to or call (405) 521-2040 to reserve your seat.

About Cornerstone Conversations

The Oklahoma Arts Council Cornerstone Conversations tour is designed to empower Oklahomans representing all communities to partner in creating shared goals for using the arts to meet needs in communities and schools across our state. A building block in the creation of the Oklahoma Arts Council's 2021-2025 strategic plan, the tour will allow the Oklahoma Arts Council to listen, learn, and dream with Oklahomans for what is possible for the state through the arts.

More tour stops will be announced soon. Go to for updates, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


The Oklahoma Arts Council wants to accommodate any individual interested in attending a listening session. If you have specific needs, please contact us in advance of a session to let us know how we can accommodate your needs and ensure your ability to fully participate. Send an email to or call (405) 521-2040.

Artist Qualifications Sought for OKPOP Public Art

Through March 16, artists can submit qualifications to be considered for a new public art project planned for the forthcoming Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) in the Tulsa Arts District. Total artwork budget for the project is $250,000.

Expected to open in late 2021, OKPOP is currently under construction across from historic Cain's Ballroom. The museum will highlight Oklahoma's creative spirit and the influence of its artists on popular culture around the world. Garth Brooks, Kristin Chenoweth, James Garner, Ron Howard, Leon Russell, Wes Studi, Bob Wills, Alfre Woodard, and dozens of others will be highlighted in the museum's collections when it opens.

The public art project is part of the Oklahoma Art in Public Places program, administered by the Oklahoma Arts Council. The program requires that 1.5 percent of eligible State of Oklahoma capital improvement projects be invested in public art representing the history and values of the state.

Download the Request for Qualifications here.

To submit qualifications, go to

Challenge America Grants Can Benefit Small Organizations

The Challenge America grant program of the National Endowment for the Arts provides $10,000 in support of projects presented by small and mid-sized organizations. The goal of the Challenge America program is to extend the reach of the arts to populations the have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

Involvement of artists and arts professionals is essential to Challenge America projects. Three types of projects are eligible for support:

  • Projects featuring guest artists

  • Collaborative marketing campaigns (including cultural tourism)

  • Public art projects that include a meaningful community engagement process

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, units of local government, school districts, and federally recognized tribes. Deadline to apply is April 9.

Learn about Challenge America grants here.

RELATED: Four Oklahoma projects awarded $115,000 by National Endowment for the Arts.

Applications for Artist INC Tulsa Due March 2

Artist INC is a cutting edge training program for artists of all disciplines that addresses their specific business needs and challenges. Offered through the Mid-America Arts Alliance in partnership with ahha Tulsa, Artist INC Tulsa applications are now available for the summer 2020 session.

Artist INC Tulsa will take place over eight consecutive Tuesdays beginning June 2. The three-hour workshops feature small group activities, panels, group discussion, multimedia lectures, artist facilitator mentoring, and more. Up to 25 artists will be accepted. Through the program, artists gain skills in planning, marketing, finance, law, and technology while developing a diverse support network of cross-discipline artists.

Applications for Artist INC Tulsa are due March 2. Applicants must be 18 years old and live within 80 miles of Tulsa.

Learn more about Artist INC Tulsa here.

Students Encouraged to Submit for 'Celebrate the West' Competition

Through the Western Governors' Association's (WGA) "Celebrate the West" high school art competition, Oklahoma students can earn up to $1,200 in cash prizes and receive the opportunity to have their artwork exhibited for governors, U.S. Cabinet members, and others at the WGA's annual meeting in summer 2020.

Original two-dimensional works reflecting state history, landmarks, natural resources, people, communities, culture, and more can be submitted for the competition.

A winner from each state is selected along with first, second, third, and fourth place winners for the region. In 2016, Oklahoma's Kaitlyn Haught of Hooker High School earned second place and was invited to meet former Governor Fallin in her office at the State Capitol.

Submissions for "Celebrate the West" are due April 30. Click here to learn more about the competition.

Teachers, download this flyer to share with students.

Grant Funding for Jazz Artists

Through the Jazz Road Tours program, emerging and mid-career Oklahoma jazz artists can apply for funding to bring live jazz performance to areas underserved by the genre.

Grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 are available to support tours of three to six sites. Venues may include commercial clubs and alternative spaces as well as nonprofit performing arts centers, festivals, and more. Solo and ensembles of up to 10 members are eligible to apply. Eligible expenses include performance fees, travel, lodging, meals, and other items.

The Jazz Road Tours program aims to increase jazz artists' abilities to plan and promote their own tours while being adequately compensated. The program emphasizes outreach to rural areas and communities with limited exposure to jazz performance.

View artists and communities served through the program in 2019.

Deadline for applications is April 21. Visit for grant guidelines.

Broken Arrow's Tara Moses Named one of 12 Cultural Capital Fellows

Broken Arrow resident Tara Moses has been selected as one of 12 individuals nationwide for First People Fund's 2020 Cultural Capital Fellowship program. Moses (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Muskogee/Mvskoke/Creek Nation of Oklahoma) works in the medium of theatre acting and writing. She has directing and playwriting credits with the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program, Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective (NYC), telatúlsa, the Oklahoma Indigenous Theatre Company, and others.

Individuals selected for the program are considered vital to the continuation of Native arts. They are culture bearers who gather, retain, and share critical knowledge of art forms. Funds and tools received by fellows through the Cultural Capital program benefit projects that will impact their communities and beyond.

Read the announcement.

Oklahoma Counties Can Participate in NACo Placemaking Challenge

Oklahoma counties with populations of less than 150,000 can apply for the National Association of Counties' (NACo) Creative Counties Placemaking Challenge. Through the challenge, local multidisciplinary teams compete to identify and strengthen ways of using the arts to address local challenges.

Selected applicants will attend an in-person, one-day training and peer exchange workshop taking place during NACo's annual conference in Florida in July. Teams will also receive technical support and mentoring.

Local teams must be comprised of at least one county official, one local arts community representative, and one representative from a sector of focus (transportation, behavioral health, youth services, etc.). Visit to apply.

Deadline to apply is March 13.

2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for Teens

High school students across the country who are passionate about writing songs for musical theater production can submit applications for the 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. Aiming to nurture the next generation of songwriters, the program is a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theatre Wing.

A wide range of musical styles will be accepted for the challenge, including hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, and jazz. Six winners will be selected to work with a coaching team of musical theater professionals to hone an original song into a Broadway-ready composition. Songs will then be recorded by Braodway musicians and vocalists in New. York City.

View songs of the 2019 winners.

Applications are available through March 6. Information is available at

Creative Capital Offers Support for Artists' Bold Ideas

Creative Capital supports innovative artists working in all disciplines. Through their Creative Capital Awardsprogram, artists can earn up to $50,000 in funding for projects that are bold, challenging, and genre-stretching.

In addition to financial support for individual projects, selected artists participate in professional development, national networking opportunties, and consultations with marketing, legal, financial and other experts. These career development services are valued at $50,000.

Applications for the program are being accepted through February 29.

View artists and projects previously supported by Creative Capital Awards.

See the questions asked on the Creative Capital Award application.

New Initiative Seeks Answers for Thriving Communities

A new initiative of the Architectural League called American Roundtable seeks to discover what American communities need in order to thrive.

With a focus on small and mid-sized communities and rural areas, the initiative will feature the commissioning of up to 10 editorial teams to produce reports illuminating diverse voices in various media telling the story of the communities of focus.

Contributors to the reports should come from diverse professions, which could include policymakers, residents, design professionals, historians, artists, planners, and business people. Reports will be supported by $10,000 stipends.

Go here to learn more

The Architectural League is one of the nation's leading cultural organizations devoted to architecture and the designed world.

Oklahoma Arts Council Seeks Finance Director

The Oklahoma Arts Council seeks enthusiastic and creative people with entrepreneurial spirits to contribute to our team of public servants. Applications are currently being accepted by the Oklahoma Arts Council for the position of Finance Director. Individuals with experience in financial accounting, budgeting, cash management, and other listed fiscal operations and functions may apply.

Duties of the Finance Director include supervising internal controls for receipts and expenditures, preparing agency payroll using the state's PeopleSoft system, serving as the agency's Certified Procurement Officer, managing office inventory and equipment, and more.

Candidates should have a comprehensive knowledge of accounting principles and practice and be versed in GAAP for state governments. A working knowledge of Oklahoma's PeopleSoft accounting system is essential.

The Oklahoma Arts Council strives to build a diverse team comprised of the best and brightest individuals to support our mission. For a detailed position description and set of application instructions, go to the jobs page at

The Oklahoma Arts Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer.