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Oklahoma Arts Council News

May 2020

COVID-19 Operating Guides Available to Oklahoma Arts Nonprofits

As arts and cultural nonprofits statewide consider how to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic, guidance is available from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits through documents developed by each organization.

The Oklahoma Arts Council has published Operating During COVID-19: Considerations for Oklahoma Nonprofit Arts Organizations. The publication outlines considerations specific to the needs of arts organizations. Considerations addressed include workplace safety, environmental clearning, social distancing between artists and audiences, foot traffic strategies, audiences and personal protective equipment (PPE) and more.

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits has released Going Forward: Best Practices and Considerations for Nonprofit Re-engagement. Topics addressed in the document include human resources considerations, board governance, events and donor engagement, and more.

See This List of More than 60 COVID-19 Grants and Resources

More than 60 emergency funding opportunities and various COVID-19 resources are now available on the Oklahoma Arts Emergency Resource Page of the Oklahoma Arts Council website.

Individuals and organizations seeking assistance to weather the pandemic are encouraged to review the list. The list is also available for download here.

A sample of the local and national resources listed on the site include:

Oklahoma artists have already benefited from resources on the site. Resources will be updated, so check back often.

Call to Artists to Develop Online Arts Education Curriculum

Oklahoma teaching artists can earn compensation by submitting successful proposals of online educational fine arts curriculum to the Oklahoma Arts Council. Curriculum accepted for publication by the Oklahoma Arts Council will be made available for distance learning and for classrooms.

Through May 22, the Oklahoma Arts Council is accepting proposals from teaching artists in any discipline who have demonstrated experience as educators and artists. Submissions should include an up-to-date resume, a sample of a lesson plan the teaching artist previously developed, and a sample of a rubric or assessment tool the teaching artist has previously developed.

Compensation potential ranges from $1,080 to $2,160, depending on length of related lesson plans.

Proposed curriculum should be grade-level specific and should address appropriate Oklahoma Academic Standards. Curriculum should be primarily focused on Fine Arts as defined by the Oklahoma State Department of Education Draft Oklahoma Academic Standards for Fine Arts.

Download a pdf of the Call for Proposals for Oklahoma Online Fine Arts Curriculum here.

Click here to submit a proposal.

Video Can Help Artists Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Artists can walk through the step-by-step process of applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance(PUA) thanks to a new video produced by the Oklahoma Entertainment Communications Emergency Task Force.

The PUA program was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits are available through PUA to self-employed individuals and independent contractors. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has called PUA a, "substantial boon for artists and creative entrepreneurs."

View the video and learn how to apply.

PUA applications in Oklahoma are being managed through the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC). Documentation that may required includes recent work history, earnings, banking information, and other related records.

More Funding Available for Paycheck Protection Plan

Congress has approved additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The program covers up to eight weeks of payroll for nonprofits and artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those wishing to apply are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, as funding is limited.

In addition to payroll expenses, PPP funds may be used for interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. PPP loans can be fully forgiven.

View the PPP application here.

Additional SBA Assistance

The Paycheck Protection Program is a program of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). To meet additional needs during the pandemic, the SBA is also offering bridge loans and debt relief.

Free Consultations from OKCNP

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) offers tools on their website to help arts organizations access PPP funds and other SBA programs. The center is also offering free consultations. Visit the OKCNP website to schedule a consultation.

Oklahoma Cultural Organizations and Artists Urged to Take AFTA Survey

Data showing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Oklahoma's cultural sector will be made available from Americans for the Arts (AFTA) as the pandemic persists. Oklahoma nonprofit cultural organizations and artists are urged to complete the five-minute survey so that local and state funders and policymakers can be fully informed about the sector's status. The survey is meant to be taken by organizations and artists more than once so that trends can be identified and a clear picture provided of the evolving impact of the crisis.

Through the survey, AFTA will demonstrate how canceled events, lost wages, and additional expenses are affecting cultural nonprofits. Arts councils, museums, performing and visual arts organizations, film and media arts organizations, foundations, makerspaces, arts advocacy organizations, and a wide variety of other cultural entities should complete the survey. A separate survey specifically designed for artists to report the impact of COVID-19 on their work is available.

Conclusions from the survey will affect future funding for the arts, including additional federal stimulus measures.

Click here to take the survey.

Tulsa Approves Process for Distributing $2.25 Million for Arts

The City of Tulsa has approved a process for distributing $2.25 million in funds for local arts organizations and artists. The funding is a result of the "Vision Tulsa" campaign, passed by local voters in 2016.

City officials have been working with the Tulsa Arts Commission on guidelines for the funding. Goals of the process include ensuring broad distribution of funds to various sizes of arts organizations. The program aims to allot $150,000 per year for 15 years.

Applications for funding will be available soon. Funding may be awarded as soon as late June.

Click here to read the Tulsa World article.

Tulsa's Joy Harjo Reappointed as U.S. Poet Laureate

U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, a resident of Tulsa, has been reappointed for a second year to the position by the Librarian of Congress. When appointed initially in 2019, Harjo became the first Native American and first Oklahoman appointed as the nation's laureate.

In her first year as poet laureate Harjo began developing an interactive map of contemporary Native poets. Titled, "Living Nations, Living Words: A Map of First Peoples Poetry," the work will eventually be added to the Library of Congress' collection of historical maps.

Harjo recently curated a selection of 22 poems in honor of National Poetry Month in April, which was distributed to more than 500,000 readers. The Poem-a-Day series was curated to reminder readers of their "undeniable connection" during the social distancing required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the announcement of Harjo's reappointment, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden called Harjo's talents in music and poetry, "a gift to the nation."

Harjo said holding the position is an honor, especially during what she described as a time of, "transformation and cultural change."

Visit the Library of Congress U.S. Poet Laureate page to learn more.

TravelOK Promoting Online Arts Opportunities

From virtual tours to live-streaming events, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD) is now promoting online arts and cultural programming through their TravelOK Stay-at-Home Guide. Organizations interested in having their online programs included are encouraged to contact the TravelOK staff.

Virtual tours currently listed on the site include the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Philbrook Museum of Art, and Will Rogers Memorial Museum, among others. Virtual events such as Kendall Whittier After Five, the deadCenter Film Festival, and Woody Guthrie Folk Festival are highlighted. Online educational and arts engagement activities for children are also featured on the site.

See the TravelOK Stay-at-Home Guide.