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Oklahoma Arts Council News

November 2020

Oklahoma Arts Council, State Legislature Announce New Home for Betty Price Gallery in the Oklahoma State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (November 23, 2020) – The Betty Price Gallery at the Oklahoma State Capitol will soon have a new home in the historic building. One of many changes occurring within the building during its multi-year restoration, the gallery is being moved to the south corridor of the Capitol’s second floor, to the area currently displaying the bronze busts of Oklahoma’s governors. The Hall of Governors will be relocated to a nearby restored mirror corridor on the east side of the wing.

Read the full release...

Oklahoma Arts and the Military Grant Awards Announced

OKLAHOMA CITY (November 11, 2020) – Nine Oklahoma organizations have been awarded funding by the Oklahoma Arts Council for arts programs designed to serve Oklahomans with military connections. Among the funded programs are guitar lessons for veterans, pottery classes, a play centered on the experience of women in the Vietnam War, and online vocal music instruction for residents at a state veterans center.

Read the announcement...

Last Call for 2021 Governor's Arts Awards Nominations

The extended deadline to submit nominations for the 2021 Oklahoma Governor's Arts Awards ends Friday, November 6. Be sure to submit nominations and any related support materials by the deadline.

Nominations may be submitted one of two ways:

Awards are presented in categories including community service, education, business, media, and public service. Since 1975, the Oklahoma Arts Council has partnered with the Governor of Oklahoma to present awards to individuals and organizations whose efforts have been instrumental in helping the arts thrive in our state.

Nominations require a two- to three-page typewritten narrative that addresses the nominee's efforts and their impact in the arts. Support material such as letters of recommendation and news clippings can be included (up to three pages).

Learn more about the Oklahoma Governor's Arts Awards.

Oklahoma Online Fine Arts Curriculum Launched

With thousands of Oklahoma students learning from home during COVID-19, the Oklahoma Arts Council is pleased to introduce new resources to meet their arts education needs. Available on our website, Oklahoma Online Fine Arts Curriculum is the result of the Council's efforts in coordination with Oklahoma teaching artists to provide curriculum tailored to a wide range of grade levels across artistic disciplines. Developed to align with the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Fine Arts, the curriculum is free to download for use in distance learning or in the classroom.

Curriculum includes:

  • "Creative Movement: Exploration of the Elements"

  • "Staging Aesop's Fox Fables"

  • "Introduction to Opera"

  • "Mighty Magnificent Monarch Butterfly"

  • "My Story, Your Story in Contemporary Art"

  • "Dance Vocabulary and Warmup Techniques"

  • "Dimensional Thinking: Poetry/Perspectives"

  • "Lichtenstein-Inspired Self Portrait"

  • "Better Photography Basics"

  • "Introduction to Screenwriting" (coming soon)

  • "Poetic City's PC Curriculum"

  • "Molding Music: A Young Beginner's Guide to Composition"

  • "Let's Animate! Learn to Create a Short Animated Film"

  • "Exploring Street Art and Public Art: The Site-Specificity and Stories of Murals, Sculptures, and Public Installations"

Click here to visit the Oklahoma Online Fine Arts Curriculum page.

OVAC, Andy Warhol Foundation Team Up to Offer Help to Oklahoma Artists

Visual artists across the state who have experienced financial hardship due to the current economic crisis may be able to receive help through the Oklahoma Visual Artists Emergency Grant program. The program is being made available through a partnership between the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

A total of 80 grants will be awarded during two rounds of funding. Each $1,000 grant will be awarded through a lottery system. Artists must demonstrate that they are practicing artists and must attest to having experienced financial hardship due to the crisis. A short written description of the personal impact of the crisis is required.

Find out how to apply here.

Apply for Artistic Innovations Grants Through November 13

Designed to encourage experimentation and collaboration, Artistic Innovations is a program of the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA).

Up to $15,000 in funding for the creation of new, original artwork is provided through the Artistic Innovtions program. Artists and arts-based nonprofits working in all disciplines in Oklahoma and the other five regional states served by M-AAA can apply. Projects funded through the program must include an audience engagement component.

Letters of intent are due November 13. Click here for additional details.

Legislators, Arts Council Kick Off #DancingforDiabetes Campaign

An epidemic affecting more than 350,000 Oklahomans, diabetes is an illness that can be prevented in part through physical activity such as dance. Throughout Diabetes Awareness Month in November, the Oklahoma Arts Council is pleased to support the efforts of the Oklahoma Legislative Diabetes Caucus to bring attention to the burden of diabetes in our state, and to encourage Oklahomans to participate in dance and other artistic disciplines as a way of improving overall health and well-being.

To raise awareness, the Oklahoma Arts Council is encouraging Oklahoma dance groups and others to join our agency in taking part in the #DancingforDiabetes social media campaign. To participate at any time during November, download one of the #DancingforDiabetes graphics available below and include it in a post that explains why dance can be an effective tool for Oklahomans to battle diabetes and achieve healthy living. In lieu of downloading one of our graphics, dance groups can post a video or photo of their dancers in action.

  • Download #DancingforDiabetes Sneakers Graphic (Rectangle)

  • Download #DancingforDiabetes Sneakers Graphic (Square)

  • Download #DancingforDiabetes Ballet Graphic (Rectangle)

  • Download #DancingforDiabetes Ballet Graphic (Square)

Dancers and dance groups can also participate in the social media campaign by posting a video or photo of their work and using the hashtag.

For more statistics on diabetes, go to

Artist Relief Grants Still Available

Artist Relief is continuing to accept grant applications from artists experiencing dire financial emergencies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergencies are defined as the "lack or imminent endangerment of essentials such as housing, medicine, childcare, and food."

Up to $5,000 in funding is available to practicing artists in a wide variety of disciplines, including craft, dance, design, film, media, music, theater, traditional arts, visual art, and writing. Funds are distributed within two weeks of an approved application. No grant reporting is required.

Artist Relief is an initiative made possible by a coalition of national arts grantmakers.

The fund will operate through December 2020. Click here to apply.

Organize a Community Reading Program with Funding from The Big Read

Nonprofit organizations, public libraries, school districts, local and tribal governments, and other eligible entities can apply through January 27, 2021, for the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read. Organized in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read provides up to $15,000 in support of community-wide reading programs.

In addition to funding, the program makes available training opportunities, digital resources, and outreach materials. Applicants can choose from a diverse Big Read library and organize activities such as author readings, book discussions, art exhibitions, lectures, and panel discussions. "An American Sunrise," by Oklahoma's Joy Harjo is one of the books available for selection by grantees.

Applications are due January 27 for programming that takes place between September 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

Learn how to apply for Big Read funding so that your community can participate.

Don't Forget to Take the AFTA COVID-19 Survey in November

State arts and cultural leaders are continuing to analyze trends from the impact of COVID-19 on the arts sector. Data is important in showing public and private funders how the pandemic is resulting in sizable losses in revenue, jobs, and overall economic impact in Oklahoma.

To help the Oklahoma Arts Council and others track state-level data, cultural organizations, artists, and creative workers are urged to take the Americans for the Arts' (AFTA) COVID-19 Impact Survey once every month.

There is a survey for artists and creative workers, and there is a survey for organizations. Both require about five minutes to complete.

Click below to take the survey:

Remember to take the survey monthly and add a reminder to your calendar.

Oklahoma Cultural District Earns National Award

One of seven Oklahoma Arts Council Certified Cultural Districts, Tulsa's Kendall Whittier Main Street district has been named a Great American Main Street Award winner by the National Main Street Center. The exclusive honor recognizes communities for their excellence in comprehensive preservation-based commercial district revitalization. Once a longtime blighted area, Kendall Whittier has used arts and culture as anchors for luring local investment, attracting business development, and lowering vacancy rates.

Three districts nationally were selected for the honor. Michigan's Boyne City Main Street and Mississippi's Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association were also selected. Kendall Whittier is the first Oklahoma district to receive the honor since the awards program began in 2006.

Read more about the honor in this article from Public Radio Tulsa.

RELATED: Oklahoma Municipal League highlights ways the Cultural District Initiative is boosting communties.

Woody Guthrie Fellowship Opportunity

Funding to explore the legacy of one of America's most influential musicians is available through the Woody Guthrie Fellowship program. Made possible by the BMI Foundation in cooperation with the Woody Guthrie Center, the fellowship provides up to $5,000 for scholarly research at the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa. The largest collection of Woody Guthrie primary resource materials in the world, the archives currently feature more than 15,000 items, including notebooks, journals, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, and audio recordings.

Since 2005, the fellowship program has funded a variety of projects culminating in books, essays, public performances, curricula, and other materials that focus on Guthrie's lasting cultural impact.

Applications are due January 29.

Local Questers Chapter Helps Restore Historic Capitol Art Frame

Among the most dramatic and significant paintings in the Oklahoma State Capitol Art Collection is Mike Wimmer's "President Teddy Roosevelt Signing Statehood Proclamation." Setting the painting apart from many in the collection is its 19th century hand-carved gilt frame, which provides a historically appropriate setting for the painting. A recent survey of the Capitol art revealed signs of deterioration on the aging frame.

With restoration of the frame estimated to cost up to $15,000, the Oklahoma Arts Council was approached by the Cimarron Chapter of Questers International, out of Edmond, Oklahoma, with an offer to help. With their organization's mission to "keep history alive by supporting preservation, restoration, and education," the 17 members of the local chapter sought and received grant funding from their national office to help restore the frame. They were drawn to the frame's historical significance and felt it should be restored to its original beauty and grandeur. 

Questers member Rita Ward said it is important to preserve state treasures.

"The educational value cannot be measured, as both adults and children stop in awe to stare at the magnificent painting with the huge ornate frame," said Ward. "There is not enough money to take care of the everyday maintenance of our art work and that is why we became involved. We have thousands of people taking tours of our beautifully restored Capitol and our artwork needs the same tender care as the building."