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Oklahoma Arts Council News

September 2020

Oklahoma Arts Council Seeks Nominations for 2021 Governor's Arts Awards


OKLAHOMA CITY (September 9, 2020) – The Oklahoma Arts Council is seeking nominations for the 2021 Governor’s Arts Awards through October 23, 2020. The awards recognize individuals and organizations whose contributions to the arts have had an impact in communities, schools, or across the state. The awards are presented by the Governor during a special ceremony at the state Capitol.

Read the full news release.

Register for the Classroom Supply Grant Webinar

Through our Classroom Supply Grants for Visual and Performing Arts, the Oklahoma Arts Council is meeting one of the most pressing needs Oklahoma educators cite in being able to provide sustained arts education for their students.

Now through September 15, schools statewide can apply for up to $500 in funding to use in purchasing consumable supplies needed for dance, drama/theatre, music, and visual arts classes.

Informational Webinar
Thursday, September 3, 4:00 p.m.

To assist potential Classroom Supply Grant applicants, the Oklahoma Arts Council is offering a special information webinar on Thursday, September 3, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. During the webinar, staff will take participants through the login request and application processes, provide an overview of the program, and give participants opportunties to ask questions.

Register for the webinar here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar.

Deadline Approaching for Arts and Military Grants

Through September 15, grant funding is available that can empower organizations to design and offer arts programming specifically for Oklahomans with military ties.

Oklahoma Arts and the Military Grants can provide up to $5,000 for organizations to offer learning-based and audience-based arts programs for active-duty service members, veterans, reservists, National Guard members, immediate family, and caregivers. Professional development programs are also eligible.

Organizations that are eligible include 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, entities of local and tribal government, college and universities, and public libraries. Current Oklahoma Arts Council grantees receiving support in other categories may also be eligible.

Made possible in part through support from the Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts, Oklahoma Arts and the Military Grants are part of the Oklahoma Arts and the Military Initiative.

Watch this webinar to learn about the grant application and to hear from organizations that have used the funding to serve military-connected Oklahomans.

Governor's Arts Awards Nominations Open September 9

In the arts, there are volunteers, board members, teachers, local businesses, elected officials, and others who deserve recognition for going above and beyond to make the arts thrive in our communities. Since 1975, the Oklahoma Governor's Arts Awards has provided a spotlight to honor these efforts.

Beginning September 9, Oklahomans can bring recognition to deserving individuals and organizations in the arts, when nominations for the 2021 Oklahoma Governor's Arts Awards become available.

Full-time Oklahoma residents and organizations that work in and for the benefit of Oklahoma are eligible to be nominated. Honors will be awarded by the selection committee in categories including education, business, community service, media, and public service.

Nominations forms will be available at on September 9.

See photos of the 2019 Governor's Arts Awards.

Tulsa Race Massacre Commemoration Grant Program

The Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission is currently accepting grant applications from Tulsa area nonprofits, community members, and other organizations interested in programming commemorative events through August 2021.

Through the Commemoration Grant Program, the commission will provide up to $10,000 for use in planning, execution, and/or marketing events that reflect on themes of history, racial healing, and community strengthening. Projects that are strategic in outreach and community engagement will be given preference for funding.

Applications are due Friday, September 18, by 5:00 p.m. Eligible artists and cultural organizations are encouraged to use their creative voices and consider being part of this important commemoration program.

Click here to view grant guidelines.

Oklahoma City Offering Support for Performance Venues

Owners and operators of live performance venues in Oklahoma City can apply to receive a portion of $2 million in disaster aid funding recently approved by the Oklahoma City Council to help venues struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Citing the need to preserve and protect venues that offer access to cultural events and performing arts, the funding is available through the city's Small Business Continuity Program. Performance venues may apply for up to $250,000 for lost revenue, payroll, and other eligible expenses. To qualify, venues must demonstrate that 50 percent or more of their revenue comes from paid performance tickets.

Applications for the Venue Reimbursement Program will remain open until funds are allocated, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Read the announcement here.

IMLS Announces Six Grant Programs

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the nation's primary source of federal museum funding, has announced it is accepting applications for six grant programs. Citing the heightened needs of museums across America due to the pandemic, IMLS is encouraging eligible museums of all types and sizes and related organizations to apply for funding.

The six IMLS grant programs are:

  • Museums for America – supports projects related to lifelong learning, service as community anchors, and collections stewardship and access

  • Inspire! Grants for Small Museums – helps small museums implement projects that address priorities in their strategic plans

  • Museums Empowered – supports professional development opportunities for museum staff

  • National Leadership Grants for Museums – for projects that address critical needs of the museum field and have the potential to advance practice in the profession

  • Museum Grants for African American History and Culture – to build the capacity of African American museums and support the growth and development of museum professionals

  • Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services – supports Native American tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians in sustaining heritage, culture, and knowledge

Deadline for applications in all six grant areas is November 16, 2020.

Click here to learn about the grant programs.

Preservation Grants for Collections, Exhibits, and More

The application cycle for the 2020-2021 Oklahoma Heritage Preservation Grant Program will open September 11. Administered by the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS), the program can provide funding of between $500 and $20,000 to municipal, county, or tribal governments, and nonprofit historical organizations.

Support is offered for collections, exhibits, programs, and capacity building. Examples of previously supported projects include oral history projects, collections storage, exhibit renovations, accessibility enhancements, strategic planning development, and more.

Deadline to apply is October 30. To assist potential applicants, OHS will host a webinaron September 15, at 1:00 p.m.

Click here to learn about the grant program.

Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $1 million across the United States to support placemaking efforts in rural communities. Through the federal agency's Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge, funding is available for cities or towns with 50,000 residents or less to use in creating places where people want to live, work, and play.

The USDA is accepting applications for the program through September 10. Funds can be used to access planning resources and technical assistance, convene partners, identify community needs, and implement priorities to build rural prosperity.

Eligible applicants include public or private groups, organizations, or institutions that have experience in providing placemaking technical assistance to rural communities. Applicants must demonstrate existing and proposed community partnerships.

Learn more about the program here.

Take the AFTA COVID-19 Survey in September

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.

Digital Education Tools Focus on Native American Art, Culture

With thousands of Oklahoma schoolchildren learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, IllumiNative, the National Indian Education Association, and Amplifier have launched an initiative to make digital lesson plans and resources focused on Native American art, culture, and history, available for free to students and families.

Resources include grade-level specific activity guides, with lessons available that focus on patterns and symmetry, dollmaking, Native storytelling, clay pottery, traditional cuisine, and more.

In addition, resources featuring six contemporary Native changemakers can help students learn about Native American contributions to our country. One of the six featured changemakers is U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (Mvskoke Creek) from Tulsa.

Educators, parents, students, and others can download the lesson plans for free here.

National Arts in Education Week

Established by a resolution of Congress in 2010, National Arts in Education Week is celebrated during the second week of September each year. The purpose of the celebration is to bring attention to the transformative impact of the arts in education.

This year, National Arts in Education Week is September 13-19. To help individuals, schools, and organizations join in the national celebration, Americans for the Arts has put together resources with ideas for participating and presenting a united message. From a logo that is available to download, to ideas for hosting a celebration and ways to share stories of the power of arts education on social media (#ArtsEdWeek), resources are available to empower your participation.

Visit Americans for the Arts' website to download their guide.

Educators Can Nominate Students for OSAI At Home Academy

A new program of the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute (OSAI) offers an enriched experience for artistic study for select students this fall. Arts educators can now nominate their exceptionally talented students for the OSAI at Home Academy.

To qualify, students must be attending an Oklahoma high school and actively studying one of several designated artistic disciplines. Students who have previously attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain are not eligible. Every student accepted into the program receives a full scholarship.

Nominated students must meet one of the following criteria to be eligible for OSAI at Home Academy:

  • Live in a rural or geographic area that is underrepresented at OSAI

  • Identify as a racial or ethnic minority underrepresented at OSAI

  • Qualify for the free and reduced lunch program or otherwise able to demonstrate economic hardship

Nominations will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program begins in mid-September. Spaces are expected to fill quickly. Click here to learn more.

Report Shows COVID-19 Taking Heavy Toll on Oklahoma's Arts Industry


OKLAHOMA CITY (September 2, 2020) – A new report released by the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, co-authored by Richard Florida ("The Rise of the Creative Class"), confirms what many in the arts in Oklahoma have feared – the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the state's arts and cultural industry.

Read the news release.

Artists to Create Large-Scale Public Art at First Americans Museum


OKLAHOMA CITY (September 1, 2020) – As the First Americans Museum near downtown Oklahoma City moves closer to its spring 2021 opening, two artists have been selected to create large scale works of public art for its interior. Joseph Erb and Jeri Redcorn will create projects for the museum as part of the Oklahoma Art in Public Places program, administered by the Oklahoma Arts Council, in partnership with Native American Cultural and Educational Authority (NACEA).

Read the news release.