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Oklahoma Arts Council News

May 2022

Oklahoma Arts Council to Host Community Meeting in Cordell

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 27, 2022) – Staff of the Oklahoma Arts Council, the official state agency for the support and development of the arts, will be in Washita County on Saturday, June 4, to present information about grants and services the agency offers in support of local initiatives. The meeting will take place from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the The Legacy at Opera House, located at 225 E. Main in Cordell.

Read the full news release.

NEA-Funded ARPA Grants Now Available from Oklahoma Arts Council

Oklahoma 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organizations can now apply for pandemic relief funding available through Oklahoma ARPA Grants for Arts Organizations. Made possible by more than $750,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to the Oklahoma Arts Council as its state partner, the reimbursement grants are available to arts-focused organizations that provide direct arts programming in their communities.

Funding will be determined based on an organization's budget. Maximum award amounts are $14,000. Download grant program guidelines here.

Deadline for applications is May 31, 2022.

More ARPA funds sought for Oklahoma arts and cultural sector

A proposal requesting State of Oklahoma ARPA fund investment in the arts and cultural sector has been submitted to the state Legislature's Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding. Led by the Oklahoma Arts Council in partnership with a coalition of leading arts and cultural organizations, the proposal is aimed at helping the sector recover from $44 million in lost revenue.

Grantees Must Submit UEI Number to Oklahoma Arts Council by June 30

The official identifier used for doing business with the federal government is changing. DUNS numbers are being phased out and will be replaced by Unique Entity Identifiers (UEI). For grantees of the Oklahoma Arts Council, this affects your transactions with our agency. By June 30, all grantees must submit their UEI number to the Oklahoma Arts Council.

How do I get a UEI?

To register for a UEI number, go to There is no cost to register and receive it

How do I submit my UEI to the Oklahoma Arts Council?

Once your organization has received its UEI number from the federal government, you must submit it to the Oklahoma Arts Council. To submit your UEI, simply log in to the Oklahoma Arts Council grant system. After logging in, you will be prompted to enter your UEI number.

UEI numbers will be required for the Oklahoma Arts Council to process FY2022 grant awards and all future grant awards.

Council, Staff Celebrate New 'Imagine Hope' Mural with First Lady

First Lady Sarah Stitt was the keynote speaker at the dedication of a new Oklahoma Art in Public Placesmural at the Oklahoma Human Services' Workforce Community Hope Center in Oklahoma City in April. Created by artist Carlos Barboza of Yukon, "Imagine Hope," is a welcoming gateway for community members to receive services through the center.

In her remarks, the First Lady said the arts help foster hope in communities.

"Hope and the arts are so closely related," Stitt said. "Studies show that hope improves academic success, mental health, physical well-being, and creativity and innovation. Studies show the arts have the same impact."

In 2021, Stitt partnered with Dr. Chan Hellman of the University of Oklahoma Hope Research Center to launch Hope Rising Oklahoma. The initiative seeks to empower Oklahomans to better their lives through the science of hope.

In attendance at the dedication were several members of the Governor-appointed Oklahoma Arts Council board, including Deanna Cardenas of Edmond, Tracie Chapman of Mannsville, and Jake Yunker of Oklahoma City. 

Watch news coverage of the dedication.

In Memoriam: Enoch Kelly Haney, Seminole Artist Who Created 'The Guardian'

Artist Enoch Kelly Haney, a former state legislator and chief of the Seminole Nation, whose sculpture, "The Guardian," stands atop the Oklahoma State Capitol dome, passed away at the age of 81 in late April.

An internationally recognized painter and sculptor who honed his abilities under Dr. Dick West Sr. at Bacone College, Haney was influential across his diverse career in areas ranging from military service to business, public service to ministry, media and more. In addition to the Oklahoma State Capitol, sculptures by Haney are prominently displayed at the Chickasaw Nation headquarters in Ada and Seminole State College. His sculpture "Circle of Life," from the Oklahoma Art in Public Places Collection, graces the exterior of the Oklahoma State Banking Department.

Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples commented on Haney's passing.

"Kelly Haney leaves a towering legacy in our state," Sharples said. "His artwork is synonymous with the Oklahoma State Capitol. One cannot help but feel heartened by the dignity and strength personified in 'The Guardian,' touching the sky for people miles around to behold. Haney's artworks comprise a meaningful part of the Oklahoma State Capitol Art Collection. We look forward to reinstalling those works in the Capitol soon, as they are essential to telling the full story of our state."

Read more about Haney's legacy in a Native News Online article.

Artists Can Apply for OVAC Thrive Grants through June 1

Oklahoma artists interested in creating new and ambitious visual art can pursue funding through Thrive Grants, a program of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) made possible by The Andy Warhol Foundation. The program encourages artists to take risks in their artwork and engage audiences in new ways.

Eight artist-led collaborative projects across Oklahoma will receive awards. Four projects will be awarded $5,000 (Innovator Grants) and four projects will be awarded $10,000 (Powerhouse Grants). Projects that will be prioritized for funding will be those that create new collaborations connections, and partnerships.

On May 5, OVAC will host an information session for artists wanting to learn more.

Click here to view projects funded in 2021.

To apply, visit

Latino Artists, Organizations Can Apply for NALAC Grants

The Natonal Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) has opened applications for its 2022 NALAC Fund for the Arts, offering grants in various categories to artists and organizations.

Artist grants of up to $10,000 are being offered in several categories, including the NFA Artist Grant, which supports Latinx artists or ensembles whose work demonstrates excellence, and the NFA Adán Medrano Legacy Award in Film, open to emerging Latinx video/filmmakers based.

Organization grants of $10,000 are being offered to support U.S.-based organizations whose missions focus on Latinx arts and culture in any arts discipline. Project-based funding may support the creation, development, and presentation of an artistic work, festival, or community arts education program. General operating support funding can assist with strengthening the organization's infrastructure and ability to fulfill their mission.

To learn more about the grants, visit Applications in all categories are due May 18.

Levitt Grant Brings Music Series to Small, Mid-Sized Towns

Small and mid-sized towns across America can now apply for the 2023-2025 cycle of Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards. The program provides a three-year matching grant of $30,000 per year to empower nonprofit organizations to present an outdoor live music series free to their community members over three years. The goal of the program is to bring people together, enliven public spaces, and create vibrant community destinations.

Selected proposals advance to an online public voting phase, receiving $1,500 to support their efforts. Online voting determines 20 finalists, out of which Levitt Foundation reviews and selects grant recipients. The most competitive proposals will be intentional about creating inclusive experiences.

Applications are open through June 30.

View 2022 Levitt AMP communities.

Women-led Environmental Art Projects Eligible for Funding

Art projects by women-identifying artists focusing on environmental issues may be eligible for a share of $250,000 in funding to be administered by New York Foundation for the Arts through Anonymous Was a Woman Environmental Art Grants. Applications are being accepted from qualifying artists across the U.S.

Proposals should inspire thoughts, action, and ethical engagement. The intended impact of a project will be an important factor in funding determination.

Among the themes that may qualify for the program are issues related to eco-social engagement, decarbonization, climate change, clean energy production, bioplastics, recycling, and more. Projects that explore issues through Indigenous and ancestral practices are encouraged to apply.

Applications close June 14. Learn more here.

Museums Can Sign Up for Blue Star Program

Each summer, active-duty military personnel and their families and members of the National Guard and Reserve are provided free access to museums across America through the Blue Star Museumsprogram. The program is a collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America. The program begins on Armed Forces Day, May 21, 2022, and ends on Labor Day, September 5, 2022.

Participation the the Blue Star Museums program is voluntarily. Oklahoma museums can register to participate here.

Program Offers Chance to Study Influence of Woody Guthrie

A program of the BMI Foundation, in cooperation with the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, the Woody Guthrie Fellowship program supports research on topics and themes related to Guthrie's influence as one of the most important American songwriters and recording artists of the 20th century.

Through the program, up to $5,000 is awarded for scholarly research at the extensive Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa, which currently houses 15,000 items representing the largest collection of primary resource materials anywhere in the world about the famous artist. Original songwriting notebooks, journals, manuscripts, photographs, correspondences, audio recordings, and more are included in the archives.

To apply, individuals should have a project-based research topic that will result in the creation of a scholarly publication, book, article, or other product. The project should require at least two weeks of research at the archives.

The program offers an unprecedented opportunity to explore and deepen understanding of Guthrie's contributions to America and the world.

Applications are due June 15. View guidelines and more here.

Apply for Positions with the Oklahoma Arts Council

The Oklahoma Arts Council currently has openings for multiple staff positions. The agency seeks enthusiastic and creative people with an entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to public service to join our team. Applications must be submitted through

Applications are currently being accepted for:

  1. Finance Director – manages the agency's financial accounting, budgeting, and procurement operations

  2. Director of Collections Management – manages the care and documentation of state-owned art collections managed by the Oklahoma Arts Council

  3. Grants and Programs Associate – manages grants office operations and assists with agency programs

View the full job descriptions here.

Celebrating Staff Milestones

The staff of the Oklahoma Arts Council is the agency's most valued resource. Each staff member is thoroughly committed to public service. We cherish the opportunity to meet the needs of the arts sector and build the state using the transformative power of the arts.

Below we celebrate milestones of Oklahoma Arts Council staff members.

Staff Anniversaries

In May, Jarica Walsh celebrates her third year on staff with the agency, where she was recently promoted to Director of Visual and Public Art. One of Walsh's earliest projects was "DNA IV," a sculpture installed outside Oklahoma State University's McKnight Center for the Performing Arts in fall 2019. Over the past year, she stewarded the completion of murals at airports in Tulsa and Oklahoma City as part of a collaboration involving Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell's office. Currently, Walsh is overseeing several new public art commissions and the reinstallation of artwork at the Oklahoma State Capitol.