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Oklahoma Arts Council News

August 2023

Conference Registration Opens Friday, August 4

Registration for the 2023 Oklahoma Arts Conference opens this Friday, August 4! Earlybird registration is $169. The earlybird rate runs through September 15 ($219 after the earlybird deadline).

"Promise in the Road Ahead" is the theme for the 2023 conference, as sessions will be designed to promote hope and optimism while equipping participants for the intrepid, yet promising, journey that lies ahead for the arts and cultural sector.

Content planned for the three-day conference includes three pre-conferencesessions that will be offered at no additional cost, scheduled for Tuesday, October 17. Pre-conference sessions include:

⁕ Oklahoma Arts and the Military Summit III
⁕ Executive Directors Roundtable
⁕ Forum for Native/Indigenous Artists

View other sessions. More sessions will be added to the schedule soon, so check back often!

Book your hotel room. Don't wait to secure a room at the conference hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn Lawton-Ft. Sill.

RELATED: Capacity Building Grants from Allied Arts OKC can help eligible organizations send staff to the conference. Be sure to act fast—applications are due August 18!

Back to School: Request Access to OAC Grant System Now

As students return to the classroom for the 2023-24 school year, the Oklahoma Arts Council is ready to help teachers and administrators take advantage of funding available from the agency to spark creative and critical thinking in students through the arts.

Schools are encouraged to request access to the Oklahoma Arts Council grant system now in anticipation of applying for grant funding fitting their needs this school year.

Available grants include:

Classroom Supply Grants for Visual and Performing Arts – provides reimbursement of up to $500 to schools for their purchase of eligible supplies (learn more). Deadline is September 15!

Essential Arts Education Grants for Schools – provides two grants of up to $5,000 each (10% match) for classes, workshops, and residencies led by a contracted teaching artist that take place during school hours (learn more).

Expanded Arts Education Grants for Schools – provides one grant of up to $2,500 for classes, workshops, and residencies led by a contracted teaching artist that take place outside of school hours (learn more).

Arts in Alternative Education Grants – provides alternative education sites two grants of up to $5,000 each (5% match) for classes, workshops, and residencies led by a contracted teaching artist (learn more).

Performing Arts Experience Grants for Alternative Education – provides alternative education sites up to $750 to use toward hosting a performing artist for an in-person concert or taking students to attend a live performance (learn more).

Capitol Art Field Trip Grants – provides reimbursement to schools across the state for travel to the Oklahoma State Capitol where students are led on a guided tour in Oklahoma art, history, and government (learn more).

Capacity-Building Grants Available from Allied Arts OKC

Capacity-Building Grants from Allied Arts OKC can strengthen nonprofit arts and cultural organizations so they can fulfill their missions and better serve their communities. Applications are being accepted through August 18.

A variety of projects can be funded through the program, including organizational training and board development, volunteer management, strategic planning, and other professional development. Grants may be eligible to be used by organizations to send staff to the 2023 Oklahoma Arts Conference.

Open to Allied Arts member agencies and other nonprofit arts organizations, grants of up to $5,000 are available, with no match requirement. Organizations must have an annual operating budget of $500,000 or more.

Learn about Capacity-Building Grants.

NEA Marks #ADA33 with Toolkit for Careers in the Arts

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 33 years ago, and to mark significance of the pivotal law, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has released "Careers in the Arts Toolkit," to promote access and inclusion for people with disabilities seeking careers in the arts.

Developed in partnership with Art Beyond Sight, and through a series of national virtual town halls in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Arts and Disability Center, the toolkit features an in-depth exploration of resources, tips, and best practices that artists, cultural workers, and youth with disabilities can use in pursuing careers in the arts.

In addition, the toolkit includes sections for arts employers, arts educators, and arts grantmakers. These sections outline steps and strategies for working with individuals with disabilities, explaining the benefits of disability inclusiveness.

Learn more and download the toolkit here.

Artistic Innovation Grants Awarded to Oklahomans

Two Oklahomans will be receiving funding through Artistic Innovations, a grant program of Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) that encourages experimentation and exploration. Awards were announced in July.

Proposed projects by Evan Clayburg and Chelsea Hicks, both of Tulsa, were among 14 projects in six states awarded funding. Each will receive $15,000. Clayburg's film and media arts project, "I'll Fly Away," will draw connections between the cultural landscape of eastern Oklahoma and African diasporic and Indigenous parade/procession traditions. Hicks' (Osage Nation) project, "Waleze: Markings," is a collaborative, visual poetry collection designed to bring attention to the need for new forms of literature that come from Indigenous language revitalization.

Mid-America Arts Alliance serves a six-state region, expanding opportunities in the arts by partnering and collaborating with state arts agencies such as the Oklahoma Arts Council.

RELATED: Bring regional touring artists to your community through M-AAA's Regional Touring Program. Learn more and apply here.

Important OKCNP Training on New Nonprofit Law

A new law that will impact nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma will be the topic of discussion during a special upcoming Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) training.

During the 2023 state legislative session, lawmakers passed SB772, requiring nonprofit organizations to notify the Oklahoma Attorney General's office of changes, loss, or denial of 501(c)3 status. The law also requires nonprofits to notify the Attorney General of certain financial transfers.

The training is free to OKCNP members. It will take place online Tuesday, August 8, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Jeri Holmes, Nonprofit Attorney at Law, is the featured presenter.

Arts and cultural organizations are urged to review and learn more about SB772 in order to stay compliant with state law.

Register for the OKCNP training session here.

Ada to Receive Hometown Grant from T-Mobile

Ada, Oklahoma, was recently announced as one of 25 communities nationwide awarded funding through T-Mobile's Hometown Grants program. Through the program, T-Mobile is investing $25 million in the revitalization of rural towns through grants of up to $50,000. In addition to the arts, the initiative is funding outdoor spaces, technology upgrades, community centers, and more.

The Ada project will create a program called STEAM-SOS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics – Seniors on Saturdays), which will pair older adults at a local senior center with high school and college students in digital fabrication, physical design, and other collaborative learning.

RELATED: T-Mobile is accepting applications for the latest round of Hometown Grants through September 30. Hometown Grants are intended for "shovel-ready projects."

Seminole and Hugo Among 25 Communities to Earn CIRD Grants

Two Oklahoma towns are among 25 rural and tribal communities selected to take part in this year's Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™ (CIRD)program, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced in late June.

Seminole and Hugo will participate in local design workshops guided by CIRD's creative placemaking professionals. Over the course of 14 months, workshops will convene residents and leaders from nonprofits and local government to explore design ideas for community revitalization.

The CIRD program is open to communities with populations of 50,000 or less. It is made possible through CIRD's partnership with the NEA and the Housing Assistance Council.

Learn more about CIRD here.

Public Art Helps First Americans Museum Earn National Award

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recognized First Americans Museum (FAM) in Oklahoma City with a prestigious Americas Award for Excellence in July. Ten projects nationwide were given the award, which is presented for exceptional design, planning, economic impact, community engagement, and other characteristics. ULI judges noted several features of the museum in their recognition, including the exterior sculpture, "Touch to Above," created through the Oklahoma Art in Public Places (OAIPP) program. The stainless steel sculpture welcomes people as they enter the museum courtyard.

Read the announcement here.

Through the OAIPP program, the Oklahoma Arts Council administers the percent-for-public-art requirement for state capital improvements, bringing together state government agencies, artists, and local residents in the commissioning or acquisition of artwork representing the history and values of the people of Oklahoma.

The role of "Touch to Above" in the recognition for FAM underscores the value that public art can bring to capital projects and community development.

Oklahoma Arts Council Leaves Longtime Offices (Temporarily)

Since late 2022, the staff of the Oklahoma Arts Council has anticipated transitioning offices before construction crews begin multi-year of renovation work on the Jim Thorpe Building—the longtime home of the Arts Council and several other state agencies—south of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Staff has spent months planning, packing, and waiting for final authorization to proceed to their new, temporary space in the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture building, north of the Capitol. In July, authorization was given, and as of August 1, following a month of moving and setup, staff members are working full-time from the new Oklahoma Arts Council office space.

Oklahoma Arts Council grantees and other constituents are encouraged to note the change in the Oklahoma Arts Council's physical address below (the mailing address has not changed.)

Physical Address 🏢
2800 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Suite 150
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Mailing Address 📫
PO Box 52001-2001
Oklahoma City, OK 73152-2001

Oklahoma Arts Council offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitor parking spaces are available on the first row west of the building. Visitors must enter through the west doors and check in at the security desk.

Staff contact information is available here.

The Oklahoma Arts Council expresses its thanks to Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry for accomodating our staff.