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Oklahoma Arts Council News

September 2023

Conference Earlybird Registration Ends September 15

The window to take advantage of the discounted earlybird registration period for the 2023 Oklahoma Arts Conference ends soon. Through September 15, registration for the three-day event is only $169. The price increases to $219 after September 15.

Hundreds of Oklahomans from across the state will be on hand in Lawton for the October event. The conference takes place every two years, serving nonprofit administrators and board members, artists, community developers, educators, students, volunteers and others in the arts and cultural sector. Sessions of the 2023 conference are designed to instill a sense of optimism while equipping participants for the intrepid yet promising journey ahead.

2023 Oklahoma Arts Conference
"Promise in the Road Ahead"
October 17-19
$169 earlybird
$219 after September 15

Register here for the earlybird rate.

View the conference scheduleCheck back often for updates!

September 7 Webinar to Prep Organizations for APRA Grant

In May, a proposal to invest $10 million in state American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding was advanced by the Oklahoma State Legislature and approved by the Governor for Oklahoma's arts and cultural sector. This fall, Oklahoma Arts Sector ARPA Grants, made possible through the investment, will be available to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with arts programming. A September 7 webinar presented by the Oklahoma Arts Council in collaboration with its regional partners for the grant program, Allied Arts OKC and Arts Alliance Tulsa, will cover eligibility criteria, account set up, and documents required for eligibility verification for the program. This will be an important webinar to help organizations prepare before applications open.

Informational Sessions

Two upcoming informational sessions are being offered to assist organizations as they prepare to apply:

Dates at a Glance

  • October – Eligibility verification checks (all organizations must have their eligibilty reviewed)
  • November – Applications open
  • Mid-December – Applications close

Stay tuned for more announcements about the grant and visit for updates.

Changes, Increased Funding Announced for Community Arts Programs

Organizations that receive grant support from the Oklahoma Arts Council for community-based programs may now be eligible for increased funding. Changes will impact organizations previously eligible to apply through Small Grant Support.

Awards will now be awarded under two categories: Community Arts Experience Grants (audience-based programs including concerts, recitals, visual art exhibitions, and multi-disciplinary events such as festivals) and Community Arts Learning Grants (arts instruction, classes, and workshops for individuals of all ages and abilities).

Maximum award amounts are being increased—applicants will be able to request up to $5,000 per project. Organizations can apply for two grants in one category or one grant in each category. Applications continue to be due 60 days before the start of a project.

Organizations eligible for funding through the two grant programs include 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, city and county governments, tribal nations, public libraries, and colleges and universities.

Click here to learn about Community Arts Experience Grants.

Click here to learn about Community Arts Learning Grants.

Funding for Arts Nonprofits to Serve Alternative Education Schools 

Nonprofit arts organizations have valuable expertise and artistic resources that can impact the lives of students in alternative education schools. Programs offered by arts organizations are proven to help students in alternative education complete their high school degrees wil developing new skills that will help them succeed with their academic goals and beyond.

To help make it possible for nonprofit arts organizations to serve alternative education sites, the Oklahoma Arts Council is accepting proposals for Arts in Alternative Education Community Partnership funding. Proposals are being accepted through September 29.

Up to $25,000 is available to organizations through the program. Funding can support in-school hands-on arts learning, artist residencies, workshops, virtual learning-based programs, professional development opportunities, and more.

Click here to learn how to submit a proposal.

Teaching Artists Invited to Regional Meetings

Oklahoma Arts Council education staff members are traveling the state as the school year begins, hosting a series of meetings to support the work of teaching artists in communities and schools. Meetings are designed to help teaching artists learn how to apply and benefit from membership in the Oklahoma Teaching Artist Roster.

In addition to helping teaching artists learn from and connect with peers from across the state, meetings will highlight examples of innovative residencies and new settings for their work.

September meetings will take place in the following communities:

  • Durant (NIKO venue + studio), September 5 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Tulsa (WOMPA Creative Compound), September 7 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Norman (MAINSITE Contemporary Art), September 12 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Oklahoma City (ARTSPACE at Untitled), September 14 at 6:00 p.m.

Teaching artists should RSVP by emailing or calling (405) 249-7987.

Public Invited to Wanda Jackson Portrait Unveiling

The public is invited to a special celebration of the unveiling of the official portrait of Oklahoma's 13th Cultural Treasure, Wanda Jackson, at the Oklahoma State Capitol on September 13. Jackson, the "Queen of Rockabilly," was designated as an Oklahoma Cultural Treasure by the Governor and the Oklahoma Arts Council in 2018. One of the most influential figures in the emergence of rock and roll during the 1950s, Jackson toured with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others. Her music impacted women artists across genres and decades of popular music.

Wanda Jackson Portrait Dedication
Wednesday, September 13, 2:00 p.m.
Oklahoma State Capitol
Second Floor Rotunda
Free and open to the public

Following the unveiling, Jackson's portrait will be installed on the Capitol's second floor, near portraits of other Oklahoma Cultural Treasures such as John Hope Franklin, Charles Banks Wilson, and Doc Tate Nevaquaya.

High Schools Can Register for 2023-24 Poetry Out Loud Competition

Oklahoma high schools can register their schools to participate in the 2023-24 Oklahoma Poetry Out Loud competition. Administered by Oklahoma A+ Schools, the program is a free recitation contest for students in grades 9-12. The winner of the state competition receives $200 and an all-expenses paid trip with an adult chaperone to Washington, D.C., to compete in the national finals.

Since it was established in 2005, the national competition has grown to reach more than four million students in 17,000 schools nationwide. Made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.

Oklahoma A+ Schools manages the state program in partnership with the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Teachers can register their schools here for the competition. November 1 is the deadline to register.

Lifetime Arts Offering Free, On Demand Course for Creative Aging

A free, self-paced online course on creative aging is being offered by Lifetime Arts. Designed for individuals and organizations interested in learning how to run successful participatory artmaking programs for older adults, the course will help participants learn how to plan programs and develop the necessary partnerships to support their cross-sector work.

Six modules comprise the course, covering topics including anti-ageism, partnerships and planning, program design, implementation, sustainability, and remote delivery. Modules feature over 80 videos with programming examples, demonstrations, discussions, interviews, and other content.

Access Creative Aging Foundations on Demand.

Lifetime Arts has been a valuable resource for the Oklahoma Arts Council since the launch of the Oklahoma Creative Aging Initiative in 2022.

Bob Dylan Songwriting Fellowship Program Announced

The Bob Dylan Center (BDC) in Tulsa has announced a new fellowship program designed to mentor and develop aspiring songwriters. Two artists will be awarded fellowships annually.

Fellows will receive a $40,000 stipend, public engagement opportunities, access to the BDC's Bob Dylan Archive®, accommodations in Tulsa, and recording time in Leon Russell's famous studio, The Church Studio.

Applications are being accepted through October 18. The inaugural fellowship will run May 2024 through April 2025.

Apply here for the Bob Dylan Center Songwriter Fellowship.

Oklahoma Arts Council Seeks Curator of Capitol Exhibitions

The Oklahoma Arts Council is accepting applications from experienced art museum professionals interested in serving as the agency's Curator of Capitol Exhibitions. The position develops and implements exhibition plans for four galleries in the Oklahoma State Capitol, including the Betty Price Gallery—home of the Oklahoma State Art Collection—and three temporary rotating galleries.

As exhibitions coordinator, this position identifies and maintains a list of Oklahoma artists for potential selection for the rotating galleries, managing all stages of exhibition development and execution. The curator also collaborates with the Director of Collections Management on creation and maintenance of loan agreement records, insurance coverage, and condition reports.

Applications for the position must be submitted through