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2023 Oklahoma Arts Conference

"Promise in the Road Ahead"

Jason Poudrier
Jason Poudrier is a novelist, essayist, poet, and Purple Heart recipient of the Iraq War. A 2018 Pat Tillman Scholar, Poudrier is an award-winning author of two poetry collections, "Red Fields" and the chapbook, "In the Rubble at Our Feet." His poems have recently appeared in World Literature Today and Blue Streak. His fiction has been listed as a finalist for the New Plains Review Sherman Chaddlesone Flash Fiction contest, semifinalist for American Short Fiction’s American Short Fiction’s American Short(er) Fiction contest, and honorable mention for Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 6. A 2015 graduate of the Oklahoma Arts Council's Leadership Arts program, Poudrier was instrumental in the development of the Oklahoma Arts Council's Arts and Military Initiative. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English Education at the University of Oklahoma and serving as the Arts and Humanities Administrator for the City of Lawton.

Jason Poudrier's Schedule
Engaging Veterans and the Military Community in Creative Self-Expression
Date: Wednesday – October, 25 2017 Time: 3:15pm - 4:45pm
Room: Junior Ballroom East Track: Community Development
Launched in 2015, the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Oklahoma Arts and the Military Initiative is a strategic effort directed at meeting the needs of Oklahoma’s military community through the arts. Through a partnership between the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs two pilot arts programs were launched at the veterans’ centers in Norman (2016) and Lawton (2017). Formal evaluation of the first pilot program was conducted, resulting in the catalogue, "Engaging Veterans through Creative Expression," a free online resource that can assist individuals and organizations in providing programming for veterans and military members in their communities. Research findings from the evaluation will be shared during this session. Lead organizers and teaching artists who have been directly involved in the pilot programs will discuss the impact and healing components of the arts experiences.

Oklahoma Arts and the Military Summit III
Date: Tuesday – October, 17 2023 Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Room: McCasland Ballroom
Theme: Arts, Health, and Wellbeing Across the Military Continuum

Geared towards both the arts and military communities, the Oklahoma Arts and the Military Summit III will take place as a pre-conference event. Featuring special guest speakers, group discussions, a workshop, and a performance by Perpetual Motion Dance (, the summit will offer attendees the knowledge and skills to develop cross-sector collaborative programs that will bring meaningful arts learning opportunities to Oklahomans across the spectrum of military experiences. Join us to learn how to expand arts programming to uniquely meet the needs of the military community statewide.

Individuals do not need to register for the full Oklahoma Arts Conference to attend this one-day summit, but they must RSVP by contacting Erika Wilhite at

The Oklahoma Arts and the Military Summit III is made possible in part with the support of Mid-America Arts Alliance.

Executive Directors Roundtable
Date: Tuesday – October, 17 2023 Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Room: Leslie Powell Gallery Track: Arts Managers
Executive directors from Oklahoma’s arts organizations will convene in an informal roundtable forum. This session will provide a space for executive directors to discuss the unique challenges that organizational leaders must navigate while sharing innovative approaches for success.

Good Morning, Lawton!
Date: Wednesday – October, 18 2023 Time: 8:30am - 9:00am
Room: Great Plains Ballroom A&B
Join your Lawton Conference Co-chairs Melissa Beck and Jason Poudrier as they welcome you to the 2023 Oklahoma Arts Conference! This session will include a special welcome from Comanche Chairman Mark Woomavovah and a performance by the Comanche Nation Youth Dancers. Special announcements will be made and you will hear how to make the most of your time in Lawton and at the conference.

Lawton's International Festival
Date: Wednesday – October, 18 2023 Time: 3:15pm - 4:30pm
Room: Great Plains Ballroom D
Now in it's 44th Year, Lawton's International Festival was created out of a desire to promote greater of awareness and appreciation of Lawton's diverse heritage. The festival provides local ethnic and cultural organizations an opportunity to share traditions and aspects of their cultures. The festival is made possible through the volunteerism and participation of local schools, residents, civic organizations, and businesses. The multicultural celebration has evolved into a three-day event averaging 30,000 in attendance. Hear from key festival leaders on how this festival continues to evolve while developing community spirit.

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For more information contact our Director of Rural and Creative Community Outreach.