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Oklahoma Arts Council News

October 2022

Nomination Deadline Extended for Governor's Arts Awards

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 19, 2022) – The opportunity to submit nominations for the 2023 Oklahoma Governor's Arts Awards has been extended to November 11. Since 1975, the awards have honored individuals and organizations whose efforts have contributed to the success of the arts in their communities and schools. The biennial awards ceremony takes place in the spring at the state Capitol.

Read the announcement...

Better Than Ever, State Capitol Gallery Exhibitions Return in October

After a six-year hiatus, the Oklahoma Arts Council is bringing back art exhibitions in the Oklahoma State Capitol galleries in October. On hold during the Capitol renovation, exhibitions will showcase an expanded slate of art forms. Gallery exhibitions will now feature 2D and 3D works across a wide range of mediums, from paintings and mixed media to photography, ceramics, fiber art, and more.

The Oklahoma Arts Council supports the work of current Oklahoma artists by curating three rotating galleries in the historic building—the North, East, and Governor's galleries—where artworks are displayed for thousands of visitors, students, and Capitol employees to view and enjoy. Look for more details about upcoming exhibitions soon.

Upcoming Exhibitions

North Gallery
October 10, 2022 – January 13, 2023
Rachel Hayes (Tulsa)

East Gallery
October 2022 – January 2023
Michael Elizondo, Jr. (El Reno)

Governor's Gallery
October 2022 – January 2023
Karin Walkingstick (Claremore)

Galleries are free and open to the public.

Artists Can Submit Portfolios

Oklahoma artists interested in exhibiting their artwork in the Capitol galleries may submit their portfolios to the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Become a Capitol Docent

The Oklahoma Arts Council is seeking volunteer docents to lead tours at the Capitol. Individuals interested in providing visitors with an engaging and educational experience in Oklahoma art, history, and government are encouraged to learn more and apply.

Artists: RFQs for Lawton-Ft. Sill Airport Mural Due October 7

Oklahoma artists can apply through October 7 for the opportunity to create a 196 square foot mural that will be seen by thousands of people who fly into the Lawton-Ft. Sill Regional Airport each month. The Oklahoma Arts Council recently announced a Request for Qualifications for a third mural in a series of airport murals being created in partnership with Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and airports across the state. The first project took place at the Tulsa International Airport, and the second project took place at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.

For the mural, the selected artist or artist team will create a dynamic and visually impactful work through an interpretation of the Official Brand of the State of Oklahoma. The mural should include the phrase, "Welcome to Oklahoma." The goal of the mural project is to drive tourism and commerce while fostering enthusiasm and pride for Oklahomans.

The selected artist or artist team will receive $6,000 to create the mural. The project is being administered through the Oklahoma Art in Public Places program, which is managed by the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Submit qualifications and learn more here. Deadline is October 7.

Deadline for Governor's Arts Awards Nominations Nears

Friday, October 14, is the deadline to submit nominations for the 2023 Oklahoma Governor's Arts Awards. The awards recognize individuals and organizations across the state for their contributions to the arts in Oklahoma. Awards are presented in several categories, including community service, education, business, media, and public service. To be eligible, nominees must be current full-time Oklahoma residents or organizations that work in and for the benefit of Oklahoma. 

Guidelines, selection criteria, and a list past winners are available here.

Nominations may be submitted here.

The 2023 Oklahoma Governor's Arts Awards ceremony will be presented at the Oklahoma State Capitol in the spring.

New Arts Education Data Shows Access Lacking for Many Students

A new report using data from a large-scale national study shows that despite some positive trends, millions of U.S. public school students continue to lack access to arts education programs. Based on information reported by more than 30,000 schools nationwide, the National Arts Education Status Report showed that a disproportionate number of public school students in major urban communities lack access to programs such as dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. Many of the more than 2,000,000 students across the country who lack arts education access are students who receive free or reduced-price meals. The report called for continued efforts to ensure equitable access to arts education and the many benefits students gain from it.

Data for the report was gathered through The Arts Education Data Project, an effort involving arts education directors from state arts agencies nationwide, advocacy organizations, Quadrant Research, and other arts education supporters. The Oklahoma Arts Council was one of 17 participating states.

2023 Intercultural Leadership Institute Now Accepting Applications

Artists, culture bearers, and other arts practitioners in Oklahoma and across the nation are invited to apply for the 2023 Intercultural Leadership Institute. The institute is a rigorous, year-long personal and leadership development program that supports artists, culture bearers, and arts professionals as change-makers in their communities. The program features a hybrid virtual and in-person model where fellows choose how they will attend the cultural intensives. Tech and travel accommodations are administered by ILI staff.

Applications are accepted from individuals at any career stage—emerging and established.

ILI applications are due October 28. Apply for the institute here.

Oklahoma Native Artists Earn LIFT Awards

Two Oklahoma Native artists have earned LIFT awards from the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation. The program provides early career support for Native artists, assisting them with developing and realizing new projects. Awardees receive financial support and professional development, and they take part in an artist convening. Among program benefits, artists have the opportunity to improve their craft, build their careers, and cultivate their place as creative people within their communities.

2022 awardees from Oklahoma are:

Kalyn Fay (Cherokee Nation, Muscogee descent), a musician from Tulsa, will work on a full-length album titled "A Garden Grew Behind the Shed," which will incorporate Cherokee language and intertribal musicians.

Loren Waters (Cherokee Nation and Kiowa Tribe), a filmmaker from Tulsa, will produce a film, "Meet Me at the Creek," focusing on the lifelong effort of a Cherokee Nation citizen to restore the land at Tar Creek, a former mining site in northeast Oklahoma.

An open call for the next round of the LIFT – Early Career Support for Native Artistsprogram will take place in early 2023.

GSA Expanding Art in Architecture Opportunities for Artists Nationwide

Efforts of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), are giving artists across the United States expanded opportunities to earn federal public art commissions.

In September, the NEA and GSA announced their collaboration, with the goal for federal Art in Architecture commissions to serve a broader audience of American artists. The Art in Architecture program oversees the commissioning of artwork for federal buildings nationwide, made possible by reserving a portion of a building's construction cost for public art.

Through the Art in Architecture program, 26 federal public art commissions are being launched in conjunction with new infrastructure projects.

Artists interested in Art in Architecture projects must join the National Artist Registry.

Learn more about the expanded opportunities

High Schools Can Register for 2022-23 Poetry Out Loud

Oklahoma high school teachers can register their schools to participate in the 2022-23 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, the program 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.

Schools can register here. Registration closes December 1.

Want to learn more?

Oklahoma A+ Schools will host a free virtual Poetry Out Loud workshop for teachers and coordinators on October 29 at 10:00 a.m.

Call for Artists: Choctaw Nation, Irish Government Seek Submissions

Submissions are being accepted from artists for a sculpture that will commemorate the special friendship that developed between the people of the Choctaw Nation and the people of Ireland during the Irish Potato Famines of the 1800s. The sculpture will be installed on the ground of the Choctaw Capitol in Durant, Oklahoma.

The commissioned artists will create a work that incorporates themes such as kindness and generosity, connections, bonds between people in adversity, and more. The sculpture will complement the "Kindred Spirits" sculpture in Ireland, which honors the Choctaw donation to the people of Ireland suffering from the potato famine. The donation was made immediately after the tribe endured the Trail of Tears.

Deadline for submissions is October 14.

Learn more here.

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month in October

October is National Arts & Humanities Month, a collective recognition of the importance of culture in America. Launched by Americans for the Arts more than 30 years ago, the month-long celebration serves as a reminder that the arts are a national asset that should be available everywhere to everyone.

In conjunction with National Arts & Humanities Month, the Oklahoma Arts Council recognizes two other important observations in October:

National Hispanic Heritage Month – the Oklahoma Arts Council recognizes the significant contributions of Hispanic artists around the state and acknowledges organizations whose programs commemorate the cultures of Hispanic Americans.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month – the Oklahoma Arts Council recognizes the role people with disabilities play in the American workforce and we celebrate their contributions to the arts and cultural sector throughout Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Arts Council invites Oklahomans in the arts sector to learn more and reflect on these observances during October.

Celebrating Staff Milestones

The staff of the Oklahoma Arts Council is our agency's most valued resource. Each member is thoroughly committed to public service, cherishing the chance 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.

Thomas Tran celebrates his sixth year on staff with the Oklahoma Arts Council in October. Tran joined the staff in 2016 as the Grants and Finance Assistant after having served as an intern for the agency. Tran is now the Grants Director, where he works with organizations across the state as they apply for Oklahoma Arts Council grant funding. Among his efforts since assuming the role, Tran has implemented changes that have improved the applicant user experience. He was recently named a 2022 NextGen Under 30 winnner.

Congratulations to Thomas on six years of serving Oklahoma through the arts with the Oklahoma Arts Council!