OKLAHOMA CITY (February 15, 2023) – Thirty-one Oklahomans representing communities across the state will begin convening in February as part of Leadership Arts XII, the Oklahoma Arts Council has announced. The state agency’s nationally recognized flagship leadership development program will bring together individuals from 20 communities for four two-day sessions that will take place throughout the spring. Class members will learn strategies for employing the arts as tools for boosting economic development, strengthening education, and enriching quality of life.
Leadership Arts XII members will join more than 300 individuals from over 80 communities statewide who have participated in the program since 2008. Six communities will be represented in Leadership Arts for the first time, including Boswell, Claremore, Custer City, Hennessey, Seminole, and Watonga.
“Leadership development in Oklahoma’s arts sector is more important than ever as the sector works to recover from the pandemic,” said Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples, “Rebuilding the arts and generating long-term stability will take time and investment, and Leadership Arts is an important part of this. The program is also an important investment in addressing state priorities such as rural infrastructure needs and workforce development. The 31 individuals selected for Leadership Arts XII have demonstrated great vision and passion and a desire to discover how the arts fuel strong communities. We look forward to equipping them as we broaden this network of leaders.”
The Oklahoma Arts Council places a high priority on geographic, cultural, and professional representation. Listed by community, members of Leadership Arts XII include:
Charlesey Poe, The Chickasaw Nation (Ada)
Victoria Moreira, Enid Symphony Orchestra (Alva)
Susan Yeager, Murray State College (Ardmore)
James Braden, retired attorney (Blackwell)
Audrey Jacob, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma/Choctaw Cultural Center (Boswell)
Jeremy Stevens, Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust (Broken Arrow)
Kimberly Vento, Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center (Broken Arrow)
Raven Crowl, Corvidae Holdings, Inc. (Chickasha)
Valerie Unruh, The Artist’s Retreat in Collinsville (Claremore)
Cory Cart, Jones PR (Custer City)
Stacey Mack, Hennessey Early Childhood Center (Hennessey)
Nancy Coggins, The Sooner Theatre (Norman)
Glenna Stumblingbear-Riddle, Resilient Tribal Root, PLLC (Norman)
Steven Shepelwich, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Norman)
Ann Etta Booze, Creative Music Academy, Inc. (Oklahoma City)
Nick Caudle, Arts Council OKC (Oklahoma City)
Jarrod Fergeson, NBC Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)
Brooke Gebb, Oklahoma State Department of Education (Oklahoma City)
Maya Johnson, Southeast High School (Oklahoma City)
Daisy Munoz, Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City (Oklahoma City)
Amanda Martinez, Dig It (Oklahoma City)
Darin Williams, The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts (Oklahoma City)
Terron Liles, City Arts (Ponca City)
Jacqi Dill, Seminole Arts Council (Seminole)
Erica Bass, Visit Shawnee (Shawnee)
Mollie Delp, Fiero Hospitality (Stillwater)
Cray Bauxmont-Flynn, Amatoya (Tulsa)
Allyson Taylor, The bART Center for Music (Tulsa)
Karrie Beth Little, City of Watonga (Watonga)
Caitlin Maddox, Seminole Nation Museum (Wewoka)
Laurie Steenbergen, Woodward Arts & Theatre Council (Woodward)
About Leadership Arts
The Oklahoma Arts Council Leadership Arts program equips individuals working in any field with strategies for using arts and cultural resources to strengthen their local communities. Class members convene for four two-day spring sessions where they participate in panel discussions, group activities, hands-on learning, and tours of community art spaces. Class members graduate during the fall Oklahoma Arts Conference. Leadership Arts is offered every two years.
Class sessions for the 2023 program will take place in Sulphur (February 23-24); Guymon (March 23-24); Ponca City (April 27-28); and Tulsa (May 25-26). Class members will graduate from the program during the 2023 Oklahoma Arts Conference in Lawton, October 17-19.
The nationally recognized Leadership Arts program is sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council and funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Scholarships for the program have been provided by Mid-America Arts Alliance. The program is a project of the Oklahoma Arts Council in cooperation with the communities of Sulphur, Guymon, Ponca City, Tulsa, and Lawton.
About the Oklahoma Arts Council
The Oklahoma Arts Council is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts. The agency’s mission is to lead, cultivate, and amplify the transformative power of the arts for all Oklahomans and their communities. The Oklahoma Arts Council provides hundreds of grants to organizations and schools in communities statewide each year, organizes professional development opportunities for the state's arts and cultural industry, and manages the art collections at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Additional information is available at arts.ok.gov.