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Oklahoma Arts Council News

February 2014

Ralph Ellison Set to Join Other Famous Oklahomans at State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY ? Ralph Ellison, the renowned Oklahoma author who wrote one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed novels, Invisible Man, will soon become the newest addition to the Capitol Art Collection. Ellison’s portrait will be unveiled on Thursday, March 6 at 10 a.m. in the second floor rotunda at the state Capitol.

Click here for details about the Ralph Ellison portrait unveiling.

2014 Leadership Arts Class Members Announced

OKLAHOMA CITY ? Thirty-one individuals from 13 Oklahoma communities will soon be better equipped to develop and advance their communities through the arts. The Oklahoma Arts Council today announced the names of its 2014 Leadership Arts class members. Members receive in-depth instruction on using local arts and cultural resources for economic development, improved education and enhanced quality of life. Click here to read the full news release.

Governor Proposes Consolidation for Oklahoma Arts Council

Governor Mary Fallin has called for the Oklahoma Arts Council and four other agencies to be consolidated under the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. The Governor said the move will mean a "15 percent cost savings in appropriated dollars in the first year...(and will) reduce administrative costs while maintaining and improving their core missions." Fifteen percent of the Arts Council's budget equals $600,000.

Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Amber Sharples said consolidation would result in a net loss for Oklahoma.

"The Arts Council is a highly efficient state agency with a positive return on investment for taxpayers. Administrative expenses are only 7 percent of our budget. Consolidation would erode services to the state's arts and cultural industry and undermine Oklahoma's ability to compete for business and a creative workforce."

Potential consequences of consolidation include:

Loss of funding: More than $1.5 million in funding and services from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mid-America Arts Alliance to Oklahoma would be at risk. A 15 percent reduction in the first year would result in significant cuts to grants and programs.

Loss of accountability and transparency: Consolidation would result in the loss of direct budget accountability to the state Legislature. In addition, our 15 member Governor-appointed board may lose it authority as a governing body over more than 500 grants.

Loss of mission: Our mission to support, develop and educate would be susceptible to change. Our focus on access and arts education would be at risk.

Loss of impact: With consolidation, the state lose its return on investment in the arts and cultural industry, with $1 in public investment seeding $14 in private investment and $8 in local and state tax revenues.

Click here for details about the potential consequences of consolidation.

NOTE: House Bill 2850 is not related to the consolidation proposal. We will provide updates on the bill as we know more.

Download the Oklahoma Arts Council Impact Report

Want to know more about the many ways we serve Oklahoma through the arts? Available online for download, the Oklahoma Arts Council FY2013 Impact Report provides an overview of our grants and programs for communities and schools, highlighting the impact of our services across the state.

From a brief history of our agency to the Oklahoma Arts Conference and Governor's Arts Awards to a description of our grants process, the report can be an easy-to-access guide on our agency for your files.

Click here to view and download our Impact Report for fiscal year 2013.

Grants Available from National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures

Individuals, collectives and organizations in Oklahoma may be eligible for Transnational Cultural Remittance (TCR) grants from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. Projects for which funding is requested must show an ongoing exchange whereby artistic activity supports, preserves or extends the cultural practices between the United States and one or more Central American countries.

Grants from $2,000 to $20,000 are available. Deadline to apply is March 27.

Click here for more information.

Apply for an NEA 'Art Works' Grant

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is accepting applications in its Art Works grant category through February 20. Grants in the category generally range from $10,000 to $100,000 to support projects focused on one of four outcomes:

  • Creation - the creation of art that meets high standard of excellence
  • Engagement - public engagement with diverse and excellent art
  • Learning - lifelong learning in the arts
  • Livability - the strengthening of communities through the arts

Recognizing that art and design organizations are often on the forefront of innovation, the NEA strongly encourages applications for innovative projects.

For complete guidelines visit the Art Works page on the NEA website.

Attend the Unveiling of Ralph Ellison's Portrait at the State Capitol

A new portrait of acclaimed Oklahoma novelist Ralph Ellison will be unveiled during a special ceremony on Thursday, March 6 at the Oklahoma state Capitol. The public is invited to attend the event, which will begin at 10 a.m. in the second floor rotunda.

Led by Oklahoma State Senator David Holt, Oklahoma City University Robert Henry, and Kevin Perry, the commissioning adds an important piece to the Capitol Art Collection. The collection tells Oklahoma's story through the events, land and people featured in the permanent works of art at the Capitol. Students and visitors from all over the world will learn about Ellison's impact through his new portrait.

Born in Oklahoma City in 1913, Ellison authored Invisible Man, widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. The novel focused on issues facing many African-Americans during the early part of the century.

Join us March 6, 10 a.m., at the state Capitol for the unveiling of the portrait by artist Tracey Harris.
Related: Learn about events scheduled for the Ralph Ellison Centennial Celebration.

Oklahoma Humanities Council Offers 'Major Grants' and 'Challenge Grants'

Arts and humanities are two areas that often intersect, so be sure to take a look at the grants available from our friends at the Oklahoma Humanities Council.

The deadline for drafts for two Oklahoma Humanities Council grants is March 1. The organization awards up to $8,500 in its Major Grants category and up to $15,000 in its Challenge Grants category. Programs that can be supported include presentations and discussions, exhibits, and the development of media.

Click here for more information about Oklahoma Humanities Council grants.

Sculptures Installed at State Capitol

Visit the state Capitol during 2014 and you'll get to see five sculptures by renowned Oklahoma artist Allan Houser that are part of a special year-long exhibit titled Allan Houser at the Capitol: A Legacy in Bronze. The sculptures were installed on the Capitol grounds on January 15 as part of a statewide celebration of the 100th anniversary of Houser's birth.

One of the 20th century's most influential artists, Houser gained recognition for using Native American art as a form of expression rather than a means of earning a living. As a teacher, Houser passed along his approach to his students.

The sculptures are on display through December 15, 2014. For more information click here.

Public Reception
Allan Houser at the Capitol: A Legacy in Bronze
Monday, March 10, 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
With a special tour led by Dr. Bob Blackburn
First Floor Rotunda