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Oklahoma Arts Council News

September 2014

Earlybird rate for the 2014 Oklahoma Arts Conference ends September 19

Planning on attending the 2014 Oklahoma Arts Conference? Register now through September 19 to take advantage of the $85 earlybird registration rate (registration after September 19 is $135).

With national, regional and local experts who specialize in nonprofit management, professional development for artists, community development and more, the conference is the perfect opportunity to get equipped for success while connecting with hundreds of your peers involved in Oklahoma's arts and cultural industry.

The Oklahoma Arts Council strives to make the conference accessible to all who can benefit from attending. Registration for a conference of this caliber would normally cost hundreds of dollars. Through the support of the National Endowment of the Arts, the Oklahoma Arts Council is able to make the event available at a reasonable rate for all who wish to make our state vibrant through arts and culture. Join us October 22-23 in Norman for the 2014 Oklahoma Arts Conference! And be sure to check out special preconference activities scheduled for October 21.

Register now for $85 (Registration is $135 after September 19)

View the conference schedule and learn about special events planned for the 2014 Oklahoma Arts Conference.

Oklahoma chosen as one of ten states for arts education pilot program

After a competitive review process, Oklahoma was chosen as one of ten states to join a three-year pilot program to strengthen arts education by advancing state policy. The pilot program is being sponsored by Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. The goal of the initiative is to advance policies that ensure all students in America have access to an arts eduction. The announcement was made at the National Conference of State Legislatures' summit in August.

Teams from each state will include state arts agencies, state legislators, arts education advocates, and the education community. With customized coaching, technical assistance, and direct grants to the Oklahoma Arts Council of $10,000 per year for three years, teams will identify and work toward specific objectives, resources, and outcomes.

Learn more about Americans for the Arts' pilot program to strengthen arts education policy.

Join us October 21 at the Forum on Arts Education in Oklahoma to learn more about the pilot program.

Alva credits Cultural District Development Program for $60,000 USDA grant

Alva, Oklahoma will benefit from a $60,000 rural development grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), due in part to the community's participation in the Oklahoma Arts Council's Cultural District Development Program.

According to Dr. Kay Decker, a Northwestern Oklahoma State University professor who has helped lead Alva's cultural district efforts, the community's work to create a formal plan through the Oklahoma Arts Council program made the USDA grant possible. "So many times the planning piece is overlooked by communities and entities wanting funds, so it was imperative that we had this done," Decker said.

The grant, which will support the rehabilitation of a building in downtown Alva, was awarded to Freedom West Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit serving northwest Oklahoma. As the pilot community for the Cultural District Initiative, Alva residents have worked with Oklahoma Arts Council staff and consultants to formalize a cultural district plan for Alva's downtown square. When completed, the renovated building is envisioned to provide space for creative business ventures, joining the Graceful Arts Gallery and Studios as new facilities in the area. A green-space performance stage area is also envisioned for the square.

Letters of Intent for Cultural District Development Program
Communities interested in submitting a letter of intent for the Oklahoma Arts Council's Cultural District Development Program must do so by November 15. Click here for details and a sample letter of intent.

Show the value of what you do: Apply for an NEA Research: Art Works grant

As important parts of the arts ecosystem, nonprofit organizations, units of state and local government, federally recognized tribes, and colleges and universities play a vital role in advancing our understanding of the value and impact of the arts. Recognizing the potential for these entities to help in the knowledge-building process, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is offering its Research: Art Works grants to eligible entities nationwide. Studies can focus on a variety of issues using an array of methods.

Examples of research that has been funded by the NEA are available here.

Visit the Research: Art Works page on the NEA website for details. Deadline to apply is October 21.

Live music, storytellers, arts booth, food trucks, more happening at Septemberfest

Septemberfest has been an annual tradition at the Oklahoma Governor's Mansion since 1997. Now in its 18th year, the family-friendly event is scheduled for Saturday, September 6, and the Oklahoma Arts Council is proud to present live music, storytellers, an arts booth and more for the thousands of Oklahomans who will attend.

Free and open to the public, Septemberfest includes tours of the Governor's Mansion and free admission to the nearby Oklahoma History Center. Septemberfest runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Oklahoma Governor's Mansion is located at 820 NE 23rd Street in Oklahoma City.

Take a look at the Oklahoma Arts Council's lineup of performers for the event, presented in partnership with Friends of the Mansion:

  • 10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Sugar Free Allstars

  • 10:55 a.m. - 11:55 a.m. Velocity Dance

  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Alegria Real

  • 1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Cimarron Opera presents The Ugly Duckling

  • 2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Miss Oklahoma City, Kelsie Berg and Miss Oklahoma City Outstanding Teen, Megan Gold

OKC Improv will emcee the event. Casey & Minna will provide music as traveling musicians on the Mansion grounds throughout the event. Learn more about Septemberfest here.

New! American Indian resources available from State Department of Education

The story of American Indians in Oklahoma is inseparable from our history as a state. Through art, culture, dance, music and more, the traditions of American Indians in Oklahoma are here for future generations.

Educators across Oklahoma can help carry on the story of American Indians in Oklahoma. Through its new Oklahoma Indian Education Resource, the Oklahoma State Department of Education is making guides available on the essentials of understanding the 39 tribes of Oklahoma as well as lesson plans and resources for information and research. Lesson plans include a wide variety of topics such as Native American contemporary arts, Choctaw dances, beadwork in traditional dress, and more. Designed to meet Oklahoma education standards, the Oklahoma Indian Education Resource is available here!

Educators can receive full scholarships to attend Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute

Each year, educators across Oklahoma have the unique opportunity to take advantage of free tuition to one of the region's preeminent art institutes. Held during the fall at Quartz Mountain Lodge and Resort in southwest Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute provides four-day weekend workshops during select weekends in October and November.

Open to educators and artists ages 18 and older who have finished high school, workshops are taught by nationally renowned artists in the literary, visual, and performing arts. All public school educators receive full scholarships (including room and board) while supplies last, and professional development credit is offered. Discounts are also available for other eligible educators and artists.

Public school educators: Find out how to enroll and get free tuition to the Oklahoma Fall Arts Institute.

Levitt Amp [Your City] Grant Awards for free live music in small to mid-size towns

A new matching grant program offered by Levitt Pavilions aims to amplify community pride, enrich lives, and illustrate the importance of vibrant public places. Uniquely designed to meet the needs of small and mid-sized towns with metro populations of up to 400,000, Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards will help bring free live music to more people across the United States.

Nonprofit organizations or municipalities that partner with nonprofit organziations are eligible to apply. Grantees wll receive up to $25,000 in matching funds to present the Levitt AMP [Your City] Music Series, a minimum of 10 free outdoor concerts presented over 10 consecutive weeks during 2015-16. A toolkit with helpful resources will provided to each grantee to ensure the program's success.

Learn more about the Levitt AMP [Your City] Grant Awards.

Americans for the Arts announces Placemaking and Cultural Districts Week

Americans for the Arts has announced its first ever Placemaking and Cultural Districts Week, which will take place Wednesday, September 10 through Friday, September 12. During the week, three 45 minute webinars will be offered to highlight ways that communities are using cultural and arts and entertainment districts as tools for community revitalization and placemaking. Webinar topics include:

  • A new report on innovative cultural uses of urban spaces

  • A discussion with Tom Borrup, a cultural planner and longtime leader in community based arts

  • The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which uses public art to bind cultural districts and neighborhoods

Registration is free for Americans for the Arts members, $105 for non-members. For more information, click here.