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Oklahoma Arts Council News

February 2015

Governor Recommends 6.25 Percent Cut for Most State Agencies

The Oklahoma Arts Council is among many state agencies recommended to receive a 6.25 percent reduction in their budgets in the Governor's Executive Budget for fiscal year 2016. The cuts are recommended to make up for an estimated $300 million shortfall in state revenue.

The executive budget, made available on February 2 during the Governor's State of the State Address, outlines her priorities for state spending for the upcoming fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2015. The state Legislature is responsible for creating the final state budget during the legislative session and sending it to the Governor for her signature. The state legislative session ends no later than May 29.

Read more about the Governor's budget proposal here.

Arts and the Military Initiative: Take Our Brief Nine-Question Survey

The Oklahoma Arts Council is in the process of developing an Arts and the Military Initiative to serve Oklahoma veterans, active duty service members, and members of military families. The initiative aims to assist community organizations in providing arts-focused programs to those who have courageously served our country.

As part of the initiative, the Oklahoma Arts Council is collecting data from across the state to assess the presence and need for arts programming to serve members of the military community.
Please consider taking a few minutes to complete a brief, nine-question survey that will help us achieve our goal of building and strengthening connections between the arts and military communities.

Also, please consider sharing the survey link with your colleagues.

The Oklahoma Arts Council appreciates your participation and feedback on this important initiative.

Click here to take the survey.

Challenge America Grants Can Help You Reach Underserved Populations

Extending the reach of the arts to underserved populations is the focus of the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) Challenge America grant program, a category geared toward small and mid-sized organizations throughout the U.S. Projects that provide opportunities for individuals who are limited by georgraphy, ethnicity, economics, or disability may qualify for funding of up to $10,000.

To meet the NEA's goal of reaching new organizations and communities, policies have been implemented to limit consecutive-year funding. If your organization has not benefitted from a Challenge America grant, consider applying by the April 16 deadline.

Click here for details on eligibility and a complete Challenge America grant description.

Oklahoma Travel Industry Association Accepting Nominations for Redbud Awards

Each year, Oklahoma travel and tourism entities are recognized for their outstanding efforts through the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association's (OTIA) Redbud Awards. Nominations for the 2015 awards are being accepted through March 9. Entries must have been produced, published, broadcast, or held during 2014.

Award categories include Outstanding Temporary Exhibit, Outstanding Event, Tourism Organization of the Year, and more. The awards ceremony will be held May 19, 2015 at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City.

Information about eligibility, judging, and criteria is available here.

Download a Redbud Award Entry Form..

NEA's 'Surprising Findings' on Arts Attendance, Participation

Why do people attend the arts? How do they participate? And, what is the economic value of the arts? A new study published by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) offers a comprehensive view of the arts and culture sector from three different angles: supply, demand, and motivations for consumer behavior.

Findings of the study include:

  • Socializing with friends or family members was cited as the top reason for attending the arts.

  • 60 percent of people with children under age six said lack of time was the greatest barrier to attendance.

  • Location can be a barrier to attendance, especially for retirees, older adults, and adults with physical disabilities.

  • Exposure to the arts in childhood is a stronger predictor of adult arts participation than education, gender, age, or income.

  • For every 100 jobs created from new demand for the arts, 62 additional jobs are also created.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said the study provides a framework for creating innovative ways of reaching new audiences.

Click here to learn more about the NEA study and its findings.

National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures' Grant Program Bridges American Communities

In an effort to encourage the use of art to deepen understanding among cultures across the United States, Mexico and Central America, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is offering grant funding through its Transnational Cultural Remittances program.

Open to individuals, collectives, and community-based organizations, the program provides funding ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 to select projects that support, preserve, or extend the cultural practices between linked communities.

For details about the program and deadline information, visit the NALAC website.

Sculpture of Governor Fallin Added to Capitol Art Collection

A bronze sculpture of Oklahoma Governor Fallin was unveiled during her second inaugural ceremony at the Oklahoma State Capitol on January 12. Sculpted by Norman artist Paul Moore, the sculpture is now on display in the Hall of Governors on the second floor of the Capitol.

The Hall of Governors features sculptures of all of Oklahoma's past governors, as part of the Capitol Art Collection. The commissioning of new work and the management of the collection are performed by the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Visitors can view the new sculpture and other works in the Capitol Art Collection weekdays 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and weekends 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Related: Teachers can access free lessons and activities related to the Hall of Governors and Capitol Art Collection using our online Teaching with Capitol Art resources.

Oklahoma Arts Council Announces 2015 Leadership Arts Members


OKLAHOMA CITY (February 9, 2015) - The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced the names of individuals selected to participate in the 2015 Leadership Arts program. The list includes 35 individuals from 27 Oklahoma communities who will convene throughout the spring to learn how to develop and advance their communities through the arts. Read more...

Shawnee's Ben Myers Named Oklahoma State Poet Laureate


OKLAHOMA CITY (February 5, 2015) - The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced Governor Mary Fallin’s appointment of Dr. Benjamin Myers as Oklahoma’s State Poet Laureate for 2015-16. A literature professor at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Myers is an award-winning author and scholar whose poems have appeared in prominent international journals.

Governor Mary Fallin said, “Through his poetry, Dr. Benjamin Myers demonstrates a deep love and kinship to Oklahoma. Read more...