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Oklahoma Arts Council News

July 2016

Governor's Arts Awards Nominations Due August 2

The deadline to nominate individuals or organizations for a 2016 Governor's Arts Award is Tuesday, August 2. Since 1975, the annual awards have celebrated the efforts of those who have made an impact in the arts in their communities and schools. Award winners have represented communities across the state.

Award categories include:

  • The Governor's Award - for longtime leadership and significant contributions to the arts
  • Arts in Education Award - for outstanding leadership and service in the arts benefiting youth and/or arts in education
  • Business in the Arts Award - for businesses that exhibit outstanding support of the arts
  • Community Service in the Arts Award - for significant contributions to the arts in specific communities in the areas of leadership and volunteerism
  • Media in the Awards Award - for a member of the media or a media outlet that demonstrates commitment to the arts through professionalism in reporting
  • Public Service in the Arts Award - for an Oklahoma government official for outstanding support of the arts

Submit an online nomination.

Download a hardcopy nomination form.

The Governor will present the awards during a special ceremony at the state Capitol in the fall. Learn more about the Governor's Arts Awards.

Governor Appoints Arts Council Board Members

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has appointed five new members and reappointed another to the board that oversees the Oklahoma Arts Council. Joining the 15-member council are attorney Adrienne Barnett, architect James Loftis, bank vice president Ann Neal, marketing consultant Darlene Parman, and community volunteer Kim Rainbolt. Cassandra Gaines, director of the Muskogee Civic Center, has been reappointed. Council members serve three year terms. Terms began July 1, 2016.

2016 Oklahoma Arts Conference Registration Begins August 1

Registration for the 2016 Oklahoma Arts Conference opens August 1. Be sure to register by September 16 to take advantage of the earlybird rate of $85. After September 16, registration will be $135.

Taking place in Stillwater on October 25-26, the 2016 Oklahoma Arts Conference will feature nationally-recognized speakers and experienced regional and local panelists. This year's event will outfit artists, nonprofit administrators, community developers, educators, and others with the tools needed to navigate new challenges in the arts landscape, providing resources that will set the stage for longterm success.

Plan now to join more than 400 members of Oklahoma's arts community at the 2016 Oklahoma Arts Conference in Stillwater. Stay tuned for details about sessions, speakers, events, and more.

Learn more about the Oklahoma Arts Conference.

Data Shows State Arts Agencies Create Equitable Access

An infographic released recently by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) demonstrates how state arts agencies such as the Oklahoma Arts Council contribute to more equitable access to the arts.

According to the data, significant portions of state arts agency grants reach counties with median household incomes below the state median. The investments reach areas most in need of access to the arts, including small communities, rural areas, and inner-city neighborhoods. Read more on the data from NASAA.

View the infographic.

NEA Our Town Grants Available

Funding is currently available for creative placemaking projects through the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) Our Town grants program. Funding supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for existing residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. The grant category requires partnerships between arts organizations and local government, nonprofit organizations, and private entities to achieve livability goals for communities.

The City of Durant was recently awarded an Our Town grant to develop an arts district. Other Oklahoma projects funded through the program include Tulsa's Guthrie Green and Oklahoma City's public art master plan.

The deadline to apply for a 2017 NEA Our Town grant is September 12, 2016.

Read about the Our Town grant program.

Oklahoma Districts are Finalists for ArtPlace America Funding

Two Oklahoma districts are among 80 projects nationwide selected as finalists for ArtPlace America's 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund. If selected, funding could assist projects envisioned for Oklahoma City's Classen Ten Penn area and Tahlequah's downtown core.

For Classen Ten Penn, with assistance from the University of Oklahoma, a placemaking toolset would be created to encourage local participation in the planning and development of the neighborhood, which is located near the Plaza District, an Oklahoma Arts Council Certified Cultural District.

The City of Tahlequah's proposal includes collaboration with local American Indian artists to create pedestrian walkways that highlight the cultural significance and history of the community.

Finalists must complete a second, more extensive application and schedule a site visit with ArtPlace staff members and peer experts who will review applications. Selected projects will be announced by ArtPlace America at a later date.

Learn more about the National Creative Placemaking Fund here.

27 Artists Awarded Tulsa Fellowships

The second class of Tulsa Artist Fellowships has been announced, and, for the first time, literary artists are set to be included when the new round of fellows begin work in Junuary 2017.

Fellows for 2017 will include 27 artists from 13 states, including Oklahomans Allison Hedge Coke of Arcadia (poetry) and Sterlin Harjo of Tulsa (play/screenwriting).

Read the announcement.

Artists selected for the program receive stipends of $20,000 and, in most cases, free housing and studio workspace for one year with an option to renew for up to three years.

A program of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the fellowship program was established in 2015 to enhance the local art scene by retaining and recruiting artists to Tulsa.

Learn about the Tulsa Artist Fellowship program.

Training Available on New Nonprofit Overtime Rules

New overtime rules recently released by the U.S. Department of Labor may affect Oklahoma nonprofit arts organizations. The new regulations, which go into effect December 1, apply to workers making less than $47,476 per year, or $913 per week, including salaried workers.

To help Oklahoma nonprofits ensure their compliance with the new federal rules, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits is hosting a series of workshops in locations throughout the state during July. In addition, the center is offering a webinar (fees apply) on the new regulations on July 13.

View the workshop schedule.

Learn about the webinar.

APAP Offers Career Advancement Program for Young Performers

Designed to support classical musicians in the formative stages of their careers, Young Performers Career Advancement is a program of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP).

Through July 21, eligible artists can apply for the program, which provides full registration to the APAP | NYC 2017 Annual Conference, one of the world's largest performing arts marketplaces and leadership convenings. Selected artists will participate in seminar activities and perform in a showcase for APAP presenters at Carnegie Hall.

To learn more or to apply, click here.

Cherokee Nation Funds New Smithsonian Exhibition

A new exhibition titled "Americans," set to open at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in 2017, is being funded in part by a $500,000 contribution from Cherokee Nation Businesses. The exhibition will educate more than 1.7 million annual museum visitors about major events in American history, including the forced removal of Cherokees to present day Oklahoma.

A 2015 Governor's Arts Award recipient, Cherokee Nation Businesses is the holding company for the Cherokee Nation, with a mission to preserve Cherokee culture and history.

Read more about the contribution and the exhibition.

Google Ad Grants Help Nonprofits

Up to $10,000 per month of in-kind online advertising is available to nonprofit organizations through the Google Ad Grants program.
From recruiting volunteers to attracting donors and more, Google ads can help arts organizations connect with individuals who are most likely to be interested in their mission and services. Two options give grantees flexibility in managing their ads, and Google's Ad Grants Help Center can help anyone, from beginners to experts, get the most out of the program.

To learn more about Google Ad Grants, click here.