The Oklahoma Arts Council's Leadership Arts program equips approximately 30 participants from throughout the state each year to become leaders and advocates for the arts in their communities. During four two-day sessions, selected participants learn about the arts' role in community and economic development, education, and quality of life.
Apply for Leadership Arts
Applications for the Leadership Arts program are accepted in the fall. Please note that submitting an application does not ensure acceptance. A high priority is placed on geographic diversity.
2016 Leadership Arts Sessions
February 24-25 (Chickasaw Retreat & Cultural Center in Sulphur)
March 23-24 (Guymon)
April 27-28 (Muskogee)
May 25-26 (Norman)
October 25-26 (2016 Oklahoma Arts Conference, Stillwater)
2016 Class Members
Lizabeth Rolfson, OK Mozart (Bartlesville)
Lori Lewis, The Museum of Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow)
Margaret Goss, community volunteer (Carmen)
Cady Shaw, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism (Catoosa)
Gina Flesher, Duncan Little Theatre (Duncan)
Greg White, University of Central Oklahoma (Edmond)
Lisa Magyar, Creative Arts Enid (Enid)
Josh Setzer, Guymon Community Theatre (Goodwell)
Mary Moeller, Jenks Public Schools (Jenks)
Mary Helfenbein, McAlester Area Arts & Humanities Council (McAlester)
Randall Barnes, Inclusion in Art (Midwest City)
Taylor Mauldin Wagner, Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau (Norman)
Emily Smart, Firehouse Art Center (Norman)
Christina Beatty, Oklahoma Arts Council (Oklahoma City)
Michelle Bui, Norman Music Festival/Bui PR, LLC (Oklahoma City)
Cynthia Calloway, Territory Tellers of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City)
Mandy Messina, Oklahoma Visual Art Coalition (Oklahoma City)
Kelly Rogers, Heartline, Inc. (Oklahoma City)
Suzanne Thomas, Rose State College (Oklahoma City)
Jerron Scott, Okmulgee Main Street (Okmulgee)
Joni Nash, Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce (Pawhuska)
Kelsey Wagner, Ponca City Art Center (Ponca City)
Rita Montgomery, Sand Springs Public Schools (Sand Springs)
Shawna Goodwin, Oklahoma State University Museum of Art (Stillwater)
Janina Graves, Wesley Foundation at Oklahoma State University (Stillwater)
Tanya Lowrance, Murray State College (Sulphur)
Elizabeth Toombs, Cherokee Nation Businesses (Tahlequah)
Julianne Clark, Will Rogers College High School (Tulsa)
Okcate Smith, Ursa Minor Fiction, LLC (Tulsa)
Lauren Teague, Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa (Tulsa)
Beth Brady-Edwards, Brady Edwards Pottery & Art (Wagoner)
Crystal Simmons, Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Woodward)
Audrey Fitzsimmons, City of Yukon (Yukon)
About Leadership Arts
Who Can Benefit from Attending?
Staff or board members of arts organizations, artists, civic leaders, economic and community development staff, school board members, community citizens, and business leaders.
What You Will Learn
Leadership Arts curriculum is designed for adult learners across cultural and educational backgrounds. Participants will learn why and how the arts make a significant contribution to Oklahoma's economy, how communities have developed arts programs and vibrant arts spaces to enhance quality of life, how the arts improve the image of cities and neighborhoods while serving as a centerpiece for community engagement, and how the arts cultivate creativity, attracting and retaining a creative workforce.
Sessions are interactive and will expand participants' understanding of group dynamics and the value of group work. Leadership Arts will help you better articulate and advocate for the arts in Oklahoma, design strategies for employing local assets for cultural development, work towards creative partnerships and consensus building, and teach you to mobilize your leadership capacity and the capacity of others.
How Leadership Arts is Structured
Approximately 30 participants are selected each year from a list of applicants to attend four two-day sessions during the spring (the application period takes place in the fall). Participants are selected from communities throughout the state, with an emphasis placed on geographic diversity. Participants are required to attend the Oklahoma Arts Conference in the fall to graduate from the program.
Sessions are devoted to hands-on learning, group work, panels of community members who discuss the arts in their area, and tours of community arts spaces. Reading assignments are emailed to participants prior to each meeting.
How Much Does Leadership Arts Cost?
The program and curriculum are free but class members do incur costs for food, lodging, and travel. The average cost per session is $150 - $200. Class members often represent organizations that will benefit from the training and are willing to cover these costs.
Leadership Arts Graduates
Since Leadership Arts began in 2008, hundreds of Oklahomans from all parts of the state have graduated from the program and are now working to improve their communities through arts and culture.
For more information contact our Director of Cultural Development.