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Oklahoma Arts Council News

May 2013

Challenge America Fast-Track Grants Available

With an emphasis on providing support to small and mid-sized organizations for art programs that reach underserved populations, Challenge America Fast-Track grants are available to eligible organizations from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant category encourages and supports two outcomes: engagement and/or livability.

Challenge America Fast-Track grants are $10,000 grants requiring a 1:1 match. Applications receive an expedited review. Deadline to apply is May 23.

Click here for details about the grant program.

New on Our Website: Works by Notable Oklahoma Artists

If you've been to the state Capitol, you've probably visited the Betty Price Gallery located on the Capitol's first floor, which, since opening in 2006, has been home to the State Art Collection. The collection is comprised of works by many of Oklahoma's most prominent artists. From Stephen Mopope to Benjamin Harjo, Jr., Oscar Jacobson to Ed Ruscha, artists featured in the collection give voice to Oklahoma's creative spirit.

Staff members of the Oklahoma Arts Council manage and preserve the State Art Collection for the people of Oklahoma, and we're happy to make it more accessible than ever: You can now read and learn about many of the works in the State Art Collection via the Oklahoma Arts Council website. To learn about a specific work of art in the collection, select a medium:

COMING SOON!: Interactive lessons and activities using the State Art Collection.

Learn about our Capitol Art Travel Subsidies program to bring students to the Capitol.

Legendary Ballet Dancer from Oklahoma Dies at 88

Renowned American Indian ballerina and Oklahoma Cultural Treasure Maria Tallchief passed away at the age of 88 on April 11. The story of Tallchief's death was covered in an article in the New York Times and other prominent media outlets worldwide. Daughter of an Osage Indian father, Tallchief was born in Fairfax, Oklahoma, and later moved to Los Angeles where she studied ballet. Tallchief became one of America's most revered ballerines, and was one of five dancers of American Indian heritage who became known as the Oklahoma Indian ballerinas.

A mural overlooking the Oklahoma state Capitol rotunda pays tribute to Tallchief and the other Oklahoma Indian ballerinas. Click here to learn more about the mural, Flight of Spirit, by Mike Larsen.

Funding Available to Design a Model Arts Education Program

Funding is available for organizations to design innovative model arts education programs that integrate into and strengthen arts in elementary and middle school curricula. Programs should demonstrate effectiveness in improving students' academic perfromance, including creative and performing skills.

Offered by the U.S. Department of Education, the Arts in Education - Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program is designed to enable organizations with arts expertise to create and develop materials related to a wide range of arts disciplines, including music, dance, theater, visual arts and folk arts.

Visit the U.S. Department of Education website for details about the grant program.

NEA Awards $60,000 to Oklahoma Organizations

Students throughout Oklahoma will benefit from two recently announced National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grants for arts education programs in the state. The NEA announced awards of $15,000 to the Oklahoma City Ballet for its “K-12 BalletReach” program and $45,000 to the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) for its “Making the Arts Essential to Whole School Reform” project.

Through the ballet’s “K-12 BalletReach” program, elementary and high school-age students will receive arts education instruction focused on ballet history, terminology, strength training and technique. Through UCO’s “Making the Arts Essential to Whole School Reform” project, schools in a statewide network will receive ongoing year-round professional development in arts integration. The project will build the capacity of arts teachers and classroom teachers to collaborate effectively. The UCO project is an Oklahoma A+ Schools project.

Congratulations to the Oklahoma City Ballet and University of Central Oklahoma, and thank you for your continued efforts to improve education through the arts.

See You May 8 for Arts Day at the Capitol!

Hundreds of arts advocates from communities statewide have signed up for the second annual Arts Day at the Capitol, and the staff of the Oklahoma Arts Council is ready for the big day!

Because of the hard work of our friends at Oklahomans for the Arts to organize the event, we will be able to celebrate what's been a very busy few months in the Oklahoma arts industry. During the past few months, the arts have faced hurdles like HB 1895 and an attempt to extend a moratorium on the state's public art program, but because of your support, those efforts did not succeed. Arts Day gives us the chance to see our friends from throughout the state and, together, look ahead as we move the state forward through the arts.

If you haven't signed up yet, visit the Oklahomans for the Arts website. We hope to see you next week at the Capitol!