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Oklahoma Arts Council News

July 2014

Oklahoma Arts Council receives $140,000 grant for Arts in Alternative Education program

The Oklahoma Arts Council has been awarded a $140,000 grant from the Oklahoma State Board of Education to make arts programs possible at alternative education sites across the state. Funds will be used by the Council to award Arts in Alternative Education grants of up to $5,000 to eligible schools that apply. Read more...

Information about Fiscal Year 2015 Grant Award Notifications

On Friday, June 27, the Oklahoma Arts Council was notified of changes regarding the state's fiscal year 2015 budget that impact state appropriations to the Oklahoma Arts Council and other agencies. The changes resulted in an additional .12 percent reduction in our fiscal year 2015 budget (in addition to the 5.5 percent reduction included in the original budget agreement in May).

Because of the change, Council administrative staff members have been diligently working to make appropriate adjustments to the agency's grant budget, effecting the timeliness of award notifications to organizations that applied in the Major Grant Support, Organizational Support, and Cultural District Initiative categories. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause the organizations we serve in these categories.

Organizations will receive notification of their fiscal year 2015 awards no later than July 15.

2014 Oklahoma Arts Conference to Cast Vision of 'Repurposing, Reimagining'

Casting a vision for the future of our communities and state, the Oklahoma Arts Council is pleased to announce the theme for the 2014 Oklahoma Arts Conference: Our Town, Repurposed. Our State, Reimagined.
With Norman, Oklahoma, hosting this year's conference, attendees will experience a community that is repurposing and reimagining itself with a bold vision that features its artists, arts organizations and other cultural resources in principal roles.

Join us in Norman in October for the 2014 Oklahoma Arts Conference to learn how your community can cast its own vision, and how that vision can be part of reimagining Oklahoma with arts and culture more vibrant than ever.

Pre-conference activities are scheduled for October 21. The conference is October 22-23.

Stay tuned for updates about conference speakers, sessions and events. Registration begins August 1.

Related: Mid-America Arts Alliance offers eligible artists up to $1,000 reimbursement for attending the Oklahoma Arts Conference.

Submit Governor's Arts Awards Nominations by August 8

What individuals and organizations in your community deserve recognition for their contributions and efforts in the arts? Let us know by nominating them for a 2014 Governor's Arts Award! Deadline to submit a nomination is Friday, August 8. There are two ways to submit a nomination:

Categories for nominations include the Governor's Award, Arts in Education, Business in the Arts, Community Service, Media in the Arts, and Public Service in the Arts (local and state government officials).

Details about the Governor's Arts Awards and the nomination process are available here.

Shawnee-born Dr. Jane Chu Confirmed to Lead National Endowment for the Arts

With a focus on "building community through the arts," Dr. Jane Chu has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the new chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Chu is the former CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. In comments about his nomination of Chu, President Obama said, "Chu understands how the arts transform lives and communities."

Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples said, "The President's selection of Dr. Chu is evidence of the growing recognition that the arts are playing a central role in communities. Having been born in Oklahoma, and having spent much of her professional life in this region, Dr. Chu now takes her experience from this region to the national level. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts under Dr. Chu's leadership."

Read an article about Chu in The Kansas City Star.

Listen to Chu talk about her ideas for the NEA.

Resources for Arts Development in Rural Communities

Webinars, case studies, "how-to" guides, worksheets and other resources are available from the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design's website to assist rural Oklahoma communities interested in arts and cultural development.

Resource topics include the arts and manufacturing, using historical and cultural resources to build sustainable communities, creative placemaking, effective social media strategies, and more.

View 31 available resources on the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design website.

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Offers Programs for Established and Emerging Leaders

Established and emerging leaders of nonprofit Oklahoma arts and cultural organizations can benefit from programs being offered by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. From the Nonprofit Management Certification Program to the popular Standards for Excellence program and continuing education classes, now is the time to plan for upcoming opportunities. Classes begin in July.

Look for Us at Oklahoma's Vision 2020 Education Conference

Teachers, principals and other school administrators are invited to stop by the Oklahoma Arts Council booth during the Oklahoma State Department of Education's Vision 2020 Conference in Oklahoma City on July 15-17. Oklahoma Arts Council staff will be on-hand to answer your questions about grants and resources available to help you inspire creative and critical thinking in your students through the arts:

  • Capitol Art Travel Subsidies - reimbursement for travel to the Oklahoma state Capitol for a tour and lessons related to the Capitol artwork.

  • Teaching with Capitol Art - free online lessons and activities related to Oklahoma history and art based on the Capitol Art Collection for use in the classroom.

  • Performing Arts Corps - a one-day program for elementary schools that includes two workshops and a performance by one of our Performing Arts Corps artists.

  • Small Grant Support for Schools - grants of up to $2,500, available twice per year, for hands-on arts education programs. Requires only a 10 percent cash match.

For more information, visit our Arts in Schools page. Connect with our Arts Education Director, Jennifer Barron, at (405) 521-2036 or

Luce Foundation Offers Responsive Grants for American Art

Letters of inquiry may be submitted at any time for Responsive Grants from the Luce Foundation to support projects that address the needs and development of the American art field.

Projects may include (but are not limited to) permanent collection reinstallations, digitization projects, and archives of American art material. Proposals are reviewed three time per year.

Details about Luce Foundation Responsive Grants are available here.

Quarterly Deadline Approaches for M-AAA Regional Touring Program Grants

August 1 is the quarterly deadline for nonprofit organizations and governmental and tribal entities wishing to apply for Regional Touring Program grants from the Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA). The deadline is for eligible events taking place between October 1 and December 31, 2014. The program provides funding for organizations to present artists from one of five regional states outside of Oklahoma. Programs must include a complementary arts activity preceding a performance. For more information, visit the Regional Touring Program page on the M-AAA website.

Mid-America Arts Alliance grants and programs are made available in Oklahoma through a partnership with the Oklahoma Arts Council.

To learn more about Regional Touring Grants, click here.