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Oklahoma Arts Council News

February 2017

2017 Leadership Arts Class Members Announced

Thirty-three individuals from 18 Oklahoma communities have been named members of the Oklahoma Arts Council's 2017 Leadership Arts class. Members will meet at the Chickasaw Conference and Retreat Center in Sulphur on February 22 and 23 for the first of four two-day spring sessions.

During sessions, class members will participate in group work, panel discussions, tours of community art spaces and more as they learn about the arts' role in strengthening local economies, improving education, and enhancing quality of life.

The 2017 class represents the 10th group to participate in the Leadership Arts program. When they graduate during the Oklahoma Arts Conference in Enid in October, class members will join 280 other Leadership Arts graduates from 80 communities across the state.

Find out more the Leadership Arts program.

See the list of 2017 Leadership Arts members.

Arts Council to Present Arts Education Research Findings

An upcoming public presentation by the Oklahoma Arts Council will reveal results from recent arts education research commissioned by the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Funded by Americans for the Arts as part of its State Policy Pilot Program (SP3) initiative, the research provides important information that can be used to support arts education in our state.

Arts educators, school administrators and board members, teaching artists, nonprofit staff members and others are invited to attend the presentation on Tuesday, February 28, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Oklahoma Judicial Center, adjacent to the state Capitol in Oklahoma City.

Click here to reserve your seat at the presentation. There is no cost to attend.

For more information about the presentation, contact Oklahoma Arts Council Arts Education Director Jennifer Allen-Barron at (405) 521-2036 or

Congressional Art Competition for Oklahoma High School Students

Since 1982, the Congressional Institute has facilitated a nationwide high school art competition that recognizes creative youth in all U.S. congressional districts. Students submit artwork to their elected representative's office, and panelists select winners from each district. Winning works are exhibited at the U.S. Capitol, and winners have the opportunity to be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Instructions for submitting entries are available through each representative's website. 

Previous winning artwork created by Oklahoma students can be viewed here.

Learn more about the competition.

Students Can Enter 'Celebrate the West' Competition

Student artists in 19 western states, including Oklahoma, are invited to submit original artwork for the Western Governors' Association (WGA) second annual "Celebrate the West" high school art competition. Artwork should be two-dimensional and should be inspired by each artist's home state, drawing from state history, landmarks, natural resources, national parks, monuments, people, communities, and culture.

A finalist is selected from each state, earning $200. A grand prize, second place, and third place winners will earn up to $1,000 and will be selected during an upcoming WGA meeting.

Last year, Kaitlyn Haught from Hooker, Oklahoma took second place in the competition. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin invited Haught, her family, and her art teacher to the Capitol where Haught's drawing, "Cutting Horse," was exhibited in the Governor's office.

April 30 is the deadline for students to submit a digital copy of their entry.

Click here for details about the competition or to download an entry form.

Nominate Administrators, Students for Arts Excellence Awards

Applications for the 2017 State Superintendent Awards for Arts Excellence are now available from the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Applications should be completed and postmarked by Wednesday, March 1.

The awards recognize school board members, administrators, and fine arts educators who have exhibited leadership in schools. Awards also recognize high school juniors and seniors who have achieved artistic and academic excellence.

The 27th annual event to celebrate this year's recipients will be held in Guthrie in April. Learn more here.

Download an administrator application.

Download a student application.

Grants for Rural Oklahoma Cultural Projects

Funding for arts and cultural programs in select areas of rural Oklahoma is available through grants provided by the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation. Nonprofit organizations and entities of state and local government are eligible to apply.

Projects must take place in one of 20 counties in communities with populations of less than 6,000 residents. In 2015, the Cherokee Heritage Center earned a grant for its cultural outreach programming. Examples of potentially eligible project include public art, artist residencies, festivals, performances, exhibitions, and more.

Grants of up to $15,000 are available. Deadline to apply is March 1, 2017.

Click here for complete details.

ArtPlace Placemaking Grants Deadline Feb. 22

Through the National Ceative Placemaking Fund, ArtPlace America is investing in projects that use arts and culture to strengthen communities.

ArtPlace is currently accepting applications for the program through February 22, 2017. Interested first-time applicants must register by February 14.

ArtPlace supports projects in communities of all sizes. No matching funds are required. In determining funding, ArtPlace assesses how applicant communities propose to use the arts to address a specific community development challenge or opportunity.

Guidelines, review criteria, and examples of funded projects are available here.

Tulsa Artist Fellowship Program Accepting Applications

Visual artists and writers at all stages of their careers are eligible to apply for the 2018 Tulsa Artist Fellowship program. The program was launched by the George Kaiser Family Foundation in 2015 to enhance the local art scene by retaining and recruiting artists to Tulsa.

Fellows receive unrestricted stipends of $20,000 and, in many cases, housing and studio space. The program supports local and national artists and some openings are reserved for artists of Alaska Native, Native American, and Native Hawaiian descent.

Visual artists must focus on public and/or gallery oriented work. Fellowships for writers are focused on creative nonfiction, fiction, graphic novel, young-adult fiction, poetry, and play/screenwriting. Writers are expected to integrate into the Tulsa literary community through local programs and workshops.

Learn about the 2016 visual arts fellows

Visit the Tulsa Artist Fellowship website for details.

Deadline to apply is March 1, 2017.

Deadlines for Projects that Include Humanities

Projects that include eligible humanities-related components may qualify for funding from Oklahoma Humanities.

Exhibitions, audio or video productions, lectures, panel discussions, and more may be supported by grants of up to $8,500 in the Major Grants category or up to $15,000 in the Challenge Grants category.  Arts organizations with eligible programming are encouraged to apply.

The mission of Oklahoma Humanities is to strengthen communities by helping Oklahomans learn about the human experience, understand new perspectives, and participate knowledgeably in civic life. Grants offered by the organization support projects that relate to culture, history, diversity, current events, civics, and other areas.

Mandatory drafts for grant applications in both categories are due March 1. Final drafts are due April 1.

Visit the Oklahoma Humanities website for grant guidelines.

Grants Available to Present Latin American Artists

Offering audiences an opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of Latin American cultures, fee subsidy grants are available to presenting organizations through the Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America program. Grants vary, but they may support up to 40 percent of the artist fee, which can be negotiated. 

Funded engagements must include a public performance and a community engagement activity. Emphasis for funding is placed on communities with little access to similar programs.

To learn how to book a Southern Exposure artist and take advantage of available fee subsidies, visit their program guidelines page.

Muskogee Artist Earns First Peoples Fund Fellowship

Oklahoma artist Dana Tiger has been named a 2017 Cultural Capital Fellow by First Peoples Fund. She is one of seven artists from across the nation selected for the program, which is aimed at keeping tribal heritage and culture alive.

Designed for master artists and culture bearers who have been practicing their art for at least 10 years and are committed to passing along ancestral knowledge and cultural practices within their tribal communities, fellowships include a $5,000 grant, technical assistance, and professional development guidance.

Tiger, (Mvskoke/Cherokee), a painter from Muskogee, is the founder of a Tahlequah-based organization that offers workshops where craftsmen teach youth about pottery, basketry, and bow making.

First Peoples Fund President Lori Pourier said, "Each one of these fellows works within their artform and their community to further the cultural values we hold strongly at First Peoples Fund -- generosity, wisdom, and integrity."

Learn about the Cultural Capital Fellowship Program.

Read more about Dana Tiger.

Oklahoma Arts Council Announces Members of its 2017 Class

OKLAHOMA CITY (February 1, 2017) – The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced the names of individuals selected to participate in its 2017 Leadership Arts program. The list includes 33 individuals from 18 Oklahoma communities who will convene at four two-day spring sessions to learn how to advance their communities through the arts and arts education.

Read the full news release...