Skip navigation

Oklahoma Arts Council News

January 2017

21 Honored at 41st Annual Governor's Arts Awards

Hundreds of Oklahomans filled the Oklahoma State Capitol rotunda on December 7 during the 41st Annual Governor's Arts Awards to celebrate 13 individuals and eight organizations selected to receive awards for their contributions to the arts. Filling in for Governor Fallin, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb provided keynote remarks.

Among the honorees were Governor's Award recipients Ann Lacy, whose contributions have impacted students at Oklahoma City University and beyond, and Josephine Freede, whose volunteerism, philanthropy, and leadership have influenced arts organizations in central Oklahoma.

During the ceremony, a special performance presented by Lyric Theatre featured songs from their recent production of Fiddler on the Roof where deaf actor Sandra Mae Frank and sign language interpreters were uniquely incorporated in order to make the show accessible to hearing and deaf patrons.

See news coverage of the 41st Annual Governor's Arts Awards.

View photos from the event here.

Oklahoma Organizations Earn NEA Grants

Our congratulations to four Oklahoma organizations that are among the recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) latest round of grant awards. Organizations and programs earning NEA Art Works grants include:

  • Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma ($10,000) – to support the production of James and the Giant Peach. With free and/or reduced ticket prices available for area students, the production will include a specially developed performance for children with autism or other sensory processing disorders and special needs.
  • Oklahoma Arts Institute ($15,000) – to support the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, which includes full scholarships, room and board for high school students across a variety of disciplines accepted to participate in the intensive program. 
  • Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition ($25,000) – to support the Art 365 program, providing emerging Oklahoma visual artists with commissioning fees, consultations from a guest curator, and exhibition opportunities over the course of one year. 
  • Tulsa Ballet Theatre ($20,000) – to support the creation and presentation of a new ballet. Outreach and engagement opportunities will include free and reduced tickets to clients of local social service agencies. Open rehearsals and pre-performance talks will also be featured.

Read interviews with each of the four Oklahoma grantee organizations in this article by NewsOK features reporter Brandy McDonnell.

View the NEA announcement and learn more about various grants being awarded nationwide.

Deadlines for 2017 NEA Grants Announced

Deadlines for several categories of National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding have been announced for 2017. Oklahoma organizations across the state are encouraged to apply for grants available to them from the NEA.

  • Grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 are available in the NEA's Art Works category. For this category, the NEA welcomes projects that are distinct and likely to be transformative. The first deadline in this category is February 16, 2017.
  • Grants ranging in general from $20,000 to $100,000 are also available in the NEA's Creativity Connects funding category. The goal of the category is to support projects that include collaborative partnerships between the arts and non-arts sectors. The deadline for projects in this category is May 4, 2017.
  • Grants of $10,000 in the NEA's Challenge America category are available to support projects by small to mid-sized organizations. Supported in this category are projects that feature guest artists, cultural tourism promotion, or the development of public art projects. The goal of the program is to extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations. Deadline in this category is April 13, 2017.

Learn more about NEA grant funding.

Related: NEA announces first projects funded through new NEA Research Labs program.

$500 Classroom Grants for Schools through AAE

Grants that can support a variety of needs in Oklahoma classrooms, including arts-related needs, are available through the foundation of the Association of American Educators (AAE).

Through March 1, 2017, educators can apply for a spring AAE Foundation Classroom Grant of up to $500. Materials that can be purchased using grant funds include art supplies.

For more information, click here.

Know an Oklahoma educator that could use an AAE Classroom Grant? Be sure to send them a link to this page.

Theaters Eligible for Support for School Shakespeare Programs

Proposals are being accepted from nonprofit theater companies to perform works by Shakespeare for middle and high school-aged students between August 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018. The Shakespeare in American Communities program provides funding for theaters to reach 10 or more schools with a performance and related educational activities.

Standard awards for the program are $25,000. Up to 40 organizations will be selected to receive support. The program is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest.

Apply for the program by February 2, 2017. Selections will be announced in May.

Review the request for proposals here.

Oklahoma Students to Compete in Poetry Out Loud

The participating schools for the 2017 Oklahoma Poetry Out Loud competition have been announced, and students from 12 sites across the state will soon vie for a chance to move on to the national finals in Washington, D.C.

Organized by Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the Oklahoma Arts Council, the state's Poetry Out Loud program encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. Through the program, students develop public speaking skills, gain self-confidence, and learn about literary history.

State regional competitions are scheduled to take place in February. The state finals will take place Saturday, March 11 in Oklahoma City. This year, students from areas such as Ada, Lawton, Walters, Glenpool, Tulsa, and more will compete.

Click here to find out how schools in your community can participate in next year's competition.

Read the announcement about this year's participating schools.

NALAC Leadership Institute Accepting Applications

Open to Latino artists, arts managers, and cultural promoters in various stages of career development, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures' (NALAC) Leadership Institute is a week-long, rigorous development program that provides strategies for successful business practices in the arts.

Through January 26, applications are being accepted for the 2017 institute, scheduled July 10-15 in San Antonio, Texas.

Using interactive group learning, consultations, and leadership simulations, the program covers topics such as strategic planning, capacity building, grant writing, fundraising, programming, marketing, and more. The goals of the program include developing core capacities among Latino arts leaders and advancing knowledge in the field of Latino artistic expression.

View eligibility and program guidelines.

Visit the NALAC website to apply.

Nominate a Musician for Excellence in Community Service

In recognition of professional musicians whose work extends beyond the concert hall, the League of American Orchestras is accepting nominations for The 2017 Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service.

The awards honor musicians for their efforts in schools, hospitals, retirement homes, places of worship, and more. Those served may include underserved and at-risk populations, homebound individuals, veterans, students, and others who may not otherwise have access to or are traditionally served by orchestras.

Musicians will be selected through a competitive process. Awards will include a $2,500 grant to each musician and a $2,500 grant to his or her home orchestra. Awards will be presented at the League's conference in June.

Nominations are being accepted until February 3, 2017.

Download the awards guidelines.

See details about the program.

Oklahoma Composer Selected for National Residency Program

Oklahoma composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate, a Chickasaw Nation citizen who is devoted to the development of American Indian classical composition, is one of five composers selected to participate in Music Alive, a national residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA.

Through his Music Alive residency, Tate will be matched with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra for three years where he will lead and/or be involved in workshops and rehearsals, and he will assist in developing new works and mentoring emerging composers.

Through the Music Alive program, composers are placed at the center of American orchestras to invigorate orchestras' connections to their communities.

Read more about the residency program.

Learn about Tate's work as a composer.

Curating Views of the Capitol Renovation

With extensive renovation work being performed on the Oklahoma State Capitol, most of the priceless artwork inside the historic building has been moved or shielded to protect it from the harsh construction environment.

While exhibitions in the north and east galleries have been suspended, the Oklahoma Arts Council, in partnership with the Oklahoma Legislative Service Bureau, is pleased to curate a series of rotating exhibitions on display in the Governor's Gallery. The exhibitions will feature images captured by the Capitol photographers, Stu Ostler and Erin McGregor, as they document the ongoing work from intimate and unique vantage points.

View the exhibitions, free and open to the public, in the Governor's Gallery weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Exhibitions will rotate every approximately every 60 days. The gallery is located adjacent to the Blue Room on the second floor of the Capitol.