Skip navigation

Oklahoma Arts Council News

April 2022

Take the 2022 Arts Education Survey Before Deadline

This Friday, April 8, is the deadline for educators to take the Oklahoma Arts Council's 2022 Arts Education in Schools survey. Offered by the agency every two years, the survey gathers input that shapes our grants and services for schools statewide. It is intended to be completed by individuals representing public or public charter schools serving Oklahoma students in PreK-12 grades.

In recent years, feedback from the survey helped lead to the creation of Classroom Supply Grants for Visual and Performing Arts and more. The survey is an important tool for enabling our agency to respond to the evolving needs of schools.

Take the survey.

Interactive Dashboard a Promising Tool for Arts Education Access

A new interactive tool introduced in March is aimed at expanding opportunities in arts education and reducing inequities in the availability of fine arts classes across Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Arts Education Dashboard was created by Quadrant Research through a partnership of the Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahomans for the Arts, and Kirkpatrick Foundation. The dashboard allows users to find detailed information about enrollment in music, visual arts, theater, and dance classes in PreK-12 public schools throughout the state, allowing users to filter data on a state, district, and school level.

Available at, the dashboard empowers parents, educators, policymakers, and others to identify where disparities exist in the availability of fine arts classes. According to Oklahomans for the Arts, "By having a complete picture of where schools currently stand, leaders will be able to take steps to close gaps in access to a core arts education curriculum in their districts."

See key findings from the dashboard.

Read about the dashboard in this Tulsa World column.

Explore the dashboard.

Oklahoma Arts Council to Open NEA-Funded ARPA Grants in May

Opening May 2, Oklahoma ARPA Grants for Arts Organizations will provide pandemic relief funding for qualifying 501(c)3 arts-focused organizations that provide direct arts programming in their communities.

The one-time reimbursement grants are made possible by the more than $750,000 in federal ARPA funds distributed by the National Endowment for the Arts to the Oklahoma Arts Council as its state partner.

Organizations are encouraged to review guidelines and eligibility here in advance of the grant opening.

Create an Account by April 15

New applicant organizations and organizations that have not applied for Oklahoma Arts Council funding in the past three years must apply to Create an Account by April 15.

Additional ARPA funds being requested

A proposal for additional investment in the state arts and cultural sector is among proposals being considered by the Legislature's Joint Committee on Pandemic Relief Funding. The proposal was submitted by the Oklahoma Arts Council and a coalition of leading arts and cultural organizations in part to help the sector recover from lost revenue totaling more than $44 million.

Grantees Must Submit UEI Number to Oklahoma Arts Council by June 30

The official identifier used for doing business with the federal government is changing. DUNS numbers are being phased out and will be replaced by Unique Entity Identifiers (UEI). For grantees of the Oklahoma Arts Council, this affects your transactions with our agency. By June 30, all grantees must submit their UEI number to the Oklahoma Arts Council.

How do I get a UEI?

To register for a UEI number, go to There is no cost to register and receive it.

How do I submit my UEI to the Oklahoma Arts Council?

Once your organization has received its UEI number from the federal government, you must submit it to the Oklahoma Arts Council. To submit your UEI, simply log in to the Oklahoma Arts Council grant system. After logging in, you will be prompted to enter your UEI number.

UEI numbers will be required for the Oklahoma Arts Council to process FY2022 grant awards and all future grant awards.

Bethany High School's Ashlyn Sears Wins State Poetry Out Loud

Ashlyn Sears of Bethany High School earned top honors at the 2021-22 Oklahoma Poetry Out Loudcompetition in March. Managed by Oklahoma A+ Schools, in partnership with the Oklahoma Arts Council, the event was held at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, where 13 high school students represented schools from across the state in competing for prizes and the chance to move on to the national semifinals on May 1.

A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Out Loud encourages the study of great poetry and features free educational materials and a recitation competition. State winners and their schools receive awards and cash prizes. Normally held in Washington, D.C., the 2022 semifinals and finals will take place virtually.

Read more about this year's state finals.

Students Can Submit for 2022 Congressional Art Competition

High school students across Oklahoma can submit artwork for the 2022 Congressional Art Competition. For nearly 30 years, lawmakers have used the program to encourage and recognize artistic talent of young constituents in their districts.

Winning artwork from each Congressional district is displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol, as part of an exhibition viewed by millions of visitors.

Deadlines are set by the individual House member and are available on their websites. View your member's website for guidelines.

  • 1st Congressional District - Congressman Kevin Hern (website). Deadline April 22.

  • 2nd Congressional District - Congressman Markwayne Mullin (website). Deadline TBA.

  • 3rd Congressional District - Congressman Frank Lucas (website). Deadline TBA.

  • 4th Congressional District - Congressman Tom Cole (website). Deadline May 2.

  • 5th Congressional District - Congressman Stephanie Bice (website). Deadline April 8.

View winning artwork from Oklahoma students in 2021.

Native Artist Opportunity Fund 2022

Through the Native Artist Opportunity Fund, funding is available to support the promotion, development, and sharing of the work or practice of Indigenous performing artists.

Part of the Western Arts Alliance's Advancing Indigenous Performance (AIP) program, the grant provides up to $750 to assist artists with participation in regional, national, or international conferences; purchase of equipment; production of marketing materials; development of education materials; and other needs. Applicants must be members or descendants of a Native American,  Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian nation or community.

Learn more about the opportunity grant.

Jazz Road Tour Grants Available for Artists

Emerging and mid-career jazz artists have through April 15 to apply for grant funding to support small tours serving underserved areas. The Jazz Road Tours program provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. Made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundtion, the artist-centric grant program funds performances at three to six sites in a variety of venue types.

Grants can cover artist feeds, travel, housing, meals, road/sound/tour management, and more. Artists can be working solo or with a composer-led or collective jazz ensemble of two to 10 musicians.

To learn more, see the Jazz Road Tours page on the South Arts website.

Three Job Openings with the Oklahoma Arts Council

The Oklahoma Arts Council currently has openings for three staff positions. The agency seeks enthusiastic and creative people with an entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to public service to join our team. Applications must be submitted through

Applications are currently being accepted for:

  1. Director of Collections Management – manages the care and documentation of state-owned art collections managed by the Oklahoma Arts Council

  2. Art in Public Places Director – administers the State of Oklahoma's percent-for-art program

  3. Grants and Programs Associate – manages grants office operations and assists with agency programs

View the full job descriptions here.

For New Executive Assistant Calen Kinnaman, Details Matter

Stepping into the executive assistant role at an organization can be intimidating. The day is full of detail-oriented work for which not everyone is equipped, and the rewards don’t come fast. For Calen Kinnaman, new Oklahoma Arts Council executive assistant, concern and commitment to details are what matter most. She understands the value of focusing on details, which, when not given sufficient attention, put an organization’s goals at risk.

A penchant for details has accompanied Kinnaman throughout her educational and professional pursuits. With a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and credits toward a master’s degree in museum studies, Kinnaman previously interned in collections management at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The work required delicate handling of items thousands of years old. Without careful attention to preservation details, the objects would be lost to history.

Kinnaman’s recent work has been in administrative-related positions in law and medical offices. When she learned of the chance to apply for a similar position with the Oklahoma Arts Council, Kinnaman jumped.

“The Oklahoma Arts Council offered the perfect blend of what I am good at and what I care about,” said Kinnaman. She feels her appreciation for details is an ideal fit for the nuances of government work, where communication is essential to ensuring public transparency and accountability.

Kinnaman and her husband started a family before she finished her museum studies degree. Completing her degree “when life slows down” is among her goals, and she would love to work as a curator. In the meantime, she is enjoying her new workplace and its culture.

“Everyone is nice and appreciative,” said Kinnaman, citing the detailed-oriented requirements of her position. “The appreciation makes it worth it.”

Kinnaman savors the process, knowing that, like an ancient object, the care invested in the small things will lead to great value in the future.

Global perspectives

An Army veteran, Kinnaman traveled extensively during her time in the military and through her college study-abroad program. Her globetrotting reinforced her passion for anthropology and gave Kinnaman broader perspectives of the world. Of her travels, her favorite experience was the summer she spent in Tanzania and Kenya. In addition to hiking up part of Mt. Kilimanjaro, she spent a week experiencing the lifestyle of a local hunter gatherer tribe.

Calen Kinnaman can be reached at (405) 521-2853 or