Norman Arts Council Now Accepting Fall 2017 Arts Education Scholarship Applications

Fall 2017 Arts Education Scholarship Application


For Fall 2017 Programs – August 1, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CST
Note: Please read application guidelines thoroughly to ensure timely completion of all requirements!

ELIGIBILITY:  The Norman Arts Council invites students in grades K-8 who live or go to school in Norman, Oklahoma to apply for a scholarship to offset the cost of an arts education experience provided by an established arts organization or educator.

APPLICATIONS: The NAC restructured their scholarship criteria this past winter, so there is new information here. Only Applications submitted through the online process will be considered for funding. Applications must be 100% completed for consideration. "I don't know or "unsure" answers will deem an incomplete application.

SELECTION CRITERIA:  The NAC is seeking applications for scholarships from students who:

  • express a strong desire to enhance their arts education experience beyond what is offered at schools
  • demonstrate a past commitment to visual or performing arts
  • have the ability to commit to the completion of the program
  • have a financial need that prevents them from funding the tuition themselves
  • priority will be given to new applicants, low income applicants, and applicants seeking funds for visual arts programs
  • $500 is the maximum award a single student will be granted
  • Applications must be 100% completed

Applicants will not be turned down for not meeting all of the criteria. It is encouraged, however, to try to meet as many as possible and to address the criteria directly in the proposal.

Norman Artist Receives Mid-America Arts Alliance Innovations Grant

The Mid-America Arts Alliance announced their esteemed Arts Innovations grant recipients on June 28. 21 recipients from the five state region, were selected for awards. Of the 21 recipients, only three Oklahoma artists and arts organizations were announced as recipients. 

Of those, only one was from Norman, Oklahoma: Actor, director and playwright Sheryl Martin.

Her project, entitled “Oklahoma StoryWorks: THE FOOD PROJECT”, will spend the next year developing a script for a new play based on interviews with Norman and area residents. The focus of the project will be food; stories, issues and relations with this most essential element of living.

Martin has been a mainstay of theatre in Central Oklahoma since her arrival in Norman in 1989. She came to Norman as a newly cast actor with Norman's then professional theatre company, The Street Players Theatre; with whom she toured children's theatre and appeared in independent, original productions for the next two years.

In subsequent years, she appeared in productions with most of Central Oklahoma's theaters, including Stone Soup Theatre, Oklahoma Children's Theatre and her own company, 2x4 Productions. While with Oklahoma Children's Theatre, and later 2x4, Sheryl began playwriting children's stories for touring programs, writing more than 15 scripts over the years.

Most recently, Martin appeared in the Two Weird Sisters production of The Vagina Monologues at The Depot in Norman.

The Arts Innovation grant award is the first project for Sheryl's 2x4 Productions new program, StoryWorks. StoryWorks is committed to bringing the family tales and stories of area residents to the stage. Degrees in both Anthropology and Theatre, both from the University of Oklahoma, gives Martin a unique set of skills to apply to this project.

The Artistic Innovations program, according to the Mid-America Arts Alliance "...has been supporting the creation of groundbreaking new artistic work since 2013, with grants of up to $15,000 to artists and arts organizations in member states creating a variety of art across mediums. This round of awards proves no different, with grants made in the disciplines of dance, music, film, theater, and visual art."

This program is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Windgate Charitable Foundation. In all, $234,746 has been awarded to the 21 recipients.

Martin is currently engaged in planning meetings with project partners the Norman Arts Council and The Depot before beginning the interview process in the Fall.

The Depot is Back on Track

After months of re-construction and major repairs to the historic 1909 Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones, a Grand Re-Opening Celebration will be held to show off the beautiful results of the work and the fact that The Depot is now fully “Back on Track” with its programs. 

"The staff, board, and patrons of The Depot are extremely grateful for the hard work of the City of Norman, and the Parks & Recreation Department to make sure this historic building is here for our city to enjoy for another 120 years." says Executive Director Shari Jackson. “Come celebrate with us during the Art Walk from 6 to 9 pm on Friday, July 14. There will be lots of exciting things going on at the Depot!”

An opening reception for “Variations on Themes,” paintings by Norman's own Dr. Jim Cobb, will be held concurrently with the “Back on Track” Celebration. There will be complementary light appetizers and libations provided by Norman's 405 Brewing Company and Native Spirits Winery throughout the evening. Live music will be provided by members of SWAN (Songwriters Association of Norman) in the portico.

A Fundraising Raffle will be held to raise money to upgrade gallery lighting and stages with five great packages offered. Tickets are $10 for one, $25 for three, $50 for eight, $100 for 20. Tickets will be sold throughout the evening. All persons who purchase raffle tickets for raffle items listed below will also be eligible for a drawing for an Amtrak voucher for a round trip to Fort Worth for two. Drawing for all raffle packages winners will begin at 8:30 pm July 14.  Must be present to win.Raffle packages include:

*A pastel portrait by Mitsuno Reedy (head and shoulders) of one individual. The finished portrait will be approximately 12” x 16” unframed. Value: $850.

*Artist Brad Price will teach a half day (four hour) private workshop for one person. The winner will be able to complete their own painting in the workshop time allowed and to keep Brad's unframed 11”x14” workshop demo painting. Value: $1200. 

*Private concert by Annie Oakley—sound provided. Concert may be a “house concert” or may be hosted at the Depot with advance reservation of space. Value: $600.

*Depot Merchandise Package and set of CD's by artists who have performed at The Depot. Depot Merchandise package includes quirky, vintage inspired Depot items by local photographer and maker Lindsay Harkness paired with a small watercolor of our historic building. In addition, winner will receive a treasure trove of CD’s by over a dozen musicians who have taken the Depot stage through the years. Value: $300                                                                                                                                                               

There will also be Depot memorabilia for sale including original bricks in a fabric Depot shopping bag for $5 and/or four original depot windows for $150 each. Buy a piece of Santa Fe Depot history!

The Depot is a non-profit arts organization with a mission to create and present excellent and innovative fine arts programs for the enrichment and education of our community. Depot programs include Summer Breeze Concerts in Lions Park, The Depot Gallery, Winter Wind/Jazz and Whistle Stop Concerts and Second Sunday Poetry Readings in the Depot. The Depot is also available to rent for private events and hosts AMTRAK customers each morning.

"We take great pride in the opportunity to serve our community with programs we create in this building, which is on the Register of Historic Places, and in serving as its caretakers so the community can enjoy her." Director Jackson says. To learn more about The Depot visit or phone 405 307-9320.

Established Midwest Artist to Create New Large-Scale Work for New East Norman Library

As part of the Norman Forward 1% for Art program, the Norman Arts Council is pleased to announce the selection of artist James Johnson to create a large-scale public sculpture for installation at the Norman Public Library East Branch. Located at 3001 E. Alameda Street, the library is currently under construction.

The new Norman Public Library East Branch will have a collection of 20,000+ items and will feature 12,500 square feet of highly flexible space that will support a mobile service approach, new education models, collaborative learning, information sharing and digital literacy.

The 1% for Art project team encouraged artwork that would complement the beauty of the site and the architecture of the building, expressing a spirit of wonderment, curiosity and learning inherent to all libraries. Johnson’s proposed sculpture hit all those marks, taking cues from the natural environment of the site and the building itself.

Though not seen in the photos of the artist’s model, the final sculpture will be made of Corten steel, the same material being utilized on the façade of the Library building. The artwork will be 14 feet tall and weigh approximately 3,000 pounds, making it clearly visible to street traffic and visitors alike. The sculpture will also be positioned so that during the Solstice, the sun will shine through the sculpture and onto the building.

Johnson is well-versed in creating large scale public art works, having completed numerous works currently on permanent and temporary exhibition in Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri and Iowa. He is inspired by ancient cultures, especially that of the Mayan and Inca, as a means to communicate lifestyle and culture. With a career spanning over 40 years, the sculptor has taught in colleges across the Midwest when not working on his own craft.

“As a sculptor, I have always been concerned with creating works of art that cause the viewer to pause and reflect upon their surrounding and, in doing so, become more aware of the environment that they are passing through,” Johnson said. “Equally important has been my use of the arch as a means of transforming the viewer from a place and time of activity to one of calm and reflection.”

The $30,000 project sought artists through an open call for requests for qualifications this past fall, attracting 125 applicants from across the country and world. A selection panel composed of a City of Norman designee, Public Arts Board member, Norman Arts Council board member, Ad Hoc Committee member, the designer/architect of the complex, a stakeholder in the project, arts expert and at large community members deliberated over artist qualifications.

The panel selected three finalists — hailing from Illinois, New Mexico and Norman, OK — who each created tailored design proposals inspired by the plans for the complex, as well as the history and culture of Norman. Johnson’s was selected from the three proposals, and the plans are for the sculpture to be complete and dedicated with the library’s targeted mid-May 2018 opening date.

On April 12, 2016, the City of Norman contracted with the Norman Arts Council to administer the 1% for Art program designated for Norman Forward projects. Norman Arts Council’s administrative role includes project development, refining a selection process (including the assembly of balanced selection panels), executing and installing the selected works through coordination between the City and artists and public engagement and education. Debby Williams, who served in similar capacity as director of the Oklahoma Art in Public Places Division for nearly a decade, was selected to manage the 1% for Art program.

James Johnson’s work is the one of many public art projects that will populate Norman through the Norman Forward 1% for Art program. Mark Aeling’s SPLASH will be ready to install upon completion of the Westwood Family Aquatic Center later this year. A new request for qualifications for the proposed new Central Branch of the Norman Public Library will be announced in the coming months. 

One of James Johnson's past projects.

One of James Johnson's past projects.

Cultural Connections: Norman In Clermont-Ferrand Curatorial Statement


In the United States, when 9/11 happened, everything changed…Everyone says that…It has become cliché…But everything changed. It just did. And for us – France and the US – partners through two Revolutions and two World Wars – everything changed. We were strained and stressed and a relationship that was forged over nearly 250 years was threatened by fear.

Then came Charlie Hebdo, then November 2015 in Paris, and 2016 Bastille Day in Nice. Terrorism has shaken us both and we are, as we started, once again commrades in freedom and democracy. We need each other, as we always have.

And that brings us to this:  Norman, Oklahoma in Clermont-Ferrand, France – “jumelage” – we are twinned – we are sisters, united by our commonalities and treasured for our differences.

With Cultural Connections, the Norman Arts Council works to build relationships, learning, and understanding through the exchange of ideas, culture, art, and people. We are diplomats and we are ensuring that the special relationship between our two towns and two countries (and with our sister cities around the world) continues to forge us into a global community.

In this exhibit, Cultural Connections: Norman in Clermont-Ferrand, you see the works of three Norman, Oklahoma artists. Jason Cytacki, Ginna Dowling, and Daren Kendall were chosen from many submitted proposals by a joint selection panel of representatives of each community. In September of this year, three Clermont-Ferrand artists: Hervé Brehiér, Cecile Gambini, and Annemarie Rognon will travel to Norman to complete the exchange.

We arrived in France to seek out something familiar, something to which we can all relate. Each artist, with their individual perspectives, has created site-specific installations that speak to their observations of this initially unfamiliar place. As they have worked, a fog began to lift, and we see that we are, in the end, not at all that different…

There was the waiter at breakfast – so excited to learn we were from the US that he proclaimed he would return home with us when his shift ended.

There was Christoff, who, one late night at a local bar, imprinted on us (well, on Jason, specifically). He had returned from California that morning and was longing for more connections from his sister country across the Atlantic.

There was the French election, which was eerily reflective of the recent US Election. We watched from the living room of one of our Clermontoise friends.

There was the familiar crowd at a sporting event that gripped the nation. Life comes to a blissful halt as strangers gather to drink beer out of plastic cups and hug one another when the home team goals and lament when they, once again, fail to achieve the long-fought-for victory.

Each of the three installations in Cultural Connections examines the textures of this place (Clermont-Ferrand) and this space (Chapelle de l’Oratoire). We are exploring the Physical, Social and Elemental textures of Clermont-Ferrand. We hope you enjoy our views of your place and we thank you for having us as your guests.

Erinn Gavaghan
Curator and
Executive Director, Norman Arts Council