City, county, qualify for arts grant

Oklahoma City , OK – The Oklahoma Arts Council announced today that any incorporated Oklahoma city, county, or town government may apply for a $5,000 grant to support the arts in their community. The deadline to apply for a Local Government Challenge Grant is May 1, 2006 . Funds must be distributed from local governments to 501(c)(3) arts organizations and must be matched dollar-for-dollar with local tax revenues.

Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Betty Price said this matching grant program encourages local governments to support the arts. “The Local Government Challenge Grant program is designed to improve local resource flexibility, foster local arts coalitions and provide opportunities for local governments to partner with private enterprise,” said Price.

Durant City Manager Paul Buntz said his City Council has appreciated the benefits of the Local Government Challenge Grant over the past several years. “Through Red River Arts Council programs this past year, Durant citizens have had the opportunity to attend 6 ensemble music programs, the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, and three visual art exhibitions. Several educational programs were provided for Durant children, including public and private schools and home-schooled children, at no charge. The City of Durant matches the Local Government Challenge Grant awarded by the Oklahoma Arts Council to ‘Keep the Arts Alive' in our community,” said Buntz.

Since 2001, Local Government Challenge Grant funds and the City of Woodward 's match have been used for the renovation of the Woodward Arts Theatre and Cultural Centre. Funds were used to improve an outdated sound system in the Theatre in addition to purchasing several listening devices for the hearing impaired. Other projects around the state have included renovations to historic buildings, adding handicapped accessible bathrooms and outdoor sculptures.

 

For more information about Local Government Challenge Grants, please contact the Oklahoma Arts Council at (405) 521-2931 or okarts@arts.ok.gov .

The Oklahoma Arts Council is a state agency whose mission is to improve lives through the arts by promoting and sustaining the development of a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education and economic vitality for all Oklahomans.

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