Courtney Reeder, who is Kiowa and Creek, performs a fancy shawl dance during a dance exhibition by the Central Plains Dancers at the Red Earth Festival at Grand Event Center at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman Archives]

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Allied Arts has announced the distribution of $300,000 in emergency relief grants to 22 nonprofit cultural organizations based in Oklahoma City. 

Grants for as much as $24,000 were available to eligible arts nonprofits that demonstrated financial hardship following the onset of COVID-19. 

The grant program was funded by a federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation approved by the Oklahoma City Council, according to a news release. 

“We greatly appreciate Mayor David Holt and our City Council’s recognition of the importance of the arts to Oklahoma City in times of prosperity and during challenging times,” said Allied Arts President and CEO Deborah McAuliffe Senner in a statement. “The local creative industry has been hit significantly hard due to COVID-19, resulting in a projected hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue and new, unexpected expenses. The CDBG funds will help these arts nonprofits mitigate the devastating financial impact of the pandemic as well as support the delivery of programming in new, innovative ways. “

Chaired by Liz Eickman of the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, a committee of Allied Arts board members, community volunteers and City of Oklahoma City representatives reviewed applications and made funding recommendations. Committee members included Matthew Gabrielson, Chris Varga and Robbie Kienzle, City of Oklahoma City; Judge Jerome Holmes, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals; Michael Laird, Crowe & Dunlevy; Steve Mason, Mason Realty Investors; and Dorscine Spigner-Littles, University of Oklahoma. 

The grants are being used to procure protective supplies to ensure the safety of staff, patrons and students; to purchase equipment to deliver programming remotely; to keep staff, artists and teaching artists employed; and to expand existing services, according to the news release. 

Here is the list of grant recipients: 

AgencyAmountProjectAalim$5,000rent, utilities, creative director salary, PPE, internet service and technology subscriptionsArts Council Oklahoma City$24,000staff time, teaching artist pay and other
administrative/operational expenses for virtual and in-person art classes to student populations from the following areas: Shidler Elementary; Monroe Elementary;
Eugene Field Elementary; Hawthorne Elementary; and Boys and Girls Club @ Memorial ParkBLAC, Inc.$15,000arts-integration teacher training at Mary Golda Ross, F. D. Moon Middle, Star Spencer High, Horace Mann and Cesar Chavez schoolsCanterbury Voices$24,000cover lost revenue and support arts training at a newly-designated Community HOPE Center in Capitol Hill with Boys & Girls ClubCarpenter Square Theatre$11,000online programming, operational expenses and PPE expenses deadCenter Film$13,000staff and technology costs to shift youth educational programming to a virtual formatEl Sistema$20,000provision of music education in a safe manner with additional staff, instrument and face coverings, increased transportation and technology for virtual instructionKidsAlive!$20,000payment of teaching artists and other expenses related to offering the Kaleidoscope program in a safe mannerLyric Theatre$24,000continued production of Lyric’s Kid’s ClubhouseMetropolitan School of Dance$19,500continued delivery of dance education at the Paige Woodson including payment of teaching artists and staff, PPE and the additional rental costs associated with more scheduled classes with fewer students for social distancing purposesOKC Improv Foundation$7,000purchase of A/V equipment to live-steam improv classesOklahoma City Ballet$10,000support payroll for teaching artists leading community outreach classes including Dance for Parkison’s and Golden SwansOklahoma City Girls Arts School$24,000payment to teaching artists to deliver existing curriculum and develop/deliver new curriculum to meet virtual learning needsOklahoma Museums Association$4,000in support of the “Oklahoma Cultural Community Wellbeing and Self-Care in Response to COVID-19” digital programOklahoma Shakespeare$10,000covering loss of revenue due to the cancellation of performances and events related to COVID-19Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition$15,000in support of the distribution of monetary grants and awards to artists in addition to the provision of professional development for artists Oklahomans for the Arts$4,000payroll for staffOpry Heritage Foundation of Oklahoma$20,000in support of the payment of musicians and support staff coordinating concertsPainted Sky Opera$6,000offsetting revenue losses and new expenses related to streaming performancesPaseo Artists Association$10,000offsetting loss of income due to cancellation of 2020 Paseo FestivalPlaza District Association$4,500payment to artists performing weekly outdoors in the Plaza District Red Earth$10,000general operating expenses as well as expansion of internet and online capabilities for every aspect of  programming

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