More than 100 nonprofit arts organizations across the state received Oklahoma CARES Grants from the Oklahoma Arts Council. Among them are Chisholm Trial Arts Council, Chisholm Trail Heritage Center Association and Duncan Little Theatre.

Through the one-time grant opportunity, over $400,000 in funding will go to help arts-focused nonprofits keep jobs and maintain organizational stability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oklahoma CARES Grants became possible by federal funding provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, distributed by the National Endowment for the Arts to the Oklahoma Arts Council as its state partner.

Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples said the funding will benefit all Oklahomans.

“In passing the CARES Act, Congress recognized the need to support the arts as a sector that meaningfully contributes to our nation’s economy, education, and quality of life,” Sharples said. “We are grateful to members of Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation for helping make this support possible.

“While arts organizations across our state have been at the forefront of innovating in their efforts to continue serving Oklahomans during this time, the inherent nature of the arts to bring people together forced organizations in the sector to be among the first to close their doors, and it dictates that they will be among the last to reopen,” Sharples said. “Through this funding, nonprofit arts organizations serving diverse communities in areas ranging from Duncan to Woodward, Elk City to Rentiesville, and everywhere in between will be better poised to endure the challenges they are facing."

Funding determinations came from members of the Governor-appointed Oklahoma Arts Council board. Awards reflect the Oklahoma Arts Council’s commitment to “diversity, equity and inclusion in its investment of support across the state.” Organizations receiving awards can use funds for administrative and artistic salaries, benefits and contracts. Facility and operational expenses are also eligible expenses.

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