The City of Tulsa, Tulsa City Council and the Tulsa Arts Commission are pleased to announce the selected Vision Arts Resiliency and Recovery grantees.
The Vision Arts Resiliency and Recovery program was created by the City of Tulsa and Tulsa City Council in April 2020, with a focus on providing direct grant assistance to local non-profit arts, humanities, and cultural organizations who have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City allocated $300,000 in Vision Tulsa Arts Commission funding for this program, with eligible organizations being able to apply for grants of up to $20,000 each.
“Tulsa’s arts organizations are critical institutions in our community, and play a central role in our city’s vibrancy, our creativity and our quality of life,” said Mayor G.T. Bynum. “These organizations are also among some of the hardest hit during the Coronavirus public health crisis. I’m grateful to my colleagues on the City Council and Arts Commission who worked with us to develop the Arts Resiliency and Recovery grant program, which helps ensure that these organizations will continue to strengthen our community now and in the future.”
The move to provide funding for COVID-19 recovery and resiliency resulted from a partnership between the City Council, the Mayor’s Office and the Tulsa Arts Commission, seeking to support arts and culture organizations through the crisis. Organizations were considered in two categories, large and small, based on annual donations received.
Funds for the program are made possible through the Vision Tulsa economic development package approved by Tulsa voters in April 2016. “Thanks again to Tulsa voters for approving the Vision package, which allowed us to make these funds immediately available to our city's essential arts organizations and artists,” Councilor Phil Lakin said. “I'm grateful for the collaborative way the Council, Mayor and Arts Commission quickly and efficiently developed this program and deployed the funds."
Awardees may use the funds to cover programming and operational costs, including payroll expenses, rent and mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, supplies, advertising, artist payments and more. Expenses related to sanitation and safety and redesigning exhibit spaces to accommodate social distancing guidelines are also eligible.
“The Tulsa Arts Commission is thrilled to provide much needed support to our city’s nonprofit arts, humanities and cultural assets,” said Holly Becker, Chairperson of the Tulsa Arts Commission. “These groups are the storytellers, creators and advocates that enhance the Tulsa quality of life. They are part of the fabric of our community and we recognize the challenge they face financially through the COVID-19 crisis. We are glad to be able to help in this way.”
Two City Councilors served on the Independent Review Panel which assisted the Arts Commission in the review process. “The grant applicants made it abundantly clear their need for emergency funding to survive during this pandemic is great,” said Councilor Lori Decter Wright, who served as a member of the review panel. “It is my hope these Vision Arts Grant Fund awards enable organizations to come through this crisis and thrive, sustaining our vibrant arts culture and inspiring our community.”
Councilor Patrick, a review panel member, also commented: “As a teacher in the arts, I know firsthand the need to support our art nonprofit organizations. They now more than ever fill the void left by years of budget cuts in both public and private art education. As our society moves toward an ever-increasing digital age, the interconnection of human experience shared through the arts provides an extremely valuable touchstone in all of our lives.”
Small organizations each receiving a $5,000 grant include: 108 Contemporary, Chamber Music Tulsa, Choregus Productions, Circle Cinema Foundation, Clark Youth Theatre, Harmony Project Tulsa, Heller Theatre Company, Sweet Adelines International, telatúlsa, The American Theatre Company, Theatre Tulsa, Tulsa Area Youth Symphony Association, Tulsa Foundation for Architecture, Tulsa Glassblowing School, Tulsa Literary Coalition/Magic City Books, Tulsa Chorale and Tulsa Project Theatre.
Large organizations each receiving a $17,917 grant include: Gilcrease Museum, John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, Living Arts of Tulsa, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa Air and Space Museum, Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab, Tulsa Historical Society, Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and Woody Guthrie Center.
About Vision Tulsa
Vision Tulsa, an $884 million sales tax renewal package approved by voters in 2016, is making substantial investments in economic development, education, public safety, streets and transportation needs citywide. With citizen priorities providing the driving force behind the creation of Vision Tulsa, transformative projects and enhancements are setting the stage for a bright future for Tulsa.