50 STORIES 50 YEARS: SHORTGRASS ARTS & HUMANITIES COUNCIL
The funding of the Oklahoma Arts Council is often disbursed to organizations like the Shortgrass Arts & Humanities Council of Altus, who are able to precisely apply it to local needs.
Despite economic and geographic barriers to arts participation in southwest Oklahoma, residents are interested in and support a wide variety of arts activities, from classical to country, from cowboy art to the master painters.
A decrease or loss of public funding for the arts would negatively impact Shortgrass Arts & Humanities Council’s (SAHC) ability to provide quality arts programming for engaged and inquisitive area residents.
The SAHC strives to provide experiences that touch all of the community’s interests, and the Oklahoma Arts Council’s grant funds make this annual arts programming possible.
The demographic picture of southwest Oklahoma is one of a diverse population experiencing high unemployment rates, low per capita incomes, and low rates of literacy.
In light of these substantial community challenges, SAHC partners with the Great Plains Literacy Council and the Southern Prairie Library System to develop programs that reach a broad range of individuals, programs that put public funding to work directly for the residents of southwest Oklahoma.
Residents support the arts as much as possible; however, the discretionary funds are often not available.
The Shortgrass Arts & Humanities Council’s Executive Director said, “The Oklahoma Arts Council’s funds are absolutely essential to ensure that excellent visual and performing arts experiences and opportunities are available to residents of all ages in southwest Oklahoma.”
This story celebrates 50 years of the Oklahoma Arts Council and how the state’s investments have positive ripple effects on communities across Oklahoma. See other stories or follow this link for more information.