The Oklahomans for the Arts Board of Directors appointed long-time arts leader Julia Kirt as Executive Director.

New Oklahomans for the Arts Director, Julia Kirt

New Oklahomans for the Arts Director, Julia Kirt

Kirt directed the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition for the past 15 years, helping artists across the state realize their potential.

“Julia’s significant organizational and administrative skills, her knowledge of the statewide arts community and her extraordinary passion for the arts in Oklahoma made her the ideal candidate for the position” said Jim Tolbert, Oklahomans for the Arts Board President.

Oklahomans for the Arts, which was created in May 2011, unites arts supporters, arts administrators, educators and artists in advocating with lawmakers about the importance of art in Oklahoma, including the connection between the economy and the arts and education and the arts.

“We have such strong, diverse arts and cultural organization and artists across our state. Arts and cultural organizations educate students, inspire communities, improve neighborhoods and grow the economy. Working together, we know the Oklahomans for the Arts can help build connections and voice for this important sector,” Kirt said.

Kirt has dedicated herself to advancing the arts and engaging with national best practices. She received the “Emerging Leadership Award” from the Americans for the Arts in 2008 and many local awards.  Kirt participated in the Leadership Institute by the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture in 2009. As a Center for Social Innovation Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2006, Kirt completed the National Arts Strategy’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders in the Arts.

Kirt serves the broader community as President of the Cultural Development Corporation of Central Oklahoma, helping implement the Central Oklahoma Cultural Plan. She is a graduate of Leadership OKC Class XXI.

“After many years of working directly with many talented Oklahoma visual artists, I am proud that in this new position I will continue advocating for artists, broadening that advocacy to include all art forms, cultural organizations and other avenues of community advancement as well,” Kirt said.

She received a BA in Communication Studies from Macalester College, St. Paul, MN and an MA in Art History at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK. She lives in Oklahoma City and enjoys time with her husband Nathan Guilford and two young children.