Arts Integration Award recipients

Tulsa Artist Fellow Crystal Z Campbell, seen here with co-fellows Eric Sall and Nathan Young in 2018, has been chosen for Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute, where she will work on a project centered around the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. Courtesy/Melissa Lukenbaugh

More than 100 nonprofit arts organizations across the state will share in more than $400,000 in funding through the Oklahoma CARES Grants from the Oklahoma Arts Council.

The grants are being provided to help arts-focused nonprofits keep jobs and maintain organizational stability during the COVID-19 pandemic and were made 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.”

Sharples said that the nature of visual and performing arts, which inherently bring people together, meant that state arts organizations were among the first to close down at the start of the pandemic and may ultimately be the last to reopen.

“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,” she said.

Funding determinations were made by 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.

Tulsa-area organizations that will receive grants are 108 Contemporary, American Theatre Company, Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa (ahha Tulsa), Barthelmes Conservatory (The bART), Broken Arrow Community Playhouse, Chamber Music Tulsa, Choregus Productions, Circle Cinema Foundation Inc., Friends of Starlight Concerts Inc., Harmony Project Tulsa, Heller Theatre Company, Living Arts of Tulsa Inc., Oklahoma Performing Arts Inc., Philbrook Museum of Art, Theatre North, Theatre Tulsa Inc., Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera Inc., Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, Tulsa Performing Arts Center Trust, Tulsa Project Theatre, Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and Woody Guthrie Center.

Tulsa Artist Fellows

Crystal Z Campbell, now in her fifth year as a Tulsa Artist Fellow, has been named a 2020–2021 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, part of a class whose work will span the sciences, social sciences, humanities and arts.

Campbell was chosen as the 2020–2021 Film Study Center David and Roberta Logie Fellow and will use the opportunity to continue work on “Slick,” an experimental feature-length film centering around the long-term impact of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

The film will be accompanied by a publication to complement the filmmaker’s research, artwork and writings, and also feature commissioned essays by guest writers.

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre was one of the most devastating incidents of racially motivated domestic terrorism in the United States, with more than 35 blocks of businesses and homes in the predominately Black community of Greenwood destroyed.

The 2020–2021 fellowship year will be virtual, with the possibility of a residential component, pending decisions on Harvard-wide policies by university leaders and informed by epidemiological models of the spread of COVID-19.

“This fellowship class, taking shape amid a devastating pandemic, reflects our conviction that the cross-disciplinary exchange and deep exploration that Radcliffe enables are critically important for Harvard and for the wider world — especially in times like these, when we must confront unprecedented challenges,” said Radcliffe Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin.

Campbell is a multidisciplinary artist, experimental filmmaker and writer of African-American, Filipino and Chinese descents. Her work is described as “an excavation of public secrets using live performance, installation, sound, painting, film/video and texts.”

Campbell said of the “Slick” film project, “With Tulsa as the main character, I want to create a dynamic experimental film, considering how the impact of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre might be recontextualized in both specific and broader historical and creative contexts. I am engaged with the ways that film can be used to amplify undertold narratives, and be a creative summoning of justice.”

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