In a previous post, I addressed the use of “competitor” in regards to the Oklahoma Arts Council, and how it does not necessarily apply. So while compiling some images and links for my competitor board on Pinterest, I focused primarily on the legislation against the OkAC and organizations like it, as well as the current allocation of funds in Oklahoma and how arts may fit into that. It was a little challenging finding this information, but hopefully the board conveys the opposition against the Arts Council.
The Oklahoma Arts Council differs from its “competitors” in the sense that they seek to use the funds handed down to them from the federal government or private donors in a manner that benefits communities across Oklahoma culturally and beyond. Opposition sees the OkAC as either too large, or altogether useless. However, the funding is available specifically to the OkAC and organizations like it across the US due to legislation signed by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965 ensuring federal arts funding for states. The National Endowment for the Arts, which is the government organization established by congress the same year (and is essentially the umbrella organization for state arts councils) has also faced opposition from groups who would like to see the funds distributed by this organization allocated elsewhere.
In order to combat these efforts, the Oklahoma Arts Council must be diligent in communicating their message of community improvement and empowerment. Continuing to update the state on the economic and educational benefits of their work in communities of all sizes will emphasize the importance of arts in the community. Maintaining their image as an accessible and beneficial tool to Oklahomans looking to engage their school or city through art is also imperative. Opposition will likely continue to try to paint the OkAC as too large or undermine its importance, but by ensuring that Oklahoma understands the mission of the Arts Council, the organization can continue to benefit the community.